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Head Tracking combined with Motion Sims

Discussion in 'DIY Motion Simulator Projects' started by RufusDufus, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. RufusDufus

    RufusDufus Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I have been doing some testing with head tracking software and thought I would post a vid for those that haven't tried it before.

    I am using the free FaceTrackNoIR available from here http://facetracknoir.sourceforge.net/home/default.htm

    Current test is using the FaceAPI plugin which uses a web cam and simply extracts data by looking for facial features in the video stream to determine the head orientation, surprisingly quite good.

    All software is running on one computer, game video settings are on low but was before trying facetracknoir (E8400 core two duo and Radeon HD6570)

    Almost no setup required – install the software, run, and launch the game will pretty much get you going, but you will soon want to make adjustments (assumes the game supports it, there is quite a big list of compatible games on the facetrack site)

    It tracks the head in 6DOF but for racing I have only enabled track head yaw (Don't need to see the sky!)

    I am lucky to be using my sim in front of a 50in monitor and it is quite natural to turn your head a few degrees to look to the side of the screen when cornering – this is sufficient for facetracknoir to detect. (TV was a $500 special at DSE about 6months ago).

    Unfortunately I haven't been able to get it to work together with the sim software yet – I am really hoping it is possible. So far I have found the experience excellent and hope I can get everything playing nicely together.



    If you are unclear about what is changing look at the left mirror and see how close it is to the left of the tv as the direction of my view changes.

    The question is how will it work when the sim seat is moving around - I think it will be OK because I have limitted the tracking to head yaw only, and it seems pretty good at determining and 6DOFs. Your head yaw is probably the least impacted by the sim (I have a seatmover)

    There are also some other plugins to track infrared or other LED setups mounted to a cap or headphones, etc. The advantage of this plugin is that it doesn't need as much processing power but the disadvantage is the need for a headset and some more config.
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    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  2. Ads Master

    Ads Master

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  3. RufusDufus

    RufusDufus Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I have managed to get facetracking and sim motion working together (sort of).

    It seems my computer isn't really beefy enough to run everything together. The motion is very slow and lags behind the actual game. Also the facetracking is not as smooth either. :thbd:

    I notice the Rx LED on the sim arduino is blinking on and off very randomly confirming the data being sent is very inconsistent... usually it is being sent so fast it looks like the LED is just permanently on.



    You can see at one point in the video the video update actually stops for a second (that was the game not the recording)

    At least it works, next test I will turn graphics to ultra low or try a different game that might not need as much grunt. I guess that is what happens when you spend all your money on a big TV before sorting out the computing power. :blush:

    It also confirms that the facetracking is not overly effected by the movement generated by the seat mover.

    Other things I could try is get out another really old computer I have and offload the facetracking and simmotion to that.
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    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  4. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Been down this road with free track before and yes with a seat mover not very good , but when you have the whole frame moving with the camera on the frame is wasn't too bad but the vibrations of the sim caused the free track to do funny things, haven't had the funds to go with a tracker system as I have seen other users use, but inturn in their videos you can see that they need to hold their heads very still or movement on screen is a bit of a mess. Plus I tested on a AMDx6 going flat out.
    Havent put it all back together to ru on my new AMDx8 , so I may need to do a test, software has seem to come a long way indeed, didn't have face tracking before only infa red led tracking.
    mmmm Nice find mate.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. RufusDufus

    RufusDufus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, from what I have read they have made some quite significant improvements recently.

    From my testing what I have found is that the default settings are far to aggressive for car racing games. The default yaw has the view looking out the back of the car with about 30deg turn of the head (may be a bit exagerated but you get what I mean.)

    I wound the settings way back so it just gives enough angle to assist looking into the apex. Below is the yaw curve setting that I am using. As indicated in previous posts I have disabled all other DOF tracking.

    YAW CURVE.JPG

    I have also since disabled the VJoy software that was installed with the package. It was playing up with my G27 in Race07 for some reason. As far as I know it is not needed with games that support the FreeTrack protocols.

    Not sure if it is just my computer setup or not but seems to be important the order you start everything up... So far this works best for me:

    1. Start FaceTrackNoIR
    2. Start the FaceTracking
    3. Start Simtools
    4. Start the game.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Rufus! Thanks to you I had to revise my motion platform design, lol. :D

    I had forgotten to take into account the mounting of my TrackIR camera (used to use Freetrack as well, it works just as good). So I decided to mount my 32 LCD on the moving platform rather than the base as I had designed it originally. I know this adds wieght but....
  7. RufusDufus

    RufusDufus Well-Known Member

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    Haha... didn't intend to make more work for anyone! :D Anyway I am having fun playing with the head tracking so if you are like me it should be worth the effort. I just had a look at your build in another thread... it's coming along great. Bad luck with the Arduino smoking - I'm sure you'll have it sorted soon!

    I am currently trying re-organise my computers to put all the fastest components into the one machine to make it more responsive.
  8. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Thanks, I ordered the tried and true parts tonight. two 12 volt winch motors and two Pololu JRK 12v12 controllers. That will take care of any issues I am having. I think the problem must be with the motors as they are the common denominator in every attempt.

    I have been using head tracking for many years, started with building a couple of free track systems and then went with TrackIR once I could afford it. I cannot imagine any sim game without it.
  9. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Rufus, I was messing around with Facetracknoir today after learning that I can use a very cheap PS3 "Eye" camera that is capable of 120fps. I had tried the program before but the cheap(ly made) webcam that I had tried was not up to the task. I picked up a PS3 Eye for 10.00 at a GameStop store (used) and tried it out. I must confess that I am impressed. With a little screwing around with the profile the PS3 Eye delivers pretty good performance. Not perfect but very close to my TrackIR rig and I do not have to wear a hat with reflectors on it ;) Considering my TrackIR 5 rig was 150.00 and the FacetracknoIR and PS3 Eye is 10.00 (Total) it is fantastic.

    I tried it out in Arma3 and Il-2 as well as DCS. FacetracknoIR has come a long way.

    I am using version 1.7 of FacetracknoIR.
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  10. eaorobbie

    eaorobbie Well-Known Member Staff Member SimTools Developer Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Sorry off subject @Historiker any issue with settting up the jrks on winchs let me know. Plus if the showdown plugin not a working for you I can edit it , we must have missed it in updating it from v2 - v3 sorry for that.
  11. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    Thanks Rob. I do not use JRKs though. I did buy a couple but never used them. Sold them recently as a matter of fact.
  12. bsft

    bsft

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    bought and sold? why?
  13. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    No need for them, the Arduino setup worked excellent.
  14. Kevin thee Bajan

    Kevin thee Bajan New Member

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    I probably would have done the same thing get the 50"
  15. RufusDufus

    RufusDufus Well-Known Member

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    Do you need special Windows drivers for the PS3 eye?
  16. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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  17. RacingMat

    RacingMat Well-Known Member Gold Contributor

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  18. RufusDufus

    RufusDufus Well-Known Member

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  19. RacingMat

    RacingMat Well-Known Member Gold Contributor

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    I'll certainly have a try! :D
    I bought one in a GameShop today : brand new and only 10€!
  20. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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  21. Historiker

    Historiker Dramamine Adict Staff Member Moderator Gold Contributor

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    My Motion Simulator:
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    A quick tip: Do not eat potato chips while using FacetracknoIR :confused:

    The chewing motion changes the shape of your face and your viewpoint bounces around, lol. :grin
    • Funny Funny x 3