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thepilot

Most realistic viewpoint?

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Hello all,

 

I would like to know what settings I should use for zoom, (seat) height and possibly lateral (left/right) position to have the most realistic viewpoint, i.e. "what the pilot would see". I realize there may be some constraints in FSX and maybe even pilot preferences, so an approximation will do just fine. :smile:

 

Thank you very much.

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[Display]
WideViewAspect=True

 

So .80 is the one for me? That's pretty much what I've lately been using.

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I use 0.80 almost all the time, only exception might be an instrument approach when I focus on the PFD and often use 1.00 if I'm not using the HGS.

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How far back do you adjust your "seat" (or rather, viewpoint) then?

 

The more zoom, the farther I have to go back to have a decent overview of the instrumentation.

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To be honest, the problem is that you can't really win.

 

Ideally, you want a zoom setting as close to 1.00 as possible because this ensures that the perspective is correct and avoids the distortion and other visual problems that you get in FS with very low zoom levels (a feeling of travelling extremely fast when close to the ground, distorted runway perspectives and so on).

 

However, this will by definition give you quite a narrow field of view, mainly out of the front windscreen if your eyepoint is in the correct place, and you'll hardly be able to see any instrumentation without moving the view. This is entirely realistic -- if nothing else, just think about driving your car. If you're looking straight ahead, how much of the dashboard is in your direct field of view? Very little, and the centre console where the radio/heater controls etc are certainly aren't -- it's not really any different in an aeroplane, and having flown light aircraft and "flown" a couple of full-size sims one of the first things you realise is that a full instrument scan requires a certain amount of physically looking around, especially scanning both the engine instruments and PFD during the takeoff roll, for example. Of course, this is not very practical on a desktop sim running on one or two PC monitors, so you have to find a compromise that gives you a wide enough field of view that it's not impossible to scan the instruments without panning all the time but a zoom factor near enough to 1 that you avoid the visual artefacts associated with wide zoom angles.

 

The FCOM should give you the "correct" eyepoint -- basically you should be able to just see the bottom of the PFD over the top of the yoke. My experience of sitting in real light aircraft and full-sized airliner sims is that you tend to feel a little lower than you might otherwise expect -- you're not quite peering over the top of the glareshield, but it's certainly not as far below your eyeline as the top of the dash in a typical car, for instance.

 

Personally in the 747 I set the zoom to 1 and moved the viewpoint back so that I could see most of the main instrument panel and upper EICAS with the PFD positioned centrally and the top of the glareshield just over halfway up the monitor, which I found gave me a nice perspective to judge the sink rate on landing -- any higher and I found myself drawn to looking down at the runway over the nose in the flare rather than along towards the far end of the runway -- hard to explain in text, but very difficult to judge the sink rate and change in pitch attitude -- any lower and the runway would be obscured on final. Not sure about the 737 as I don't own it, but I would imagine similar principles would apply.

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Thank you very much for the extensive answer!

 

I wasn't quite aware of the implications of a lower zoom level, but now that you say it, it does indeed make sense.

 

So far, during taxi I've mostly had the viewpoint quite far up (so that I could only see the GS on the ND) and during take-off more tilted downwards so that I could see the PFD, ND and engine display comfortably. The NGX has larger windows than the real aircraft to facilitate the HUD, so it doesn't bother me at all to lose some of upper view.

 

My "experience" with real world airliners is quite the same; I once sat on the Captain's seat on a B737 Classic and I couldn't really see too much on outside. He was quite tall, taller than me at least, but it still gave me a lasting impression.

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I usually set the zoom farther back, to get peripheral vision from the side windows. It's not realistic, but having the panel too close, and looking over the top isn't either. In a real plane, the eyes can easily move from looking over the panel, to the panel.  I do prefer to have at least the six pac of instruments showing.  I once took a lap top & placed it on the glareshield of an airplane, with a FSX runway view on the screen. I figured I'd need at least six screens to see as much as I could, just sitting in the planes seat. It's all a compromise without multiple monitors. 

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How far back do you adjust your "seat" (or rather, viewpoint) then?

 

The more zoom, the farther I have to go back to have a decent overview of the instrumentation.

No, the viewpoint is at the default location and there is no attempt on my part to see the whole of the panel. With a widescreen monitor I found 0.70-0.80 gave me the PFD/ND/MFD and CDU easily enough. My new 2K monitor never has to zoom out to 0.70 because 0.80 works great. I use a trackball to pan, I like it because it requires very little desktop and it is easier on the wrist than a mouse.

