Wacom Remote alternative for £5: UNIFIED REMOTE app

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johnfromncl
Posts: 29
Joined: 29 Jul 2019, 08:46
Location: Whitley Bay, England

Wacom Remote alternative for £5: UNIFIED REMOTE app

Post by johnfromncl » 15 Feb 2021, 02:25

First off - I prefer this to a Wacom Remote - and it is far cheaper.

I'm sharing my views in the hope that this may prove useful to others as well. I've placed this in 'Off Topic Discussions', but it also relates to workflow.

UNIFIED REMOTE is an app used with a tablet or smartphone to achieve better results than a Wacom Remote - in my opinion. It is for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phones (or tablets - it certainly works on an old android tablet for me) and communicates with Windows, Macs and Linux.

Using the full version of Unified Remote (£5), I'm using an old android tablet in landscape orientation as a means of entering shortcut keystrokes to TVPaint running on my iMac. The beauty is that it is text descriptions for those shortcuts that I now click, and these are arranged in logical groupings - to my mind and for my workflow - on the tablet screen. (See the photo of my tablet screen, for the shortcuts I happen to have chosen, and how I happen to have described and arranged them. The photo below is not a piece of art, but it is perfectly readable if you select it by clicking on it.)

Tablet-2.jpg

Even on day one (I installed the app earlier today) Unified Remote has speeded up my workflow and made using TVPaint faster (and more fun – less brain strain and submenus are avoided - submenus are a bit tricky on my Wacom where I have the menus in a fairly small size font to save space).

This app could be great for those who want to have some of the functionality of something like an Elgato Stream Deck - namely the creation of keyboard shortcuts pointed to by text of one's own choice - but without the purchase price of those pieces of hardware. (For readability, I think it might even beat an Elgato Stream Deck - but I've never seen one in the flesh.)

To have Unified Remote working with TVPaint I did need to create my own 'custom remote', but this wasn't too tricky (there is a tutorial for how to do this on the unifiedremote.com website). I wasn't sure about a couple of things and had a couple of email queries answered very quickly - one before even purchasing and installing the app.

My own hints (based on using a mac - but probably identical or very similar on a PC) are:
1) When starting Unified Remote on the mac it feels as if nothing has happened. The program has actually started and has parked itself in the bar at the top of the screen.
2) When updating a custom remote you have created, click on Unified Remote in the top bar and then on the manager option. This brings up a website-like page in your browser, and the 'Status' option within that then allows you to reload remotes, so that any changes to any you have created can be quickly picked up on the tablet or smartphone you are now using with your computer. (I don't know if it was necessary, but I quit the app on the tablet while doing that.)
3) I found made making changes to my custom remote very quick, so as I began to use the app to do useful things in TVPaint, I moved some keystroke shortcut descriptions around and added others to fine tune my initial choices. No need to make final choices up front.
4) Be prepared for some initial communication hassles between devices - lots of folks have them, but again there are tutorials, and I got it all going in about 20 minutes and it is now stable (exactly what I did, I'm not too sure... but there is help on the website).

I've created just one 'custom remote' as described here, but you could have different ones for different stages of your TVPaint workflow, and of course have separate custom remotes for other software you use with Unified Remote app as well.

I know that this won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I’m so impressed, I thought I’d share.
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020). 3.8 Ghz 8-core Intel Core i7, 128GB 2667 MHz DDR4. MacOS Catalina 10.15.7.
TVPaint Animation 11 Pro (11.5.0-64 bits).
Wacom Cintiq 16 Full HD Display (the 2019 lower-resolution one). Driver 6.3.41-2.
John from Newcastle, johnfromncl

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D.T. Nethery
Posts: 2958
Joined: 27 Sep 2006, 19:19

Re: Wacom Remote alternative for £5: UNIFIED REMOTE app

Post by D.T. Nethery » 15 Feb 2021, 19:17

That looks very useful. Thanks for posting !

Animator, TVPaint Beta-Tester, Animation Educator and Consultant.
MAC OS 10.14.6 , Macbook Pro Retina 15-inch, Late 2013,
2.3 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB Memory , TVPaint PRO 11.5.1 - 64bit ,
Wacom Cintiq 21 UX ,Wacom Intuos Pro 5 , Wacom driver version 6.3.39-1

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