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Sense of height in VR


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Does sense of height in VR seem right to everyone?

 

First time I sat on a horseback, I remember being surprised and was afraid of the height. In DCS, sitting in the cockpit on the ground in A10 feels like I'm sitting on a bar stool. Even when I look out and down. I can play with FOV by adjusting in-game IPD but that only changes inside the cockpit. I'm just not getting the feeling that I'm this high up.

 

A10C_height.jpg

 

I get vertigo just going up a ladder IRL but not in DCS VR.

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My experience from 38 years of flying more than a dozen types from the lowly T-37 to the 747-400 has been that the sense of height feels about right in VR or on a flat screen monitor. The monitor provides less peripheral sense. Even with trackIR the feel is artificial while in VR it is real enough that I still on occasion find myself reaching for a switch if I'm concentrating on what I'm doing. Even the sense of speed isn't too far off. A wrap around VR headset would cure that though.

 

I honestly don't know why but I think the sides of the cockpit, canopy rails, and the structure all around offer a more secure feel than when exposed on a ladder, a horse, or a bridge. We don't feel like we're any higher than the cockpit floor. My wife still gets a kick out of me not liking heights, especially bridges with steel mesh decks high above a mountain gorge. Yet, I've never felt insecure in an airplane. Although I didn't like the few times I had to clean a spot on the windscreen hanging out the #2 sliding window of even a 727. Leaning out of the DC-10 was really uncomfortable.

 

When flying we get used to the picture through the canopy or windscreen using it to orient ourselves in space. The thought of being high or low and fast just doesn't intrude into our thoughts once we've become experienced.

 

 

It's amazing what the mind gets used to. The best example I can think of is during my time as a flight examiner in the Tweet. I was a spin demo pilot. We took trainee IPs out for a well orchestrated 11 spin ride to show them the characteristics of the jet in a spin when the standard recovery procedure, Single Spin Recover, was altered/botched. The idea was for the trainee, and then again as a new IP with 6 months experience with students, to see how the jet reacted and what it looked and felt like in a controlled, safe environment before Stanley the Stud did it to them for real.

 

One demo required a slow (10 second minimum) positioning of the stick from full aft to full forward with neutral rudder. That demo could result in the maximum spin rotation rate of 540 degrees/second if done properly. It's pretty eye watering the first time you see it. After being qualified to do the demos and doing a few I could pick out things on the ground like a car on the road or cows. I could look up at the canopy bow and see its slow movement below the horizon that indicated the nose was still going down. The pitch attitude increasing towards the vertical was the one true indication the recovery was still working.Spun up like a top didn't feel so strange like the first time I did it. I think the same goes with the sense of height. We just get used to it.

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Never flown a plane IRL, but I've jumped out of a few. The first time I went to the edge to go, I was surprised the height caused less anxiety than cleaning the roof of my house as a kid. I guess something about perception of danger affects our perception of height? I dont know, but I always found it interesting

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Now that you mention it - sense of height doesn't feel right to me either. I don't "feel" as high up when in the cockpit compared to reality - but I just put that down to being a limiting factor of VR, lack of peripheral vision, or a combination of things I'm not aware of.

 

We're obviously up high which can be seen when looking around - but it certainly doesn't have the feeling of being that high.

 

Even the distance looking back at the wing doesn't seem as far as it should even though the 3D effect is definitely there.

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There are other VR apps and games I'm sure most of you tried that give you better and more realistic sense of height. Some enough to make you afraid. Face your fears etc.

 

I am not sure what it is about DCS. Maybe those bumps on ground texture are too large... I even stood up, walked off the cockpit to look around... The plane doesn't seem that big.

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Make sure your IPD setting is right. I have to use the ingame setting to bring everything to a realistic scale. Without everything was too small.

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As I said in my original post, I played around with in-game IPD. And it only effects cockpit. I'm talking about distance to the ground. I'm okay with how cockpit looks.

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On my end it affects everything, a good ingame situation for calibrating IPD is standing on the catapult of the super carrier in a F-18 or F-14 and watch the deckcrew running around your plane. If they look like children or giant NBA players, your IPD is off.

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More accurate way is to turn on VR Chaperone. The grid of your VR space. If the cockpit is moving or floating at different rate than the grid, then you're off.

 

Leaving the in-game IPD as is the correct scale to me.

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Never flown a plane IRL, but I've jumped out of a few. The first time I went to the edge to go, I was surprised the height caused less anxiety than cleaning the roof of my house as a kid. I guess something about perception of danger affects our perception of height? I dont know, but I always found it interesting

 

I was thinking it might be a perception of danger also. When I'm climbing up into the cockpit of an L-39 IRL, I don't feel any danger until I'm swinging my leg over the canopy rail onto the seat. Same goes for climbing back down. Its that transition point where you're in the most danger of falling that you feel the vertigo. You're only 7 or 8 feet off the ground at that point, but it feels like 100 feet because of the danger. Heh, these days its where I'm putting my foot in the top step on the aircraft that gives me the most fear. I can still hear the loud *POP* *POP* from my right ankle after getting my foot stuck once. :puke:

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If you can judge the height to make smooth landings you at least have some clues about how high you are from the ground.

