ec0ke

[How to] Selfmade Headtracking with Freetrack

Ok Hello everybody. I stream some SimBattles on my Twitch channel, and I get asked alot what that fancy thing on my headset is, so I thought lets make a thread about how to do one yourself, how to use it and give some tips to ppl looking forward to get an awsome experience in SimBattles without spending a lot of money on a TrackIR device. (this methode will cost you below 50$ and about 2 hours of work)

 

In the following I get you some Links with Webcam suggestion, how to make your clip and of course how to set it up.

 

Freetrack     http://www.free-track.net/english/

 

EDIT: alot of guys suggested to use Opentrack https://github.com/opentrack/opentrack/tree/stable/2.2

So what is Freetrack? It is a free software which gives you the abbility to track your headmovements ingame (so like TrackIR). It orks with a Webcam and a LED clip.

 

LED-Clip

The LED-Clip is the fancy thing on the side of my Headset (Pics and some more from the freetrack website)

 

The best model in my opinion is the 3-Point model (3 LEDs) because you get all 6 DOF and it is handy ;)

The things you need for it:

  • 3 IR LEDs as bright as possible and with a big of viewing angle as possible. (if you get normal ones like me you can grind the LEDs flat so the get a better viewing angle Example)
  • Some resistors , which you are going to solder between the LEDs and the Batteries. How to get the right ones
  • Something to power the LEDs, so either and old Cellphone charger, USB cable with charger or simply Batteries with a case so you can solder the cables to it. (I went for an old Nokia charger who gave 5V and 890mA)
  • Cables
  • Something to put all the electronics on to or into. So a cardboard, plastic, metal model (or in my case a 3D printed case :P)
  • Something that you can attack your clip to the Headset or your Head, I used some velcro so I can take it away again when I am not playing Flightsims

So you got all your stuff now together... so how do you do it? (I describe now how i did my first prototyp, when you want a fancy 3D printed case i guess you'll find out how to do it)

 

First I made a plan whith the dimensions of my Backplate (where the LEDs and stuff get onto) Something like this:

trackir-track-clip-pro-dimensions.jpg

That is the Trackclip from TrackIR but it doesn't really matter what u use you can put the dimensions afterwards into the Freetrack programm, but it should have the rough shape of the picture above. (I inverted mine so i got a little more freedom to look down before it touches my neck)

 

Now that you did this you cut it out and solder your stuff together so it fits on your backplate and the LEDs on those 3 peaks. (if you don't know how to solder stuff google it, had to do it myself :P)

 

When you finished you can check it if it works with most Cellphone cams or some webcams because they mostly see IR light (not like the human eye)

 

At the end you can tape/velcro/whatever it to the Headset and gratz you got your Clip! wasn't too hard right? so on to the next step:

 

 

Webcam

The choice for me was the PS3 Eye because it's probably the best cam for it and it is cheap. but there are other cams which works also (List)

The pros about the PS3 eye is first the fps (you can pump it up real high) so you can get a smooth movement, and the field of view which is big enough to not loose you when you move around.

The contra is you have to get a Software to make the cam work on a pc (costs 2.99$ or get it free somewhere cough... cough...)

 

If you buy one of these you have to be carefull because you need to remove the ir filter of it and that works only with old models (they somehow updated it) How to see which model you got? there.

Now that you bought the a Webcam it comes to the tricky part: removing the IR filter and add a normal light one. You have to remove that one so the Webcam sees the IR LEDs better and dims away all the other lights like from a window and such. Here is a tutorial how to oppen the cam and remove the Filter: https://codelaboratories.com/research/view/ps3-eye-disassembly

 

Once you removed it you have to put in the normal light filter. The material you can get for that is the inner "disc" of a floppy disc. You can cut out a little square out of it and then but it right there where the IR lens was before (I've added one more so the effect gets better). After that you can put everything back together and voila you got a modified Webcam. (you may see that the cam is out of focus nom, to repair that you have to but the zoom (you can turn the scope of the cam) so it s a little bit to the right of the red point).

