Multi Monitor Support

Discussion related to the Condor...

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janjansen
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Re: Condor 2.0? honesty please

Postby janjansen » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:58 am

Slartibartfast wrote:Here's a video describing how to set up such an environment in X-Plane, and I have to say it looks spectacular!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7LfXqpi-I8


Thats a good, although a bit long winded video showing the problem and the solution as implemented in xplane (skip the first 11 minutes if you want to see the solution). Without similar multiple viewport support, triple monitor is all but useless IMO. It just looks so wrong.

But, seeing as afaik, condor is being developed by basically 2 people; there is only so much we can expect. Hopefully for V2 they used some commercial graphics engine that already has provisions for this, something like unity. Otherwise, I doubt we'll see this :(

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Slartibartfast
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Re: Condor 2.0? honesty please

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:20 am

janjansen wrote:Thats a good, although a bit long winded...

Yeah, it is long, but I think the detail is good. By the way, as a pro-tip I usually watch such demonstration videos at 200% playback speed. You can still hear and understand what the person is saying and I actually find it makes it easier to concentrate on what they are saying. ;)

Playback speed is adjustable from the settings menu in the bottom right corner if you don't know:
Image
You can also adjust the playback speed using the "SHIFT"+">" and "SHIFT"+"<" hot-keys.
Once you start speeding up the playback of such video's it's amazing how painful it becomes to watch those videos at normal speed. Unfortunately though, on tablets you are still forced to watch them at normal speed :x
Last edited by Slartibartfast on Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Condor 2.0? honesty please

Postby Slartibartfast » Sat Apr 08, 2017 6:20 am

janjansen wrote:But, seeing as afaik, condor is being developed by basically 2 people; there is only so much we can expect. Hopefully for V2 they used some commercial graphics engine that already has provisions for this, something like unity. Otherwise, I doubt we'll see this :(


We can only wait and find out but implementing multiple cameras shouldn't be too difficult. To be honest, in my opinion, any modern flight-sim that doesn't support multiple monitors has really dropped the ball in this day in age. Allowing a user configurable FoV [Field of View] is trivial (which is what Russ Barlow discusses in those first 11 minutes) and at the very least I would expect Condor 2.0 to support this. However allowing multiple renderings in movable windows (what FSX has done for a long time and X-Plane has just implemented) shouldn't be too difficult regardless of the rendering engine used. You may well need to manually calculate and enter all viewing geometry your self (like Russ shows in the X-Plane video) then resize and position the display windows by hand to have them fill the correct parts of your physical display but it shouldn't be too hard to make such configurations available for a dedicated user to delve into.

Of course rendering multiple views simultaneously really does increase the video drivers workload significantly and no amount of good programming is going to save that. Basically, the only solution is to simply throw buckets of computing power at it by buying a really expensive graphics card. I for one though am prepared to shell out for the silicon if Condor is willing to use it ;)

janjansen
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VR discussion

Postby janjansen » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:54 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:
janjansen wrote:Of course rendering multiple views simultaneously really does increase the video drivers workload significantly and no amount of good programming is going to save that. Basically, the only solution is to simply throw buckets of computing power at it by buying a really expensive graphics card.


Recent nVidia cards have support for rendering multiple views in hardware. There is still a performance penalty, but its much smaller:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/10325/the ... -review/11

Again though, its unlikely this will be supported in condor if they are using their own game engine.

phercek
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Re: VR discussion

Postby phercek » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:17 am

You do not need multiple views for multi monitor support.
It is needed only when when one needs to view the same scene from two different cameras (as in VR where each eye needs its camera).

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Re: VR discussion

Postby Slartibartfast » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:03 am

phercek wrote:You do not need multiple views for multi monitor support.
It is needed only when when one needs to view the same scene from two different cameras (as in VR where each eye needs its camera).

You're right, multiple camera views are not required for multiple monitors however it is a much better way to do it. As discussed above the other option is to "extend" the view using a wider FoV however this leads to edge distortion, which is exactly what the (admittedly long) video linked to before demonstrates. I'm not 100% sure of the reason that such edge distortion occurs but it is no doubt related to the fact that the three monitors are in three different planes and the single camera view can only be optimised for one of them.

