Keven Menard

---- User Manual ----

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Last Edited: March 20th, 2018

Alright, it's time to document how ChasePlane works. It has been said many times that ChasePlane Alpha does not contain a User Manual. This is a good experiment for a release of this type (BetaFeedback is valuable and seeing people go and find their way into the application by themselves really forces their criticism. We have made and will be making multiple changes to some features as well as some UI elements based on your feedback to make interacting with ChasePlane easier to use and more natural.
 
We will write the first lines of the User Manual right here in this thread. It will be updated very frequently until v1.0 when we'll be making a proper document. Most of this will also appear in the Tutorials section as textual and vocal tutorials as well.
 
When we develop a product like this for such a long time, we see everything as logical and we don't explain things in as much detail as we should be. If you want to propose changes or add your two cents, feel free to do so as a reply to this thread.
 
Important notes

  • ChasePlane works best with it's own camera modes (On-Board, Outside, Static and Gimbal). You can use default camera modes supplied with the simulator but controls will not be as smooth as the cameras generated by ChasePlane.
  • To avoid stutters and other issues with the camera system, it is recommended that you run the sim and ChasePlane with "Game Mode" disabled on Windows 10 systems.
     

Supported Simulators and Advanced Features
ChasePlane's basic features are supported in all ESP-based simulator after Flight Simulator X SP1. Advanced features like Smooth Zoom and Static Camera Mode are supported in the following simulators:

  • Flight Simulator X: SP2
  • Flight Simulator X: Acceleration
  • Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition v10.0.62615.0
  • Prepar3D v2.5.12946.0
  • Prepar3D v3.4.22.19868
  • Prepar3D v4.1.7.22841
  • Prepar3D v4.2.21.24048 (Experimental version only)
     

Modified files
ChasePlane will modify the following files in your computer:

  • Cameras.cfg file located in %appdata%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4 or equivalent will be modified to insert ChasePlane's own Camera definitions. Those new cameras will be listed through the view menus in the simulator. You still have to go through ChasePlane to change camera angles for the system to work properly.
  • exe.xml file located in %appdata%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4 or equivalent will be modified if you have the Auto-Launch option selected for a given simulator.
  • aircraft.cfg or sim.cfg files located in every aircraft folder might require modifications if conflicting camera definitions are found. While the conflicting camera definition itself will remain active, ChasePlane might have to disable some Hotkeyselect entries to prevent conflicts with ChasePlane. Conflicting entries have values 1, 5, 6 and 8.

Uninstalling ChasePlane through VFXCentral will remove those modifications and restore the files without any traces or leftovers.
 

Custom Flight Model
Some aircraft have custom Flight Models preventing the good functioning of Acceleration, Gyroscopic, Engines, Blast and Anticipative Motion Effect. We suggest turning off those motion effects to prevent unexpected behaviors. You will be notified of this issue when loading the aircraft for the first time. Every other camera functions should work properly. For now, only the following aircraft are affected:

  • Majestic Software Q400

 

Camera Controls

Camera Modes

  1. ChasePlane has 3 built-in camera modes. On-Board, Outside and Static
  2. On-Board Cameras are positioned inside of the aircraft, usually in the cockpit or the passenger cabin.
  3. Outside Cameras are attached to the outside of the aircraft, usually a wing view, a tail or a chase camera.
  4. Static Cameras are detached from the aircraft. They can be placed anywhere in the world, usually on a runway or in a control tower.
  5. Every camera mode has its own preset list in the Presets page. Presets can be created by the user for any of those modes too.
     

Moving or setting camera position

  1. You can move the camera by setting keys, buttons or axis assignments in Preferences > Control Assignments.
  2. You can also control the camera using control sliders or by imputing values in the Camera > Controls page.
  3. Positions in the On-Board mode are expressed in meters from the Captain's viewpoint.
  4. Position in the Outside mode are expressed in meters from the central point of the aircraft.
  5. In Static mode, geographic coordinates are expressed in decimal degrees and altitude is expressed in feet.
  6. All angles are in degrees. 

 
Changing the speed and inertia of the camera

  1. You can change the speed and inertia of the camera in the Camera > Advanced page. Those settings only affect the current preset.
  2. The Master sliders are used to set the speed and inertia of every control type.
  3. You can change speed and inertia settings for specific control types for the current preset in the different sections listed below the sliders. (Keys & Buttons, Axis, UI Controls, Mouse).
  4. To reset a specific slider to follow the Master, simply click the grey Master button above the slider values. A green Master means that the slider value is already following the Master.
  5. Changes made to those options are automatically saved. You do not have to press the green checkbox to save your changes.