 

Software and Setup

You can get the software for free from here: http://www.free-track.net/english/freetrack/telechargement.php

After that you have to get a little config file from here: https://forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/10031-wiki-using-trackir-or-freetrack-with-warthunder/

(scroll down to Freetrack)

 

EDIT: and you need the fle from post #24. it fixes crashes. http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17160

 

Now start Freetrack as admin (start freetrack always as administrator otherwise you will feel some lag).

 

Once you did this it's time to add your cam to the software. So go to the Cam tab and selct as source the PS3Eye Camera. the FIRST before pressing start (otherwise you get an error) press "stream" and choose your fps and resolution (I use 640x480 @ 75fps) after you did this you can press start and to the left of your cam should popup a headmodel.

 

after you did all of this you just have to set it up to your liking and your good to go to rule the skies :D

 

First i would adjust your model size and the position towards the camera (Model tab in freetrack), after that you can adjust the sensitivity and curves to your liking (video how to)

 

 

Ok I hope I didn't forget anything (if so let me know) and you are good to go and have to massive fun in the skies :Ds

If there a questions just write them below or PM me

 

I hope it helped you guys

Ec0ke :salute:

 

(btw would be cool if a mod could pin it.)

Edited by ec0ke
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Nice guide, comes a week too late for me though. Bought a PsEye and the Trackclip Pro, needed around 2 days until i got the filter, settings etc. to the point where it works 100% and flawlessly. Was a pain to open the cam though.

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Great post..

I made my own clip a while back and it totally transformed the sim aircraft mode for me..

My clip os made from lollipop sticks and electricians tape i kid you not :)

Works perfectly using ps3 cam and facetracknoir..
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Guest

A someone very inexperienced with this kind of thing, would it be possible to pay you/a company for a decent price (Not TrackIR5 Prices, those are ridiculous) to make and ship me the package? I live in the UK - I'd be willing to negotiate prices.

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You should make it yourself,you can't learn if you don't try.

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Guest

A someone very inexperienced with this kind of thing, would it be possible to pay you/a company for a decent price (Not TrackIR5 Prices, those are ridiculous) to make and ship me the package? I live in the UK - I'd be willing to negotiate prices.

 

Delan Engineering in UK sells modded PS3 cameras, quality stainless steel clips and full packages for much less money than TrackIR.

 

http://www.delanengineering.com/shop/

Edited by Guest

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Just some small things to note.

 

  1.  Dont use Freetrack! It hasnt been updated since 2008. I reccomend something like Opentrack instead
  2.  Like Urulu mentioned its possible to buy full Headtracking setups from different thirt party manufacturers. One that recently poped up and got a very good reputation is Trackhat
  3.  Lastly. Building my own headtracking was the best money and time spend in the last 3-5 years! I can reccomend everyone to give it a go, its well worth the time and money.

:salute:

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https://github.com/opentrack/opentrack/releases/download/opentrack-2.2-stable-20141112/opentrack-stable-2.2.zip

There is a 2.3 in development, but I don't like it.

If you need any help, let me know. I can post my settings when I come home from work.

 

Good idea. Since setting up OpenTrack can be quite tricky (took me several days to get it right) it might help people who are interested in setting up their own selfmade headtracking stuff.

So here are my settings for OpenTrack 2.3 for War Thunder if anyone is interested. They sure need to be adapted to personal preference but they should be a good start.

I am using a modified PS3 Eye cam with a selfmade copy of the track clip pro (exact dimensions posted in the OP). Works perfectly so far...

 

Edit: for anyone having trouble building their own headtracking clip, this link might help: http://www.free-track.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=1856

I tried both, the one with batteries and the USB one, and both work fine.

Edited by MrTruffles
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I followed this guide and may have made one of the ugliest creations clips in the galaxy gaming world

edit: i was going to post pics, but on second thought it might not be a good idea

edit 2: i'll stick to the gamepad for now

Edited by HueHuey

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Sooo... after some playinga round with Opentrack I changed back to freetrack. there are two main reasons for that:

  1. I am way more used to the feeling
  2. Freetrack uses less CPU, yesterday i had spikes to 100% (playing on movie + sreaming) while with freetrack max at 88% with the same stuff going on.
  3. Freetrack got better settings for filtering the points out.
  4. - point is that Opentrack is just start and go, while you mostly have to download a .dll file for freetrack to work in the games.

