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simfloppy
03-23-2008, 11:15 PM
Hi Guys,

I have wondered for a long time now if it's possible to make a flight cockpit of say a harrier with a full human visual field of view from rear projectors using immersaview sol7.

You know when you get into a harrier, you sit inside the cockpit and then the glass canopy comes down over your head. Well my idea if possible is to make that glass canopy (if that's what you call it) into a projection screen that goes right over it, then have rear projectors outside setup on tripods that beam towards each side of the screen on this glass canopy. I have thought about using fresnel lenses with or without shutter glasses for stereoscopic 3D to enhance the experience Or if projecting to each side of the screen using dual projectors then instead of shutter glasses i thought about using circular polarized 3d glasses for passive projection like used in 3d movies and IMAX. I have done some reading on this forum and thought as well to use mirrors to shorten the throw distance by half from the projectors.

I thought all this would be impossible because of the positioning of multiple projectors as you would have a line coming down the screen from the positioning of projectors but then saw that with sol7 that line can disappear as you can warp the image so i wonder if it's possible with my idea, i think i saw something like this being used in military flight sims a while back.

You see with this setup you could quite honestly feel like your sitting inside a real plane and look to the left and see into the distance and look to right and up towards the glass and see the sky, when you look down you see the cockpit that you are sitting in just like when your in a real plane. This setup would also work incredibly with a racing simulator, your really in the game now. as you entire field of view is immersed in the game.

Please tell me guys if this is possible

Much appreciated

TIA

Trevor Hale
03-24-2008, 11:20 AM
The question you are asking is quite easy in this hobby. The easy answer is to say "YES" It is possible, although keep in mind that we all make certain exceptions in order to keep the costs down. This would be possible to achieve but it will have a higher price tag. The costs of the projectors will be the primary costs, coupled with Wideview and additional computer to run the top view.

For complete immersion in that environment you would be looking at 1 machine with a tripple head to go attached 3 projectors, for left right and front views. Then you would require a second computer running wideview to display the "Looking up" view. with a projector on it.

The question will be aligning SOL7 so that each view will mesh correctly.

But YES it is possible, and we can help.

Trev

simfloppy
03-24-2008, 03:36 PM
Hello Trevor,

Many thanks for your excellent reply

I am so happy that this can be done, it has always been my dream. So i would need four projectors then, I plan on using 4 DLP projectors. I am based in the UK and will probably use 720p ones as i have seen them for 400 delivered. I may use 800x600 ones as a good one i have seen costs 250 delivered but i worry for such a setup maybe you need 720p resolution minimum, what do you think?

I have a feeling if i use fresnel lenses and shutter glasses with 800x600 then that may improve the visuals. Eventually when the costs come down i would like to go down the 4x 1080p route.

But then i have seen the DIY projectors which could save me loads of money to build a prototype, and then if it all works upgrade to some costly projectors.

If i do go ahead and want to use 3d glasses with this setup then i can do it with DLP even through the shutterglasses as you only need 1 projector for each view rather than two if you were to do passive projection.

So i need wideview, i read up on that it's only compatable with some flight sims, do you know if it works as well with racing sims?

if i go with 4 720p projectors at 400 each that would come to 1600. Then i would need to buy SOL7 for 450AUD which is 205 then i would need wideview for 18 per game. Then the TH2GO, do you know how much that costs?

Then what size projection screens? should i go for silver matte so it's future ready for passive stereoscopic 3d projection?

I would like to get one projection screen cut to fit the shape of the glass canopy.

Do i need any special lenses for each projector?

Has anyone built anything like this before, any pics and vidoes anywhere, i don't even know what the name of this kind of cockpit is, do you know?

Sorry for all the questions but please please Trevor can you give me an answer to all those questions

Many thanks in advance

Trevor Hale
03-24-2008, 03:42 PM
LOL.. Trying to get you all woed up!

Lets take this one step at a time.

I am currently at work, but when I get home will provide answers to your setup.

I hope thats ok. I will post tonight.

Trev

simfloppy
03-24-2008, 05:25 PM
Thanks, i look forward to it, really you have no idea how helpful people like you are, you really help the sim building community progress on. I saw your website you have made some really amazing simulators.

Trevor Hale
03-24-2008, 08:02 PM
Ok Buddy lets see if we can take this one step at a time.

First off, see the attached picture of how I would accomplish what you want to do.

Your biggest challenge will be getting your projector to display on a material above your canopy.

See attached image.

and I will see if I can answer your questions in RED below.



Hello Trevor,

Many thanks for your excellent reply

I am so happy that this can be done, it has always been my dream. So i would need four projectors then, I plan on using 4 DLP projectors. I am based in the UK and will probably use 720p ones as i have seen them for 400 delivered. I may use 800x600 ones as a good one i have seen costs 250 delivered but i worry for such a setup maybe you need 720p resolution minimum, what do you think? If your going to do it right, I would do it right the first time. I would not use High Definition projectors, I would use projectors with a native 1024 X 768 resolution. Can be picked up for around $500USD each. I would try to get the same make of projector for all 4.


I have a feeling if i use fresnel lenses and shutter glasses with 800x600 then that may improve the visuals. Eventually when the costs come down i would like to go down the 4x 1080p route.

Fresnel lenses are great if you want to make it appear that you have a large screen, with a setup like I have drawn, you would not need to make it look big, you will have amazing visuals. but with projectors Fresnel lenses are useless.



But then i have seen the DIY projectors which could save me loads of money to build a prototype, and then if it all works upgrade to some costly projectors.


DIY Projectors are ok if you are making one, but you would never get 4 identical DIY Projection images and for the price of them, you can go to your local office store and buy 800 X 600 Native projectors for about $250USD Each.. Just look for the sales. Ebay is even an option.



If i do go ahead and want to use 3d glasses with this setup then i can do it with DLP even through the shutterglasses as you only need 1 projector for each view rather than two if you were to do passive projection.


If you want to go 3D glasses, there are some really neat ones on the market, However, what would be the point of having a cockpit when you wouldn't be able to see it, you can only see the screen images. You can pick up a good set of VR Screen glasses for about 300 bucks, and then use it with whatever simulator software and racing software you want.




So i need wideview, i read up on that it's only compatable with some flight sims, do you know if it works as well with racing sims?

