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Author Topic: EDTracker Pro and pseudo-6DOF in IL-2 1946 (Review and configuration)  (Read 3762 times)

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whistler

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Planning to buy the EDTracker PRO as soon as there is stock again but I will probably wait and see if they put out the wireless model later on this year.

From the vendor:

No Cameras
EDTracker doesn't care about lighting, reflections, backlit rooms, infra red or whether you wear glasses or not!

More details about EDTracker PRO here:

http://www.edtracker.co.uk/products/pro

You can read about the WIP Wireless model here:

http://www.edtracker.co.uk/support/news/25-07-12-2016-2016-look-back-and-wireless-update

The guy below claims pseudo-6DOF is possible with EDTracker! 6DOF without cameras and in full light conditions? Sounds and looks pretty good to me! Where do I sign? 8)

***EDIT: wrong video posted, here is the right one. Visual tests start at 8:30 ***



Do you guys use EDTracker PRO? How does it compare to other head-tracking solutions in IL-2?
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whistler

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Re: EDTracker Pro Wireless and pseudo-6DOF
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2017, 12:38:47 PM »

Well, I couldn't help it and ordered mine and oh boy, I am glad I did! This little piece of hardware is absolutely fantastic!

I have a poormans three point clip that I built using a three-led bike brake light. I replaced the red leds with infrared leds and then removed the infrared filter from an old Logitech webcam and placed a photographic filter in front of the lens. This solution works good, but I never quite got the smoothness and responsiveness I wanted. Furthermore I have a window right behind me and I dislike playing in darkness during the day. The clip is mounted on a cap and I do not like wearing caps indoors. All my headsets have cables so my setup is not truly wireless anyway.

For the reasons above, TrackIR did not sound like an improvement for the money and as soon as I read about EdTracker I was sold. Customer support was great and the (really small) package arrived to my mailbox after a few days.

I plugged the usb cable and EDTracker Pro got immediately detected as a joystick. No drivers needed. Calibration was fast and easy. The EDTracker Pro UI software comes with a video that explains how to do it. You can calibrate the device as many times as needed. I followed the video instructions from the previous post and I set all settings as suggested. I noticed EDTracker Pro drifts a little to the left, but there is an "Auto Bias" button that detects any drift and corrects it automatically (I read somewhere you must let EDTracker warm up 5 to 10 minutes to prevent the drift)

We are done with the EDTracker Pro UI software. It can be closed and EDTracker Pro is now ready to use the 3 degrees of freedom.

Pseudo 6 degrees of freedom

EDTracker Pro is a 3-DOF device but with some tricks we can have pseudo 6 degrees of freedom. I launched opentrack (version 2.3.0) and again followed the video instructions to the letter and configured opentrack. Piece of cake! I adjusted the mapping a little to my preferences and HOLY COW! Yaw and Pitch work as you may expect but if you roll your head a little you will peek on the side of the canopy, and when you move your head down, the view will crouch and zoom into the instruments. Not bad at all for such tiny 3-DOF-only device! I did not notice any delay: EDTracker Pro is as responsive as you set it to be. No drivers, no cameras and can be used in full bright conditions. EDTracker Pro is a stunning achievement, it works perfectly well in Il-2 and I highly recommend it.

 :) Have fun
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Dimlee

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Re: EDTracker Pro Wireless and pseudo-6DOF
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2017, 02:15:18 PM »

Thanks for your review. It makes sense to try.
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SAS~Storebror

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Re: EDTracker Pro Wireless and pseudo-6DOF
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2017, 03:52:32 AM »

I never quite got the smoothness and responsiveness I wanted
(...)
I have a window right behind me and I dislike playing in darkness during the day
(...)
The clip is mounted on a cap and I do not like wearing caps indoors
(...)
For the reasons above, TrackIR did not sound like an improvement for the money

Don't want to spoil the fun about EDTracker but let me take up the cudgels for TrackIR briefly.

