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Author Topic: Enhanced canopy reflections, why not?
Jeronimo83
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posted 12-15-1999 06:06 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hello,

We all know the concrete introduction of reflections of the inner cockpit structures on the canopy glass in Falcon4. As I recall, EF2000 was the first sim to implement them in a very simple form. After Falcon4, the trend was set; all releases afterwards contained them. WWII Fighters, Mig Alley, Flanker2, F16 vs MiG29, to name a few. However, it disturbes me that by far not every sim has introduced them yet. Modern sims like the two Superhornet sims lack them to my knowledge. Also, I'm not seeing any satisfying screens of B-17II, nor civil flightsims like Fly! or FS2000. I think this is strange. I'd think that with the modern graphics-cards, those reflections could even be better than in Falcon4. You could make them dynamic! Responding to the constant altering of cockpit shadows. I think it would add greatly to immersion. I hope future sim (EF2000 V3, Hint, Hint!) will implement them with enhanced features.

Does anyone else like cockpit reflections as much as I do?

Jeronimo83


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Andy Bush
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posted 12-15-1999 08:08 AM     Profile for Andy Bush   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Sorry, Jeronimo, but I don't.

I appreciate that these reflections are intended to increase the feeling of 'immersion' that is so highly sought after. And I understand that some use them for SA purposes in padlock. That's fine by me...anything that makes the sim more fun is a good thing.

But, let's don't confuse fun with reality. Are there cockpit relections in real life...I suppose so. Are they used by real life pilots? No. No pilot is going to focus his eyes on something a few inches from his face when what he wants to look at is off in the distance somewhere. While daytime is not a big deal, at night, pilots want to reduce the reflections to an absolute minimum...far from being an aid, the reflections at night are a major distraction and obstruction to visibility.

Most of us want our sims to be as like the real fighter world as possible. There will be aspects of each that will not or should not make the translation.

Here's an attaboy for the folks that have given us the add-on reflections...you've made the sims more fun for many. This is good!

But it's also good to know the difference between the illusion of reality and the real thing.

Andy


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JT
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posted 12-15-1999 10:24 AM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>I appreciate that these reflections are intended to increase the feeling of 'immersion' that is so highly sought after. And I understand that some use them for SA purposes in padlock.

Precisely.... When you're flying a computer sim you need all the visual cues you can get since it's very easy to get confused about which way your head is turned when in any sort or padlock mode.
Also, reflections create a very closed-in or claustrophobic feeling, which I think is very much in keeping with what a real fighter cockpit feels like.

>But, let's don't confuse fun with reality. Are there cockpit relections in real life...I suppose so. Are they used by real life pilots? No.

Who is getting confused? Jeronimo never said they're used by real life pilots.

>Most of us want our sims to be as like the real fighter world as possible. There will be aspects of each that will not or should not make the translation.

Cockpit reflections, or the option to turn them on or off, are one aspect that should be in there. Especially with the new hardware that's out now.

>While daytime is not a big deal, at night, pilots want to reduce the reflections to an absolute minimum...far from being an aid, the reflections at night are a major distraction and obstruction to visibility

As long as the reflections are correctly implemented and are an accurate representation of what the pilot would see, then I'm interested in it. My life is not in danger when I'm flying on a PC, so I welcome extra challenge... as long as it's in line with reality.

>But it's also good to know the difference between the illusion of reality and the real thing.

Jeronimo has said nothing that would indicate that he doesn't know the difference between reality and illusion.

I agree with Jeronimo, but I would modify his point. I feel that all sims should have canopy reflections, but they should be served up as an option that can be turned on or off.


[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-15-1999).]

[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-15-1999).]

[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-15-1999).]


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the fly
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posted 12-15-1999 11:34 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
i like cockpit reflections as they help compensate for the fact that with a padlock/snap view you aren't immediately aware of the precise angle you are looking out of the canopy (especially for those up 45degrees-ish and over a few more degrees padlocks..it gets a bit disorienting).

In real life, you know at what angle your neck is cranked to. Though not used by pilots, I'd say having them, at a minimum, as an option, is great.


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CJ Martin
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posted 12-15-1999 12:13 PM     Profile for CJ Martin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Just for the record, Jane's F/A-18 does have canopy reflections.