As far as I know it is only compatible with Microsoft Flightsimulator versions running Wideview, and Wideclient via FSUIPC



if i go with 4 720p projectors at 400 each that would come to 1600. Then i would need to buy SOL7 for 450AUD which is 205 then i would need wideview for 18 per game. Then the TH2GO, do you know how much that costs?


TH2go is about 350USD Give or take to my knowledge. See my posts above for Projector costs and info.

Then what size projection screens? should i go for silver matte so it's future ready for passive stereoscopic 3d projection?

Lets not jump into the Hundred Thousand dollar Stereo/holographic projectors yet. You gotta walk before you run, and to be honest if I was you and getting setup I would use 250 thread count Bed sheets for the rear projections screens, (available at walmart for about 15 bucks each). You have seen my pictures on my Web site... Thats what I am using. :)



I would like to get one projection screen cut to fit the shape of the glass canopy.

A Bed sheet Pulled tight and draped over the canopy would work, however you should be looking at using bungee cords to stretch the screens into a "BOX" Shape above the canopy. I would suggest rear entry to your simulator and a permanent canopy instead of one that lifts and lowers, unless you have some way of stretching the screen around the glass.

Do i need any special lenses for each projector?

This depends on how big the room is you can use for your projector, you can get external short throw lenses for your projector. You may need this because of hight restrictions in your room for the canopy projector.

Has anyone built anything like this before, any pics and vidoes anywhere, i don't even know what the name of this kind of cockpit is, do you know?

The military uses this type of imagery all the time. I would suggest do some searches on fighter simulators and see what you come up with.

Sorry for all the questions but please please Trevor can you give me an answer to all those questions

Hope This helped.

One only other cost savings option I could suggest is go with 3 projectors on a tripple head to go, and eliminate the 4th projector on the top, and create a 3 sided triangle (prism) of screens around the 3 sides of the cockpit. Where as the side window screens meet over the top of your canopy, and the front projector extends over the top of the canopy, however this will create a horrible image when you fly past something directly over your head, and it disappears for an instant before reappearing on the next projector. If you really want to get into this hobby, I would start with one projector (front View) just to see if this is something you want to get into. This is not just a hobby, it is an addiction, and similar to a black hole we all want to rebuild our simulators and with every rebuild they get better and better.

Good luck Buddy, I hope this helps you answer some questions.

Trevor Hale
Mycockpit Admin.

Many thanks in advance

simfloppy
03-24-2008, 11:45 PM
Hello Trevor,

Many thanks for your excellent and most helpful information, i have tried looking for a flight simulator of what i describe but i cannot find any where the projection screen is actually canopy.

I found one which a company builds, where you have a plane cockpit and it's seated directly in front of a curved front projector that's laid on the ground below the cockpit. This is very immersive but not what i am after. Before i go building anything like what i'm looking for i really need to see some pictures and videos. this curved screen cockpit i found is here http://www.flyit.com/PT.html

Do you know where i can find the kind that i'm talking about?

Also i have been flying flight sims so far on a 112 inch front projector, it's an amazing experience but if i'm going to go down this route i would want to go with all four projectors from the start.

I plan to build this system with my brother and he keeps telling me that what i am trying to build is impossible, he says that there is huge distortion and that the depth and immersion won't be very real. He said that the sol7 software works well when projecting to a 16:9 ratio screen. But when trying to make a custom made screen that is laid all over a canopy the sol7 software just won't be able to warp the image perfectly. As the image would have to be mathematically aligned so it's distortion free and gives you the correct depth of field. Is this true what he's saying?

Thanks in advance

Fairford
03-24-2008, 11:54 PM
Check out the site below , the one pictured is for a RAF Typhoon , but gives you some cool ideas of what can be done.

www.barco.com/Simulation/en/references/references.asp?ref=3135#

Trevor Hale
03-25-2008, 12:13 AM
Hello Trevor,

Many thanks for your excellent and most helpful information, i have tried looking for a flight simulator of what i describe but i cannot find any where the projection screen is actually canopy.

I found one which a company builds, where you have a plane cockpit and it's seated directly in front of a curved front projector that's laid on the ground below the cockpit. This is very immersive but not what i am after. Before i go building anything like what i'm looking for i really need to see some pictures and videos. this curved screen cockpit i found is here http://www.flyit.com/PT.html

Do you know where i can find the kind that i'm talking about?

Also i have been flying flight sims so far on a 112 inch front projector, it's an amazing experience but if i'm going to go down this route i would want to go with all four projectors from the start.

I plan to build this system with my brother and he keeps telling me that what i am trying to build is impossible, he says that there is huge distortion and that the depth and immersion won't be very real. He said that the sol7 software works well when projecting to a 16:9 ratio screen. But when trying to make a custom made screen that is laid all over a canopy the sol7 software just won't be able to warp the image perfectly. As the image would have to be mathematically aligned so it's distortion free and gives you the correct depth of field. Is this true what he's saying?

Thanks in advance

I will respond to the rest of your questions in the morning. What your brother is saying is only partially correct. What he should be saying is that without spending a few hundred thousand dollars on a collimated mirror system similar to that of MAXVIEW and (Multi million dollar) simulators, you may not get 100% reality. What I am saying is that we can achieve a very good representation of this with little distortion. Sol7 is a product that I haven't been able to play with yet, however from what I have read, there isn't anything you can't do to the image with it. If you were to display a picture of a Grid across all 4 projectors projecting on screens (sheets) or other material, you will be able to align all the grid lines to achieve a very good image. If you can't eliminate the distortion 100% the little that you get will be around the edges where the over canopy view meets the side views. You can deal with this very minute distortion, however it can also be reduced by manipulating the shape of your canopy. I am not saying that you will get a perfect image with your first trial, I am suggesting that you will need to play with it, however I think you will be much happier with the results then what your brother thinks you will find.

On another note, have a look (search) for Helicopter simulators, again these simulators will require more (outside top) views then a standard Fixed wing simulator. I have seen projection DOMES where images such as panoramas have been projected 360 degrees around and over the top of a person standing in the middle of a room where there is no distortion. A solution like this requires software like SOL7.

In retrospect, don't let someone else's doubts dictate what you can or cannot do. all I can suggest is that people said we couldn't put man on the moon, and people didn't think home built simulators could ever be achieved without a few million dollars, if we listened to these people, where would we be now.