 
Advanced Options
On the right of the Camera > Advanced page, you have access to multiple options affecting how the camera works.

  • Track Aircraft: In Outside and Static view modes, the camera can track the aircraft automatically when Track Aircraft is enabled.
     
  • TrackIR: You can enable TrackIR for specific presets using this TrackIR toggle.
     
  • Sticky Mouse Look: If this toggle is enabled, the camera will pan and tilt following the mouse. This is mostly used for recording purposes.
     
  • Scroll Zoom: If this toggle is enabled, the camera will zoom when scrolling using the mouse wheel.
     
  • Skip when Cycling Presets: If this toggle is enabled, the camera will be skipped when cycling through presets using the control assignment.
     
  • Transition In & Out: If this toggle is enabled, the camera will snap into place directly instead of transitioning it or out of this preset.
     
  • Easing Function: You can set how smooth the transitions to this preset is. Popular easing functions are selectable when clicking on the easing curve.
     
  • X ms. Transition In: You can set how long the transitions to this preset is in milliseconds.
     
  • Enable Gimbal: You can stabilize the camera to the horizon level using the gimbal feature. Stabilization features like the Gimbal are experimental and may be jittery when the aircraft is rotating.
     

Cinematic Mode

  1. Cinematic Mode can be manually enabled by clicking the Play button located next to the camera modes in the top-right of the Camera pages.
  2. Alternatively, you can enable it from the In-Sim View Selector or via a key or button shortcut set in the Preferences.
  3. By default, Cinematic Mode will auto enable after 10 minutes of inactivity when flying above FL180. This behavior can be changed in the preferences.
  4. You can also manually interact with the cinematic viewpoint using the same controls you use to move the normal cameras.
  5. The following options are available in the Preferences > Camera section of ChasePlane:
     
  • Change camera angle every X sec.: ChasePlane will automatically change the camera angle after a set amount of time. You can change how long each angle lasts or disable the automatic switching altogether by setting the slider to the left and use a control assignment to do request a new angle instead.
     
  • Automatic camera motion: Defines how fast the camera is moving the Cinematic Mode. 1x is very slow and 50x is very fast.
     
  • Zoom offset: If you feel like the aircraft is framed too tight on your display, you can adjust the zoom offset to zoom out or in as desired.
     
  • Auto-Enable above FL180 after X min.: Set how long it takes before Cinematic Mode automatically enables above FL180 (18,000ft). You can disable this feature by setting the slider to the left.
     
  • Control override Speed: Sets how fast the camera is going to move if you manually try to control it.
     
  • Control override Inertia: Sets how smooth the camera is going to move if you manually try to control it.



Resetting a specific camera axis

  1. You can reset any slider in the Camera > Controls page to the default value by double-clicking the white slider knob.
  2. Alternatively, you can directly input a position in the text box located next to the slider.

 

Presets
Importing presets

  1. You can import presets from other aircraft or from 3rd party presets by pressing the curved-down arrow in the Presets page and the Camera pages. Similar aircraft will show first. They are determined by wingspan and similarities within their names.
  2. You can import 3rd party presets including EZDok v1 profiles (*.ecs) from the Import "from file" button.
  3. Importing presets will not import shortcut keys and buttons.

 
Creating presets

  1. You can create presets by pressing the + sign in the Camera pages or in the Presets page.
  2. You can also create presets in the In-Sim View Selector or by right-clicking in any column on the Presets page. Name it how you want and hit save!
  3. While saving from the main User Interface, you can select a target aircraft if you wish to save your new preset to another aircraft.

 
Updating presets

  1. If you change the position of the camera, you can update the loaded preset with this new position by pressing the green checkmark on the top-left of the Camera pages.
  2. You can also update the preset using the In-Sim View Selector or by right-clicking on the preset to update it or via a control assignment (Preferences > Control Assignments > Update Preset). 
  3. Motion effects settings, control preferences and advanced settings are saved automatically. 

 
Deleting presets

  1. Preset deletion is protected by the CTRL key. In the Presets page, hold CTRL and you will see a Delete button appear.
  2. You can also right-click on the preset to delete it.


Moving presets

  1. Controls to change the order of your Presets are protected by the CTRL key. In the Presets page, hold CTRL and you will see options to change the order or your presets.
  2. You can also input the desired index directly in the text field right to the name when holding CTRL.

