Thinking about the trackhat for FS17?
What do you guys think about that? Pros and cons?
Let me know
Mine came yesterday so I've only given it a quick try, but it works well enough.
First I'll point out something most will know but others may not - a further bonus of TrackHat/Track IR over the obvious rotating your head is that you can move your head left and right and lean forward so you can see around corners or up at a front-loader, which may otherwise be blocked by the cab. It's not just for rotating your head left/right/up/down, it also 'zooms' the view and moves the camera position dependant on how you move your head and upper body.
One thing I will point out straight away is that you will need to set aside time to set it how you like and you will probably need a couple of velcro sticky pads (or strong double-sided sticky tape if you don't intend to remove the camera). For the TrackHat Clip Plus (and I presume the wired Clip non-Plus) they provide one set of sticky velcro pads to mount it to your headset, but nothing to mount the camera anywhere.
As you may know the camera is designed to be popped on top of your monitor, though as my double-sided sticky tape wasn't up too the job (the camera USB cable is thick and bulky and can easily move the camera) I had no way of mounting it above the monitor so I just placed it under the monitor. (I've ordered some velcro pads to mount it above the monitor, but it worked fine underneath too. Decent velcro is probably better than double-sided sticky tape in this regard, as removing the camera a few times left the tape much less sticky and the camera was being pulled around by the cable.
The Clip mounts to a headset (I don't normally play FS with a headset but I can't think of a way of mounting it without one other than the cap, but I'd guess that would stop the head from breathing) and angles roughly so the middle light is pointing at the camera, with the longest protruding light at the bottom and the shorter one at the top, though in the software you can invert various settings so it might not matter. The Clip can be mounted to either side of a headset and the software asks which side when you first load it (you can change it later in the options too).
I'll give a detailed example of how I set it up below. It might be useful for someone!
The software isn't included - you'll need to download and install both the CL Eye Test (the webcam driver and software) and the TrackHat Opentrack software (both free of course). Ensure that the camera is pointing at the middle of your face using the CL Eye Test webcam and then go into the settings to turn the Gain and Exposure completely down (Options > Video Capture Filter > untick auto from Gain and Exposure and move both sliders left), as in the attached screenshot (mine are greyed out as I'm doing this from work and the camera isn't connected at home). Apply and close the software.
Open up FS17 (it's easier seeing the game in the background as you set the software up), head into the options and turn on the head tracking support (Options > General > Head/Eye Tracking Support). It's probably a good idea to turn on Windowed mode while you're there too, at least while you're testing. Load a savegame and hop into the vehicle (it will automatically go into the in-cab view).
Keep the game open behind you but hit the Windows (between CTRL and ALT key and load the TrackHat Openhat software. Ensure "freetrack 2.0 Enhanced" is selected under Protocol, and click Profile underneath that to Create a New Empty Config and name it as you wish.
Go to Options > Shortcuts and assign a key to "Centre" (I used numpad *, but you can use anything which isn't assigned in game) and if you wish "Toggle Tracking". Hit OK and click on "Start" and turn move your head around - the hat in the preview should move around (don't worry if it doesn't look right) and if you've lined things up roughly right you should see 3 X marks moving around the preview screen. If one of the lights goes out of view of the camera it can be difficult to get accurate turning and tilting, so a bit of trial and error with the angle of the camera TrackHat headset may be needed.
Now click on the "Mapping" button above Options. This is where you'll fine-tune how sensitive you want the tracking, as obviously you need to emulate looking 180 degrees without actually turning your head and body 180 degrees!
This will vary from player-to-player and will also depend on how far away the camera is from you, how close you are to the monitor and the size of the monitor, so my settings below are only a rough guide and aren't perfect yet. Ensure you can see the in-cab camera in FS17 with the Mapping screen in front of it, so you get an idea of how the settings changes the view. This is the reason for setting FS17 to windowed mode.
Move you head so it's roughly where you expect it to be when looking directly forwards (I found closing my eyes and taking a deep breath helped, otherwise I held my head too high) and hit the key you set to centre the camera earlier (numpad * in my case). This will set the game so the tractor camera is facing directly forward when you're looking directly forward.
Now using the "Yaw" tab you set how sensitive the tracking software is when looking from side to side. You should see the dot move along the red line as you turn you head. The X axis (along the bottom) is the number of degrees you are moving your head and the Y axis (up the side) is the number of degrees the in-game camera will move. Now click somewhere along the red line to place a blue dot. Moving this dot lets you change the sensitivity by adding a smooth curve to the line, so moving your head a little won't have much effect, but moving it a lot will turn the camera to look behind you. In my quick test I found moving my head 10 degrees was good for 30 degrees of moving in-game, and then I moved the to blue dot (which I think was already there) to around 23-24 degrees but 170 degrees in-game. Ensure that turning your head allows the camera rotate almost completely 180 degrees (the dot reaches the top as you turn each way) as otherwise you may need to tweak the position of your camera/Clip or make it more sensitive in the software. See the attached screenshot if this makes no sense (which is highly likely given how much I've babbled on so far!). You can add extra points to really fine-tune your set up if you wish, though I didn't find it necessary for the yaw. You should be able to see the in-game camera moving around the cab behind the mapping panel, but you can move the panel out of the way if it's covering too much of the screen, or even onto another screen if you have multiple monitors.
Once you've settled on a value you think is roughly OK you'll want to change the pitch values (up and down). Obviously with pitch the Y axis (up the side) relates to how much the camera rotates up and down as you move look up and down. You will probably want this to be less sensitive than the yaw value, as there's a limit to how much you'll be looking directly up and down in-cab. I chose a value of around 12 degrees of real movement for 30 degrees of in-game movement, then added another point for 24 degrees for 105 degrees and then finish up with 32 degrees for 180 degrees. Once more there's a screenshot attached.
The roll value is a little odd and I didn't get around to trying it much last night, but I don't think it's reflected in game in the same way that tilting your head in real life is. I'll have a play at the weekend, but I've attached the values again anyway.
Once you're relatively happy with the settings bring the game back to the front and drive around a bit. It takes a bit of getting used to (especially when driving with a keyboard) but you'll soon enough know whether you're happy with the settings. You'll likely need to change them here and there as you adapt, so don't worry if it's not perfect.
Remember to open the TrackHat software before you open the game, and remember your key binding to centre it. If you're looking around a lot you may find 'centring' the camera slightly to one side might help if you're having to look behind you a lot.
Head tracking doesn't work outside of a vehicle so you'll still need your mouse and look around when you're walking or using the outside view.
Finally for if someone encounters the below (unlikely) then here's how I fixed it...
I had a nightmare last night where the Playstation Eye camera (which TrackHat uses a modified version of) suddenly became very blurry. I was doing my nut trying to work out why it was working and then suddenly struggled to track the lights, so I fired up the CL Eye Test software and enabled the exposure again and realised the camera was way, way, way out of focus, whereas it had been fine when I first tried it. I took the camera apart (4 screws to remove the cover (twisting a small flat-head screw driver helps undo the clips) and then 5 to remove the circuit board underneath) and to my surprise the rear of the lens (which just pops out with 2 more screws) had become covered with something - I guess the grease used for mechanism for the 2 zoom settings it has). A quick wipe with a lint-free cloth (camera/monitor cloth is ideal) and popped it back together (which is the most frustrating thing in the known universe) and it worked fine.
Obviously the camera isn't a TrackHat product, it's a off-the-shelf PlayStation webcam with the IR filter removed, but I've no idea how that happened, as as I said it worked fine initially.
Any questions fire away.