Trev

simfloppy
03-25-2008, 12:53 AM
Hello Trevor

Again many thanks for your kind and detailed reply, i am really excited about this all, i look forward to your morning follow up. If i can build this, and then post videos and screen shots it will really make others want to follow, as i don't believe this kind of stuff should be for just the military. It should be in everyone's home. If you got the patience to build it then people should.

Fairford thanks for the site, i will take a really good look at that.

Edit: Fairford that barco system is incredible but i am looking for a screen that actually sits on the windows of a glass canopy, so the setup would be a lot smaller than that. but i truly believe could be just as immersive.

I wonder is it possible to create a plastic see through mold of a canopy and then paint the side that you will be projecting onto with a white paint, then you wouldn't need a projection screen? I have seen projection screen paint selling on the market and it's very cheap.

Edit: one other thing, something i forgot to mention. My brother believes what i am asking for a simulator wouldn't be possible. It's because i am trying to create a screen that is very small. That is then placed onto the glass canopy. So already your limiting yourself from say the huge projection screen of say 100+ inches curved. And for that my brother believes the sense of depth would be horrible. As my eyes inside a projected canopy would be about 1-2 feet from a tiny screen and it would be nothing more than looking at a 19 inch monitor, for the front and a 19 inch monitor to the left and right. This is why i thought of using shutter glasses to increase the feeling of depth. I am no pro in this. But i explained to my brother, that this kind of cockpit would be far more immersive than creating just a rear projected curved screen with 100-120 degrees field of view. One other thing i explained was that when you sit inside a car, you look beyond a dashboard through the glass window which is about two feet from your eyes. Then you see the outside world around you. Now i told my brother this is the same thing. You have a screen on each sides of the canopy and then using shutter glasses it would make your eyes adjust to focus beyond infinity, thus creating major depth into the distance. But he said we see the outside world beyond the window and not on the window. Which is why he believes by having a curved screen on a stand outside the cockpit is more real. But i believe still that having the screen built on the canopy glass is far more immersive. What do you think? He said if my idea was so good the military would be using them instead of HMD's, that are nowhere near the full human visual field of view. And the ones that are close, costs far more than a projector setup and can still give you motion sickness. He also said that my idea would give you motion sickness and eyestrain, is this all true.

Edit: Anyone got a link for the maxview? I cannot find it anywhere.

Edit: For my first time i don't plan on building all the flight instrumentals, all i am looking for is a a force feedback joystick, thruster and pedals. something like this at the top of the page, http://www.aviationsimulation.co.uk/acatalog/Flight_Seats.html or something similar and cheaper, then i plan to build around this a wooden frame to make it more closed. Then add a canopy that looks like this one, the second picture http://www.merlinsim.com/products.htm i would remove that black line you see coming across the bottom horizontally and then have 4 rear projectors beaming onto it.

Will that be total immersion?

sbecker777
03-25-2008, 04:03 AM
Simfloppy,
Trevor is referring to MaxVUE from CAE Systems. The MaxVUE description is at:
http://www.cae.com/www2004/Products_and_Services/Civil_Simulation_and_Training/Simulation_Equipment/Visual_Solutions/Image_Generators/maxvue.shtml.

Steve

Matt Olieman
03-25-2008, 08:55 AM
Just to add a quick note regarding outside visualization. First of all, like Trevor said, unless you go with a collimating mirror setup, you're not going to get the 3D effect (less real otherwise). But to get the best results out of a simple screen system, the screen needs to be at least 10 to 12 feet from the pilots eyes.

My point (I guess which really was not that quick) :) is, projecting on the canopy or close to it will have an awkward look and an unreal feel to it. You need the distance of the screen to fake out your brain.

Matt O.

Trevor Hale
03-25-2008, 09:57 AM
Hello Trevor

Again many thanks for your kind and detailed reply, i am really excited about this all, i look forward to your morning follow up. If i can build this, and then post videos and screen shots it will really make others want to follow, as i don't believe this kind of stuff should be for just the military. It should be in everyone's home. If you got the patience to build it then people should.

Fairford thanks for the site, i will take a really good look at that.

Edit: Fairford that barco system is incredible but i am looking for a screen that actually sits on the windows of a glass canopy, so the setup would be a lot smaller than that. but i truly believe could be just as immersive.

I wonder is it possible to create a plastic see through mold of a canopy and then paint the side that you will be projecting onto with a white paint, then you wouldn't need a projection screen? I have seen projection screen paint selling on the market and it's very cheap.

Edit: one other thing, something i forgot to mention. My brother believes what i am asking for a simulator wouldn't be possible. It's because i am trying to create a screen that is very small. That is then placed onto the glass canopy. So already your limiting yourself from say the huge projection screen of say 100+ inches curved. And for that my brother believes the sense of depth would be horrible. As my eyes inside a projected canopy would be about 1-2 feet from a tiny screen and it would be nothing more than looking at a 19 inch monitor, for the front and a 19 inch monitor to the left and right. This is why i thought of using shutter glasses to increase the feeling of depth. I am no pro in this. But i explained to my brother, that this kind of cockpit would be far more immersive than creating just a rear projected curved screen with 100-120 degrees field of view. One other thing i explained was that when you sit inside a car, you look beyond a dashboard through the glass window which is about two feet from your eyes. Then you see the outside world around you. Now i told my brother this is the same thing. You have a screen on each sides of the canopy and then using shutter glasses it would make your eyes adjust to focus beyond infinity, thus creating major depth into the distance. But he said we see the outside world beyond the window and not on the window. Which is why he believes by having a curved screen on a stand outside the cockpit is more real. But i believe still that having the screen built on the canopy glass is far more immersive. What do you think? He said if my idea was so good the military would be using them instead of HMD's, that are nowhere near the full human visual field of view. And the ones that are close, costs far more than a projector setup and can still give you motion sickness. He also said that my idea would give you motion sickness and eyestrain, is this all true.

Edit: Anyone got a link for the maxview? I cannot find it anywhere.

