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Fistulator
21-06-2012, 01:50 PM
http://www.free-track.net/english/

Has anyone tried using it?

I really like the idea of TrackIR, but it is just too pricey, so I'm considering trying this. Can anyone tell me whether it's worth the effort?

westyfield
21-06-2012, 04:57 PM
I haven't tried this (I don't play enough games that would benefit from tracking), but a guy on another gaming forum I'm on posted about this last week, with pictures and a few pros/cons. General consensus seems to be that you need to be fairly confident with ripping stuff apart and soldering it together. Also one guy there saying that TrackIR is quite flimsy/overpriced. Here's a link. (http://www.tacticalgamer.com/armed-assault/186668-track-ir-5-alternative-freetrack.html)

harakka
21-06-2012, 07:04 PM
I've built a point model for Freetrack and fiddled with it quite a bit. It's a cool thing in principle but will heavily depend on the quality of your webcam and your point model. All I had was a basic Philips webcam and it was impossible to get my setup to be responsive, jitter-free and accurate enough to actually use.

I'm sure TrackIR is overpriced in some sense, but OTOH you do seem to get a setup that pretty much "just works" (haven't tried myself), which is the diametric opposite of what I got with Freetrack. I never managed to get my side-mounted point model to work so that there was no unwanted movement on wrong axes.

I'm sure you can get Freetrack to work relatively well for less than what TrackIR costs, but you still need the right hardware for it (iirc PS2 Eyetoy and WiiMote were popular choices when I was looking at it the last time) and need to be willing to do a lot of fiddling with response curves and assorted settings.

Addendum: There's also FaceTrackNoIR (http://facetracknoir.sourceforge.net/home/default.htm), which doesn't even require a point model, as it works via face recognition. From my experience it was even worse, but I guess it depends on what kind of webcam and lighting you have. Apparently eyeglasses are a big no-no also.

vfig
21-06-2012, 07:50 PM
Yeah, I tried FaceTrackNoIR, and had terrible results with it—but then I wear glasses (which you'd think would be an easier thing to track than changeable facial expressions, but apparently not?).

Fistulator
22-06-2012, 02:55 PM
Seeing as I'm bespectacled and have no soldering skills whatsoever, I'm going to have to pass.

Thanks for replying guys!

Aqarius
22-06-2012, 05:56 PM
I fired it up the other night, but it turns out the no-name driverless webcam integrated into my monitor is not exactly compatible. Who knew. I'd probably fiddle with it some more, but seeing how I'm short on time, webcams and a working solder, it'll have to wait a bit.

Kelron
23-06-2012, 01:56 AM
TrackIR is really simple to set up, barely more complicated than a joystick - and I find the configuration software considerably easier to use than most joysticks. I have no regrets about buying mine, so it's worth it in that sense (though I saved myself 40 buying second hand).

I find it awkward to go back to games without head tracking now, but it is a lot to pay for a non-essential peripheral. Sounds like Freetrack might be a decent alternative but you'd have to be prepared to invest time and a fair amount of money into setting the kit up properly.

Halop
25-06-2012, 09:53 AM
I use FreeTrack, although I do not use it for Arma, but for flightsims where it is essential. In Arma I get too disoriented and motion sick when using it.
Setting up freetrack is very fiddly. The most important thing is to have a webcam that can output atleast 30 FPS. And then you need to build the head-tracker. Mine is 3 IR LEDs, with some resistors and a battery fitted on a baseball cap, all held together with ducktape. But the setup cost me basically nothing, when compared to the price of a TrackIR, as I had to buy only the LEDs (Had an old shitty webcam lying around that can barely output 30 FPS)
The problem is with the software itself, it is pretty horribly coded. It has presets and everything for different games, but it always forgets the stuff you changed, so you need to setup every slider each time you want to use freetrack, can get pretty annoying at times, maybe a win7 compatibility thing, I don't know.

