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Suggestions for 3D/2D Animators, 3D Modelers, Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Renderers, 3d Texturers, and Photo Retouchers

This is a diverse occupational sector and the needs of one occupation may not match the needs of another. For example, a Renderer will most likely use a mouse for the bulk of their work, while a 2D Animator will require a graphics tablet.


That being said, there are some general considerations and accommodations that can be considered.

Source of the Problems

The hand motions involved in these occupations is highly repetitive. In addition, these occupations typically demand long hours, primarily to meet production deadlines, but also to take advantage of the creative muse.


The repetitive activities involved in these occupations include:

  • Clicking
  • Dragging
  • Scrolling
  • Holding a position
  • Manipulating a stylus or mouse with precise/fine movements
  • Using a mouse of tablet in conjunction with a keyboard, in order to access keyboard shortcuts (one hand on mouse/tablet, one hand on keyboard).

General Considerations

Handshoe Mouse (wireless)

Go Wireless

Wireless keyboards and mice make it much easier to move your keyboard and mouse around on your desktop, especially when accessing keyboard shortcuts



Wacom Intuos 4I

Tablets

The graphics tablet, along with its more expensive cousin the graphics tablet - screen hybrid, is the ideal tool for people involved in animation and graphic design. The stylus replaces the mouse, with clicking accomplished by tapping the tablet screen with the stylus.


One of the major drawbacks of using a stylus is that the operator can develop symptoms similar to writer's cramp. For a standard pen, solutions often include thickening the pen, using foam or other materials. This allows for larger muscles be involved in holding and moving the pen. However, the stylus has buttons on the shaft and this prohibits any attempt at padding the stylus.



Stealth Switch II

Foot-operated Switches

One way to reduce the amount of hand-initiated clicking is to use a foot-operated switch. The foot-operated switch can be used in conjunction with the regular mouse or tablet clicking; it does not need to replace those mouse/tablet switches. Sometimes you can click with the mouse/tablet, sometimes with the footswitch.



X-keys XK-24

Programmable Keypads

You can reduce the amount of keyboarding (especially mulit-stroke keying such as with the CTRL or ALT keys) by using a programmable keypad. The programmable keypad can be used in conjunction with the regular keyboard.



Evoluent VerticalMouse

Vertical Mice

Vertical mice allow you to hold your hand in the "handshake" position, which is the most neutral and least stressful postion of the wrist. Using a vertical mouse can reduce the discomfort you feel when doing repetitive mouse movements. Newer vertical mice are increasing the optical sensitivity, making them much more precise than their older models. The current version of the Evoluent VerticalMouse has DPI ratings up to 2600 DPI.



IOP 7-Flex LCD Arm

Monitor Arms

Adjustable Monitor Arms allow you to easily and quickly adjust the height, angle and distance of the monitor. This adjustability allows you to position the monitor so that you can reduce or eliminate eye, neck and upper back strain.



SwingSeat Pro

Chair

The chair can be the most important investment in yourself, give the many hours spent sitting on it.