Edit: For my first time i don't plan on building all the flight instrumentals, all i am looking for is a a force feedback joystick, thruster and pedals. something like this at the top of the page, http://www.aviationsimulation.co.uk/acatalog/Flight_Seats.html or something similar and cheaper, then i plan to build around this a wooden frame to make it more closed. Then add a canopy that looks like this one, the second picture http://www.merlinsim.com/products.htm i would remove that black line you see coming across the bottom horizontally and then have 4 rear projectors beaming onto it.

Will that be total immersion?

I am heading to the dentist but should be able to catch up with you shortly. Sorry you are right MaxVue is how it is spelled, My Bad!

As for looking through the glass, I installed plexi windows in my sim for that reason, the screen farther away and looking through the window to (infinity) is a must. I wouldn't run my sim without the windows in place, it acts as a beam splitter giving you that little extra reality.

Your going to have to play with a projector and a setup to see if this is going to work the way you want it to.

I will catch up with you soon.

Trev

Trevor Hale
03-25-2008, 02:07 PM
Ok lets recap.

Most simulator builders will spend hundreds of hours surfing the net until you find something that resembles what you want to do. It is not an easy task, but you will have to walk before you run. and yu can assemble all the ideas and combine them into your project.

Take this one step at a time. I can't answer all your questions at once.. They will be answered in time, the idea here is just to get you the basics so we can build on that. First find something that you can start to copy, and make your own modifications as you progress. In my simulator as long as I can't see anything out the windows but the projected image, I feel like I am really flying. Once I can see a wall or a wire or something out side of the cockpit, it ruins the experience.

You are going to spend a lot of time experimenting with mirrors, projection screens, and projectors until you can get something that works to your satisfaction. we are faced with many challenges in sim pit building, and the most important thing to remember is never get discouraged. It will NOT work the first time. persistence is rewarding.

Let me know where you want to go with this next, as I am a little lost at this point as to where you are and what you still want to learn about.

Trev

simfloppy
03-25-2008, 06:09 PM
Hi Guys,

Many thanks for all the helpful replies

You especially Trevor thanks for the awesome info.

I have felt a little bit disappointed now as like Matt Olieman said you need the screen positioned 10 to 12 feet away.

The thing is, that link that Fairford gave of the Barco dome, when sitting in there you wouldn't be 10 to 12 feet away from the screen as from the picture on the Barco site it seems like your only like a feet or two away.

The problem is my brother wants to just get 1 720p projector and use it to do rear projection to a 100 inch screen that's built on a curved projection frame. He believes he can get about 120-140 degrees field of view. He wants to sit about 2 to 4 feet from the screen. He doesn't want to use a cockpit, but instead a table with a force feedback joystick.

The problem with the above setup, would be that you would still feel that your inside your room, because your perhiperal vision would be able to see outide the area of the curved screen. You would see your table, cables, and the immersive just won't be there. Sure you have a great big screen that's immersive but your just not totally immersed.

But then my setup was to make the canopy the screen, but again looking ahead towards the canopy from inside the cockpit the screen would be about 2 feet from me. But then looking to my left and right and ceiling i would be about 0.5 feet to 1 feet away and that's where my brother says from that fact that your so close to the screen your eyes can't adjust and update to that kind of environment and you would get motion sickness and eyestrain.

But i wonder still if this is true, as i used to play around with shutterglasses on a 20 inch CRT monitor. When i would bring my eyes right up to the monitor, about a few inches away. I could see the game world extend off into the distance and it was so immersive, that i always wished that the CRT monitor was like 100 inches curved.

Even when i bring my eyes close to a 20 inch monitor. Without using shutterglasses the effect is also so immersive. But my brother said that if you were to project onto a canopy. In the way that i'm saying, then the imserviness would be incredible, but only for a few minutes as your eyes just wouldn't be able take anymore as you would get motion sickness. He said that's why the HMD's from the late 80's early 90's period would utilise this similar technique, which is why everyone would get eystrain and motion sickness.

Another thing, my brother says the barco dome uses anamorphic lenses and they cost about $6500 and you need one for each projector and there's five in that setup. But Sol7 can do similar effects very close to that setup on a great budget but the immersive factor wouldn't be as high as that.

Another thing, if i was to project onto a canopy then because the screen is on the canopy then it's possible that my eyes from being that close may actually harm your eyes after long periods of time, is that true?

I wondred if the projector was used without mirrors as that way there would be a long throw distance. Which means your eyes wouldn't be too close from the actual beam. But then the brightness of the projector would be lost and you need a lot of brightness for the picture to be high quality. So using a mirror for a short throw from the projector would give you very high brightness. But really brightness should only be an inssue when planning to beam to a huge curved screen. The fact that i want to beam to a canopy, which if you were to measure it up it would come to no more than 40 inches. So then that would mean the projector could be far away. Then the brightness wouldn't hurt my eyes.

One last thing, from the link i gave in my previous post of that merlin flight simulator. The canopy shown in the second picture. From the shape of it, it seems i could just use 2 projectors, wouldn't you agree? As i could use sol7 to warp the image to one half (from the center of the ceiling down to the side) and do this for each side, would that be possible?

The problem with all this is why my brother said no body has done it yet. Because you need mathematical algorthims to be made to line it up, just right because your so close to the screen, to not get eye strain or motion sickness. The distortion and depth has to be mathematically aligned. Is this true?

Sorry for all the questions once again

any help much appreciated from you guys


Many thanks

Trevor Hale
03-25-2008, 07:37 PM
Alright, Here we go, and we will try to answer these questions a little better this time.

SE BELOW.




Hi Guys,

Many thanks for all the helpful replies

You especially Trevor thanks for the awesome info.

I have felt a little bit disappointed now as like Matt Olieman said you need the screen positioned 10 to 12 feet away.


You don't need to do this, however based on some peoples trial and error they have found that they like this approach. Brian Williams has just recently posted in the photo gallery his projected images on walls that are at a distance like Matt suggests. However, sitting in my simulator I have found that a single curved screen extending past my windscreen at about 2 feet from the window at the top of the windscreen and almost touching the bottom of the windscreen creates the right feeling for me.

The thing is, that link that Fairford gave of the Barco dome, when sitting in there you wouldn't be 10 to 12 feet away from the screen as from the picture on the Barco site it seems like your only like a feet or two away.

I really thought this was a nice idea, however I am afraid that this is almost cost prohibitive for the home user.

