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Author Topic: Modify a Driving View Camera  (Read 11382 times)
fortine_oo
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« on: July 11, 2012, 08:53:33 PM »

Modify a Driving View Camera

Objective
The purpose of this tutorial is to explain the use of the GPLcarcam File Editor in order to relocate the Roof camera position and
   create a make_a.cam file for NR2003.
The verbage herein is based on my knowledge of the field of view (fov) and my experience using the GPLcarcam File Editor.
My only claim is, "It works for me".
I hope it will work for you.

********** If you have any comments or questions, please start a new topic in the General Discussion forum **********

There is a Preface that elaborates on why you may want to modify a camera position and a little
   backround on FOV. However, I've placed it at the bottom because I assume the main interest is in actually modifying a camera.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 09:26:04 AM by fortine_oo » Logged
fortine_oo
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 09:03:48 PM »

Getting Ready

First, you'll need the car camera utility, GPL_CarCam_File_Editor.

The GPL_CarCam_File_Editor is included in The Pits "n2003_editing_tools.zip" package.
   It's in the cam_tools.zip, gpl_carcam_editor_v1.0.11.zip.
   When extracted it is "gplcarcam.exe", no program installation is required, it will work by just clicking on the exe.
The tools package is avajlable at The Pits/n2003 downloads/Editing tools – Tons of tools to allow you to edit N2003 cars... [31 M]
Link: The Pits/n2003 downloads
If you don't yet have the tools package, I'd suggest you get it, there's lots of useful utilities included.

If you just want the GPL_CarCam_File_Editor, you can download it in a forum post:
Link: GPLcarcam File Editor @SimRacingMirrorZone
The compressed file extracts to more compressed files. You only need to extract the file Ver1_0_11exe.zip, which will extract to
   "gplcarcam.exe". The other files aren't needed and no program installation is required. The readme has no information pertinent
    to the operation of the utility.

Second, download the make_a.cam file. make a cam_base download
{Click on "make a cam_base download" or on the attachmentat at the bottom of the post.}
The make_a.cam file located in the (series).dat won't work. You get an error from the utility, "File Length does not indicate Camera file".
You can create your own make_a.cam file from scratch by re-working the brabham.cam (GPL car), but the one for download here already
   has the "other" cameras (Front, Rear, Right Side, and Left Side) set close to NR2003 default positions (with a slightly wider fov).
The Make_a.cam file is positioned for a Cup car with a FOV of 86 degrees.
The Make_a_pta.cam file is positioned for a PTA car with a FOV of 84 degrees.
The Make_a.cam file goes in the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\series\(series name) folder.

* make a cam_base download.7z (333.43 KB - downloaded 586 times.)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 08:18:36 PM by fortine_oo » Logged
fortine_oo
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 09:04:52 PM »

GPLcarcam File Editor ''Operations Manual"


Description: A tool to change the Roof camera location and save as a "Make_a.cam" file.
                    The "cockpit" view is hardcoded in the exe and cannot be modified.
                    The Front, Rear, Left Side, and Right Side cameras can also be modified, but only the Front can be accessed while
                    driving. The other three are only accessible in Replay.
                 The descriptions of the functions are purely my interpretation, I have not seen any publicized instructions or tutorial.


GPLcarcam File Editor Program Interface:

1. Camera Selector:
    GPLcarcam Editor                   NR2003 make_a.cam equivalent
      Nose                                    Front
      Gear Box                               Rear (not available when driving)
      Zepplin Shoulder                     NA
      Roll Bar                                 Roof
      Front Suspension                    Right Side (not available when driving)
      Rear Suspension                     Left Side (not available when driving)

2. (Selected) Camera [adjustors]:
      X - camera position rearward & forward
      Y - camera position right & left
      Z - camera position down & up
      
      Yaw - rotate camera position left & right (probably not a feature needed for a driving view)
      Pitch - pivot camera position up & down (probably not a feature needed for a driving view)
      Bank - pivot/angle camera position left & right (probably not a feature needed for a driving view)

      Zoom Angle - degrees for field of view, narrow (Zoom) to wide angle (Wide)
      
      Unknown 1 - unknown to me
      Unknown 2 - unknown to me

3. Camera File Buttons:
      Load Car Camera File - initially load the downloaded make_a.cam file, thereafter you can work from a previously modified make_a.cam file
      Save Camera File As - any name will do, rename to a particular series anytime (make_a.cam for Cup, make_a_cts.cam for Trucks, etc)
      Create New Cam File - a GPL function

4. Windows:
      Top, side, and end views of the car.
      The black dot (where the lines convege) is the camera position. {Can be moved with the mouse.}
      The red arrow indicates camera direction.
      The yellow (left) and blue (right) lines indicate the "Zoom Angle" (the field of view).
      The white line is a vertical vector indicating the camera is upright when it's above horizontal. Tick "Camera up indicator" to engage.  