-CJ Martin

------------------
Lead Designer,
Jane's F/A-18


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Spiff
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posted 12-15-1999 01:05 PM     Profile for Spiff   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Andy is certainly correct. In fact, it would probably be as impossible for real pilots to use canopy refelections to their advantage, as it would be for anyone to read this post while simultaneously watching the TV reflection in their monitor.

However, I think reflections have their value. Whether conciously or not, real reflections provide subtle cues to all pilots about their environment, such as the fact that they are enclosed by plexiglass. If one could create a perfectly transparent star-trek like force field that allowed an F-16 to fly without a canopy, it would probably be pretty unnerving for a pilot (at least until he/she got used to the experience).

If you look at most attempts at cockpit reflections, you'll notice that the reflection is both blurred and transparent. This is, in effect, trying to simulate the depth of field effect of looking at a distant object with a near object in the field of view. A real pilot would be able to focus his/her eyes on the actual reflections and bring them into sharp focus. The situational awareness effects of canopy reflections in computer simulations are just a byproduct of the trick.

Until we have real stereoscopic video representations projected on to our head-mounted VR sets, the reflections provide a good sense of 3D immersion in a 2D world.

[This message has been edited by Spiff (edited 12-15-1999).]


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JA
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posted 12-15-1999 01:44 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think Spiff hits the nail on the head. I expect real pilots "use" canopy reflections, or more exactly, the fact that they can "see" that they're enclosed in a cockpit in the same sense that I "use" the feeling of my body in contact with the chair I'm sitting on to "know" that I'm not floating 16 inches off the ground. In other words, as sensory background that is not consciously processed. Conspicuous cockpit reflections are an imperfect solution for the problem that it is so far impossible to graphically represent a transparent surface that you can still tell perfectly well is there, 10 inches from your head. Interesting topic!
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Turbo
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posted 12-15-1999 02:41 PM     Profile for Turbo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I've got some bad news for you guys believing in cockpit reflections... it's called glare-shields. When sitting inside an F-15 or an F-16 (I can only speak of these two since I've worked/work with them), there are no reflections on the canopy, the glare-shields protrude far enough to eliminate unwanted reflections from the instruments. I agree with Andy on this.
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Andy Bush
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posted 12-15-1999 02:52 PM     Profile for Andy Bush   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
JT

Jeepers...a bit testy, aren't you??!!

He asked a question about a feature of fighter simulations. The last time I checked, the definition of 'simulation' was similar to 'replication', as in replicating as best as possible what the real world environment is. I gave him an answer that explained that the feature was not pertinent to the real world fighter environment.

I'm not anti-cockpit reflections. I recognize their value in reinforcing SA.

I'm sometimes amused by people that demand absolute fidelity in some aspects of our sims (such as the flight model) but then are quite willing to accept or even ask for unrealistic crutches to make the sims easier to fly. Some might say you can't have it both ways.

Fighter cockpits don't make a pilot feel claustrophobic or closed-in. If they do, then the pilot needs to seek employment elsewhere. Any reflections that occur in the real world are not as evident to the pilot as the ones in our sims. I never wanted any reflections, nor do I remember anyone else that did. Consciously or not, I didn't use reflections to 'know' that I was in the aircraft cockpit.

When folks with real world experience post info on these forums, they do so with the intent of providing a measure of balance. Many simmers seem to want this type of info. Those that don't, should ignore the post.

BTW, if you are going to display your profile, how about filling it out?


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JT
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posted 12-15-1999 03:28 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>Jeepers...a bit testy, aren't you??!!

Not at all. There is no emotional content to my post. I was merely pointing out that you were countering some things that Jeronimo never said. I guess you were speaking in a general sense, but if you read your post, it sounds like you're speaking directly to Jeronimo.

>I'm sometimes amused by people that demand absolute fidelity in some aspects of our sims (such as the flight model) but then are quite willing to accept or even ask for unrealistic crutches to make the sims easier to fly.

Reflections are not a crutch. Virtual pilots are at a disadvantage because they can't "feel" which way their head is turned. Reflections are a way to make up for that lost sense. Therefore, there's no extra advantage that is gained by using reflections since you're merely making up for a sense that is lost in the translation.

>I gave him an answer that explained that the feature was not pertinent to the real world fighter environment.

