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Realistic zoom level?

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I'm sure somebody has tackled this question before, but here goes:Has anyone studied zoom levels mathematically to determine which level provides the most realistic view? I'm am not asking which zoom level you think is more aesthetic or functional, but which most accurately reproduces the profile of distant objects across your field of vision. It seems like this would come down to a simple question of geometry.

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>I'm sure somebody has tackled this question before, but here>goes:>>Has anyone studied zoom levels mathematically to determine>which level provides the most realistic view? I'm am not>asking which zoom level you think is more aesthetic or>functional, but which most accurately reproduces the profile>of distant objects across your field of vision. It seems like>this would come down to a simple question of geometry.You bet - I have done it. Being mathematician, physicist (I majored in physical optics) and real pilot this question always nagged me and I decided to settle it once and for all. This must have been over a year ago.The result may vary slightly depending on the panel you are using but I suspect results would be close. I also have NOT performed similar computations for the virtual cockpit since I had no interest in it. VC could potentially have completely different results.Anyway, I took the 767PIC panel as a basis (one of the most revered panels) for my calculations. The best zoom setting I got was in the 0.68 - 0.80 range (range due to some unavoidable errors). I am actually using zoom 0.71 for this paricular panel. This result has been confirmed by some real life 767 pilot to give you the most realistic view through front windows. If you use correct zoom you also get the right sense of speed when on the final approach for landing or during takeoff.If Microsoft did not change their zoom scale these results will carry over to the FS2004 as well.Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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>Has anyone studied zoom levels mathematically to determine>which level provides the most realistic view? Ooh that's a question with no fixed answer. Let me explain taking the virtual cockpit into this context. Your field of view is about 180degrees in the horizontal direction and somewhat less in the vertical. Your monitor occupies a variable percentage of your field of view.Your monitor will occupy a greater proportion of your field of view the bigger or closer it is to you. Thus in order to see the correct profile of *any* object, you need to zoom out to the correct level according to the *angular* size of your monitor.Anthony Dyer

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My guess is they did change the zoom scale. It looks differant anyway.When using the keyboard = and - to change the zoom it in .25 increments. Does anyone know if this can be changed in the cfg to say go to .60 or .71 for example ?SteveCYYZ

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Anthony,>Ooh that's a question with no fixed answer. I am afraid the answer is fixed but some people ask the wrong question. (read below)>the correct profile of *any* object, you need to zoom out to>the correct level according to the *angular* size of your>monitor.correct but this is entirely different problem. Namely "what's the best viewing distance from the monitor". In most cases people look at the monitor from too far to achieve correct angular dimensions but this is difficult to overcome due to natural viewing distance and how eyes work. Here a fresnel lens (I use it) might be of help.The original question does have a definite answer for the simple reason that the amount of scenery that fits say .. between the front window posts is perfectly measurable and comparable to the real life situation - and also vary with the zoom setting in FS. Believe me I spent a lot of hours on this topic.These are two seperate issues - how a 2D panel "interacts" with the scenery as rendered on your monitor and the 2-nd issue - best viewing distance. If both of them are realistic - you practically duplicated the perspective of sitting in a real aircraft. It is easier to satisfy the first condition, the second one is tougher unless you use some optical devices ... But just satisying the first condition gives you a lot including the perception of speed.Michael J.

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I use 0.5 because its easily set with 2 keystrokes (backspace and - )but I still find 0.5 quite realistic in regards to a 2D view in a PC monitor.I also have a preset panel.cfg portion I always copy paste below the VIEW_FORWARD_WINDOWS=.... lineVVIEW_FORWARD_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_FORWARD_DIR=4.0,0.0,0.0VIEW_DOWN_WINDOWS=30,80,115VIEW_REAR_RIGHT_WINDOWS=33,85,115VIEW_DOWN_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_DOWN_DIR=-30.0,0.0,30.0VIEW_FORWARD_RIGHT_DIR=0.0, 0.0, 45VIEW_FORWARD_RIGHT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_RIGHT_DIR=0.0, 0.0, 90VIEW_RIGHT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_REAR_RIGHT_DIR=0.0, 0.0, 135VIEW_REAR_RIGHT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_REAR_DIR=0.0, 0.0, 180VIEW_REAR_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_REAR_LEFT_DIR=0.0, 0.0, 225VIEW_REAR_LEFT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_LEFT_DIR=0.0, 0.0, 270VIEW_LEFT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_FORWARD_LEFT_DIR=0.0, 0.0, 315VIEW_FORWARD_LEFT_ZOOM=0.5You can set 0.7 or 0.68 or whatever in these 0.5 and you'll have it there forever.Kyprianos Biris :-cool[link:avsim.com/greece/hvacc]Hellenic vACChttp://vateud.org/images/vatsim-eurs.gifhttp://vatsim.pilotmedia.fi/statusindicato...tor=OD1&a=a.jpg