The problem is my brother wants to just get 1 720p projector and use it to do rear projection to a 100 inch screen that's built on a curved projection frame. He believes he can get about 120-140 degrees field of view. He wants to sit about 2 to 4 feet from the screen.

This is what I do and I love it. And he is right I have around 120 degrees of forward view.


He doesn't want to use a cockpit, but instead a table with a force feedback joystick.

In my personal opinion what is the point in doing this if your still going to use a joystick on a table.

The problem with the above setup, would be that you would still feel that your inside your room, because your perhiperal vision would be able to see outide the area of the curved screen. You would see your table, cables, and the immersive just won't be there. Sure you have a great big screen that's immersive but your just not totally immersed.

This is the issue I was talking about in a previous post. This is the perfect example of why I built a cockpit shell around me. and blacked out the side windows so that when I look out of my windshield all I see is 100% projected image. You could still use this method with your fighter canopy (F-18 style) by blacking out the rear canopy so that when you look out of the canopy you too can only see the projected image on your brother curved screen, you just need to be sure that the screen is close enough to the front of your sim so that sitting in a natural flying position you can't see the screen edges.



But then my setup was to make the canopy the screen, but again looking ahead towards the canopy from inside the cockpit the screen would be about 2 feet from me. But then looking to my left and right and ceiling i would be about 0.5 feet to 1 feet away and that's where my brother says from that fact that your so close to the screen your eyes can't adjust and update to that kind of environment and you would get motion sickness and eyestrain.

I got news for you, I get motion sickness in my sim all the time when you roll the aircraft too fast or do to jittery moves. (this is great for visitors) because they truly feel that they are flying. If you have good projectors your refresh rate should be good, and you shouldn't have any distortion. All I can say is once again... Take one projector paint some plexi transparent white put it over your head, and TRY IT. If you try many screens or paints and you still don't get the right result, that your looking for then switch to your brothers suggestion.

But i wonder still if this is true, as i used to play around with shutterglasses on a 20 inch CRT monitor. When i would bring my eyes right up to the monitor, about a few inches away. I could see the game world extend off into the distance and it was so immersive, that i always wished that the CRT monitor was like 100 inches curved.

Curved projection screens rock, as the image rolls off of them it enhances the feeling of motion. Sorry to say but curving your screen is the only way to go. Once someone moves from a flat projection screen to a curved one, I assure you they never go back.

Even when i bring my eyes close to a 20 inch monitor. Without using shutterglasses the effect is also so immersive. But my brother said that if you were to project onto a canopy. In the way that i'm saying, then the imserviness would be incredible, but only for a few minutes as your eyes just wouldn't be able take anymore as you would get motion sickness. He said that's why the HMD's from the late 80's early 90's period would utilise this similar technique, which is why everyone would get eystrain and motion sickness.

I dont suggest you keep your face that close to a crt monitor for long, the scan rate of the monitor will mess your head up. Didn't you parents ever tell you that if you sit to close to the tv your eyes will go square lol


Another thing, my brother says the barco dome uses anamorphic lenses and they cost about $6500 and you need one for each projector and there's five in that setup. But Sol7 can do similar effects very close to that setup on a great budget but the immersive factor wouldn't be as high as that.

Project magenta sells collimated displays for cheaper then that. do a search on that topic and you will see how that all works. Basically your turning a 19" monitor into 100" but the 3D image is incredible.

Another thing, if i was to project onto a canopy then because the screen is on the canopy then it's possible that my eyes from being that close may actually harm your eyes after long periods of time, is that true?

Depends on how good of a picture you have, but honestly depending on how close the canopy is to the top of your head, you may find this partially true. You know you could even go with a square canopy and shoot a projector at each surface. Solves all your problems of aligning things up and will give you total immersion.

I wondred if the projector was used without mirrors as that way there would be a long throw distance. Which means your eyes wouldn't be too close from the actual beam.

the issue has nothing to do with the mirrors or your eyes being too close to the beam, it has to do with refresh rates and your eyes adjusting.

to sample this goto grand and toy (office depot) and pick up an 8 dollar Fresnel lens (magnifying glass sheet) tape it to the bottom of a box placed about 10 inches from your monitor with the box surrounding the front of the monitor. When you look into it it strains your eyes a bit until you get used to it, however after about 5 minutes your eyes adjust and everything is great. Then quit playing the game and walk around the room, your eyes are screwed for about 10 minutes afterwards. (your eyes are not close to any beams) it is just the effect of the magnifying object your looking through.

But then the brightness of the projector would be lost and you need a lot of brightness for the picture to be high quality. So using a mirror for a short throw from the projector would give you very high brightness. But really brightness should only be an inssue when planning to beam to a huge curved screen. The fact that i want to beam to a canopy, which if you were to measure it up it would come to no more than 40 inches. So then that would mean the projector could be far away. Then the brightness wouldn't hurt my eyes.


Again it is not the brightness that hurts your eyes it is the distorted image, which by using tools similar to that of SOL7 you may not have an issue with this.



One last thing, from the link i gave in my previous post of that merlin flight simulator. The canopy hown in the second picture. From the shape of it, it seems i could just use 2 projectors, wouldn't you agree? As i could use sol7 to warp the image to one half (from the center of the ceiling down to the side) and do this for each side, would that be possible?


This is what i suggested in my first post to you. reduce the number of projectors to 3 one in front and one on each side, and warp 1/2 of the canopy with the left side projector and the same thing on the right side.
This is how I would accomplish this if it was me. and I would project directly onto the canopy by painting the canopy with a transparent paint. But again, I would try it and if it didn't work then I would keep trying new ideas until I had something I was happy with.

This is not a 10 minute project it will probably take years to perfect, but none the less if you having fun and enjoying the hobby then who cares.



The problem with all this is why my brother said no body has done it yet. Because you need mathematical algorthims to be made to line it up, just right because your so close to the screen, to not get eye strain or motion sickness. The distortion and depth has to be mathematically aligned. Is this true?

SOL7 has already proven that this is untrue. check there website, I am sure I saw pictures of a PROJECTION Dome there somewhere. Line each projector up using the grid and your golden.


Sorry for all the questions once again

any help much appreciated from you guys


Many thanks

And thats all she wrote. I can't imagine your going to get any firther with more questions. Much of this hobby is trial and error. No guarentees here, however in theory this should work, I do not claim any responsibility if your eyes fall out of your head, or if it doesn't work, I am just saying. Test each little bit and move forward bit by bit and see if what you are doing works.