5. Zoom Levels:
      The buttons below the windows with metric lengths are for increasing and decreasing the field of view of the car in the windows.
      If you want to create a camera position for a "Far Chase" view, you would use one of the larger meters buttons so you could see
        the camera position in relation to the car.

6. Camera Up Indicator (check box):
      Adds a vertical line to the camera position that is above the horizontal plane when the camera is in a normal, upright position.
      Tick the box if you are making Pitch/Bank adjustments, otherwise it's personal preference if you want the extra line.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 02:54:56 AM by fortine_oo » Logged
fortine_oo
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 09:07:53 PM »

Getting Started

Let's get to work.

Create a folder in a convenient location and place the "gplcarcam.exe" and "make_a.cam" in the folder.
Click on the exe and start the program.
The chosen cam file name will be shown just above the first window. By default, brabham.cam will load.
There are two ways to load a make_a.cam file into GPL_CarCam_File_Editor:
1. Click the "Load Car Camera File" button.
    Select the make_a.cam file you want to modify.
2. Go to File/Open.
    Select the make_a.cam file you want to modify.

Editor operating instructions:
1. Camera Selector
      The program always opens with the "Nose" cam selected.
      Select the camera position you want to modify.
      Only two camera positions are viewable when driving, Nose (Front) and Roll Bar (Roof). While both views can be modified and are useable,
        the only practical camera position is Roll Bar. If you relocate the Nose camera position to a position rearward, the in-game view doesn't
        show the car in the game, only a shadow.
        The Gear Box (Rear), Front Suspension (Right Side), and Rear Suspension (Left Side) can be modified, but they can only be accessed in Replay.
        The Zepplin/Shoulder camera isn't applicable in NR2003.
2. Move the camera position
      Deciding what the value is for any parameter is by trial & error and your wits.
      You can move the slider(s) with the mouse by left clicking/holding the camera position bar and then moving the mouse, or by clicking the
         arrows at either end of the range bar.
      You can also move the camera position with the mouse in any of three windows by clicking/holding the camera position (the black dot
         where the lines converge) and then moving the mouse.
      You can click on the value window for any of the parameters, a box will pop up and you can type in a value within the range shown, click "okay".
      Any time you switch cameras before saving the modified file, a box will pop up asking "Apply recent changes to ____cam". If you want to
         keep the changes, click yes, if not, click no.
      X moves the camera position rear to front.
      Y moves the camera position right and left.
      Z moves the camera position down and up.
      Yaw, Pitch, And Bank aren't pertinent to a driving view camera, although you may use them.
      Zoom Angle is for the field of view, calibrated in degrees. The NR2003 Cockpit view has a range from 65 - 78 degrees.
         I'd suggest 80 - 90 degrees for a Roof view.
         FOV and the Roof view gauges
            You may use any "Zoom Angle" you like, but the Roof view gauges will get progressively lower on the screen the greater you zoom.
               Somewhere past 60 they'll be below screen view.
            @75__All gauges are visible. There's a little clearance below the tach.
            @70__The bottom of the tach is cut off, but you can still see the "1".
            @65__The tach is cut off just below 4000, the smaller gauges are cut off at the bottom but fully readable.
            @60__The tach is cut off just below 5500, the smaller gauges are only about 1/3 visible (you can see just past 220 on the oil and water).
3. Save the Modified Camera
      When you're done making changes, go to File/Save As, name the new cam file _____.cam and save the file to the location of your choice.
         The name doesn't matter when you're saving it, it can be re-named later, but I would save it as a dot-cam file.
      There are two ways to save a make_a.cam file:
       1. Click the "Save Camera File As" button.
           Name and save the file to the location of choice.
       2. Go to File/Save As.
           Name and save the file to the location of choice.