He wasn't asking about the real world figher environment. Only the virtual. Whether it's pertinent to the real world fighter environment is irrelevant. He said nothing about reflections being helpful to a pilot's SA in a real life situation. He was only saying that reflections add to the immersion and visual realism.

>Fighter cockpits don't make a pilot feel claustrophobic or closed-in.

They make me feel claustrophobic. Anyway, I just mean that cockpits are very small, tight places. Reflections enhance that feeling.

>Any reflections that occur in the real world are not as evident to the pilot as the ones in our sims.

To be honest, I never notice the reflections unless I make a conscious effort... and the only time I make a conscious effort is when I'm confused about which way my virtual head is turned. The effect is no more obtusive on my computer screen than it is on the windshield of my car.
I guess some sims overdo the effect, but I haven't seen any that are grossly overdone or obtrusive.

[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-15-1999).]


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JA
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posted 12-15-1999 03:43 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In regard to Spiff's hypothetical F-16 with the "Star Trek" force-field invisible canopy, would this be desirable in real life, were the technology available? In other words, do well-trained real jet fighter pilots "tune out" the visual surroundings of the cockpit as much as possible and rely on keeping an eye on the target, feeling g-forces, and an abstractly conceptualized mental picture of the two aircraft and their respective planes of motion, etc? This topic harks back to Attila's "Reality in sims will soon hit the wall" thread and Andy's various responses to padlock/external view questions - great reading, more interesting than the usual "can a Su-27 out-turn an F/A-18" type of realism discussion, although those certainly have their place, too. Thanks for the enlightening discussion!
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JT
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posted 12-15-1999 03:44 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>there are no reflections on the canopy, the glare-shields protrude far enough to eliminate unwanted reflections from the instruments.

We're not just talking about reflections from instrumentation. We're talking about reflections in general. I have numerous photos of cockpits. They all show reflections that stretch around the canopy. If you like I can post them.


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Turbo
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posted 12-15-1999 04:16 PM     Profile for Turbo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
From which angle are your photos? Is the camera in the exact position as from a pilots view? Believe me, even on a sunny day, there are very few reflections to be seen.
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Andy Bush
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posted 12-15-1999 04:33 PM     Profile for Andy Bush   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
JA

>>an abstractly conceptualized mental picture of the two aircraft and their respective planes of motion<<

That's one of the better descriptions of the external view that I've heard in awhile!!


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JT
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posted 12-15-1999 05:29 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>Believe me, even on a sunny day, there are very few reflections to be seen.

Are we missunderstanding each other, perhaps?

I never said that there are many reflections or that they are obtrusive in any way. I'm merely countering your previous assertion where you said that there are "no reflections" to be seen. Yes, instruments are generally cowled out, since they create the most obtrusive reflections, but you can see reflections from other things in the cockpit... pilot included.


[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-15-1999).]

[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-15-1999).]


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Major Tom
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posted 12-15-1999 06:55 PM     Profile for Major Tom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I've never really noticed reflections in the cockpit of any plane I've been in. Maybe once or twice, but they where never bothersome or helpfull to me in any way.

In real life you always know where your head is in relationship to where your aircraft is going. If you dont know where your head is pointing, you've got problems.

In flight sims loosing track of where your virtual head is pointing is unfortunately all to easy to do. This is because no matter what the on screen vitual ace pilot is doing, you and your head is always facing forward. Lift Lines and cockpit reflections are good, and can sometimes seem to add to the feeling of being there. But I think that visual cues like a red arrow pointing to where the 12 o'clock of an aircraft currently is at, is a far better way for virtual pilots to maintain situational awareness while meandering around their cockpit or padlocked.

Personally, I've always wanted a system where the padlock view would switch on and off between looking strait ahead and looking and the enemy aircraft.

A "visual tracking onff" mode.


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Andy Bush
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posted 12-15-1999 07:01 PM     Profile for Andy Bush   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
OK!! Let's all declare victory and retire to the bar!

JT...your picture is instructive. For us...looking at our monitor...we see both the F-16s in the background as well as the reflections in the foreground. For some, these may share equal billing for attention. In the real world, however, the pilot looks 'through' such reflections since his eyes are focused essentially at infinity when looking at other aircraft.

Can we agree it's an 'apples and oranges' kind of thing? My point in answering the original post was only to comment on the real world relevance of cockpit reflections. Having done that, I'm going back to flying USAF and Flanker, and, yes, I have installed the reflections and 'lift line' files in both sims.