Best regards,

Trev

simfloppy
03-25-2008, 09:05 PM
Hello Trevor,

Again many, many thanks for getting back to me, it has been really very helpful. I just got two last questions before i plan to do all the reading and building i can.

in the last post you wrote

'This is what i suggested in my first post to you. reduce the number of projectors to 3 one in front and one on each side, and warp 1/2 of the canopy with the left side projector and the same thing on the right side.'

I was wondering if it's possible to warp 1/2 of each sides canopy. using 2 of the projectors but not using a third for the front? So instead of a projector on the front, you use sol7 to warp the left side to cover the front half as well and you do the same with the other projector. So just 2 projectors in total, is that possible?

Lastly, do you know of any cockpits like i am describing with the projection being beamed right on the canopy? I have not seen any, anywhere.

Many thanks in advance

Trevor Hale
03-25-2008, 09:37 PM
I can answer these easy.. see below.


Hello Trevor,

Again many, many thanks for getting back to me, it has been really very helpful. I just got two last questions before i plan to do all the reading and building i can.

in the last post you wrote

'This is what i suggested in my first post to you. reduce the number of projectors to 3 one in front and one on each side, and warp 1/2 of the canopy with the left side projector and the same thing on the right side.'

I was wondering if it's possible to warp 1/2 of each sides canopy. using 2 of the projectors but not using a third for the front? So instead of a projector on the front, you use sol7 to warp the left side to cover the front half as well and you do the same with the other projector. So just 2 projectors in total, is that possible?

The answer to this is there is only one way to do this but it would really look silly. If you used a Matrox duel head to go and essentially split the front view of your flight simulator to a left and right projection, you would be flying straight and on your canopy it would look like you were flying sideways.

The only way do do this is left view on the left side of the canopy, right view on the right side of the canopy and front view on the front of the canopy.

see side views (left) images run from right side of the screen to the left side of the screen (RIGHT) the image runs from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen, and (Front) the image runs off the lefft side and right side of the screen proportionally.

Do you understand how the image would not look right having only a left and a right side, you would never see the runway when you were landing for starters.




Lastly, do you know of any cockpits like i am describing with the projection being beamed right on the canopy? I have not seen any, anywhere.

I have not seen this I have done this I have tightly stretched different materials over my plexi glass windows and had a decent result. I personally get more of a 3D feeling when the material is about a foot off the plexi so I am looking through the plexi to the image (into infinity). Thus the reason I am telling you it is possible.

Many thanks in advance


Hope this helps.

Trev

simfloppy
03-26-2008, 03:41 PM
Hi trevor,

Many thanks for getting back to me

Again sorry for all the questions, when i think they've all been answered and i go and do some research then i have all sorts of questions running through my mind. I hope you can please answer these. Many thanks

I plan on making some mock ups of my simulator plans. Should i go then for 3x 1024x768 those are 4:3 ratio projectors right?

Does it matter if the projector can do both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio?

Do you know which projectors are good for this?

The reason i ask for the projectors to do both aspect ratios is because sometimes i just want to disconnect the projectors and point them to a front projection screen for watching 3d movies.

As i am going with 3 projectors, i only need then 1 computer, 1X TH2GO, 1x SOL7 software, am i correct in thinking that i don't need another computer and i don't need wideview as i am only going for the 3 projector setup?

Do you know where i can have a plastic canopy made?

I did some searches for plastic molding and injection molding but i couldn't really find anything. I wonder if it's possible to start by just getting a projection screen and wrapping it around some supports. And if all works then go to get a canopy made?

I take it that i don't need mirrors for my setup?

One thing i am a little confused with

As i plan on making one seamless cockpit canopy with no borders. You know on a harriers cockpit, you have like window panes. Like the window is separated by the metal frames where the glass fits into. So you have one glass and then one in front and another to the right. Well maybe a harrier is not quite like that but other fighter planes are. Well what i am having a hard time understanding is when you use the 3 projectors to beam onto the canopy then wouldn't each flight sims plane being chosen within the game have to be reconfigured using sol7?
Because every planes cockpit is different and you would get distortion and a messed up picture, you wouldn't know where your looking at. Which is why an HMD is better suited for this, but then they cost hundreds of thousands for the very best ones that still don't offer total immersion.

My brother said that the military have most definitely tried my idea and probably doesn't work very well which is the reason you don't see anyone making one and which is why they went with the dome idea.

I thought if i wasn't to create a canopy, but instead build a metal frame which 4 projection screens could be slotted into. Then i use three projectors. One for the front and the other two for the left and right sides. Then use sol7 to warp 1/2 of the sides to half of the ceiling on each side like you said. But then i wonder if your going to do that, then the projector will be beamed onto the metal frame as well, from inside the cockpit you wouldn't see what was being projected as it hits the metal framing and then the rest of the picture would continue on to the other frame. That's like real life isn't it?
But again for each game there will be problems with the perception. and it would have to be manually reconfigured. Is that right?

One other thing, my brother wants to do the rear projection setup with a curved screen, but he wants to use sol7. You said you don't use sol7 so is there any point for my brother to use it as well? As he's not even going to build a cockpit whereas i am going to.

You are rear projecting as well right?

I saw this helicopter simulator. Where it had a helicopter cockpit and underneath there was a single projector placed on the floor projecting about a meter away, to a curved projection screen. I didn't notice any shadows on the screen being projecting from the cockpit, is this a good setup or should you always do rear projection for cockpit simulations.

I hope to hear from you

Many many thanks

Trevor Hale
03-26-2008, 04:06 PM
Hi trevor,

Many thanks for getting back to me

Again sorry for all the questions, when i think they've all been answered and i go and do some research then i have all sorts of questions running through my mind. I hope you can please answer these. Many thanks

I plan on making some mock ups of my simulator plans. Should i go then for 3x 1024x768 those are 4:3 ratio projectors right?

Those are 4:3 ratio, You really are going to have to find the projector that fits your budget and your purpose. I am running a Optoma EP739 and am very happy with the result.

Does it matter if the projector can do both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio?

This makes no difference

Do you know which projectors are good for this?

You need to see what fits your budget, and purpose.

