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  1. #1
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    What's the best projected image size using projectors?

    Hi guys

    To all of you who've been working with large screens via projectors, I have a question for you that I have meant to ask for a quite a while now.

    I have a nice little projector that is capable of producing a nice size image, and I have plenty of room, so that's not an issue. My only limiting feature is the max resolution of my project, being a native 800x600 and up to 1280x1024 or 1024x768. This particular projector has not been used for my sim yet, but Ive played some console games (COD4 and Halo3) and it looked great. In the past I borrowed a lessor projector for the sim and it looked good too. I simply mounted the projector over the sim then and got the best image possible from what I had to work with. Now I have a large room all to myself and was wondering how big I should aim for.

    So, since the 'world' is as big as the world, then how do we determine how big our forward out the window view should be projected to? Seems like since the runway in real life is typically 100' wide or more that we should aim to have our projected image as large as possible before it becomes too grainy (and assuming we can get the image to show properly without distortion).

    What are the thoughts on this, when building a full scale 'pit?
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

  2. #2
    75+ Posting Member rt72's Avatar
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    Good question. I've been wondering this myself. There's lots of stuff about viewing angles etc... but I haven't seen much in regard to this.

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    I think the best for us all is a special custom BGL scenery, that will contain measures and poles with height written along them placed at every 45 degree of angle for visual alignment.

    So someone with good skill on scenery design can make one.

    This was an idea that popped in my mind along time ago, but never asked.
    What do you think guys?

  4. #4
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    You know, I just had a funny thought...and before people start to panic by having thoughts like:

    'oh no...it's just not the right size...my simulator is waay bigger than my projected runway is...'

    ...we must remember that our brains do an excellent job of corolating the size of the projected runway with our physical sim pits, thereby making it in our mind that it's not so off, so to speak. Case in point, when using my own full size Learjet sim before, the image up front was as big as I could get it for the time, yet it was no where near the scale it should have been, however it posed no issue since my brain was able to corolate a difference between the real physical size of the sim, and the projected image out front. An extreme example is when folks that have no projection system but only a 17" monitor for their forward outside visuals, they too have no issues, it's just not as fun!

    Hence, my question as to 'how big should we aim for?'
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

  5. #5
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcutugno View Post
    I think the best for us all is a special custom BGL scenery, that will contain measures and poles with height written along them placed at every 45 degree of angle for visual alignment.

    So someone with good skill on scenery design can make one.

    This was an idea that popped in my mind along time ago, but never asked.
    What do you think guys?

    This is a very interesting concept. I for one think it might be useful for what you propose. Speaking of, what exactly is the hight adjustment bars/POV/sight tool that are usually located on the center post of larger aircraft used for (real world)?
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

  6. #6
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    Eric and everyone,
    this is also a topic I've thought about for many years. The answer is just what our friend dcutugno suggests- BGL files set up for simmers to get proper sizing of projected images. I've started such a project.

    In this scenery, I've modeled a set of 180 poles each 50ft high set in a 200ft diameter circle- one pole every 2 degrees. I place/slew my plane in the exact center of the circle of poles.

    Based on how many poles I count at a given zoom, I can accurately and empirically obtain the actual horizontal Point of View (POV) in FS.

    Next step is to model larger objects that I can accurately measure, and with a given distance from the object, measure how "big" it appears a given distance from my eyes. Translate that data to a BGL object to be placed in FS, and put the pilot's eyes the same distance from the known object.

    Zoom or move the projector until the object in FS is the same size physically on the wall/screen as the real-world object and that's how I get the real world to be the same size as the virtual world.

    Thoughts?
    Steve

  7. #7
    Tim
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    When can we try it?

    I remember a post, I believe at Avsim, a few years ago regarding something similar. I'll see if I can find it again.

  8. #8
    Well I did alot of homework on this when i was creating the curved mirror concept for FS and I deduced that a zoom of 1.25 is as close to realistic as possible. Secondly as far as image size it needs toi be big enough to go above your sim windows so you dont lose the illusion avg aircrft windows 18-24" high at highest point so image being 40-60
    ' is more than enough, however the further away from the front window the bigger the image needed. Suggestion put screens close to sim windows.JMO

    Tim
    a340
    Canada

  9. #9
    Executive Vice President, MyCockpit


    Matt Olieman's Avatar
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    Would love to have David C. Allen in on this.... He's done a tremendous amount of research on this...

    Matt O.

  10. #10
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    Thanks to ALL of you for your input- Im glad that it was a topic that interests many folks because as I said before, you certainly can enjoy your sim with a smaller monitor and a full size cockpit until you are able to get something larger, but I have a feeling that there will always be some sort of concession unless we had an absolute large room for a huge projector throw, or a huge budget for a collimated display like the big boys use, which basicly follow Tim's idea of having the image very close to the window, but the collimation throws a curve ball making it look like it's much farther away for depth perception.

    Anyhow, Im looking forward to everyone's ideas and inputs. For now, I will continue to use as large as I can project and feel comfortable with!
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

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