Install the modified cam file in NR2003
   The file needs to go into the series folder of the series/mod for which it will be used, e.g. NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\series\cup.
   The file must be named for the series for it to be recognized:
     make_a.cam (cup)
     make_a_gns.cam
     make_a_cts.cam
     make_a_pta.cam
     make_a_gtp.cam (gtp day)
     make_a_gtn.cam (gtn night)
To return to the original default camera files, just remove the make_a.cam file from the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season\series\(series-name) folder.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 02:50:36 AM by fortine_oo » Logged
fortine_oo
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 09:08:57 PM »




« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 08:29:49 AM by fortine_oo » Logged
fortine_oo
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 09:15:03 PM »


Preface

 question Okay, it's at the end, what should I call it, Postface?  wacko

People are wont to say that "you're less than..." if you don't drive using the cockpit view.
{Well, I might rebut that declaration with an accusal finger wagging referral to using a wheel without force feedback (and FF without a
   strong road feel), but that's another rant.}
While I prefer a cockpit view because I've been driving a real car for lo these many years, I also like to be able to see. I want to see the
   road and the cars around me.
 
The out-of-cockpit naysayers will try to argue that it's not always easy to see from a race car driving seat. True enough, but it's not
   the whole picture.
Okay, the "Cockpit" view has a variable field of vision, 65 - 78 degrees, but it's not practical to zoom in and out while actually racing,
   and varying the view provides dubious improvement in enhanced visibility. At 65 you get a little better foward view, but next to no left
   side view, and never any side view on the right in any series. At 75 you get some limited visibility on the left side view, but none on the
   right, and less down the road perspective. However, you can't see any fenders or even the hood at any FOV setting while using the
   cockpit view. That's the three stock car series. Pta has an abysmal cockpit view, and that's with the higher-view fix. The original pta
   view is like trying to drive when your eyes are straining to see over the edge of a barrel inside a jail cell. Gtp isn't bad for straight ahead,
   at least you can see the fenders, but it has no side vision at all.

So why do I say there's more to the story when considering the limited visibilty from driver's seat. Well, it's the adaptability of a human being.
The human eye can multi-focus. The race car driver has peripheral vision and he can turn his head. None of this is possible with the NR2003
   sim driving view. The sim uses a fixed camera angle and field of vision. Being able to see and understand your position in the environment is
   just as important for the sim-driver as it is for a real life racer. If we all had access to a wrap-a-round screen simulator, the search for
   something other than the "given" cockpit view would be unnecessary.

The driving view is nothing more than a camera view. The camera position is fixed and what you see depends on the focal length of the lens
   which establishes the degrees of fov.
The variable FOV is a zoom lens on the camera. The longer the focal length, the greater the magnification and the less angle of view.
   That angle is 3 dimensional, the field of view is expanded when the lens is retracted and reduced when the lens is extended (increasing
   magnification).
It's not practical to use the cockpit FOV keys while actually driving, so you have to choose a setting between 65 and 78 degrees before you
   start driving. This leaves the cockpit view with a fixed fov just like any other driving view, but with the addition of obstacles that inhibit
   what you can see.

There are four camera positions (other than cockpit) from which to choose (Front, Roof, Chase, and Far Chase) for driving.
Chase and Far Chase are not accessable for modification via GPLcarcam File Editor.
That leaves two positions, the front view (bumper cam) and the roof view. The front view does not have the car visible, only the car's
   shadow. That leaves the roof view as the most desirable option to the cockpit.

The default position is decent, but it might be better if it was a little farther back and maybe a little lower. It could even be moved left of
   center for a more realiistic position. What you'd have is a cockpit view without all the crap, and you could dial in the FOV of your choice.
In the cockpit view I've always used 65 because all that dead space between the camera and the windshield made me feel like I was driving
   from the back seat, and 78 didn't provide enough improvement to the side view to warrant the change.
When choosing a FOV angle, it's a matter of picking an angle that gives you the perception of normal, i.e. what size you expect an object
   to look like at any distance.
To try and provide a little insight on what you might want to consider as a fov angle, in the world of camera lenses (before the digital sensor),
   a 50mm lens was considered "normal", what you see with your eyes is what you get from the camera. 50mm will yield a horizontal fov of
   40 degrees (for 35mm format). A 20 - 24mm lens, as wide as you can get without severe curvature, will have a horizontal fov of
   84 degrees (for 35mm format).
It's amazing how much better you can see with an unobstructed view, both foward and on the sides, with a fov of 85 degrees (pretty wide).
   My brain registers this view as pretty close to normal. 100 would give substantially more side view, but it seems to render objects a little
   small for me. So I'd suggest trying something between 80 and 90 degrees.
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fortine_oo
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 05:03:55 PM »


make a cam_base download screenshots

cup @ 86 fov

pta @ 84 fov


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