The reason i ask for the projectors to do both aspect ratios is because sometimes i just want to disconnect the projectors and point them to a front projection screen for watching 3d movies.

As i am going with 3 projectors, i only need then 1 computer, 1X TH2GO, 1x SOL7 software, am i correct in thinking that i don't need another computer and i don't need wideview as i am only going for the 3 projector setup?

So far so good, except for the SOL7 software has not be released for use with Tripple Head to go compatibility yet, it is still in Alpha stages. And if I am not mistaken you will require 3 licenses one for each projector.

Do you know where i can have a plastic canopy made?

I have no idea. Depends where you live and the companies around you.

I did some searches for plastic molding and injection molding but i couldn't really find anything. I wonder if it's possible to start by just getting a projection screen and wrapping it around some supports. And if all works then go to get a canopy made?

Its all about trial and error. This would be your best bet.

I take it that i don't need mirrors for my setup?

Depending on your room size you may. It all depends on how far away from the screen your going to place your projectors and how big an image your going to need.

One thing i am a little confused with

As i plan on making one seamless cockpit canopy with no borders. You know on a harriers cockpit, you have like window panes. Like the window is separated by the metal frames where the glass fits into. So you have one glass and then one in front and another to the right. Well maybe a harrier is not quite like that but other fighter planes are. Well what i am having a hard time understanding is when you use the 3 projectors to beam onto the canopy then wouldn't each flight sims plane being chosen within the game have to be reconfigured using sol7?

I have absolutely no idea what your talking about, however SOL7 is configured and run under the windows environment if I am not mistaken, so anything that is displayed on that computer whether it be windows, internet explorer, or a racing game, it will conform to the warping by sol7




Because every planes cockpit is different and you would get distortion and a messed up picture, you wouldn't know where your looking at. Which is why an HMD is better suited for this, but then they cost hundreds of thousands for the very best ones that still don't offer total immersion.

My brother said that the military have most definitely tried my idea and probably doesn't work very well which is the reason you don't see anyone making one and which is why they went with the dome idea.

I am beginning to see a pattern here. I am not looking to argue this fact. I do not know if it works, I do not know if it will work, I am just saying that in theory it should. weather you will get the same result from trying this as you would from a multi million dollar dome, i highly doubt it.



I thought if i wasn't to create a canopy, but instead build a metal frame which 4 projection screens could be slotted into. Then i use three projectors. One for the front and the other two for the left and right sides. Then use sol7 to warp 1/2 of the sides to half of the ceiling on each side like you said. But then i wonder if your going to do that, then the projector will be beamed onto the metal frame as well, from inside the cockpit you wouldn't see what was being projected as it hits the metal framing and then the rest of the picture would continue on to the other frame. That's like real life isn't it?
But again for each game there will be problems with the perception. and it would have to be manually reconfigured. Is that right?

Whatever your trying to accomplish with this, the setup you are trying to create is going to cost you thousands of dollars. and if your going to be spending thousands of dollars, your going to have to spend some time exparimenting. I do not know what your results are going to be. I was just trying to help you, I cannot design what you should be building, I doubt that you will find any resources as to how you can do this.

you will just have to try some things.



One other thing, my brother wants to do the rear projection setup with a curved screen, but he wants to use sol7. You said you don't use sol7 so is there any point for my brother to use it as well? As he's not even going to build a cockpit whereas i am going to.

I cannot answer this question as I haven't tried the software, I would imagine that the software would increase my picture quality, and decrease my distortion.

You are rear projecting as well right?

YES

I saw this helicopter simulator. Where it had a helicopter cockpit and underneath there was a single projector placed on the floor projecting about a meter away, to a curved projection screen. I didn't notice any shadows on the screen being projecting from the cockpit, is this a good setup or should you always do rear projection for cockpit simulations.

To each is there own. Everyone has to try what works best in the environment they are in. If I had the space and ceiling height, I would be using Front projection.

I hope to hear from you

Many many thanks

I think by now you should have enough information to do your research and testing.

Best regards,

Trev

simfloppy
03-26-2008, 04:06 PM
sorry one other thing

Is DLP or LCD projectors better for this setup, i know that DLP have a higher refresh rate for stereoscopic 3d, but dual LCD's for stereo 3d can be just as good in passive setup.


Edit: wow you answer really quickly, i thought it would be at least a few hours, i just write that last thing above, and then bang you've answered my other questions, thanks so much. Juts hope you can answer that last one about LCD or DLP. much thanks for everything.


I wrote

As i plan on making one seamless cockpit canopy with no borders. You know on a harriers cockpit, you have like window panes. Like the window is separated by the metal frames where the glass fits into. So you have one glass and then one in front and another to the right. Well maybe a harrier is not quite like that but other fighter planes are. Well what i am having a hard time understanding is when you use the 3 projectors to beam onto the canopy then wouldn't each flight sims plane being chosen within the game have to be reconfigured using sol7?

You wrote

I have absolutely no idea what your talking about, however SOL7 is configured and run under the windows environment if I am not mistaken, so anything that is displayed on that computer whether it be windows, internet explorer, or a racing game, it will conform to the warping by sol7

What i meant by that post, was as say a flight sim like Lock On, as they have different planes to choose from and each plane has a different cockpit, when you use sol7 to warp what is being seen in that game onto the canopy, as the canopys dimensions are different to the games plane cockpit each plane would look messed up on the canopy, wouldn't you agree? Even with all the warping you did the eye perception wouldn't be right and it would confuse your brain.

Trevor Hale
03-26-2008, 04:27 PM
sorry one other thing

Is DLP or LCD projectors better for this setup, i know that DLP have a higher refresh rate for stereoscopic 3d, but dual LCD's for stereo 3d can be just as good in passive setup.

I would go the DLP route, but you need something with a fast color wheel.


Edit: wow you answer really quickly, i thought it would be at least a few hours, i just write that last thing above, and then bang you've answered my other questions, thanks so much. Juts hope you can answer that last one about LCD or DLP. much thanks for everything.


I wrote

As i plan on making one seamless cockpit canopy with no borders. You know on a harriers cockpit, you have like window panes. Like the window is separated by the metal frames where the glass fits into. So you have one glass and then one in front and another to the right. Well maybe a harrier is not quite like that but other fighter planes are. Well what i am having a hard time understanding is when you use the 3 projectors to beam onto the canopy then wouldn't each flight sims plane being chosen within the game have to be reconfigured using sol7?