I'd say you have to test both and then just stay with the one you like more. :salute:

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Thanks for posting info on your setup OP. I've been using Freetrack with a single point clip for over a year. Works good as long as there's no interference from backlighting.

 

Tried Opentrack as well, but found it harder to work with for some reason. 

 

There's no reason for people to think they need to spend a lot of bux to get headtracking!

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Great posts ec0ke! I'm a proponent of head tracking and have been meaning to build a few of these for the ArmA community I'm part of. I'm a TrackIR user myself and it's always good to see people promoting the tech :)

These just arrived earlier in the week and I'm messing around with different materials and formats for the build. The plan is to build a decent looking point model on the cheap and worry about the cameras later. If/When I put something decent together I'll provide a build log and schematics.
 

aBa0FBj.jpg

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Great posts ec0ke! I'm a proponent of head tracking and have been meaning to build a few of these for the ArmA community I'm part of. I'm a TrackIR user myself and it's always good to see people promoting the tech :)

These just arrived earlier in the week and I'm messing around with different materials and formats for the build. The plan is to build a decent looking point model on the cheap and worry about the cameras later. If/When I put something decent together I'll provide a build log and schematics.
 

aBa0FBj.jpg

 

like it! :good:

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Delan Engineering in UK sells modded PS3 cameras, quality stainless steel clips and full packages for much less money than TrackIR.

 

http://www.delanengineering.com/shop/

I was looking to buy one of these until I saw how expensive they are. $100+ CAD is a bit nuts, it's almost the price of TrackIR.

Is there anywhere in Canada or USA where I could buy something like this? For under $100CAD.

 

I'd make one myself but I don't have any of the equipment and I don't feel like taping everything together instead of soldering.

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I was looking to buy one of these until I saw how expensive they are. $100+ CAD is a bit nuts, it's almost the price of TrackIR.

Is there anywhere in Canada or USA where I could buy something like this? For under $100CAD.

 

I'd make one myself but I don't have any of the equipment and I don't feel like taping everything together instead of soldering.

If you don't want to invest in the gear to do a one off job you can use Conductive Wire Glue to fix your soldering contacts together. Another stumbling block that turns a lot of people off trying to build one is the idea of a cardboard point model, well one way around that I can suggest is to walk into a stationary store and buy a plastic set square. You can easily trim off the parts you don't need and use that as the foundation for the point model.

Glue/zip tie the components down and you can do a very tidy job of hiding the wires with the correct diameter of heat shrink. Really the only tools you will need are wire cutters, a sharp knife and a hair drier.

But if you are set on buying a premade one, you can do an ebay search for Freetrack and you'll find ready made point models a few entrepreneurial folk have produced.

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Guest

I was looking to buy one of these until I saw how expensive they are. $100+ CAD is a bit nuts, it's almost the price of TrackIR.
Is there anywhere in Canada or USA where I could buy something like this? For under $100CAD.

I'd make one myself but I don't have any of the equipment and I don't feel like taping everything together instead of soldering.

When I posted that delan clip was 1/3 the price of TrackIR but haven't checked lately.

I'm on mobile but try searching obvious key words + "no soldering" I'm pretty sure I saw a tutorial for LED assembly without soldering.

You could also try this http://forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/75728-head-mouse-for-those-without-trackiroculus-riftfreetrack/

And, if you have a smartphone, there are apps that use phone's accelerometer for head tracking.
https://github.com/opentrack/opentrack/wiki/Smartphone-Headtracking

Lastly, I own an EDTracker that I may sell, will think about it. Edited by Guest

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i cant get freetrack to work on the game anymore since the last update of the game

 

usually i start freetrack get it to track the leds, then start war thunder and do a test flight, now it dosent move anymore

 

i tried to run as admin but no luck

 

any ideas?

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i cant get freetrack to work on the game anymore since the last update of the game

 

usually i start freetrack get it to track the leds, then start war thunder and do a test flight, now it dosent move anymore

 

i tried to run as admin but no luck

 

any ideas?

It's a long shot, but I notice that after the last patch my launcher switches to the 64-bit executable after game launch. If you haven't already perhaps what you could try is set both the 32 and 64 bit executables to run in admin and see if that does anything.

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