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I would leave aside the question of the panel size or VC as you can move around the view relative to these (or the VC anyway) without having much effect on the apparent size of distant objects. I'm more interested in the apparent size or aspect of the distant objects themselves.In gunnery there is a measurement called a mil, if I recall correctly. A mil is the apparent size of an object 1 meter long when viewed at a distance of 1 kilometer.So the question I'm asking is this: At what zoom rate would a simulated 1 meter long object, viewed at a simulated distance of 1 kilometer, occupy a space of exactly 1 mil on my computer screen?The size of the monitor should not affect this, I believe.

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>I'm more interested in the apparent size or>aspect of the distant objects themselves.Personally I think it is a wrong question to ask since panel profoundly impacts the perspective of the simulation. Some simmers however use only the outside visuals and they have their own life-size panel in their rooms. If you are interested in the no-panel scenario then as Anthony noted above the distance between your eyes and the monitor has the primary effect and unless you somehow fix that first then considering zoom setting is useless. But once you decide on the distance from the monitor calculations are actually trivial and anyone with basic high school algebra should solve it in 5 mins.Michael J.

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I always run FS2k2 at .75 or .80 depending on the airplane. FS2k4 looks so darn good, I'm using .90 on everything. I like seeing them clouds big and up close.

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It's entirely a matter of feeling, not mathematics, because the area of focus of your eyes works at a different resolution than your peripheral vision. A computer screen cannot duplicate this.When I hop from a real life 172 to FS9, I feel most comfortable in the virtual cockpit with a zoom of 0.75.--Machdiamonds

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"But once you decide on the distance from the monitor calculations are actually trivial and anyone with basic high school algebra should solve it in 5 mins."Guess that lets me out! Can you help with the calculations? Let's take some arbitrary number, say 2 feet from eyepoint to monitor screen.I am a private pilot myself, and I have a certain feel for what a house, or a parking lot, or a 3000 foot runway looks like from, say, pattern altitude. But I find it difficult to judge altitude in the same way in FS. Of course partly one estimates distances by contrasting the apparent size of near and far objects--how much of the side window of my Skyhawk does that runway down there fill? But with a little practice it seems like you ought to be able to do it simply by looking at the size of the far object.

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Say you are looking at runway threshold which is 50 meters across at distance of 500 meters (in real life). If you want to replicate the same thing on your monitor and you decided on the 2 ft (= 60 cm) distance from your eyes to the monitor then you have to slew your simulated aircraft to be 500 meters from the runway threshold (which is 50 meters) and play with the zoom until the threshold reaches this size on your monitor: 60 * 50/500 cm = 6 cm across.As you can see it is simple proportions. I suggest to use runway thresholds since you can easily find their real-life dimensions and they are nice horizontal lines that are easy to measure on the screen.How do you know you are 500 meters from the runway threshold ? If threshold is 50 meters - that would be 10 thresholds that you can measure by looking at your setup from top view above airport looking down.Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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Just use "SHIFT -" and "SHIFT =" ie "_" and "+"...The delta value is .1 for those keys....Or you could change the keys to whatever you want it to be in settings :)

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Well, to add my experience to this confusion...As you've seen already opinions widely differ. Firstly, you'll have to make your question more concrete.Your question seems to ask about to the accurate geometry of distant objects. Well, that's easy to work out. It depends a bit on how far you are sitting away from the monitor, but in general, you want a field of view (fov) of about 45 degrees. That's what most games use and it's also used in visualisation and simulation (the field I'm working in). I think (but I'm not 100% sure) that a zoom level of 1 corresponds to a fov of 45. Distant objects seem to look fine with zoom level 1, at a lower zoom level (say 0.7) the landscape starts too look a bit squished, ie you see more landscape than you really should. (Hey, I wonder why Microsoft called it zoom level 1 :) )However, things are a bit more complicated in real life. One thing that the human eye can do is to focus onto things. Usually, you have a much bigger fov for close things rather then things that are further away (from a perspective point of view). You can try this yourself. Try to focus on something close and far and notice the difference. Also, there is no hard cut-off edge in the eye, like on the monitor. The spatial colour perception cells get sparser on the edge of the eye, whereas you have more motion and brightness perceptors on the edge of your eye. You can test this also. Put your hand next to your eye where you just can't see it anymore. Then wave it and see how you suddenly can notice it. Same holds true for small bright lightspots, they appear to be bigger when you look at them with your corner of your eye.What this all means is that a fov of 45 doesn't necessarily work well. It should give geometrically correct landscape, but one disadvantage is that you can't change your eye focus onto the panel right infront of you. With fov 45 you really can't see much of the panel. However, zoom factor 1 is still correct given that the panel is very close to you and in real life a panel is much larger than your monitor.Personally, I like to use the 3D panels. I'll adjust the zoom factor, so I can comforably see the most important instruments, but still have to use a hat switch to see all instruments (ie like turning my virtual head to set the radios). I also sometimes change the zoom / fov. Luckily, Microsoft has mapped the zoom factor adjustments onto - and = (or you can map that to whereever you want), so it's easy to change on the fly. Personally, this gives me a much more realistic perception of things. If you fly with panel off or spot plane view, leave the zoom factor at 1 (unless you want to see more of the landscape.Cheers, Christian