Andy


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Spiff
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posted 12-15-1999 07:34 PM     Profile for Spiff   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Keep in mind that the photo JT posted is a little bit misleading (not on purpose of course ). Photos just are not ncessarily representative of what the human eye actually sees. I know that sounds like a contradiction but it is true. To prove it, go take a picture of a friend in the patchy shade of a tree on a sunny day. Your eyes will see some minor highlights on the face from the sun and some minor shadows from the leaves, but when you get your photo back from the lab you will see something entirely different. Your friends face will look like a leopard because of the shadows and highlights.

I think it is fairly safe to say that real pilots use cockpit reflections to fly about the ammount that we use the reflections on our car windshield to drive... i.e. not at all. The fact remains, however, that we are cognizant of those reflections (and distortions created by irregular shaped glass/plexiglass), and its pretty likely that you would know your windshield was gone before you ever felt the breeze on your face.

I hope I wasn't being offensive. I am somewhat of a photography student and have had the chance to deal with some of the guys who have done research at Brooks AFB on visual cues and instrumentation, so I find this sort of thing interesting.



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Turbo
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posted 12-15-1999 11:31 PM     Profile for Turbo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Besides, those are distortions in the canopy (photo) not reflections since everything behind the ejection seat is matt black. I'll take a look today and see if I notice any.
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JT
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posted 12-15-1999 11:37 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>Photos just are not necessarily representative of what the human eye actually sees.

The reflections are visible to the human eye. They might not be as noticeable as they are in the photo, but they would still be perceptible... easily.

I'm not saying the inside of a cockpit looks like the hall of mirrors at an amusement park. My only point... I repeat, my only point is that certain things do reflect in the canopy and these reflections are visible to the pilot. If canopies didn't reflect things in the cockpit, there would be no need to cowl instruments, which do cast troublesome reflections, especially at night.
That's not to say the pilot is aware of the reflections every second. Indeed, he may not notice them for the whole flight just as I don't notice them on my virtual flights. Reflections in glass are subtle. Reflections in sims should... well.... reflect that.


[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-15-1999).]


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JT
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posted 12-15-1999 11:49 PM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Here's a much better example. This shot is taken from very close to the pilot's point of view. Nothing drastic here, just subtle variations. I think this sort of treatment would be totally appropriate for any sort of flight sim.....

Here are more examples of the kind of reflections I'm talking about...


[This message has been edited by JT (edited 12-16-1999).]


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Spiff
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posted 12-16-1999 12:33 AM     Profile for Spiff   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Im not disputing the presence of reflections. I merely stated that photos exaggerate their prominence. This is because 1. your eyeball can process about 1,000 times more contrast levels than any film, digital or otherwise (for example, in your third photo, I guarantee that the photographer could see the entire inside of the cockpit instead of a pilot engulfed in blackness), so the reflections show up more contrasty than they do to the naked eye and 2. in a photograph, the camera, not your eyeball, sets the depth of field (notice the difference between the very first photo with blurry reflections and very last photo with a sharp reflection). Thus, photos don't necessarily provide the best examples of what reflections look like to a pilot.

[This message has been edited by Spiff (edited 12-16-1999).]


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Vector
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posted 12-16-1999 02:21 AM     Profile for Vector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Bottom line: reflections in sims are a good thing and all sims should have them. They do add to that feeling of being there wether realistic or not.

Major Tom: the system you describe is exactly what is present in WW2 Fighters. A big red arrow can point you to the aircraft if your looking straight, and there is a vissual tracking on/off (exact wordage) button so you can either look at the target or straight ahead. Only problem is when you are looking at the target it is kind of hard to tell how to turn and yank your plane around to get a guns kill. Something like Flankers mini hud at the bottom of the screen would have worked well there. But a good system never the less.

------------------
-\/ector, Flight Sim Enthusiast

[This message has been edited by Vector (edited 12-16-1999).]