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On my 34" screen I'm always using 1.0 as zoom as that still gives me the PFD, ND and EICAS plus about half of the windscreen.

With a TrackIR that's everything you need though.

 

There is no such thing as a "realistic" viewpoint since each human has some differences in what he/she is able to see clearly and what not. Medicals make sure people have a certain minimum of what they can see, but the maximum is not defined.

Then the next question is what you define as "realistic". Does realistic mean you want the things on your screen to be as big as in the real plane? Or rather have them very tiny to be able to see more of the panel?

 

Issues over issues you see, just make sure to set the viewpoint itself up based on the info in the FCOM of the particular plane you fly (not that real pilots would always do that...) and then descide which zoom suits you best based on what you feel the most comfortable with.

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I strongly suggest a second monitor in order to undock the PFD and ND. Nearly all graphics cards offer multi monitor support now with 3 outputs, with next to zero effect on framerates.

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When adjusting the view what I do is look down and position the view centered on the seat. Then I look to the right to the F/O's seat and move up/down to adjust the height so that my "head" is more or less level with the head rest. Then I look forward to the panel and make sure that I can see the bottom of the PFD and ND over the yoke. Then I adjust the zoom level so that I can see the PFD/ND and at least the engine indications for the left engine. Ideally you want to see the full engine indications, but if you have a 4:3 monitor that's more difficult.

 

Questions to ask oneself:

- Do I have a widescreen or standard 4:3 monitor. Widescreen is recommended (16:10)

- Do I have a program for managing the views? To me EZDok is absolutely essential in a virtual cockpit in FSX. It will save you a lot of time navigating around the cockpit.

- Do I have TrackIR? If I'm using TrackIR I set the zoom to exactly 1 and move around if I need to glance at the instruments etc. If not using TrackIR, I'd zoom out up to .75 as needed in order to be able to see the engine instruments. As said above, zooming out farther than .75 will distort the view and make it look unrealistic.

 

Also make sure you consider the viewpoint shifting bug of FSX. Once you set your "front flying" view, press "Y" and rotate around in slew mode. See how the viewpoint shifts. You may have to readjust because you'll find that in a particular heading you're not able to see the bottom of the PFD anymore.

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As said above, zooming out farther than .75 will distort the view and make it look unrealistic.

 

But that's only the case if you set WideViewAspect to TRUE, isn't it?

 

My monitor's aspect ratio is 16:9, still I've set WideViewAspect to FALSE and usually use a zoom of 0.30, but the view doesn't seem to be distorted. I'm not using neither EZdok nor TrackIR.

 

Also I've added a custom camera to the aircraft.cfg myself, to have the default VC view panned down just enough to see the instruments. Not sure if that's necessarily recommended, but it works flawlessly.

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I had your same questions a while back and came to the conclusion that the default eyepoint has been placed as close to correct as you can get. If you happen to lose it (like I did) you can use the FCOM, but the shortcut is to drop the HUD and center the display in the view... it is only centered at one point, the correct point. 

I also have triple monitors and the zoom set at 0.85. During normal flight the bottom of my screen just catches the altitude and speed tape - the entire left monitor is out the side window, and about 50% of the right monitor is out the window... mostly for peripherals. Early on with that setup I learned that with triple wide monitors and the zoom as such you don't have to do alot of panning when flying / taxiing, you can nearly see everything you need to. Only when checking / setting instruments do I need to slew and pan around. On landing the HUD has everything I need to monitor, and the side monitors just add to realism. EZDOK is in my opinion a MUST HAVE because you can smoothly pan with the click of the mouse roller. It really is a must have. That being said, I have found that I use 75% of my buttons are used as saved viewpoints, with EZDOK you can click a button and it will pan to whatever view you want... and do is smooth enough so that it almost replicates actually moving / tilting your head. 

 

The 2D panel pop ups I used to use (overhead for example) really take much of the immersion away, plus the graphics are so so much better in the 3d cockpit. For example, performing a preflight checklist, panning and slewing around the cockpit to make the checks is so so much better with EZDOK - you cannot access and see everything in the cockpit everywhere from one singular eyepoint and hat button pan, you need to be able to slew around and EZDOK makes that happen so effectively.

 

Thus ends my advertisement for EZDOK.