 
Assigning Shortcuts to your presets

  1. Assigning keys or controller buttons to your presets is as easy as holding CTRL in the Presets page and clicking the purple -blank- label to assign a key and the red -blank- label to assign a controller button.
  2. You can also right-click on the preset to access those assignments. 
  3. You can assign multiple presets to the same shortcut key and cycle through them using a single assignment. If you import that preset from another aircraft, the shortcuts will be transferred automatically as well.

 
Copying data across presets

  1. You can copy various parts of a preset across to another by using Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+V to paste while in the Camera page. An interface will ask you what data you want to copy.
  2. You can right-click on any slider or toggle in the Motion Effects or Advanced tab and copy a specific setting to all your other presets in the current camera mode.
  3. Motion effects settings, control preferences and advanced settings are saved automatically.

 
Changing default Motion Effects, Control and Advanced settings

  1. You can set your own defaults by right-clicking on any slider or toggle in the Motion Effects or Advanced tab and set the value as default.
  2. When you create a new preset, it will inherit Motion Effects, Controls and Advanced options from the previously loaded preset. If no preset is present or loaded, the new preset will inherit the default values set by the user.
  3. Double-clicking a slider or toggle will reset the value to default.

 

Motion Effects

Motion Effect types

  1. ChasePlane includes 8 types of motion effects.
  2. They can be tuned independently for every preset.
  3. Changes made to the motion effect sliders will automatically save to the currently loaded preset. No need to hit the green check mark to save your changes.
  4. You can dive deep into each turbulence type by clicking the TUNE button below the slider.
  5. The motion effect types are as follows:
     
  • Accelerations (Accels.): Accelerations motion effect is mostly seen during takeoff and landing. For example, when you apply full thrust, your head will move back a little bit and if you activate the reversers on landing, your head will move forward. This type of motion effect can also be observed when flying through rough air as the aircraft is being moved around quite a bit.
     
  • Gyroscopic: Gyroscopic motion effect will be observed when flying through turbulent air and when taxiing on the ground. When the aircraft turns left or right without your head anticipating it, the head will gradually adjust for the change. This motion effect type is recommended for passenger views as they cannot naturally anticipate the motion of the aircraft.
     
  • Engines: Jet engines, turboprop, helicopters and piston engines all have their particularities. This is why we have modeled different engine vibrations for each of them. Engine motion effect will shake the cockpit of a piston-powered aircraft at low RPM and reduce vibrations at high RPM. Engine vibrations from a Helicopter will be reflected in the same way, matching vibrations to the speed of the rotor. Turboprop and jet-powered aircraft are much smoother to operate. You can tune this motion effect's frequency, exponential decay and amplitude per axis by clicking the Tune button below the motion effect slider.
     
  • Blast Area: Standing behind an engine produces a lot of vibrations. In ChasePlane, we reproduce this kind of motion effect accurately using engine thrust settings and engine positions to produce effect cones variable in size. You fly helicopters? The cone is projected downward.
     
  • Ground: Most airports have uneven surfaces. Taxiing or taking off on those surfaces can literally break your aircraft apart extreme situations! In ChasePlane, we use wheel size and RPM, aircraft weight and surface type to shake the camera around.
     
  • Wind: The Wind motion effect type is disabled while On-Board but if you fly an open-canopy, turning it up will introduce airspeed into the motion mix. We use Airspeed and ambient wind to calculate this one. This effect is enabled in Outside mode by default. Cruising at high altitude with a fast aircraft will clearly demonstrate this effect. You can tune this motion effect's frequency and amplitude per axis by clicking the Tune button below the motion effect slider.
     
  • Breathing: This motion effect type simulates the natural motion of a human head. While breathing, the human body moves slowly. This effect recreates that. You can tune this motion effect’s frequency and amplitude by clicking the Tune button below the motion effect slider.
     
  • Anticipation: This motion effect type is recommended for every preset position where a pilot would be flying the aircraft. The Anticipation motion effect type will point the camera in the direction you are going. If you are taxiing a heavy into a runway for example, using the natural gyroscopic motion of the aircraft combined with rudder inputs, the camera will slightly turn towards the direction you are going. This effect is also very interesting in an acrobatic aircraft and in helicopters as the rotational movements are much more pronounced. You can tune this motion effect’s control influence and the Follow Horizon feature by clicking the Tune button below the motion effect slider.
     
  • Follow Horizon (F. Horizon): This motion effect type is recommended for every preset position where a pilot would be flying the aircraft. The Follow Horizon motion effect type will bank the view to align with the horizon. You can set how pronounced this effect is with the slider. The slider value is expressed in percentage.
     