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Turbo
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posted 12-16-1999 07:39 AM     Profile for Turbo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
How do you figure in photo 1 that the camera is near the pilots point of view? That shot had to have been taken about 16" back and about 7" over to the right. No F-16 pilot in the world can put his head that far back and over (it won't fit anyway) and remain sitting strapped to his seat. Anyway, I noticed no cockpit reflections today while sitting in an F-16C, but you can get them if you move all the way over to one side and back a bit or if you look straight up. Things do look slightly different when looking through the canopy and there are irregularities as well.
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doc07
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posted 12-16-1999 08:03 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
things like this seem to rapidly spiral out of control on these message boards. to me, the bottom line is this: in reality, we all "know" what position our heads (and other parts of our body) are in at all times due to sensory input that we aren't even consciously aware of (it's called proprioception...kind of like our own internal "situational awareness"). in a simulation, looking at a computer monitor, we can be looking out of the left cockpit without actually turning our heads to the left. therefore, any additional input, whether it be via lift lines or reflections, aids in helping us know which way our virtual heads are turned...whether they are firmly rooted in reality or not is irrelevant.

doc07


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Hornit
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posted 12-16-1999 09:46 AM     Profile for Hornit   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ok, I had to put my two cents in here! Yes there are reflections in the canopy. No, you do not notice them for the most part. No, they don't help you with anything. I always know where my head is....( Hornit checks both sides of noggin with hands to be sure).
I think F-4's are overdone. I turn them off for this reason. There are reflections in Janes F-18, but they are very subtle, maybe too subtle.
The most important thing to remember though is that it is your eyes and brain and not a camera processing these reflections. When your focused outside on something you don't even notice that they are there. Having them does help in the realism department a bit though, I remember oohing and ahhing at falcon's the first time I saw them in that sim.

Hornit


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JT
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posted 12-16-1999 10:45 AM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>The most important thing to remember though is that it is your eyes and brain and not a camera processing these reflections.

No argument here. The only reason I posted the photos was because Turbo said there are "no reflections" to be seen. Sorry, Turbo... not possible. Unless everything in the cockpit is mat black, there will be reflections in the canopy glass. Reflections are light bouncing off light surfaces in the cockpit. There is no way around that.

>How do you figure in photo 1 that the camera is near the pilots point of view?

It's close enough to show that there are reflections within the pilot's line of sight, depending on where he turns his head.

>I noticed no cockpit reflections today while sitting in an F-16C, but you can get them if you move all the way over to one side and back a bit or if you look straight up.

Yes... this is what I'm talking about. Why did you say there are "no reflections" earlier? Did you mean "no reflections [from the instruments]"? Perhaps?


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JT
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posted 12-16-1999 10:56 AM     Profile for JT     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>I think F-4's are overdone.

They're a bit cartoony looking.


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Kurt Plummer
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posted 12-16-1999 05:11 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey JT,

1. Aircraft move too slowly for many's (mine) tastes, relative to the visible terrain/heighting depth. 'Fluid Jello' comes to mind for me where the airframe will pitch like nobodies business but never moves 'through the turn'. If the reflections are a frame/travel rate soak then by _all means_: PLEASE ditch them.

2. I like reflections because they enhance the 'double bubble' effect of a modern fighter canopy.

The sill is still too high though, so you have no idea that you should be able to /look over the sides/ of your canopy rail, at least a little bit. This is a function of 'HUD fixation' which is also getting less and less justifiable as HMDs finally come online.

3. _No Game_, that I'm aware of, does any of the following things which would truly help SA:
a. Display a clock:elevation value, on screen, for your pan or tracking use.
b. Look /past/ the pilot to the target, using a 'camera' perspective similar to what you show. No more distorted airframe 'reference' nonsense, his head and shoulders say where you're looking, exactly.
c. Track objects as a function of _global-scaled_ representation in an SA sphere where objects are 'memorized' until the next required renewal period. Auto-return-by-numbers pressing.

I'd much rather ditch the entire cockpit than be stuck looking at a 'wall of instruments' most of which are _Totally Useless_ in visual combat and it would help a LOT to know the clock bearing I'm looking at, regardless of how I got there.

I would -prefer- that I 'got there' via automatic headslew, NOT some dorky hat-and-mousecapade. Unfortunately, snapviews are useless, simply because there is NO auto-horizon stabilization. I give not a rat's fundament about biomechanics, it's not MY neck that is slewing.

Reflections are a neat toy that is seldom used because, unlike the real world, 90% of the time you fly heads forward, nose plastered to the HUD, looking out a 'vision slit' no better than the driver on a Pz.V. Ridiculous. And NO virtual headgear is NOT required to 'fix things'.

