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Aces of War Thunder - Tips for Beginners #2


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#1 Zakzak

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 06:36 PM

And we continue working at a proper but unformal tutorial for newcomers and simply who everyone can ever encounter problems playing War Thunder (which is quite unlikely but anyway)

After introduction that was made last week we are now ready to move on and learn about pilot control. Written and proved in aerial combat -by GloDark! Thank you, Glo :salute:

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Use Your Head

We have established that the best method of control for flying is most likely a joystick, but another very important aspect to flight and your situational awareness is your means of looking around your virtual world. Flying with nothing but a fixed view forward will not have you lasting very long at all ina combat flight sim. You need to look around and know what is happening around you. There are several ways you can do this.

POV switch

Many joysticks have a POV switch (Point Of View) also known as a hat switch.These are like little joysticks for your thumb and usually sit at the top of a joystick. This can be used to control your virtual pilot's head and look in all conceivable directions. It can be adapted to very easily and should not interfere with your flying. Hand on stick, finger on trigger, thumb on POV, easy!

Alternatively, if a POV is unavailable or you wish to assign it to other functions, you can use your mouse. Positioned to the left of your joystick (or to the right if you're left handed). You can have one hand on the joystick and the other available for moving the mouse and controlling your pilot's view.This can be tricky though as you could Soon™™ discover a need for more hands when you need to control several things at once!

Head Tracking

This brings us to the best method of controlling your pilot's view that willhave you hands free and literally using your head. Head tracking with 6DoF.

The first and most expensive choice for this is a TrackIR device from NaturalPoint. With this your head becomes the controller for your pilot view. It starts with you wearing a device on your head that has three track-able points and then mounting the sensor itself (similar in appearance to a webcam) on top of your monitor. This enables not just your head but also your body to some extent to control the view with 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF). What this means is, you can turn your own head left and right, tilt it up and down, tilt it left and right and the virtual pilot's head will do the same shifting the view appropriately. With 6DoF there is more though. You can move forwards and backwards in your seat, shift left and right or move up and down and the same motion is translated to the pilot inside the cockpit. This gives near full freedom of movement inside the cockpit and there is nothing more accurate or natural feeling.

If TrackIR is a little over your budget there are cheaper alternatives. FreeTrack, like the name implies, is free head tracking software that also utilises the 6DoF method of tracking. This is will require a standard webcam and the construction of your own 3 point tracking device (or a single tracking point for 2DoF). Ideally, the webcam will need to be modified and have it's infrared filter removed and the tracking device you construct will ideally have battery powered infrared lights that your modified webcam can detect. When set upcorrectly this can and does work as well as anything else. The FreeTrack forums offer advice on the construction of your tracking device and how to modify suitable webcams.

The final solution I offer for head tracking is the cheapest and does not require you to wear anything on your head that will have you looking like a Star Trek Borg! This is FaceTrackNoir. The software is free, requires nothing more than a webcam and the control device is your face itself! It uses a face-detection algorithm and can monitor the position and orientation of your face in real-time, translating any movement into the necessary 6DoF motion. For good operation a decent multi-core processor will be required and a webcam that works well in low light. The PS3 Eye cam works particularly well withFaceTrackNoir and has Windows drivers available.They are also pretty cheap second hand.

With good head tracking at your disposal, your flight simming experience will not only become far more pleasurable but also give you an edge.

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#2 VerTun

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 07:42 PM

Excellent :wop:
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#3 MACADEMIC

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:27 PM

Well done Glo, good stuff!
Thanks also Zak!

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#4 BeefJerkyHunter

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:09 PM

I think I'll just end up modifying the POV controls to my mouse.
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#5 ccr_

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:37 PM

Well done. Maybe mention Multi Monitor also?

I was hoping for a padlock view, ala FA, but I'm so impressed overall, its not a worry.
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#6 SsSsSsSsSsSsnake

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 12:16 AM

nice glow but dont forget a good nights sleep B)
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#7 fenris

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 11:05 PM

Thanks for the post Glo,

I don't know about everyone else, but you've convinced me! On the back of it I've just bought a second-hand PS3 eyecam off of Ebay, and downloaded the free software...I've been looking for a cheap alternative to TrackIR for years. I'm really looking forward to giving it a try, I'm sure it must open up a whole new level of immersion, as well as situational awareness

Cheers, :salute:

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#8 GloDark7

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 11:20 PM

Hi Fenris,

Good luck mate. The FaceTrackNoIR software is very configurable and a new Beta version has just come out (1.6). Had a play with this software myself with the PS3 cam and it works surprisingly well but does take some setting up.

Don't know if you noticed but the article above does link to the PS3 cam drivers.

Thanks for the positive feedback chaps, appreciated. Don't forget a warm glass of milk too SsSsSsSsnake :secret:

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#9 stingr

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:40 AM

Hi Fenris,

Good luck mate. The FaceTrackNoIR software is very configurable and a new Beta version has just come out (1.6). Had a play with this software myself with the PS3 cam and it works surprisingly well but does take some setting up.

Don't know if you noticed but the article above does link to the PS3 cam drivers.

Thanks for the positive feedback chaps, appreciated. Don't forget a warm glass of milk too SsSsSsSsnake :secret:

Glo


Glo, You are my HERO! You make the best vids, music and timing, plus you are top tier fighting ace.

I endorse Freetrack as great software that opens up this whole experience. The only thing I would like to add is that with FaceNoir ( also well written ) you must have the ambient lights on enough to define your facial features, while Freetrack allows me to play " in the dark " with lighted keyboard. I also use LEDs instead of infrared, thus negating the need to alter infrared filters in your webcam. While they emit light, I have found the blue spectrum is readily received by the camera and gives great results.

