OpusFSX Flight Simulator Interface for and

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The OpusFSX Live Camera Interface (continued)

Adjusting the Camera Automatic Head Movement (AHM)

When AHM is enabled the view will automatically change to look into the turn. You can configure the view to change either in increments or in a continuous smooth movement.

N.B. Automatic Head Movement is automatically disabled when you are using TrackIR.


1. Enable Head Turn when Taxiing

Enable to set AHM Taxiing effects.

2 - 5. Taxiing Sliders

For AHM when taxiing you can alter the sensitivity for the calculated turn radius. You can alter the sensitivity (2) in percent, maximum yaw movement (3) in degrees, maximum pitch movement to the left (port) in degrees (4), and maximum pitch movement to right (starboard) in degrees (5).

Adjust these sliders to set your desired parameters for the initial automated head movement. All incremented movements are calculated from this base level by increasing the specified angles and sensitivity. If in doubt then click on the Assign Defaults button to set the recommended defaults.

6. Increment for Tight Turns

Enable to set another level of increment for the AHM Taxiing effects.

7. Use Rudder Position

Uses the current rudder deflection for the AHM Taxiing effects as opposed to the simulator's 'delta heading' variable. The heading variable can be a little erratic and so requires both hysteresis and a small reset delay. If the Use Rudder Position option is selected the AHM taxiing effects are disabled whenever the aircraft's ground speed and throttle position are greater than or equal to 30kts or 75 percent respectively.

8 - 9. Test Checkboxes

You can tick one of the Test checkboxes to get some idea of the effects of the AHM whilst taxiing to the left (port) and right (starboard).

Assign Defaults

The Assign Defaults button can be used to reset all sliders back to their default settings.

10. Enable Head Turn when Banking

Enable to set AHM Banking effects.

11 - 14. Banking Sliders

You can alter the AHM maximum bank angle (11), the amount of head rotation in yaw (12) and pitch for turns to the left (port 13) and right (starboard 14). Adjust these sliders to set your desired parameters for the initial automated head movement. All incremented movements are calculated from this base level by increasing the specified angles and sensitivity. If in doubt then click on the Assign Defaults button to set the recommended defaults.

15. Max Number of Increments

Set the maximum number of increments for the AHM Banking effects. The maximum number of increments can range from 1 to 4, the recommended setting is 2.

16 - 17. Test Checkboxes

You can tick one of the Test checkboxes to get some idea of the effects of the AHM whilst banking to the left (port) and right (starboard).

Assign Defaults

The Assign Defaults button can be used to reset all sliders back to their default settings.

19. Enable Smooth Head Movements

Tick the checkbox to select smooth head movements as opposed to stepped 'snap to' increments. Note, the smooth movement option is intended for the higher performance systems. All head movements are performed in such a way as to have minimal impact on your simulator's frame rates. if you experience any FSX/P3D DOF Errors reported in the main Spy window, or your head movement appears very jerky then you should immediately disable the smooth movement option and use the default 'snap to' movements.

User Note

The AHM effects are enabled the first time the camera view is displayed. If the camera view has been assigned to a keyboard key or joystick button then you can use that same input to toggle the AHM effects on and off. When toggled off, the AHM effects will automatically toggle back on as soon you recover from the turn whilst taxiing or level the wings after a banked turn.

Reselect the camera view to toggle any active AHM effects on and off.


FSX Add-on Menu and Shortcut Controls

DHM and AHM can be enabled and disabled from the FSX Add-on menu and also via Shortcut Controls. Refer to the description of Shortcut Controls in the OpusFSX User Guide.



Assigning Joystick Buttons and Keyboard Keystrokes

All button and registered key events are displayed within the Spy window when the button or key is pressed. Keyboard events do not appear in Spy whilst editing cameras, only after they have been saved and edit mode is exited. If they are not displayed then the button or key is invalid, either not enabled or registered within FSX, already assigned elsewhere (i.e. FSX, 3rd party add-on etc), or just an illegal entry.

The same joystick button or keyboard input can be assigned to multiple camera views. In such cases, repeated use of the assigned button or key will cycle through the assigned camera views.  The cycle will apply to the aircraft associated with the camera view, which may be a single aircraft, a group, or all aircraft according to what you have configured.  

Alternatively you can assign a button and/or key to the same view type for each aircraft type/group, e.g. the Captain's view is the same key/button for all aircraft. We normally assign the same key combos to external views so we can just cycle through them.

Joysticks and Game Controllers

The OpusFSX software will accommodate up to eight joysticks or game controllers connected to the FSXSERVER system, with up to 32 buttons on each, and up to 32 keyboard assignments. The program will automatically reconfigure the views and control assignments whenever the input device order changes i.e. when you either unplug or add a new device. Remember to restart FSX when removing or adding an input device.

The Hat Switch and Panning

The Hat switch is not a button and cannot be assigned in the usual manner since FSX uses it for panning. The Hat switch can be used to pan the view when the TrackIR device is paused (F9). If you have disabled your controllers in FSX and are using FSUIPC then you can enable mouse wheel button panning and that also re-enables the hat switch on the joystick. Alternatively you can use FSUIPC to convert the hat switch data to keystrokes. ctrl+shift+0 through to ctrl+shift+8 are unassigned in FSX and you can use some of those as the keystrokes to trigger Live Camera views.