Until and unless they fix this and the other-above aspects of these games, reflections are neither here nor there...IMO.

You Raise Some Good Points and I liked the shots, I hope they DO make a game where it's possible to use them. Someday.


Kurt Plummer


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Major Tom
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posted 12-16-1999 05:16 PM     Profile for Major Tom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think something like the MiG Alley Attitude indicator with the MiG Alley style non obtrusive reflections and the WWII Fighters visual cues would be an excellent setup for keeping situational awareness at acceptable levels.

Anyone agree?


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Major Tom
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posted 12-16-1999 05:27 PM     Profile for Major Tom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
And for the totaly sadomasochistic flight sim user (like kurt) we could even throw in the visual distortions created by the canopy glass.

:-)

Hey Andy, do Fighter Jet pilots get very prononced distortions in their cockpits?


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Andy Bush
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posted 12-16-1999 06:15 PM     Profile for Andy Bush   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Maj Tom

There are distortions on canopies...particularly in areas such as where the canopy joins the frame. I wouldn't say the distortion is a problem in most cases.

The are some isolated times when distortions can be a nuisance. When I flew as an instructor in the F-4 and F-104, I flew in the back seat. When I had to land the jet from the back seat, I would have to look over the front seat and thru the forward side panels and quarter panels since I couldn't see thru the HUD. From my rear position, the canopy curves would distort my view somewhat. If necessary, a little unloaded rudder would yaw the nose enough to improve my SA.

The A-10 has a unique reflection problem at night when coming in for a landing. As the pilot flys over the runway approach lights, these lights reflect thru the HUD. They appear to start at the bottom of the HUD and then move up to the top of the HUD in a reverse image of the lights. This is particularly irritating in that the reflected lights begin at the same point as the actual lights appear on the front windscreen. As the pilot nears the ground, the actual lights move down and backwards, while the reflected lights move up and backwards. It always reminded me of that part in Space Odyssey 2001 where the astronaut is looking at the light show coming at him. We just learned to ignore it in the Hog.

KP

I might agree with you if I could just understand you. As for the canopy sill (it's called a 'rail' BTW), its position is a function of ejection seat height. Ejection seats have a height adjustment that will change the look angle over the canopy rail.

Andy


Posts: 595 | From: St Louis, Mo | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Major Tom
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posted 12-16-1999 10:01 PM     Profile for Major Tom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yeah, for some reason we can put a man on the moon, but they cant make the glass around the edges of a cockpit look right.

I always seen traffic in the pattern warping around the door and windshield of the Cessna I fly around. Traffic at 10 o'clock is always kinda horizontaly squished.

Oh well, no matter.

I'd still kinda like to see that effect in a flight sim one day. One of those "heh heh cool" type of deals. Not really nessisary, but like canopy reflections, it gives my 2D3D card a nice workout ;-)


Posts: 1352 | From: Prescott, AZ | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
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posted 12-17-1999 07:09 AM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey Andy,

I lockup a visual target inside a diamond 'range sized', intuitively, for the distance.

4L

/\ 4nm /\ 2nm (or whatever)
\/ / \
\ /
\/

and above/below or to either side there is a '4' (oclock) and 'h/l/lvl' for the indication. That's all I want. Spinning arrows make me wanna puke, literally.

The rest seems self explanatory in relation to the photos, look at the distance settings and eyelines. In a game gaze past yourself (the pilot), knowing where 'he' (and therefore you) are looking. Or if the frame rate hit is too high, just make your eyeball the equivalent of the camera look angles.

Now look at that one shot looking over the F-15 drivers shoulder at the desert. See how 'flat' the /viewing/ index is, relative to the horizon line? And look where that HUD is. It is _perfect_ for 'projecting' the flight datum out past the HUD frame and onto the terrain. No display-space worries, /at all/.

Also, see how much both up (past the bow) and 'down=wide' that camera outside-sees because he/it sits 1.5-2 feet aft and because the canopy bubble arcs around ala
__
| |
\ /

??

Again, /why/ waste all that panel space on dials and gauges when what you really want to see is outside? It's beautiful and it has a point, especially in WVR combat. The gauges and dials _don't_. They just take up space.