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Steve, you can set the zoom scale for the various directions in the aircraft's panel.cfg file, in the panel sub-directory. You add or edit the settings under the VIEWS section. Here's an example with the zoom set to a fairly wide angle of 0.5 Views - enclosed by square brackets.VIEW_FORWARD_DIR= 3.0, 0.0, 0.0VIEW_FORWARD_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_FORWARD_RIGHT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_RIGHT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_REAR_RIGHT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_REAR_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_REAR_LEFT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_LEFT_ZOOM=0.5VIEW_FORWARD_LEFT_ZOOM=0.5 Best regards, Chris

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>at a>lower zoom level (say 0.7) the landscape starts too look a bit>squished, ie you see more landscape than you really should.I have to disagree here because this is the part that can be easiliy measured and I have done the measurement. To see the the same amount of scenery in my 767 panel window I need in fact a zoom of around 0.7 - 0.8. This zoom setting has been confirmed by real 767 pilots to be closest to their real-life experience. With zoom 1.0 in fact you see too little scenery up front and you are zooming in too much. Again, this stuff can be easily measured and I encourage anyone capable in geometry to perform calculations.Michael J.

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You're doing something completely different though. You're just trying to place a 2D panel in 3D space. In effect, calculating the zoom factor from where the 2D panel (or eye point) is placed in the aircraft.cfg or changing the eye point (placing the 2D panel in 3D space) in the aircraft.cfg according to a given zoom factor is the same thing, and not what the author of the thread was asking about.The original question (and the original author has even clarified that in a second post) is how to get the _landscape_ to correspond to a 'realistic' view. As discussed it depends on how far you are away from the monitor and how big your monitor is, but a fov value of 45 is usually a good starting point (unless you're sitting 2 meters away from your monitor or you're using a widescreen).A zoom factor of 0.7 may give a more realistic view in relation to your 2D panel, but then you're panel is wrongly located in 3D space and that should be fixed in the aircraft.cfg in the first place. Using 3D panels solves that problem entirely, since that's automatically placed correctly (as it's part of the 3D space), independent of zoom factor.Christian

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Real pilot here, I am using either .50 or .75 in the VC and usually 2D also depending on the panel and conditions, either of these seem to work very nicely and dont give me a "too zoomed in" or "too zoomed out" view, especially when Im on the approach. For me it seems to approximate the real world as best as you can on these 2D monitors :)Hornit

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>according to a given zoom factor is the same thing, and not>what the author of the thread was asking about.Yes, I realized what the author wanted and gave him exact formula or you must have missed it.>but then you're panel is wrongly>located in 3D space and that should be fixed in the>aircraft.cfg in the first place. I wonder what can be fixed in aircraft.cfg ? I would like to learn perhaps how to place them "correctly" in the 3D space. I admit I have not seen or heard before of any such attempt. Again, as I said from the outset I only use 2D panels and this where my computation applied to. Since 2D panel is pretty much a fixed object -the only thing I can control is the zoom and adjust the view to the panel. If someone can show me how to do the reverse - and adjust the panel to the view that would be great but I am afraid half of the panel then would be beyond the monitor and I doubt I would be very pleased with such arrangement. Michael J.

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I remember checking this a while ago in FS2002 and agree that it depends on your monitor and how close you are. Since I use a Virtualizor (fresnel lens gadget I designed a few years ago), the effective distance from the monitor never changes (fixed at about 11 inches). You can check the field of view by looking at some distant landmark and turning so that it is at one edge of the screen. Check your bearing then turn so that it is on the other edge. The difference in bearings is your field of view. You then need to match this to your screen size and (since most people don't use Virtualizors) eye to screen distance. For those with no geometry knowledge (probably none), the angle is twice the arctangent of (half the screen width divided by eye to screen distance).Obviously pick a landmark sufficiently far away that the bearings don't change significantly while you're moving. Best do it at sunrise or sunset and use the sun, or if you're a real perfectionist use the pole star.

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