At any rate, either one ( FT or FN ) are worth the time to set up. I would be more than glad to hook up anyone with Freetrack LEDs, just ask Kingman Ross. Spread the Sight!!!!:salute:
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#10 GloDark7

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:55 PM

:blush: Thanks Stingr!

I didn't know conventional LEDS (non IR) worked with an unmodified cam with FreeTrack. Good tip! That will certainly make the prospect less daunting for those not wanting to perform surgery on a webcam. When I first looked at FreeTrack I read that earlier versions supported TrackIR cams (TrackIR3, not 4 or 5) but support was later removed. I have a TrackIR3 cam so did my research into getting it working with FreeTrack. I was 100% successful so didn't have to research any further into making a LED tracking/emitting device. I just used my original reflector stickers from my TrackIR3.

I echo what you say about FreeTrack. Great bit of software! Like you I also have an illuminated keyboard and the Infrared of my TrackIR cam means late night flying is often on the cards!

Thanks also for mentioning what I forgot to about the ambient light with FaceTrackNoIR. :good:

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#11 _9th_Bearcat

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:17 PM

From a pure virtual air combat aspect Angels & Airspeed and In Pursuit are essential reads.
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#12 stingr

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:02 PM

I just used my original reflector stickers from my TrackIR3.

Glo


My first attempt at Freetrack was with a regular flashlight mounted above my webcam, with the light shining on 3 reflectors on my cap. Didn't take long to realize how hard it is to see w/ a flashlight shining in your face! ( Honey, could you hold this light while I work on the car? LOL ) Point is it worked! So I would imagine a security cam w/ IR night lights and cap reflectors would also work, provided the ambient was very low. My webcam is very old GE from Dollar store, and does great job!
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#13 stingr

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:15 PM

From a pure virtual air combat aspect Angels & Airspeed and In Pursuit are essential reads.


Thank You for the info. Always looking for anything I can find to read on BCM, and look forward to this forum.

About In Pursuit, I ordered it about a year ago, and is on my nightstand and gets a turn whenever I can consult it. I re-read the same passage over and it seems like new perspective each time. Great Book!

Also the classic Stick and Rudder is the consumate layman's explaination of flight physics and aeroplane design; why they fall, and why they don't! After reading that one I would be more inclined to actually put my family and friends into a properly manitained and piloted aircraft ( private ) .

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#14 KingmanRoss1

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 01:20 AM

Yes,and I very much appreciate it too,stingr. Can't wait to try it out on this game.
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#15 GloDark7

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 02:26 AM

My first attempt at Freetrack was with a regular flashlight mounted above my webcam, with the light shining on 3 reflectors on my cap. Didn't take long to realize how hard it is to see w/ a flashlight shining in your face! ( Honey, could you hold this light while I work on the car? LOL ) Point is it worked! So I would imagine a security cam w/ IR night lights and cap reflectors would also work, provided the ambient was very low. My webcam is very old GE from Dollar store, and does great job!

LOL :facepalm:

The things we'll go through for immersion. I'd have probably tried something similar if I hadn't got the TIR3 cam!

Glo
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#16 B3_Creepermoss

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:20 AM

I spent today fiddling with FaceTrackNoIR and my PS3eye, I have to say, it works remarkably well. I definitely prefer the face tracking to having to wear a hat, or a clip on my headset. It took a bit of tweaking to get it set just right, but it was worth it.


Good lighting is a must, as Glo mentioned, I'm using a 40 watt bulb on a retractable arm, works just fine. My favorite feature has to be the FlightGear client/server mode, which allows you to use a separate computer to run the headtracking, to save some CPU cycles on your game rig. Wonderful stuff, I tell ya!


Thanks for the links, Glo. Now get off my tail :o
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#17 stingr

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:21 AM

Yes,and I very much appreciate it too,stingr. Can't wait to try it out on this game.


Hey, Did you ever get it to work in the Freetrack interface? Hope so... Look forward to seeing you in the air!
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#18 stingr

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:42 AM

My favorite feature has to be the FlightGear client/server mode, which allows you to use a separate computer to run the headtracking, to save some CPU cycles on your game rig. Wonderful stuff, I tell ya!


So can you get the same thing w/ Freetrack, the seperate pc to run the tracking? Thx Creeper, I will look up FlightGear, and add you on the list of pilots I cannot hide from...( Great ... )
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#19 KingmanRoss1

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 01:59 PM

Hey, Did you ever get it to work in the Freetrack interface? Hope so... Look forward to seeing you in the air!


Have not tried anything yet as I do not have a game installed yet to use it.Also,there are a bunch of my friends from TNTsquad TNT that are waiting in the isles for this game.:bomber:
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#20 fenris

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 12:25 AM

Hey Glo,

Just wanted to thank you for your article about head-tracking and in particular 'Face Track Noir'. I received my second-hand PS3 camera off of Ebay today and along with a clip to position it on my monitor, it cost me all of £18! I installed Facetrack Noir V130, and then the update to V150. I'd imagined I was in for a day of fiddling around trying to get everything to work, but it was all surprisingly straight forward to get working. In terms of the need for ambient light, it even works in my office with a power-saving 40w bulb (in a lampshade), behind me!

This has really made my Christmas. I haven't experienced head-tracking before, and have to say it's as quantum a leap as the move from keyboard to joystick. Its a completely different game and experience!

Once again a big thankyou to you, and the good people who developed 'Face Track Noir', and made it available for free.

Cheers,

Fenris

* Just edited a few typos resulting from an overabundance of Christmas cheer. Hic! :santa:
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