I have been a "FaceTrack NoIR" user before and switched to "TrackIR 5" including Cap and "TrackClip Pro".
I have to admit that it's not the cheapest solution, slightly below EUR 200 at the moment of writing this.
Nevertheless, the result is absolutely convincing:

  • The reaction is absolutely smooth, immediate and precise.
  • It feels really "natural".
  • I can move my head like 0.1 degree and TrackIR will do just the same.
  • There's no such thing like delays, everything happens instantly.
  • You can literally shake your head and will see your pilot do exactly the same, immediately.
  • I have one window to the right of my PC, one behind.
    Both have sunlight directly on them (one in the morning, the other in the evening).
    I've never had issues with backlight effects when I use the TrackClip.
    Issues exist when using the cap (passive reflectors), but the Clip is absolutely sunlight-proof for me.
  • No need to wear a cap when you have the TrackClip.
    I have it attached to my Heaset and have twisted a cable guide around the cables for the headset and the TrackClip to protect them and keep them aligned.

TL;DR: TrackIR isn't "cheap", but it solves all issues you could ever have concerning head tracking.

Best regards - Mike
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sniperton

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Re: EDTracker Pro Wireless and pseudo-6DOF
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 05:46:02 AM »

I have a poormans three point clip that I built using a three-led bike brake light. I replaced the red leds with infrared leds and then removed the infrared filter from an old Logitech webcam and placed a photographic filter in front of the lens. This solution works good, but I never quite got the smoothness and responsiveness I wanted.

I don't want to hijack the thread, but the poor performance of your DIY solution was largely due to two factors:

1. The three leds on the bike brake sit very close to each other and they are mounted on the same surface. It's a small 2D light source, whose movement in the 3D space cannot be precisely and unambiguously translated into 3D head movement. For 3DOF you'd better use only one led, while for 6DOF they have to be at least 5 to 10 cm apart from each other, with the middle one also having a significant spatial offset.

2. Average web cams have low resolution and frame rates. 320 X 240 with 24 FPS will never give you precision and smoothness. On the other hand, with a PS3 Eye camera you can have 60 FPS in 640 X 480, which is nearly as smooth and precise as any professional solution on the market.

My whole DIY TIR setup cost me EUR 20 altogether, and it's clearly not that much inferior to a TrackIR5 as the costs suggest. The real difference is the comfort what a professional gadget provides you with: no need to research, to hack, to solder, to fiddle with settings, just 'plug and play', and enjoy.  ;D

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whistler

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Re: EDTracker Pro Wireless and pseudo-6DOF
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2017, 11:07:40 AM »

Hi sniperton

I did my homework back in the day! I dismantled the brake and soldered thin wires to the circuit board (IR leds on the other end) and mounted the whole thing on top of a cap and arranged the leds properly, just like every homebrew three-point-hat solution you find everywhere. I even polished the tip of the leds to improve the light angle. The webcam (now decommissioned) was a crappy low-budget device and I agree this was a key factor for low precision and laggy responsiveness. 6-DOF were there and I enjoyed it a lot for many years. What I disliked the most were the daylight interferences. Well, all that is now history.

Hi Storebror

I had TrackIR in mind as the definetive replacement of my homemade solution. Now that I tried EdTracker I do not think I will ever consider TrackIR again (I do not have any opinion yet on VR units, sounds cool though...) but as consumers, the more options we have, the better! :) Thanks for your inputs.

EdTracker Pro pros: small, light and robust, instant response, no cameras, pseudo 6-DOF, affordable.
EdTracker Pro cons: 3-DOF device, wired (wireless version being developed)

I just recorded a quick video showing EdTracker's pseudo 6-DOF using opentrack in IL-2. Note that I did not use the zoom hotas in this video: opentrack is mapped to crouch and zoom in when you look down. And we you roll your head, it rolls just a little and moves sideways laterally.