In terms of stereo view (as for VR headsets), yes, two camera views are most definitely required and unlike a multi monitor setup rather than being required to point in different directions they are required to have their origin at different locations. If the Track IR works in Condor for both rotation and translation (as in it both tracks your head as you turn your head left and right as well as when you move your head left and right) than I dare say 90% of the work has already been done.

. . .

Given we can afford a little more leeway in discussion in this thread it's probably worth pointing out that the stereo effect of VR will only really be effective when looking at things inside the cockpit. It will still be cool to see the scenery "scroll" as you turn your head and it will be pretty dam cool to see the instrument panel 'pop' in 3D but you won't get any 3D effect from the scenery out the window as such. This is because the parallax effect caused by our eyes being separated diminishes with distance and once you are looking at something a sufficient distance away both cameras used to represent each eye will render the exact same image - pixel for pixel. This is not just a quirk or failing of VR as such, even your own eyes will fail to pick up stereo effects beyond a range of 10 or 20 meters or so and the fact that you can determine 'near' and 'far' beyond the effective 'stereo range' is actually due to other effects such as occlusion, for-shortening and atmospheric aberrations. Ms Wiki has a good article on depth perception if you're interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_perception

janjansen
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Re: VR discussion

Postby janjansen » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:02 am

phercek wrote:You do not need multiple views for multi monitor support.
It is needed only when when one needs to view the same scene from two different cameras (as in VR where each eye needs its camera).


Its not that simple. If you use multiple monitors that are side by side in a straight line, a single camera view ought to work (but we still need FOV adjustment!).

If however, like most, you use multiple monitors that are positioned at an angle of each other, then you can not compensate for that angle with a single rendered camera view. This has been posted before, but if you missed it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acIe1vlpd84

Or you can watch the xplane video to see how it impacts flight sims.

phercek
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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby phercek » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:02 pm

Agreed. The less the monitors are in one plane the more it is useful to have multiple cameras.

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Slartibartfast
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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby Slartibartfast » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:41 pm

Okay, as per the discussion in the "Condor 2.0? honesty please" thread it seems I need to clarify what I mean by "multi-monitor support". I had thought I had expressed myself clearly before but there still seems to be ambiguity so let me clarify further:

There are two viable ways in which multi-monitor support can be brought to Condor, and they are the "Extended Render" idea, where a single 'canvas' is simply extended to become a single very wide image which is then "laid across" multiple adjacent monitors.

That is, a single rendered image such as this:
Image

Is just laid across multiple monitors like this:
Image

While it works in a pinch there are several shortcomings to this approach. The first, obviously, is that the additional edge to edge distance from the left side of the far left monitor to the right edge of the far right monitor is simply much greater than it is for a single screen, so simply 'stretching' the original image to extend to these bounds is not appropriate. Instead one needs to fill the additional monitors with additional imagery that is not visible on a single monitor. This is achieved by extending the "Field of View" (FoV) such that a wider arc of scenery is rendered so that it can be spread across the wider screen space, and while this seems trivially obvious (which it is) this functionality still needs to be made available in the game. Now, as it stands DirectX 7 limits the maximum width of a rendered image to a poultry 2048 pixels, which is clearly insufficient for a multi-monitor setup however people have been able to get Condor to render 'canvases' wider than 2048 pixels by using a DX11 "wrapper". This is all well and good but it is only half the story fore simply being able to render a wider image doesn't help us much if we are unable to extend the FoV appropriately. In Condor one can adjust the FoV some by 'zooming-out' however it seems there is a limit to how far one can 'zoom' and it's not exactly clear how wide the FoV is being set to as you zoom. So, to facilitate the most basic form of multi-monitor support an adjustable FoV is required, and at the very least I should hope this will be made available in Condore 2.0. I have heard of some pretty hackey workarounds to accomplish this in the current version of Condor but you wouldn't call it 'supported' as such. My hope (and indeed now my expectation) is that this functionality will be intentionally exposed to the user in Condor 2.0, which will be a tremendous step forward.