 

I think the problem that relieves the height dizzines might come from a few issues:

 

The ground is in most cases textured so you can not distinguish any parts and recognize what it is, and the size of them. The brain judges hight and distance with both known size compared to the size on the retina and also the eyes converging angle (at distanses up to around 5m. It work worse but can have some impact up to 10m).

If you cant know the size of the objects, that part of the brains height judgement is lost.

 

The converging eye part for sure works very well for me at close distances. If I lean forward towards the instrument panel I get the feeling that Im really close to it. I both guess and feel that this is quite good simulated by the VR systems and the games.

 

Full flight simulators are not as good as VR is on this part. The picture is presented on a dome with a fixed distance, and regardless of what is shown the eye convergence is the same.

IRL flying in the mountains often makes the distance judgement very off, because you cannot se if a rock is 1 by 1 meter or 30 by 30m.

With NVG the eye converging part is not there and the close distance judgement need some training to work safe( close formation flights, for example).

 

There is a demo for oculus rift(Dreamdeck?) where you are standing on a sort of bridge on a roof of a high building. That part at least gave me a good feeling of heights.

 

I think itight work to get the feeling of height by putting out a refueling truck on the apron in DCS and then taxi close to it. The size of the truck should be easy for the brain to understand.

 

@Taz1004: Did you try the supercarrier with crew on deck ?

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The converging eye part for sure works very well for me at close distances. If I lean forward towards the instrument panel I get the feeling that Im really close to it. I both guess and feel that this is quite good simulated by the VR systems and the games.

 

I have no problem with convergence or at close range. Every distance is the way it should be. My Vive Pro has camera overlay so if I enable it and move my hands and controllers around, everything in the cockpit are matched 1:1. I even measured the cockpit with a tape measure and camera overlay.

 

But it is focal length of EACH eye that I have doubt on. Like looking through a binocular (not a lot but slight).

Now that I think of it, first time I had prescription glasses, I felt like I'm walking on Stilts and driving a bigger car. DCS seem exactly opposite of that effect.

 

Again, I'm comparing to other VR apps that really give you sense of height even at two story balcony like the SteamVR Home. I don't feel any danger in SteamVR Home.

 

I don't have Supercarrier as I'm more interested on ground attack. I only have Ka-50 and A10C currently.

Edited by Taz1004
Corrected FOV to focal length
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I have no problem with convergence or at close range. Every distance is the way it should be. My Vive Pro has camera overlay so if I enable it and move my hands and controllers around, everything in the cockpit are matched 1:1. I even measured the cockpit with a tape measure and camera overlay.

 

But it is FOV of EACH eye that I have doubt on. Like looking through a binocular (not a lot but slight).

Now that I think of it, first time I had prescription glasses, I felt like I'm walking on Stilts and driving a bigger car. DCS seem exactly opposite of that effect.

 

Again, I'm comparing to other VR apps that really give you sense of height even at two story balcony like the SteamVR Home. I don't feel any danger in SteamVR Home.

 

I don't have Supercarrier as I'm more interested on ground attack. I only have Ka-50 and A10C currently.

 

The IPD adjust in DCS is more of a size adjuster( never touched it, only from what I read). All IPD settings should be done in the ”VR Settings” and IPD in DCS to adjust if things seems to big or to small.

 

As you seems to get the eye convergence as it should be, I guess the issue is that the objects rendered on ground isnt recognizable to the brain when it comes to the size.

 

I also think FOV as you say can be a limiting factor for the depth perception. Even if objects in peripheral vision is not seen sharp they give you a depth perception if they are closer or further away. For real flights, you loose those items (Around 40 degree FOV om each eye) so the binocular feeling is there. You get much more dependent on the indicated airspeed with NVG than without.

 

I will get my pimax 8KX in a about two weeks and at least I think the greater FOV will increase the high speed feeling at low level in DCS( that isnt really there in DCS as it feels IRL) or in racing games. I not sure but the increased FOV might increase the height perception as well.

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The IPD adjust in DCS is more of a size adjuster( never touched it, only from what I read). All IPD settings should be done in the ”VR Settings” and IPD in DCS to adjust if things seems to big or to small.

 

As you seems to get the eye convergence as it should be, I guess the issue is that the objects rendered on ground isnt recognizable to the brain when it comes to the size.

 

I also think FOV as you say can be a limiting factor for the depth perception. Even if objects in peripheral vision is not seen sharp they give you a depth perception if they are closer or further away. For real flights, you loose those items (Around 40 degree FOV om each eye) so the binocular feeling is there. You get much more dependent on the indicated airspeed with NVG than without.

