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New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

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New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby wdhunt » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:39 am

I am lucky enough to have the chance to put some serious resources into simming. I've just built a new computer, motivated in large part by FlightGear simming and aircraft development. I'm still working on tuning the camera frustums and monitor colors. I think this example shows the value of FlightGear's multi-monitor support in a simple setup.

Image

For those interested, here's the setup:

Intel Core i5-4690K
16 GB DDR3
120 GB 3D V-NAND SSD for OS and FG installation
1 TB 7200 RPM HDD for everything else
The crown jewel: Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB nVidia GTX 970 Card (triple fan cooler setup)
CH Rudder Pedals
(Arriving later today) CH Pro Flight Yoke
Center monitor: Dell 2405FPW 24 inch 1920x1200
Flank monitors: Two AOC E2752VH 27 inch 1920x1080

Everything is running with stock coolers. The outcome so far is amazing. The rig can play Far Cry 4 on Ultra settings on the center monitor. In FlightGear, I can pull between 40 and 60 FPS with medium cloud density, the second highest water shader, trees and random buildings off, across all three monitors. I see a major FPS improvement with ALS turned on, so that's been my standard.
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby legoboyvdlp » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:25 pm

If you get an Android Tablet someday make sure to download the host of apossible that come with it! Some people for airliners and other for all. Very cool setup!
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby Johan G » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:01 pm

Very impressive! 8)
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby jarl.arntzen » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:07 pm

Very cool. I've noticed that FG only seemingly supports a linear setup of screens but I might be wrong here. I also have positioned my screens in a deep arc with each side monitor at a 40 degree angle to the center monitor due to only 1 meter horizontal space.

The effect is still good but the large angle means that the normals from each screen intersect at least 30-40 cm in front of my eyes so from a comfortable sitting position, both side screens are not displayed straight on but rather in perspective.

@wdhunt: Do you have any experience with frustum shear settings per monitor or similar? The basic "strech a window across the screens" does work but still uses a single in-sim camera which require a linear monitor setup. Any angle on the outer monitors translates to straight lines like runway, wings etc, appearing broken between monitors.
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby wdhunt » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 pm

I'm glad yall like it. I'm happy to say I've been in touch with Clement about SVN access. A basic version of the new SR20 aircraft should be coming soon (if not in the new release, then in the release after that).

@jarl.arntzen I am using the shear settings. It works, but when you "snap out of it" you notice the strange distortion on the peripheral displays. This is one instance where motion blur would really be nice =]
Here's what my config looks like. I really wish I could have a FoV offset for each screen, since I have displays with different pixel densities. This goes in the rendering section of the preferences xml file.

Code: Select all
         <camera>
            <host-name type="string"></host-name>
            <display>0</display>
            <screen>1</screen>
            <shear-x>-2.21</shear-x>
            <shear-y>0</shear-y>
            <width>1920</width>
            <height>1080</height>
            <fullscreen type="bool">false</fullscreen>
         </camera>
         <camera>
            <host-name type="string"></host-name>
            <display>0</display>
            <screen>2</screen>
            <shear-x>2.21</shear-x>
            <shear-y>0</shear-y>
            <width>1920</width>
            <height>1080</height>
            <fullscreen type="bool">false</fullscreen>
         </camera>
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby Torsten » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:31 pm

Nice setup and +1 to your little copilot!

For your rendering.xml, don't use the shear config. There is a much better way to define your views.
For fsweekend2014, we had 6 monitors placed in 90deg arc
Image

Here is our config for this setup:
https://gitorious.org/flightgear-pmpt/fsweekend2014/raw/4e090596ca9f22d323b446fdb16f2322c0cc1377:visual/config.xml

Look for the <master-perspective> and <physical-dimensions> and <xxx-of-perspective> tags. All dimensions are in meters.

This should help getting a seamless setup which also allows zooming.

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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby jarl.arntzen » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:57 pm

@Torsten: Thanks! It works beautifully. :D
And it worked especially well once I realized that all measurements has to be taken with millimetre precision, since my eyes are less than 70 cm away from the main monitor. As long as I'm positioned in "the magic spot", looking down at the terrain is like looking through 3 windows. I've spent all day with my ruler, fine-tuning and playing around and it's really great to see how well the system handles the various configurations. I had to increase the physical bezel left and right width on the centre monitor by some 30%. 30mm instead of 20mm since it seems like the camera viewport assumes the bezel is flush with the monitor image while in reality it is some 5-6 mm recessed so that when two monitors outer edges are put right next to another at an angle, say 45 degrees, the edges of the actual LCD panels are 5-6 additional mm further apart. So I simply had to manually compensate for that.

My final litmus test was to look down at the runway from 10m height or so, verifying that both side-lines running along the runway, across both angled side monitors and centre monitor, appears straight and unbroken from my vantage-point.

I've only really noticed this because I'm so close to the monitors.
As an added bonus I've noticed that zooming in or out is equivalent to moving my virtual head closer or further away from the

The only problem was that the aircraft was still not visible but luckily I guessed that the draw-mask aircraft just needed to be set to true.
Code: Select all
      <draw-mask>
        <aircraft type="bool">true</aircraft>
      </draw-mask>


Runway appearing (almost) straight across angled monitors.
Picture taken within 5 cm of the configured vantage point.
Image

Runway as it appears on screen.
Image

Final result in-flight
Image

My only, slight problem now is to combine using this config together with another config of placed objects exported to xml from the UFO.
Do anyone know if it is possible to load more than one config or preferences at a time?

Also, it took me a while to figure out that heading-deg really refers to the angle between the view-plane of the master perspective and the view-plane of the other cameras, and not the angle between the view axes of the virtual cameras.
Code: Select all
<view>
            <heading-deg type = "double">56.0</heading-deg>
...
</view>

I was simply considering adding a side-view on one monitor but just couldn't get a decent -90 degree angle, detached form the rest of the cameras. Finally I understood that they are always adjacent and connected thanks to the <x-of-perspective>


Is there a wiki page I can update here?
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby wdhunt » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:25 am

@Torsten Thanks for the tip; I'll try it out later!

@Garth123 I already had the dell laying around. It is also a higher resolution, so it makes the controls a little easier to read. If I really wanted to have them match, I'd need to pick up another AOC for around $190 US =]
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby SE-HK » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:47 am

Looks great!

I am looking for parts for my new computer, so may I ask which motherboard you have?
Is there something not working in Linux (like sensors etc)?
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby jarl.arntzen » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:25 pm

Let me just restate my question from my rather long post above:
Do anyone know if it is possible to load more than one config.xml or preferences.xml at a time?
I would just like to combine my multimonitor settings with my ufo-model-export.xml. I did try to colon-separate the file paths as this works for --fg-scenery= but it seems like it's no good for --config=

Thanks
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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby Torsten » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:39 pm

Did you try --config=foo.xml --config=bar.xml --config=baz.xml

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Re: New Rig for Christmas - Time to show off

Postby jarl.arntzen » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:56 pm

Torsten wrote in Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:39 pm:Did you try --config=foo.xml --config=bar.xml --config=baz.xml

Thanks! That worked beautifully. It didn't occur to me to even try it, I just assumed one --config= would override the previous one so that only the last parameter would apply. :)
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