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Control Photoshop with PS3 BluRay Remote

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 14, 2010, 1:45 AM
  • The Problem...
Recently when I got my tablet PC [Lenovo ThinkPad X201T,] I had one major gripe -- the lack of face buttons to assign macros and shortcuts to. My Cintiq on my desktop computer remains my #1 partner still if only because of those damn useful ExpressKeys on both sides. I searched for small add-on devices for my Tablet PC to try to replicate ExpressKey functionality. Things like tiny bluetooth keyboards and even the Logitech G13 GameBoard. Tiny bluetooth keyboards were either too expensive, too cheaply made, or too clumsy to use effectively (bubble buttons.) The Logitech G13 worked wonderfully, but there was one killer problem. It's not small. It takes up a lot of room in my bag, and the USB cable is monstrously long. But it does work beautifully to set up all kinds of quick action keys, and the multiple profiles [that can be saved ON the device for travel] is just too good. It's just a pain that, due to its size, it has to be set on a flat surface in order to be used effectively! Today the G13 makes a nice partner on my desktop system, and is my new choice for gaming input (what it apparently was designed for.) However, for my tablet PC, I ultimately wanted something smaller, programmable, and preferably able to be held and operated IN one hand.

  • Finally put your BD Remote to use!

Really -- why didn't I think of this sooner? Remember this remote? If you have a PS3, you may own one. And you may not have used it much because while watching a movie on your PS3, you figure "Feh, I'll just use the PS3 controller...." Poor lil' PS3 BD remote.

Turns out that semi-little $30 bluetooth remote control is one of the best solutions I've found yet for controlling photoshop on-the-go. Look at the buttons in the picture above. Every single one can be custom assigned to do ANYTHING. It's a remote control, so it's operable entirely in one hand, and it's a great ergonomic size. Big to use tactfully, yet small enough to travel without a problem. And like I said above, it's BlueTooth -- not IR. It has instant responsiveness like a real keyboard / wacom expresskeys, and you don't have to point it at the computer or whatever. If you own a Tablet PC, this is kind of a god-send. Because you don't have free access to a keyboard. So the BD Remote becomes your keyboard. The way I have mine setup currently makes a lot of sense. The D-Pad is the arrow keys, Circle/X/Square/Triangle are the main modifier keys like alt and shift, the row of colored keys are common tools like brush, eraser, lasso. Eject is esc. 0-9 keys are programmed to actually BE 0-9. So I can input on-the-fly opacity levels and type in numbers for image sizes and whatnot. Display key is fullscreen mode. Top Menu button is Tab. Start is Select All, Select is Select None. R1, R2, R3 are zoom in, out, and spacebar. L1, L2, L3 are History Forward, History Back, and Undo. Seek forward and back are brush size increase/decrease. etc. You get the picture.

To me, this is a pretty big deal at the moment. So I thought I'd share the find. If you've been looking for something similar -- consider the relatively cheap expense for a PS3 BD remote to gain outstanding control in Photoshop. [Oh, and, anything else on your computer, too. Since it can be assigned different profiles for things like movie playback, OS navigation, and whatnot.]

  • How to use the PS3 Remote with your PC
Of all places, I learned how to do this on the Toshiba website.…

But the original forum thread started by its creator (with better instructions) can be found here:…

Follow the link above to see the tutorial and get all necessary links to required software.
Sorry Mac users, but this one might be Windows only. Though, I don't doubt some control software exists for Mac I don't know about. Though I don't know why Mac users would be interested in this for Photoshop -- maybe if you own a ModBook... but otherwise it just becomes a hyper souped up media remote.

Oh and, of course your computer needs Bluetooth capabilities.

EDIT: Well, this isn't the perfect solution yet. Turns out the software may not support a key being HELD DOWN. Meaning modifier keys and such cannot be used. [I'm pretty sure the remote itself supports keys being held, as you CAN hold buttons to zip across menus on the PS3. So this must be something under development.] The software is still in beta, so I've emailed the creator asking about the ability to recognize a key being HELD.

EDIT 2: The creator got back to me, says that key holds are indeed a fault of the software. It's still a bit undeveloped in areas. He said he'll see if he can get around to adding the function to test out with soon.

Add a Comment:
AlexBroeckel Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011
hey fox-orian.. thanks to your great review of the thinkpad and the Sony Remote Tip i have a wonderfully functional portable paintstudio here. maybe thats worth a new edit.. the software in its Version 1.5 (experimental) downloadable on is now capable of holding the state of the buttons you press.. meaning ALT works now. :) thanks a lot!
fearian Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really interesting! and quite creative :P
kyle-culver Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2010  Professional Filmographer
if there was a "fave" button for this journal i would press it! this is indeed a helpful and amazing find. even with the fault i think it is VERY feasible. i'd love to try something like this out on my comp.

thanks for sharing!
YanYu Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
Hiurro Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
I know you have a zune, but for people with an ipod touch or iphone there are free apps that allow you to use the device as a wifi keyboard. I don't have a pc, but it works well on the mac. Now I just need the money for a tablet pc and I'll be set.
GreenSprite Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010
You're such a hacker ^_^
Fox88 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010
So, pen in one hand, remote control in the other? At first I thought this was incredibly inconvenient but the more I think about it, it might be super nice. Even more intuitive than the hotkeys on a Wacom (which I NEVER use for drawing.)

Good find, my man!
ms-otaku-sensei Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010  Professional General Artist
HELO ! ! ! ! I LOVE UR DRAWING VERY MUCH ! ! Btw, what is the best tools 4 u? cintiq 12WX or Intuos4 ? Btw, u r very glam0r0us! !
Altimeter Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010
Hey Fox, Im fallowing ur tutorials on Utube & one about coloring would be awesome too

Anw, I think using the game pad for ps3 instead of the big bulky remote is more handy & work friendly
MHolcombe Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Professional General Artist
very cool.
gazdowna Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Professional Artist
It's bluetooth, not blueray ;)

But cool idea, very cool.
fox-orian Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Right, I say it's bluetooth. However, the actual, official NAME of the remote is the "Playstation 3 Blu-Ray Remote" or shortened, PS3 BD. [Says it right on the front of the remote XD]
gazdowna Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2010  Professional Artist
Ah, sorry for the mmisunderstanding, I only skimmed your journal and it was first thing I thought of. Though I should've think before I comment.

Still a very cool idea is that and I did similar thing with my phone :)
Bonvallet Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
You are smaaaaart.
I think I might do this now.
Nokadota Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Professional General Artist
Hehe, that's pretty neat man.
kevinsano Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
on Mac you can use a Wii remote at least. I think I'll go find some more info on bluetooth devices on Mac.
nervene Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010
Great idea; and I'm sure it makes you feel like a Russian from the future, too.

Because we will all be Russian in the future.
Arisa-tan Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
OH this is nice!! Actually my Cintiq could use some extra keys XDDD Mostly because I use it sitting on the couch and then a keyboard is kind of far away XDDD -must look into this-
No the express keys on my Cintiq aren't enough, though I admit they have about 80% of my actions XD
CleWeR Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is some brilliant put-to-use action there. Impressive :D
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Submitted on
September 14, 2010