You wrote

I have absolutely no idea what your talking about, however SOL7 is configured and run under the windows environment if I am not mistaken, so anything that is displayed on that computer whether it be windows, internet explorer, or a racing game, it will conform to the warping by sol7

What i meant by that post, was as say a flight sim like Lock On, as they have different planes to choose from and each plane has a different cockpit, when you use sol7 to warp what is being seen in that game onto the canopy, as the canopys dimensions are different to the games plane cockpit each plane would look messed up on the canopy, wouldn't you agree? Even with all the warping you did the eye perception wouldn't be right and it would confuse your brain.

When your talking other cockpit's you mean your looking to display the cockpit images onto the glass, or just pure sky and clouds?

If your talking other airplane cockpits, this isn't going to work. the idea of something like this is to provide you the outside world. you have to build the cockpit and inside world.

Trev

simfloppy
03-26-2008, 04:59 PM
I didn't know that, my thoughts were that i could build the cockpit but have part of the games cockpit in my front view to give me some extra immersion of being in different fighter jets, other wise i would have to then build a different flight cockpit for different planes. Well somethings gotta give i guess.

Trevor Hale
03-26-2008, 05:07 PM
Well if you want total immersion, your going to have to build the cockpit. Thats why we all spend hundred of hours or years even researching the aircraft we love.

Fairford
03-26-2008, 06:32 PM
I believe what you are trying to achieve would be great , but there are other variables to take into consideration with this type of a project. If the Sim is placed in a tight room , 3 projectors going , computers going , and your inside a closed canopy cockpit , your going to heat up fast , unless you have dedicated AC directly to your cockpit. If you run 3 projectors in say a 10x10 room , with each wall as a dedicated view , in an open cockpit (something like a viper-pit sim) , i think you will get the same feel of immersion if you were in a closed canopy.

Holclo
03-26-2008, 07:07 PM
Trevor I admire your patience.
Bill

Fairford
03-26-2008, 08:12 PM
Here is another site with different layouts , note that most commercial level fighter aircraft sims do not use closed canopy. click on images :

www.link.com/gallery/images1.html

Trevor Hale
03-26-2008, 09:02 PM
Nice Link.. Shows a good representation..

Fairford
03-26-2008, 10:08 PM
Here is a real nice example of a closed cockpit with projector visuals:

See attachment

simfloppy
03-26-2008, 10:46 PM
wow guys, thanks for all the replies

Fairford that closed cockpit is really good, but i have been searching the net still for a closed cockpit where the canopy has visuals beamed directly onto it, if you can find a link can you please post.

Right now, i have been looking at some cockpits to buy, I took a look at the aimsworth F-16 viper 1 which costs $3200 with seat or $800 for the viper 2 without seat and $1400 with seat. You know of any better ones for similar price?

Thanks for that gallery link you gave me, it sure does have some amazing simulators.

simfloppy
03-26-2008, 11:49 PM
I just found here

http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11247&page=9

A little i have taken from the last post on that link

andyb from sol7 said

software would be licensed on a per PC model, so a number of projectors can be run from one PC.

So that means i can have one license to run all three projectors with TH2GO

Fairford
03-26-2008, 11:53 PM
Other company's I know of are:

www.hirevsims.com

www.flight-dynamix.com

Trevor Hale
03-27-2008, 08:52 AM
I think you missed my point. Look below.


wow guys, thanks for all the replies

Fairford that closed cockpit is really good, but i have been searching the net still for a closed cockpit where the canopy has visuals beamed directly onto it,

YOU WONT FIND IT! Better visuals are achieved by surrounding the cockpit with the image instead. But good luck.

if you can find a link can you please post.

Right now, i have been looking at some cockpits to buy, I took a look at the aimsworth F-16 viper 1 which costs $3200 with seat or $800 for the viper 2 without seat and $1400 with seat. You know of any better ones for similar price?

Thanks for that gallery link you gave me, it sure does have some amazing simulators.

simfloppy
03-27-2008, 10:56 AM
Oh right

So it's better to have the visuals outside for the best effect, but i can still have it directly onto the canopy in the way you explained but the effect will be lessened. And so the reason the effect is lessened is why everyone only builds these simulators especially the military onto domes and screens outside the cockpit for the deeper immersive effect.

Trevor Hale
03-27-2008, 11:26 AM
Correct! I think you have the idea now!

simfloppy
03-27-2008, 02:06 PM
Hi Trevor,

Many thanks for the answer

Can anyone tell me of a projector that can do both 1024x768 and 1280x720p and that's DLP?

Also do you connect to TH2GO via DVI or VGA?

Do you know if TH2GO is compatible with both the ATI and Nvidia cards?

Is there a release date for compatibility for the TH2GO with SOL7

Right now here is my cockpit setup

I am going to buy the PACS (portable aviation combat simulator for $230 which i have to build myself)

3x DLP 1024X768 projectors with fast color wheels ($500 each, so $1500)

SOL7 at $350

TH2GO at $350

Cockpit canopy with projection screen paint, i will try some trial and error to see what kind of immersion i get with this kind of projection. Then if it's not so good i will project onto screens outside the canopy. I will make the canopy out of one piece of flexible see through plastic. (I imagine this would cost no more than $100 with paint)

dual split throttle joystick at $150

Do you know if you can get a dual split throttle joystick which has force feedback in either of the throttle sticks.

Total $2680 minus the computer

That comes to 1340 and i believe it could come down to about 1200 if i look in the right places for some of the parts which are all new.

Not a bad price for a total immersion simulator. It will probably take me around two weeks to build.

The PACS isn't the best of simulators but it's cheap and robust. I have to build it myself, the parts needed will cost about $200 and then there's a $30 DVD which is 50 minutes in length which teaches you exactly how to build it. You get access to their forums, email support, and plans for the construction. All i need to build around this cockpit would be the canopy. From pictures of the PACS there will be enough room for air circulation, so there is no worry of me getting all hot in there. I would be able to add a cooler but believe i wouldn't need to. In anyway for the size of cockpit, the cooler wouldn't raise much costs to the project either and there's room for it as well.

Any other suggestions you got

Please if anyone can answer my questions as well

Thanks a bunch guys