In case you haven’t seen it yet, Logitech’s NuLOOQ navigator is a dome-shaped, customizable USB input device that sits on the desktop. You operate the NuLOOQ navigator—zooming, scrolling, tool selections, application selections with the left hand—while the right hand is free to work with the mouse or tablet.
When I first saw the NuLOOQ navigator discussed on Ben Willmore’s blog (http://wheresben.com), I thought it was a great idea and bought one immediately, hoping to increase my efficiency and speed when processing hundreds of images at a sitting.
The learning curve is doesn’t apply to how the NuLOOQ works mechanically, because that is self-evident, but it is relevant in terms of what items to place in your tooldial menu. Even though most of the NuLOOQ is very easy to figure out, there’s also a downloadable manual, which is very clear.
The NuLOOQ feature I love most is the zoom/scroll functions, built in when you first set it up. After bringing up an image in Photoshop CS2, I can just twist the navring to increase and decrease image size. I push the navring on the left and right sides to scroll horizontally, and push it from the top and bottom to scroll vertically. The navring is touch sensitive, so you can vary the speed of your scrolling and zooming by the amount of pressure you apply. These two features alone have enabled me to increase my image output by about 20 percent.
The tooldial software that accompanies the NuLOOQ is tremendous. I have my center trigger point programmed to bring up the tooldial so it comes up wherever my cursor is located, without going to the dock to search for an application.
I use the same process I did before, but after programming my workflow commands in the NuLOOQ and becoming a bit more facile as to where items are located in the tooldial, my processing time has become thoroughly enjoyable.
Following is a typical work session using the NuLOOQ navigator and tooldial:
1. After processing the RAW file to a 50MB tiff file, I open the image in Adobe Photoshop CS2.
2. I push the NuLOOQ navring to place the scroll bars at the top right and lower right corners of the image box.
3. Since I use it mostly for removing specks, which occur when constantly changing lenses, especially outdoors, I’ll select the Spot Healing Brush Tool (J) and turn on the static value control icon at the top of the tooltuner dial. I adjust the brush size by a slight finger movement over the tooltuner dial, rather than using the menu item.
4. I set the brush to an average size, say 21px, and start scrolling, right to left, cloning out imperfections and changing brush sizes as needed. Then I scroll down and scroll back a bit, left to right, repeating the process.
5. I click on the center triggerpoint to bring up a Photoshop CS2 specific tooldial. On the tooldial are items such as: Save for Web, Print with preview, Save as, Image size, Actions. I can select any item placed on the tooldial from my cursor location rather than going back and forth to a menu, further streamlining my workflow.
Although the NuLOOQ was specifically designed for CS2, it works with any application. Just select or add an application from the Configure drop down menu and set up the navring accordingly.
From the high-powered zoom/scroll capability, to being able to access a great number of tools and applications immediately from any mouse location, the NuLOOQ navigator is essential hardware, a must for anyone who wants to add speed and ease to their workflow. And, with the recent price drop from $149.99 to $79.99, the NuLOOQ is also an excellent value.