There is unfortunately however a problem one encounters when simply 'extending' the canvas, which is that as you extend the FoV wider and wider most graphics engines introduce what is known as fish-eye distortion (though the actual distortion seems to be the opposite of fish-eye —ie. elongated at the edges rather than compressed). I'm not exactly clear on what causes this distortion but it's no doubt related to rendering what is essentially a spherical representation onto a flat plane, and it is a real effect in the true world (see the Moon-Terminator illusion for an example). It is possible to balance out 'fish-eye' with 'pin-cushion' distortion and FlawlessWidescreen and wsgf (Wide Screen Gaming Forum?) are two projects dedicated to this, but these solutions have their own shortcomings.

The other and far better solution is to render an entirely separate image for each screen and personally this is what I and many others are hoping for. I won't go into too much detail about this as it's fairly obvious and has already been discussed, but in short it reduces the distortion and allows for different shaped displays, like this:
Image
Last edited by Slartibartfast on Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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EDB
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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby EDB » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:23 pm

Slartibartfast,

It's obvious that you are a Multi Monitor virgin. You talk like one... Grow up first, become a man, and then report back. I'm not gone put you in the right direction. Becoming a man should go in a natural manner... It's the journey that counts. You learn from every step.
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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby Slartibartfast » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:20 pm

Why this hostility?

Yes, I am new to the field and I'm doing my best to find my way.
How is it that I offend you so? It is really not my intent, so please accept my apologies, and do let us continue this discussion productively.
Last edited by Slartibartfast on Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

phercek
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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby phercek » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:38 pm

EDB is just trolling you. The proper response is to ignore the trolling.

You have a point that it would be fine if Condor would support setting of FOV and multiple cameras. Whether it ever happens is something else entirely.

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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby EDB » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:01 pm

Soaring in a glider is not like flying a boeing 737. TrackIR is way more important then a three monitor setup. Setting up your graphics card properly for a three monitor setup is already more then good enough.

And when I read your stories I know you don't know what I'm talking about..
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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby EDB » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:13 pm

Condor V2 will be DirectX 11.
So you have higher res for bigger, more res screens... And multimonitor support.
A good videocard with good multi monitor support like eyeFinity will do the trick more then good enough. Only if you are using strange monitor angles you will have to tweak with other software. Some sims have those options, but then again... This isn't that important in a sim like Condor.

Be warned though. More screens mean more pixels, so you will need a lot off GPU power.
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From the developers : Condor V2 is now in Beta

In the 32-bit world, time won’t go beyond Tuesday 2038-01-19 03:14:07 (UTC). Instead it will return to Friday 1901-12-13 20:45:52 (UTC).

janjansen
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Re: Multi Monitor Support

Postby janjansen » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:25 am

EDB wrote:So you have higher res for bigger, more res screens... And multimonitor support.
A good videocard with good multi monitor support like eyeFinity will do the trick more then good enough. Only if you are using strange monitor angles you will have to tweak with other software. Some sims have those options, but then again... This isn't that important in a sim like Condor.


Thats just untrue. In fact its so not "good enough", that I do not use 2 of my 3 monitors in V1, because the stretching looks ridiculous. The combination with trackir makes it even worse, as even small horizontal headmovements cause excessive and distracting horizontal displacement on the outside monitors (whereas it works as you'd expect on the center monitor, so its not a matter of tuning trackir settings). The result is bad enough that I simply do not use it.

I also fail to see why this would matter in a 737 sim, but not condor. If anything, its the opposite, as in condor you're more likely looking at the (stretched and deformed) outside world, and less at your instrument panel. And you are constantly turning, and thus looking in to the turns, admiring wings that appear just 3m meter long and have a weird bend in them.

As for "strange monitor angles"; almost everyone with a sizable triple monitor setup will angle them, because that is the most logical and natural way to orient them. You want a partial dome where all monitors are roughly at the same distance from your eyes. Thats also the reason large UWD monitors these days are curved, because unlike curved TVs, it simply makes more sense than having some pixels at 1 meter and others at 2 meter from you.


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