I'd say it is worth the effort, I'm not regretting it at all in flightsims, very essential there. In Arma it could be useful when flying choppers and stuff, for infantry, not so much

Joseph-Sulphur
25-06-2012, 09:58 AM
Seeing as I'm bespectacled and have no soldering skills whatsoever, I'm going to have to pass.

Thanks for replying guys!

Its one of those things that seems incredibly useful, if it works/ isn't overpriced. It isn't that inconvenient to use the ALT key to freelook though. Even the most incompetent AAR should have his head on a swivel!

Draakon
25-06-2012, 10:43 AM
The most important thing is to have a webcam that can output atleast 30 FPS

And doesn't have infrared filter.

harakka
25-06-2012, 08:50 PM
Infrared filter is often removable from webcams, either by violence or without. And even with the filter on, it'll still pick up the IR leds shining straight at it, esp. if you remove visible colors first. Exposed piece of film is good for this, as it lets almost all IR through but blocks visible light.

Halop
25-06-2012, 10:34 PM
Infrared filter is often removable from webcams, either by violence or without.
Yeah, I removed mine pretty easily with gentle screwdriver picks. I got lucky, on other webcams its much more difficult to remove the IR filter, mine was just a little piece of glass on the lens, while on other cams its sprayed on, much more difficult to remove.

I found that it's pretty difficult to have good LED viewing angles with the IR filter on, with or without a piece of film on it, so I removed it.

Joe_Robins
02-07-2012, 01:25 PM
A few weeks back, when DayZ first launched I had some time off work and had my interest in Arma2 re-ignited (Hence me ending up here) While watching a bunch of youtube vids I stumbled across the trackIR demo's from dyslexia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wXx3vMy_AQ)

I thought it looked pretty cool and decided to investigate more, it was then that I realized that a plugin for Unity had already been written and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. I work at Unity Technologies so "This is for work.. right?" became my natural justification.

I picked up the TrackIR 5 with the Pro Clip and I've never looked back, except in game! *chuckle chuckle*
It really has made the experience of DayZ and Arma2 much better for me, and as mentioned earlier I do find it extreemly tough now to go back to games that don't use it or when its a particularity rare sunny day at my apartment (which can cause some interference with the sensors)

Naturally it works great with flight simulation but I have also found it incredibly useful for infantry combat too. Overall I am very happy with the system and it feels way less gimmicky that I first anticipated.

harakka
25-07-2012, 10:11 PM
Update! I took the plunge and removed the IR filter from my webcam, as I don't really use it for anything except headtracking stuff. Now I can actually use the camera at its fastest exposure setting, thus getting 30FPS tracking with Freetrack. And man, it is really good.

Now granted I haven't used TrackIR so I can't compare, but I can tell you that the act of looking around in various flight sims and ARMA 2 works beautifully, no noticeable lag and no jitter. Just need to fiddle with the curves to get the response to suit different games.

I still haven't got all of the unwanted translation out (basically my virtual head turns a bit up or down when I rotate my real head sideways), but it's minor enough to be unnoticeable ingame. I can't get the head tilting and sideways/forward/backward movement to work in useful way either, but I haven't really fiddled with it too much, as I'd rather just use buttons to zoom and lean.

Halop
26-07-2012, 11:11 AM
The way I removed the unwanted head translation when looking is reducing the sensitivity of the XYZ translations almost by half, it has helped for me, also adjusting the pivot point of the head in settings.

Fistulator
30-07-2012, 07:01 PM
Update! I took the plunge and removed the IR filter from my webcam, as I don't really use it for anything except headtracking stuff. Now I can actually use the camera at its fastest exposure setting, thus getting 30FPS tracking with Freetrack. And man, it is really good.

I've watched your Czech army DLC clips, and it looks rather smooth. It's amazing that you (and anyone else) can make this on their own. I think I may try making a diode rig myself now.

Joe_Robins
31-07-2012, 12:29 PM
Hey guys, if you are interested I'd be happy to post some screens of the interface inside TrackIR that shows the various graphs for falloff of sensitivity. Might be helpful for seeing what the default settings are on that system etc.