P3D Multiple Cameras with Immersive Calibration PRO

 

Fly Elise-ng Immersive Display + Calibration PRO software has become a defacto standard for calibrating and driving a 100% geometrically accurate and edge blended multi projector displays
Combined with the P3D ViewGroups feature Immersive Calibration PRO and Immersive Display PRO is a must have software for calibrating and setting up the P3D projection and views.
A lot of our users are using the software in different ways: with or without actual cockpit panels in P3D 3D virtual cockpit mode or 2D cockpit mode.
Traditionally, the default cameras in P3D acre configured to accommodate the view of the Capitan/Pilot (left seat view).

 

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However, this view does not match the view of the First Officer/Copilot (right seat view). In order the be able to generate correct view for the right seat, P3D needs to use different internal camera settings.

This blog will present a simple and effective method to define multiple camera in P3D and to use them for the left seat view and the right seat view correspondingly. We can even create a camera for the passengers view.
Fortunately, users can use the same calibration results from Immersive Calibration PRO for all cameras.

For this purpose we will use a simple and compact projection setup. 2 meter partial dome screen, horizontal FOV 160 degrees, vertical FOV 60 degrees. Two short-throw 1920x1080 HD projectors cover the complete screen including the overlap region. The screen is divided and marked in 20 columns and 8 rows.
Using the standard NO-CAM calibration (map to projector) as described in this step by step manual

https://fly.elise-ng.net/images/Documents/Calibration/ImmersiveCalibrationPROStepByStepGuideNoCAM.pdf

the projection is calibrated and calibration data is exported.

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The P3D ViewGroups require extended display mode, each display 1920x1080 resolution.

 

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The _multi.procalib files are loaded in the corresponding Immersive Display PRO displays and the ViewGroups.xml file is copied into the P3D folder.

We will use the P3D default airplane Beech King Air 350.
When the default virtual cockpit 3D view is selected the projection will look geometrically correct from the left seat view. The virtual cockpit and the runway center line looks geometrically correct for the Captain/Pilot view.

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In order to create multiple dedicated views for the pilot and copilot new cameras will be defined in the cameras.cfg file.

The cameras.cfg file is located in "%APPDATA%\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3" folder. Just make a copy of the original file before editing it.
This file contains a definition of the cameras that can be selected from P3D.

Go to the end if the file and remember the camera definition of the last camera. In our case this is:

[CameraDefinition.020]
Title = Oculus Virtual Cockpit
Guid = {C69C6771-EB1F-4346-ADD7-0F8910277CE3}
Description = Virtual Cockpit view using the Oculus.

Now go to the beginning of the file and copy the complete definition of the virtual cockpit camera:

[CameraDefinition.002]
Title = Virtual Cockpit
Guid = {C95EAB58-9E4A-4E2A-A34C-D8D9D948F078}
Description = This is the description of the virtual cockpit view.
...
...

Go to the end of the file and paste the camera definitions 2 times to create 2 new cameras. Give each camera a new number higher than the last camera numbers. In our case we use [CameraDefinition.021] and [CameraDefinition.022]. edit the Title to match the camera name in our case for both new cameras:

Title = Virtual Cockpit PILOT
and
Title = Virtual Cockpit COPILOT

In P3D each camera needs to have unique GUID. Use this link:

https://www.guidgenerator.com/

to generate GUIDs for each camera and update the GUID values of the new cameras. In our case we generated the GUIDs:

Guid = {D6EEA7C8-8D69-43CA-8357-DFA7DB4ACA24}
and
Guid = {BFE71794-4C0F-4256-ADE6-138B44C1062D}

Make sure that the values of InitialZoom for the new cameras are set to 1.0 and AllowZoom is set to FALSE.

AllowZoom = FALSE
InitialZoom = 1.0

Now for each camera we will create the correct position to match the eyepoint of the pilot and the copilot. For the pilot add the two lines at the end of the camera definition:

InitialPbh=0, 0, 0
InitialXyz=0.0, 0, 0

As stated previously, P3D default eyepoint is located at the left seat, so no Xyz offset is needed for the pilot view.
Note, do not forget to put "space" character after the "," character.

For the copilot camera for out King Air airplane we use 0.7 meters offset to the left of the left seat eyepoint position. This will put the eyepoint in the right seat.

InitialPbh=0, 0, 0
InitialXyz=0.7, 0, 0

Now save cameras.cfg file and start P3D.

Make sure that the Immersive Calibration PRO ViewGroups and selected.

Right click on the P3D window and now you can select between the pilot and copilot view. When the co-pilot view is selected the virtual cockpit and the runway will be perfectly aligned to match the right seat co-pilot view.

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Of course, you can create multiple camera to match the position of the eyepoint for any cockpit and any observer.

Happy flying....