EDTracker Pro UI Configuration:




opentrack configuration:








And here are the mapping curves I am using in opentrack:











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SAS~Storebror

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Re: EDTracker Pro Wireless and pseudo-6DOF
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 11:21:21 AM »

To each his own ;)
I think whether you can deal with using workarounds to get a pseudo-6dof from a real-3dof movement or whether you prefer having your head move ingame exactly like you do IRL and whether that benefit is worth the additional money to spend for TrackIR is something everyone has to decide on his own.

Personally I never regret buying TrackIR and I couldn't ever live with any workaround causing my ingame head to move different from my real head movement again.
Consider me "spoiled by TrackIR", but unless EDTracker becomes a real 6dof device, I don't consider it competitive with TrackIR from a simulation point of view.
Sure, better than nothing (and for that fact alone, worth being talked about), but not the same like the real thing.

Best regards - Mike
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whistler

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Re: EDTracker Pro Wireless and pseudo-6DOF
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2017, 09:09:23 AM »

your head move ingame exactly like you do IRL
(...)
I couldn't ever live with any workaround causing my ingame head to move different from my real head movement

This got me thinking, something I have noticed since I am using EDTracker is how unrealistic my previous head roll was mapped in-game with FreeTrack. In real life, and in my experience, when I roll my head my view does not 'roll' at all. Somehow the brain adjusts and vertical (Y) and horizontal (X) remain vertical and horizontal, try it, roll your head!



Does the world roll with you? :D

In my previous setup my head roll did this:




Which feels weird as hell now that I think about it. With my current opentrack curves my head roll does:



still too much roll imho in the image, but much more natural in-game and in line with what my brain expects to happen (peek along X axis).
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whistler

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Re: EDTracker Pro and pseudo-6DOF in IL-2 1946 (Review and configuration)
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2017, 03:19:38 AM »

EDTracker Pro Wireless can now be purchased! (note that I have nothing to do with the vendor, I just love the product)

Check the news: http://www.edtracker.co.uk/support/news/29-27-06-2017-wireless-news
Buy it: http://www.edtracker.co.uk/shop/products

I have been using the wired model since June and all I have to say is: EDTracker Pro is the coolest gadget I own! :D
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WxTech

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Re: EDTracker Pro and pseudo-6DOF in IL-2 1946 (Review and configuration)
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 07:36:06 AM »

Since a few years ago when I first got into head tracking, I've been using a webcam mounted on my headset, a single light bulb on a stand a few behind me, and FreeTrack. This is of course only 2DOF, but I can get pseudo 6DOF with judicious mapping of the other 4 axes to the primary 2. This is of course crude, in that it limits to very specific combinations of axis motion which are tied together. But I quickly got used to this and am using it to good effect. I made up a veritable matrix of profiles, as different cockpits demand to set suitable limits to travel.

I'd love to try this EDTracker, because it's instantly apparent that having that extra 3rd degree of freedom makes different head motions more indeoendent. Even that seeming 'limitation' compared to a true 6DOF solution would be a boon to me.

Another reason why the typical camera-based head tracker system is not ideal for me. In order to achieve a wide apparent angular extent with my display, in which I sit at a distance from my monitor so that at my usual 90 degree FoV setting, the screen width also subtends the same 90 degrees. That means that my eyes are as near to the screen as the screen is wide. This results in a 1:1 image scale correspondence which makes it really feel like you're sitting in the cockpit, and not looking at a kind of remote movie-like presentation. Instead of suffering the distortion that stretches out objects toward the screen edge, such a 1 : 1 scaling has the *entire* image appearing as having no distortion at all. Ya'll should try it, wearing suitable reading glasses (with larger lenses) if required.

As can be appreciated, a near-to-screen position such as I employ would render as difficult or impossible the use of a TrackIR system; too little room in which to work. Hence the light source set up behind me (but my head blocks any reflections I might otherwise seen off the screen.) The EDTracker appeals because it's no different than my current placement of the webcam on my headset.
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