 

I will get my pimax 8KX in a about two weeks and at least I think the greater FOV will increase the high speed feeling at low level in DCS( that isnt really there in DCS as it feels IRL) or in racing games. I not sure but the increased FOV might increase the height perception as well.

 

I should've said focal length instead of FOV. Term FOV is actually being used incorrectly too much and I used it because DCS calls focal length as FOV in its view config and lua files. FOV as you said should only refer to field of view and that was not what I was referring to. Sorry about the confusion.

 

In-game IPD adjusts separation of the images rendered on VR screen. Combined with the HMD's IPD adjustment which is physical, it gives you different focal length perception.

 

If you actually use below in autoexex.cfg, you'll get more adjustment.

 

force_cross_eye_recovery_tool = true
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I paid attention to this last night while playing. I tried changing the IPD and noticed that it changed the cockpit only. Outside on the supercarrier - there was zero change in perspective.

 

I also noticed that it felt to me like the deck floor was at or very close to my real living room 'floor' level - as though the people weren't down lower (or me higher up), but were the equivalent of standing on my floor and they were just smaller people. Same with the distance to the end of the carrier - when I paid attention to it - I felt more like a giant at Gulliver's island.

 

I'm not sure if IPD is supposed to make difference everywhere or just the cockpit. This is a simulator and this isn't a complaint - but I have to agree with the OP - the distance and height especially seem to be 'off'.

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The A10 looks huge like real life when standing next to and the Hight in the cockpit looks like if I jumped out i would brake my legs so all good for me I set my pd so the cockpit stick matches a warthog stick.

 

In the f16 I change again e.t.c

 

But in the caucasus map the ground looks to big cracks are huge but then that is a old map.

 

Just tried on the Nevada map much better.

Edited by freehand
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IPD adjusts separation between the two cameras. Combined with the physical IPD of your HMD, it gives you different sense of scale by cross or walled eyed effect. That's not the issue. It'll change sense of scale but will not change sense of distance or height. Two different thing. 10 feet will look like 10 feet whether you're a child or basketball player.

 

To me, the focal length of each cameras need to be about 10% lower. I'm trying to find where to change it.

Edited by Taz1004
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I never get a sense of height in VR... it’s not dcs, I think it’s pretty much that I have my arse planted in a chair... I get a sense of depth, I get a sense of distance...even from the ground... but not the sense of being high

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I never get a sense of height in VR... it’s not dcs, I think it’s pretty much that I have my arse planted in a chair... I get a sense of depth, I get a sense of distance...even from the ground... but not the sense of being high

 

Even this?

 

[YOUTUBE]ArlavrOFpkI[/YOUTUBE]

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Does sense of height in VR seem right to everyone?

 

First time I sat on a horseback, I remember being surprised and was afraid of the height. In DCS, sitting in the cockpit on the ground in A10 feels like I'm sitting on a bar stool. Even when I look out and down. I can play with FOV by adjusting in-game IPD but that only changes inside the cockpit. I'm just not getting the feeling that I'm this high up.

 

A10C_height.jpg

 

I get vertigo just going up a ladder IRL but not in DCS VR.

Yeh I get where you are coming from, funny enough the A10 for me is the only one that seems to give me the sense I'm at the proper height from the Apron/Runway the rest? its like I am a lot closer to the ground,

BTW The reason I never posted on this before was I thought it was just me.

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Even this?

 

[YOUTUBE]ArlavrOFpkI[/YOUTUBE]

 

nope not even that, though its slightly more a thing because i'm standing... but no maybe its because i used to climb in my youth ... that said IRL i still feel slight vertigo as you approach the edge of something real...

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SOFTWARE: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64, VoiceAttack & VIACOM PRO, TacView=

VR Stuff: My Settings for 1080ti  Shaders MOD for VR  My variant of Kegetys mod with clear water and also IC PASS for current beta & stable

 

spacer.png

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I'm sure that the limited field of view, from most HMD's, decreases the sense of speed. I can imagine it does the same for depth perception. I do agree with the OP and with Speed-of-Heat, that I've never really "felt" the height in VR (like the stomach turning effect you feel irl when looking down from a height)

 

Maybe someone here with Pimax fov experience can chime in?

 

 

(Off topic - Imo, the limited fov of my Reverb is a major downside to immersion and thé reason why I'm not really interested in the upcoming G2)

Edited by sirrah

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Also.

Don't play with IPD, this setting is far more crucial than "it looks sharp".

 

Just being a mm or two less off your true IPD is enough to make your brain start to feel uncomfortable, it is not an fov slider

 

My glasses for instance tends to focus into my correct IPD, so I could see "clearly" in the cv1 at almost any setting, but finding that I'm truly 64.5mm as a setting is the most crucial adjustment I have ever made for VR comfort.

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