And you can literally get out of the cockpit and perform a walk around - as a formality but its still pretty cool. 

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Thanks a lot for the input, everybody. I've considered the suggestions and come to the conclusion that I'll leave the viewpoint as is for the time being. Excellent view of the taxiway/runway and still good instrument readability at an intermediate zoom level (~ .75 - .80). I am planning on getting a 4K monitor this year and then see what amendments to make.

 

I have used EZDOK on and off in the past, and I am probably one of the few in the flight sim community that don't really like using it. I prefer to be looking around with my joystick controls since I am basically "seated" the entire flight. During the Preliminary Preflight Procedure I usually use the F/O view to move around the cockpit with CTRL/Shift/Backspace/Enter to check the items that need to be checked (fire extinguisher, crash axe, etc.). What I like about EZDOK though is the camera shake effect, as it creates a fantastic illusion of "being there". I still find it is rather extreme sometimes, especially during highspeed on the runway and when actual turbulence is present using Active Sky Next.

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I use 1.00 and for head placement I look at the pilot from the outside view and try to line up more or less like that, using  window frames/pillars as reference points. I also try to gauge how far the "pilot" can see over the panel, and try to reproduce that. Sometimes I'll use the centre of the seat as a reference too. To flip the view down to the instruments and back, I use Opus views, and for takeoff I look down to take in enough of the panel to see what I need, while still being able to keep an eye on my position on the runway.

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CTRL/Shift/Backspace/Enter

 

You did have the center mouse click pan active in EZDOK, didn't you? 

 

Your preference is your preference, but the mouse pan feature for me is hands down better then the hat toggle or pressing keys to pan. You don't have to constantly switch between keypad/ joystick and mouse when it comes time to press a button too. 

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How far back do you adjust your "seat" (or rather, viewpoint) then?

 

The more zoom, the farther I have to go back to have a decent overview of the instrumentation.

I look straight down then move my view back until it's a few inches in front of the backrest--about where I estimate my eyeballs would be if I was sitting back in the seat in a normal posture. Then I adjust the zoom accordingly. I use a wide aspect with .8-1.0 zoom depending on the aircraft and flight conditions.
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You did have the center mouse click pan active in EZDOK, didn't you?

 

Yes, I'm still using it every now and then and have tried quite a few settings. I don't like using the mouse to adjust the view in general, and it probably wouldn't be worth it just for a relatively short check in the beginning of the flight. I like keeping it as real as possible (hence my initital question), and a pilot has to be able to reach all areas required for flight operation from his seat, so that is what I'm striving to recreate :smile: For that matter, once boarding is complete and the doors are closed, I don't change the view (to outside, wingview etc.) anymore. I quite liked the EZDOK FMS/EFIS view though.

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Set to 80 and the problems with view is why I use two monitors one above the other

 

mine.jpg

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Hello all,

 

I would like to know what settings I should use for zoom, (seat) height and possibly lateral (left/right) position to have the most realistic viewpoint, i.e. "what the pilot would see". I realize there may be some constraints in FSX and maybe even pilot preferences, so an approximation will do just fine. :smile:

 

Thank you very much.

I noticed a commonality with all the responses here.  Everyone's POV is slightly different so there really isn't any textbook or true viewpoint you should be using.  If you are curious, go to Youtube and watch some cockpit vids of commercial pilots in their seats.  You can get a better idea of where you view should be placed in relation to a human being seated in the seat, but also understand that your real world height, or ergonomic profile differs from everyone else.  When I fly, I constantly adjust my view, sometimes a little unrealistic, just to get a better view outside but as long as you can see the primary instruments at all times, you are good to go.  

 

-Jim

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I have tried a lot to find a good balance (for me). Unfortunately, there is no way to reproduce the feeling of seating inside the cockpit. So you have to make compromises.

Here is what I do now:

- zoom .60

- center of the PFD

- move the seat forward or aft to set the flaps gauge at the right border of the screen

For departure and arrival, I use pop-ups.

 

Happy flying

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I noticed a commonality with all the responses here.

 

Indeed, aside from the personal preferences I would also add different setups, i.e. more/larger screens that ultimately lead to different settings. As said I'm dreaming of a 4K monitor right now (still using an oldish 21" Samsung LCD) and see how it (hopefully) enhances the whole experience.

 

I am still glad that I started this thread and got so many responses; I have since decided to revert to the standard viewpoint and after my first flight in that setting I am more than happy with it.

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