Immersive Displays

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Immersive Displays

Postby greaneyr » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:06 pm

Hi all

I've been away from this place for many years, but after being bitten by the simming bug again recently, I've become very interested again.

I got to fly in Massey's DA42 simulator a couple of weeks back, and have been a wreck ever since. I'm sure you understand.

I'm now thinking of going all out and building something serious. As someone who has had a lifelong desire to fly, but wasn't able to do so as a commercial pilot because of an eyesight issue I was born with, I'm starting to get the 'you only live once' urge. I think a huge part of a decent sim experience comes from the display. Years back, I experimented with a fresnel lens in front of my 17" CRT monitor. I wouldn't want to imagine how many hours I spent with that. On the surface, all a fresnel appears to do is make the image larger. But the fact that it moves the focus out to infinity does something special to your perception, and makes you feel like you're transported into another world. It's a one-way path - I can never go back to simming on a normal screen at close range. It just feels too flat.

I've seen some nice setups using multiple monitors and multiple fresnel lenses, to give about 145 degree FOV, but with some inevitable seams between monitors. None of these are newer than about 6 years old, however.

But then I see these 180 degree wraparound setups people make using two or more projectors, curved screens, and warping software, and wonder how that might look. Perhaps if the image could be moved far enough away, that would create the same effect.

And of course, there's VR. Although many reports I've read say the Oculus Rift is too bulky to wear for more than about 45 minutes. There's also the issue that you really are commited to living entirely in a virtual cockpit, rather than being able to combine real controls, switches and gauges with a virtual display.

Does anyone have any experience with any of the three options above?
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Re: Immersive Displays

Postby jpreou » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:11 am

greaneyr wrote:And of course, there's VR. Although many reports I've read say the Oculus Rift is too bulky to wear for more than about 45 minutes. There's also the issue that you really are commited to living entirely in a virtual cockpit, rather than being able to combine real controls, switches and gauges with a virtual display.


Only the above. You can find my thoughts on VR and P3D in these forums by searching for Vive Pro. It was a few months ago and I hired one for a week. There are newer headsets coming that have much better resolution (like the VR-1) but they are probably a couple+ years from becoming affordable. To be frank, I didn't get on with VR that well, made me nauseous; however, I am prepared to try again when the resolution improves. Don't get me wrong; it was great and very immersive, but I got sick if there was too much movement (like during taxi or aeros) and the resolution, for me, wasn't there for actually reading the gauges with a glance. I will certainly try again in a couple of years.

But another significant issue was the one you bring out above; I have a bunch of Saitek hardware that was rendered more or less useless with VR and virtually clicking a virtual button in a virtual cockpit, perhaps using a virtual hand (FlyInside?) just isn't immersive or realistic in any way; not sure how 'they' will solve this one; fully VR tactile gloves maybe, who knows?

I can't help on the other setups (projectors, wrap around displays, etc) but I do think if you go that path you would need to fully enclose the setup so no 'normal world' is visible to create the full illusion.

Good luck
-- Jeff, Rolleston, NZ
P3Dv4.x and a bunch of add-on stuff... some 'global' products, but otherwise NZ-only
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