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My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

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  • My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

    Hello to everyone.

    I finally decided to make a 3 points cap to use with FreeTrack and this is awsome!

    Check the FreeTrack site for more info and other tutorials: http://www.free-track.net/english/

    What's FreeTrack?:
    FreeTrack is a free optical motion tracking application for Microsoft Windows, released under the GNU General Public License. Its main function is inexpensive head tracking in computer games and simulations but can also be used for general computer accessibility, in particular hands-free computing. Tracking is sensitive enough that only small head movements are required so that the user's eyes never leave the screen.

    Head motions are tracked with six degrees of freedom (6DOF), specifically; yaw, pitch, roll, left/right, up/down and forward/back. This is done by means of a video capture device, typically a webcam, which is placed in front of the user and tracks a rigid point model headpiece. This point model usually consists of infrared LEDs but can also be normal LEDs and even retroreflective material illuminated by a source of infrared light.

    FreeTrack can output head tracking data directly using TrackIR™, SimConnect and FSUIPC interfaces, programs that support these interfaces are regarded as having FreeTrack support. General input devices can also be emulated, specifically mouse, keyboard, and joystick (via PPJoy).
    Compatible titles :
    First person shooters :

    * America's Army - v2.8.2 (Only in HMMWV vehicle)
    * Armed Assault
    * Insurgency (mod, rudimentary implementation )

    Driving simulators :

    * Colin McRae Dirt
    * F1 Challenge 99-02 (Using TIR_Attack, more info here)*
    * Grand Prix Legends (GPLShift 7.3.2)*
    * GTR2
    * GT Legends
    * Live for Speed S2 (W47)*
    * Netkar PRO
    * Race 07
    * rFactor v1.250
    * Richard Burns Rally (Using TIR_Attack 1.7, more info here)*
    * Test Drive Unlimited

    Flight Simulators :

    * Aces High II v2.10 patch 2
    * Combat Flight Simulator 3 (Using TIR_Attack, more info here)*
    * Condor : The Competition Soaring Simulator
    * Enemy Engaged: Commanche vs Hokum 1.9
    * Evochron Renegades
    * Falcon 4.0 Allied Force
    * Falcon 4.0 (OF, FreeFalcon4/RedViper, FreeFalcon5)
    * First Eagles: The Great War 1918
    * Flight Simulator 2002 and 2004
    * Flight Simulator X
    * Il2-1946
    * IL2 Sturmovik
    * Jane's F/A-18
    * Lock On: Modern Air Combat
    * Lock On 1.1: Flaming Cliffs
    * Lomac 1.12
    * MiG Alley
    * Silent Wings
    * Strike Fighter Project One
    * X-Plane 8 and 9 (PilotView is needed to get the 6 DOF)

    Misc Simulators :

    * Ship Simulator 2006
    * TrainZ Simulator 2006
    * Virtual Sailor
    * RealFlight G3,5

    Others Games :

    * Arvoch conflict
    * Descent II
    * Eve Online
    * Future Pinball

    * These programs require a specific setup to work properly with FreeTrack. (see Handbook).

    Stuff that I used:

    - 3 Siemens Infra-red Leds 1,5 mm of diameter, max forward current 100 mA, voltage drop 1,7 V;
    - 3 Resistances 27 Ohms;
    - 2 junction boxes;
    - Soldering iron and solder;
    - 1 old TV remote control;
    - 2 AAA 1,5 V batteries;
    - Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000.

    Check the FreeTrack website LED Assembly Wizard: Link

    About the Leds: In FreeTrack website they recommend that you use SFH485P Led models, or equivalents, they weren't available in the store I went to, so I bought 3 standard Infra-red Leds.

    About the resistances: Don't forget that the bigger the resistances are the less current will feed the Leds. As my intention is playing with some room light, I went with a froward current of 50 mA, so that the webcam can pick the Leds easily.

    NOTE: Don't forget to weld the resistances to the positive side of the LEDS.

    LED Assembly:



    Pictures of my assembly:

    The Leds and resistances.


    The Cap...


    The AAA batteries box.


    The junction box, make sure you connect positives with positives only, and the same for the negatives.


    Do not forget to isolate very well the Led+Resistances welding.


    Try to keep the distance between the Leds as precise as possible.


    The webcam can be modified so it receives only infra-red light, I didn't do that to mine, as it was able to pick up the Leds signal easily, but you can check how to remove the IR filter HERE.





    The hardest part is getting the right configuration in FreeTrack program, so here goes mine:

    The first step is to configure your webcam, open the "Stream" option and in "compression" select I420 (It offers the best results). In the resolution, the 640x480 is the one that as the best tracking, but with less FPS; if you have FPS problems, it's best to lower to 320x240.


    In the camera options, select outdoor in the "In/Outdoor" option and move the "Exposure" slider to zero or four, it depends on how much room light you have.


    In the "Point size" tab, put the "min point diameter" in 1, it means that the "tracking" will be done even when the Leds are small dots in the webcam. And make sure that you put the Leds size in the "sensor width".


    To end the configuration, you only have to introduce the distances between your leds, in the "Model" option.


    Now press "Start" and watch the magic! :D



    Now you only have to adjust, the sensitivity in the games profiles, so you can have the best gaming experience.

    I hope this can help you guys in your tracking device and sorry for my bad English.