The Padlock is what I wrote before re: 'SCANLOCK'. Your neck pans the view, with one-key press divided into speed-sectors (forward, aft, all-round, contract) and whatever you see in the surroundings, goes as a dottrack into an SA globe (two overlaid ovals, one vertical, the other horizon-line-zontal). A lower AGL line gives you an idea of relative depth around you.
__
/ \
|`|`XX`|`|
` |````|`
\__/
`````````25K

YOU are effectively XX at the hub of the rings and the dots are numbered (can't insert them with ascii) wormtrail traces all around.

Hitting the equivalent keyboard number key as the track-of-interest gives you insta-swing of your outside view while drawing a line between XX and ## in the SA globe for eyeball range=depth and azimuth confirmation on the reacquired target.

Of course the penalty is that the other target coordinates have a very short holdperiod before they fade.

The prime track and perhaps one or two skip-check allowed others maintain themselves on a constant basis however.

The simplicity of it all is that THIS is your 'minds eye' or 'inner ear' constant knowledge of where your nose and the fighters are disparately pointing.

A map relative to where you /could/ look rather than any flippable horizon or airframe structural references/limits where you actually are.

Top:Bottom, Space-to-Dirt. It's all 3D represented in the globe and it never goes nuts because _it's not moving_.

Two Keys: One to start the scan, another ## to acquire the target after you've done the 'see/observe/decide' portion of the SODAR loop.

Give me those two key presses and a clock-elevation meter overlay on the actual target and I don't need nothin' else.


Major Tom,
Sadomasochists tend to be very complicated people. I want things simple. It's apparently the way of the Universe that simple should be hard to explain. I've been trying for about a decade now...

IIRC, 'Zone 1' quality (no optical distortion allowed) occurs only in the front XX` (windscreen limit) of the teener acrylic canopies too. Even this is not certain, the F-16C.40 WARhud was particularly hard to get to collimate right, with the holoraster overlaps.

The total quality is not only a function of the production size and enhanced curveature of the newer canopies but because in service, constant polishing, supposedly degrades up the the optical 'densities', like a prism on a stove element.

On the F-22, I guess thanks to the JHMCS requirement, the vision arc is 'all round perfect' via a layered sandwich of glass and acrylate.

Over the life of the jet, it's supposedly 'selfcorrecting' due to a constancy of inner material thickness in ratio to the curveture/slope of the outer (acryl) material.

However; it leaves the pilot very vulnerable to birdstrike in that a 2lb bird at 550 may not come through but it will 'progressively dent' the structure until it hits the HUD with about the same energy as .38 and the stiff HUD frame shatters the combiner in your face.

With integration of the new JHMCS on older jets actually happening /first/, it's possible that you could get into situations where 'seeker bore overlay' was out of phase with the pilot look angle though the variance should be small.

And no, optical distortion is something I feel could very easily be sim-ignored. Falls under the 'ewe ick' category, compared to faster framerates and overground progression in particular. Now about that Scanlock...;-)


Kurt Plummer


Posts: 672 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
VVARVVOLF
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posted 12-17-1999 10:14 AM     Profile for VVARVVOLF   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt, I'm just curious and I don't mean to be rude, but have you been diagnosed schizophrenic or idiot savant? I know that sounds like I'm throwing you an insult, but please understand, I'm not. A good friend and student of mine was diagnosed as having mild schizophrenia. She tends to have a fixation on technical and science related words, terms, and phraseology. And I hear a lot of schizophrenics do that. Anyway, your posts have a lot of information in them (that's why I suggest savant also), but they're sort of /incoherent/.
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doc07
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posted 12-17-1999 07:51 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
KP

WTF?


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Jeronimo83
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posted 12-20-1999 02:59 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ok, guys,

Referring to the last couple of post I come to the conclusion that the discussion about cockpit reflections is somewhat over. I really enjoyed reading it all. I only wish that, dispite the fact that not most of us would have reflections 'enabled', there would be some more suggestions of features that could be added to them in the future. Like dynamic reflections.
Oh, who cares.

One other thing:

CJ Martin,

I am very sorry about the fact that I said Jane's F/A-18 would not have cockpit reflections while this is not true. It wasn't considerate to refer to a sim that hasn't been released yet. I only came to this conclusion looking at early-stage screenshots. I apologize and I hope I didn't bring you in discredit.


Thank you,

Jeronimo83


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