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Annotating with Pen Tablets / Wacom Pens, and iPads

Beyond the mouse and keyboard WEBKNOSSOS is great for annotating datasets with alternative input devices such as pens, styluses, or the Apple pencil. These input devices can significantly boost your annotation speed and improve the detail of your annotations.

Using Wacom/Pen tablets

Using pen tablet can significantly boost your annotation productivity, especially if you set it up correctly with WEBKNOSSOS.

To streamline your workflow, program your tablet and pen buttons to match the WEBKNOSSOS shortcuts. By doing so, you can focus on your pen without the need of a mouse or keyboard. Here is an example configuration using a Wacom tablet and the Wacom driver software:

Tablet buttons:

  • Left: Brush (ctrl + K, B)
  • Middle left: Eraser (ctrl + K, E)
  • Middle right: Quick-select (ctrl + K, Q)
  • Right: Create new segment (C)

Pen buttons:

  • Lower button: Move (ALT)

You can find the full list for keyboard shortcuts in the documentation.

Annotating with Wacom Pens

Now, let’s dive into the annotation process! In this example, we begin by quick-selecting a cell.

If the annotation isn’t precise enough, we can easily switch to the eraser tool (middle left button) and erase a corner. Selecting the brush tool is as simple as pressing the left button, allowing us to add small surfaces to the annotation. When ready, pressing the right button creates a new segment, and we can repeat the process for other cells. For increased flexibility, you can additionally use your laptop’s keyboard shortcuts (e.g. “I” and “O” for zooming in and out).

iPad and Apple Pencil

Accessing your WEBKNOSSOS data from any internet-connected device with a browser, including iPads and Android tablets, allows you to conveniently showcase or explore large datasets anywhere. Whether you want to share your findings with scientists post-conference or analyze data during your train commute, all you need is a browser. No installation of any additional software is required. The user-friendly interface supports intuitive finger gestures and complementary buttons for smooth navigation.

In a brief workflow example, we demonstrate the ease of data visualization on an iPad. Using simple finger gestures, we navigate along the x and y axes and perform zoom operations with intuitive two-finger gestures. Additional functions, such as z-axis movement, toggling the right sidebar, and activating the four viewports, are easily accessible with the touch of a button. Selecting segments and loading their meshes is as simple as tapping the corresponding locations on the screen. Finally, we maximize the 3D viewport and effortlessly explore the mesh geometry by swiping with three fingers.

Intuitive Annotation with your iPad

Take advantage of the iPad and Apple Pencil for seamless and precise annotation. Enhance your manual annotations with direct drawing on the screen, offering increased accuracy and efficiency compared to traditional mouse-based annotation.

In this example, we demonstrate the annotation workflow using the iPad and Apple Pencil. Starting with the quick-select tool, we segment a cell, refining its edges with the pixel-perfect precision of the lasso tool. Next, we create a new segment and annotate it from scratch using the lasso tool. Finally, we create an additional segment and use the brush tool to annotate.