    Compliments, Jorge.PT aka Jorge :P
    sigpic

    PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

  • #2
    Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

    Awsome man, thats a pretty crazy set up but i know the people without track i.r are gonna find this useful, and will surely save some money! nice post.
    PR ingame name - |TG-Irr| SilverJohn

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

      Pretty cool work there, Jorge. I have trackir (and I'm lazy) so I won't be building this but it'll be helpful... I know that a lot of folks don't have trackir due to the price of the product.

      I like the batteries that allow you to have a wireless setup. I use the wired setup and it's annoying to be attached to the computer via wires but as I usually wear a headset anyway it's something I get to live with.

      Last, does this allow for six degrees of tracking or just three? In other words, does it detect heave, sway, or surge movements?
      BarnacleofDoom

      One shot - One miss!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

        Nice one Jorge!

        If you don't mind I'll also advertise one alternative: if someone isn't too fond of welding stuff, this same setup works with a Trackclip Pro. Just substitute the cap with that and you're good to go. Or you can make your own clip if you want to, Freetrack supports that too.

        One good thing about Freetrack is, as Jorge wrote above, that it uses the TrackIR interface to communicate with games. That way it works in every game where TIR is supported, and using the "mouse look"-mode also in every game with no TIR but mouselook available.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

          Thanks for the replies guys.

          @Barnacle, yes I have the 6DOF (Yaw, Pitch, Roll, X, Y, Z), if you have 3 leds in a cap or in a headset clip, you'll have the 6 DOF. I'll do some ingame videos using freetrack and post them here.

          @Fincuan, fell free to advertise, if someone doesn't have a soldering iron, take a look at this: [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osDuIWWej6U[/media]
          It's not the best solution, but it will work!

          EDIT: Barnacle unfortunately the FreeTrack creators add some problems with natural point (TrackIR) and I think you can't no more use a TrackIR cam with this software...
          sigpic

          PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

            I received TrackIR for christmas. Awesome kit, hope more games support it. Way too many haters though, saying TrackIR is crap just because you have to pay for it. They're both great.

            Look at Dsylecxi's videos, they show examples of headtracking in ArmA, and they are, unsurprisingly, what got me interested in it :)

            Also, headtracking is awesome in simracing:)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

              Originally posted by Harpo245 View Post
              I received TrackIR for christmas. Awesome kit, hope more games support it. Way too many haters though, saying TrackIR is crap just because you have to pay for it. They're both great.

              Look at Dsylecxi's videos, they show examples of headtracking in ArmA, and they are, unsurprisingly, what got me interested in it :)

              Also, headtracking is awesome in simracing:)
              Thanks, Harpo. Glad you liked them.

              As to the TIR price.. they're ~$115 or so now, assuming you're in the USA. Compared to good gaming keyboards, mice, etc, that's not a bad price at all. Particularly when you consider the immersion increase you get from them. I could never go back.

              (plus, having met them in person not too long ago, the Naturalpoint guys are really cool. :) )

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                Great write up! How long do you think the batteries will last? I know LEDs don't take much juice, but just wondering.

                LINKS

                * *


                Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                  That's a good question Bamboo.

                  I think that normal 1,5 v AAA batteries have a output of 1000mA.h, so two batteries at 150mA (like I have) would give 13 hours. I really don't know because batteries don't give constantly 1.5 v thought their life, so maybe it's less, maybe it's more...
                  sigpic

                  PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                    Checking out some of my daily sites today and one posted this:

                    Wire Glue, now made with Buckyballs!


                    LINKS

                    * *


                    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                    -Carlos A. Urbizo-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                      http://www.free-track.net/english/ha...el_gallery.php
                      The Freetrack gallery. Filled with some horrid looking... Things hanging from headphones. Pretty funny :P
                      There is one (2nd row of pictures from the bottom) that is probably the best designed one I've seen.
                      http://forum.free-track.net//index.php?showtopic=515
                      He uses a switch aswell, pretty handy :)

                      By the way, Jorge, I hear that sanding the LEDs down to 1mm from the diode is supposed to increase it's effectiveness in terms of tracking.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                        I know harpo, it's because of the leds emitting angle, but in my case it's working well. When you sand them you need to polish in the end and I don't have the sand paper for that...

                        My favourite trackers:

                        [media]http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9882/dsc00662q.jpg[/media]

                        [media]http://www.free-track.net/images/point_model_gallery/geostrip_01.jpg[/media]
                        sigpic

                        PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                          I've made one for myself too... 4 led version... it eats my batteries in 1 week. Not using it now because my cam sucks... 14 fps, its a pain in the neck (literally).

                          A friend of mine made a 3 led version (like yours) without batteries, with a USB cable. He just need to connect it to the PC and voila...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                            4 LEDs is obsolete now I believe, so there's no need to waste that energy.

                            Lol, Jorge. Candle Cap, cheap and it works... F*cking schweet! :)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My FreetTack 3 Points Cap + Microsoft LifeCam VX 3000

                              Originally posted by Harpo245 View Post
                              4 LEDs is obsolete now I believe, so there's no need to waste that energy.

                              Lol, Jorge. Candle Cap, cheap and it works... F*cking schweet! :)
                              Little dangerous, but it seems to work indeed :)
                              sigpic

                              PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

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