Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

EdwardS

How to make a 3 views/PC's, 210 deg. panoramic setup?

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I am a cockpit builder and I wonder if OpusFSX can be used to make a 3 x 2D panoramic view of 210 deg. FOV using 3 PC's.

So just scenery and all full screen.

 

My present configuration is:

 

 

- 1 PC + TH2Go + 3 x (1280x800) short throw projectors + 3 x 87" flat screens (the side screens making an angle of 110 deg. with the centre screen).

- 3 “undocked” 2D FSX views (on top of the base view), 70 degrees each (total VOF=210 deg.)

- FSX screen resolution: 3840 x 800 pixels, 32 bit, full screen mode.

 

The MS Excel utility “Window maker” calculates that I have to use:

Zoom factor: 0.4312

WideViewAspect=FALSE (Windows are wider than they are tall)

Additional camera’s settings in the saved .FLT file are:

Window 2: Rotation=0, -70, 0 (left projector)

Window 3: Rotation=0, 0 ,0 (centre projector)

Window 4: Rotation=0, 70, 0 (right projector)

 

This setup works well besides that frame rate can drop as low as 10 fps at heavy airports and real time weather (PMDG 738NGX).

 

So I decided to go for a 3 PC (1 server and 2 clients) setup. I understood from Cheryl that Mark Hargrove has quite some experience with that subject.

 

I am very anxious to learn that OpusFSX can do the job. Moreover, I need some guidance how to configure OpusFSX to create the exact geometrical configuration I described. Can I still work with my modified .FLT file or can it be done easier via OpusFSX? In my opinion the zoom factor is not arbitrary here and directly relates to the FOV and the number of views.

 

For me the OpusFSX manuals are not convincing enough and so I wonder if Live Camera can really compete with WideView here.

It would be marvelous, however, if it worked because the integration that OpusFSX offers with real time weather and Dynamic Aircraft Movement is very appealing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edward,

 

I've got quite a different setup than you do -- I don't know if my experience is going to help you much at all. I found it nearly impossible to get the view I was after with a "triple-wide" monitor setup. The distortion out at the right and left edges of the field of view was significant when I set all three monitors in front of me with the two "outside" monitors tilted in towards me a bit. I finally abandoned this approach and went with multiple PCs, each driving a single display for my "out the window" views. My setup that I have working now has 6 PCs driving 7 monitors. Five of the PCs/monitors are out the window views, the sixth is my "master" flying PC which has two monitors attached -- it is only used for panels. I'm using the OpusFSX server on that system, and an OpusFSX client on the five "external visual" PCs.

 

For my setup, which has monitors set at 0, plus and minus 45 degrees, and plus and minus 90 degrees, I found a zoom factor of about .84 worked very well. One thing you will discover quite quickly is that small zoom factors (of .6 or less) let you see more of the environment, but add considerably more distortion and, generally, poorer view synchronization than larger zoom factors.

 

OpusFSX does a decent but not amazing job of rendering the client displays. Up until recent betas it was NOT doing an acceptable job, but recent betas have improved the lag problem considerably. You will need to frame-rate limit your server to 40FPS or so or your clients will not be able to keep up (and my clients are Core i7 CPUs at 3.4GHz w/ 16 GB RAM). The client display are not, by any stretch of the imagination "silky smooth" -- if you want that you need to consider X-Plane instead of FSX -- but I would say it was acceptable.

 

It is critical that your side views be physically set at the same angle as your view rotation in the LiveCamera setup. That is, if you want 45 degrees left and right for your outside monitors, let them physically at 45 degrees from your "front view" monitor, then set the "Yaw" angle at 45 degrees for both (and I don't mean "approximately" 45 degrees -- use something to measure to get as close to exactly 45 degrees as you can (or whatever angle you're going for)). The field of view you need for each will also be roughly 45 degrees; I get this with a zoom factor of .84 with WideAspect=False. You said your monitors are set at 110 degrees from your forward view -- I can't quite picture how you're doing that (but probably I just misunderstand what you meant).

 

I'll be happy to answer any further questions that you have!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,

 

Thanks very much for your input!

 

First let me show my screen configuration: see the picture. You can easily understand now that in order to create three 70 deg. views, the screen angel must be 110 deg. Lots of builders use a curved screen, but I preferred not. And the difference in perception is not that large I experienced.

 

Considering distortion, I used to have 1 stretched base view over a triple wide monitor (WideViewAspect=TRUE) and that indeed gave a lot of side screen distortion at lower zoom factors. So that is the reason I prefer to use the 3 views approach I described. There is practical no distortion anymore but at the cost of frame rate. This configuration is used by a lot of builders I know. The reason I choose for flat screens instead of a curved screen, is to overcome resolution losses, mainly vertical, due to the use of warping software.

 

As I explained, at a FOV of 210 deg. and 3 views there is a fixed zoom factor of 0.4312 to get the images properly aligned. I used Window Maker for that (very handy). The 3 views are docked to the underlying base view at full screen mode. I never work in windowed mode. After saving the configuration, i manually edited the .FLT file to get the views exactly right. It was even possible to get rid of the white 1 pixel border of the active centre view in this way, but that's another story. The photo shows the overall result.

 

So back to the use of three PC's and the possible use of OpusFSX to overcome the frame rate issue. As you have done, I plan to have an extra 27" monitor on my centre screen server PC for panels. What I simply don't get is how I have to set OpusFSX to get the same result as I have now. I suppose, I could use a saved (and modified) .FLT file for each PC and load them into FSX successively. Would this work with OpusFSX live camera? Another approach would be to do the settings in OpusFSX as you do, but would I get the same result? You explained what you did but if you mention 45 degrees, how is that figure related to the camera rotation parameter in the .FLT file? I understand OpusFSX uses the AIRCRAFT.CFG file to create the camera views. I was aware of this alternative method but never have succeeded in manually modifying the AIRCRAFT.CFG to get a proper result. What I do not get either is that you can play with the zoom factor. I definitely cannot since my views are only aligned at a specific zoom factor as I explained. So lots of questions.

 

Up to now, I am still building my client PC's so I presently cannot experiment myself. I am a bit surprised that the OpusFSX creators are not able to give more specific answers on my question. After all, this has nothing to do with cockpit building but everything with how to create a specific panoramic view which is in my opinion well within the scope of the package. Correct me if I am wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edward,

 

To line up what Mark was saying with angles to what you were saying.....

 

Mark is talking 45 degrees in off the backside 180 degree plane, in your drawing you're measuring the inside deflection at 110, so that's 70 degrees in relation to what Mark is describing.

 

I'm watching this thread as I had a similar question. I'm doing fine with the .flt file and 150FOV, but OPUS frustrates me as on every initial load it starts with my screen0 which is the one behind the three undocked views, and I have to reload a saved flight right away to get my undocked views back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

 

Yes, it is obvious that 110 deg. is identical to 70 deg. as Mark describes it. So, still the question remains if the configuration I want can be created by simply creating 3 camera views -70, 0 and 70 deg in OpusFSX.

 

Since your experience with loading 1 (or even 3?) .FLT files seems not very handy with OpusFSX, I think I (we) should concentrate on a better way of loading my (your) wished panoramic view. Question: is there a better way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...