Reset Motion Effects to default
You can reset any slider in the Motion Effects page to the default value by double-clicking or right-clicking the white slider knob.

Edited by Keven Menard
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Thank you Keven and FSFX team. I was frustrated with issues I was having with my current camera view app, when I remembered seeing something a while back about what FSFX was doing with a new sim camera program. I found your Alpha offer and immediately went for it. It's only been one day, but I am not disappointed in my decision. My initial thoughts are the ease of installation and navigating around the interface; in spite of not having a true manual or tutorials. I had some basic views set up very quickly and went flying. There are a couple things that I am still trying to figure out, and I might have some more input in the coming days. But for now, thanks again for a promising product.

 

Paul Levenda

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<p>Hi Kevin,<br />

In Camera, what are the units?<br />

Rotations is clearly degrees. How about lateral movements.</p>

<p>- What is the unit (feet/meters) - seems to be meters?</p>

<p>- What is the Origo<br />

It seems not to be the same for On-board and Outside?</p>

<p> </p>

<p>Thanks in advance</p>

<p> </p>

<p>/Stephen</p>

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Hi Stephen,

 

I added a section called "Moving or setting camera position" in the Manual.

 

Thank you for your questions!

 

Best Regards,

Keven

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Hi everyone,

 

I purchased the alpha ChasePlane and can't believe I've never used something like this before.  Makes simming much more fun.  In either case, I have some questions for the group.

 

1.  Do I need to remove all previous key and joystick view bindings from FSX and FSUIPC?  The reason I ask is because when I display the ChasePlane UI within FSX with the center mouse button, the views snap all over the place if I move the mouse.

 

2.  What are most of you assigning to the HAT switch on your joysticks?  I tried using some of the presets I created, but I need to redo some to make it work better for me.

 

3.  Are there any presets available for download?

 

Thanks,

 

George

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Hi everyone,

 

I purchased the alpha ChasePlane and can't believe I've never used something like this before.  Makes simming much more fun.  In either case, I have some questions for the group.

 

1.  Do I need to remove all previous key and joystick view bindings from FSX and FSUIPC?  The reason I ask is because when I display the ChasePlane UI within FSX with the center mouse button, the views snap all over the place if I move the mouse.

 

2.  What are most of you assigning to the HAT switch on your joysticks?  I tried using some of the presets I created, but I need to redo some to make it work better for me.

 

3.  Are there any presets available for download?

 

Thanks,

 

George

 

  1. You have to remove any conflicting assignments in the sim and FSUIPC. Otherwise you might see unextected behaviors
  2. Usually, HAT switches are used to pan the camera around (my opinion)
  3. Not yet, that feature will be coming soon but in the meantime, you can import EzDok profiles you might have (or online)

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  1. You have to remove any conflicting assignments in the sim and FSUIPC. Otherwise you might see unextected behaviors
  2. Usually, HAT switches are used to pan the camera around (my opinion)
  3. Not yet, that feature will be coming soon but in the meantime, you can import EzDok profiles you might have (or online)

 

Thanks.

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Sometimes when in camera selection, I have a green dot next to camera.  What does that mean?

 

Gnacino

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Hi

 

First: Thanks a lot Keven for the great Tool! Its fantastic

 

My question:

How can i use the Hat Switch from my Controller in Chase Plane for the panoramic view?

 

Greetings from Germany

Thimo

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Hi

 

First: Thanks a lot Keven for the great Tool! Its fantastic

 

My question:

How can i use the Hat Switch from my Controller in Chase Plane for the panoramic view?

 

Greetings from Germany

Thimo

 

Thank you for the kind words!

 

What do you mean by panoramic view?

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Thanks Keven for answer

 

i find it ... i mean TiltUp/Down and Pan left/right

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Hi there,

 

I'm not a user yet but I'm highly interested in buying Chaseplane. But still I have one question left. Will the camera in the VC be fixed to the bank angle of the aircraft or will there be an option that the camera banks a little less than the aircraft? I would find this a very cool option. Thanks in advance!

 

Greets

Daniel

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Great product so can't wait for the whole thing!

One piece of feedback, I'm setting my preference to YES for Chase Plane to load automatically when I open FSX SE but this reverts back to NO every time the app is closed and therefore needs resetting manually each time.

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Great product so can't wait for the whole thing!

One piece of feedback, I'm setting my preference to YES for Chase Plane to load automatically when I open FSX SE but this reverts back to NO every time the app is closed and therefore needs resetting manually each time.

 

We are aware of this issue, it will be fixed soon

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