Each keyboard assignment may consist of a combination of up to two modifier keys (Alt, Ctrl, or Shift) with a normal keyboard key. The entry is not case sensitive. The numeric pad keys 0 to 9 can be used but they must be assigned with the Num Lock ON (for recognition), and used with the Num Lock OFF within FSX/P3D. This is a quirk of the simulator and not the OpusFSX software.

N.B. The Insert, Delete, Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, Left, Right, Up, and Down keys cannot be assigned to camera views.

If you assign numeric keys and have the Local Weather Report window displayed then FSX will interpret the numeric keys for the weather report window which in effect means you have to press the key twice, the first time the weather report window will close and the second time the camera view will change.  

Shortcut Controls

      You can assign shortcut control keys to cycle the camera views forward (next) and cycle the camera views backward (last) between identical view modes (virtual cockpit, 2D cockpit, or External Aircraft camera views for the currently selected aircraft). Refer to the description of Shortcut Controls in the OpusFSX User Guide.


Creating Panel (Flight Control) Windows

Firstly, panel windows, or any window used to control the aircraft's flight, must be displayed on the main 'flying' server system. All client systems are used purely as view controllers, offloading much of the display workload from the main 'flying' server.

If you wish to create a separate panel view on your server then follow the above instructions to create a new Windowed View and associate it with your aircraft. Select the required Virtual or 2D camera type depending on the cockpit you are using, then adjust the camera's coordinates and zoom settings to create a close up view of the instrument panel or panels. You may find it helpful to undock the main simulator's view during this process, this will allow you to adjust the shape of the window to match the panel(s) and your intended screen layout. You may also find it helpful to use the Stepped camera control to make fine adjustments to the camera's eye position.

When finished, make sure you save your new camera configuration using the Save Cameras button and re-dock your simulator's main view.


2D Panel

It is not possible to determine in software whether you have the 2D panel enabled or disabled within the simulator. This problem mostly affects the OpusFSX server system since all client systems normally have the 2D panel transparency set to 100%. If you have set up a scenic view intended to be displayed with the 2D panel disabled and display the view with the 2D panel enabled, the eye position will not be as expected. In such cases use the Shift-1 key sequence to toggle the 2D panel OFF.

On the main 'flying' OpusFSX server system, toggle the 2D panel on and off display using the Shift-1 key sequence. Normally it will be off for all scenic views and only enabled if you specifically want to fly with the 2D panel.

Warning, do NOT set the 2D panel transparency on your main OpusFSX server to 100% as this may result in making the aircraft's docked panels invisible.


Incorrect Eye Position for 2D 'Scenic' Views

Refer to the above 2D Panel section. For scenic views the eye position will be incorrect if you have the 2D panel enabled. Use the Shift-1 key sequence to toggle the 2D panel OFF on your server system's display.


Creating a Virtual Cockpit Camera View

A few words before you begin ...

Run the simulator in windowed mode

You will be needing to open and access the Camera dialog within your main OpusFSX server program, or simply your OpusFSX program if you don't have a networked system. In each case, I am referring to the FSXSERVER program installed in your c:\OpusFSX folder. It is therefore essential to set the simulator into windowed as opposed to full screen mode so that you can see and access the server program's form.

Select your aircraft in the sim before you start

You will be creating a camera view for a specific aircraft's virtual cockpit so it is best to load that aircraft into the simulator before you get started. The OpusFSX camera editing software will not do this for you.

Selecting the computer system

If you just have a standalone PC you can ignore this step.

However, if you have a networked system then you should make sure you have selected the FSXSERVER computer system when you open the OpusFSX Camera Control dialog. Note, it is rather pointless creating virtual cockpit views on a client system since you can only monitor and control the flight from the main server PC. The OpusFSX camera editing software will remember what computer system you have selected and always assumes you wish to continue editing the cameras on the same system, so you will probably only need to select the FSXSERVER computer system once. It is also the default selection when you activate the server program.

Restrict Listed Cameras

This feature is only needed on systems that have many camera views configured and assigned to a large number of different aircraft. This option is used to restrict the number of camera views listed for your selection when you press the Select Your Camera View button, it just saves you having to search for a specific view you wish to edit. For this exercise just make sure this reads All Aircraft Types. If it doesn't then open the list and select the first option.

Select an existing camera of similar type to edit

This can be a very useful procedure. For example, if you have already created a view for the captain's position, then selecting this camera view prior to clicking on the Add or Clone a Camera button will mean you only have to slide the camera over to the other seat to create the first officer's camera.

You can delete all camera views and start afresh simply by renaming or deleting this file prior to running the FSXSERVER program.

One final note ...

We will be concentrating here on creating a new virtual cockpit view for the main display so you will not be setting the Windowed View option nor will you have any need to display a Windowed View to assist in the camera's alignment.

Creating a Virtual Cockpit Camera View

I will take you through creating a VC camera view in six easy stages. Stages four and five are optional, stage four (zooming) is not usually required in VCs since it is best to use the default zoom level for all VC views, on the other hand, stage five (head movement effects) is intended specifically for VC use.

At any stage during the process you can click on the Save Cameras button to save your  current state of affairs in the CAM file.

Stage One - Create and name the new camera view.

Stage Two - Assign the Aircraft Types.

Stage Three - Move the camera into position.

Stage Four - Adjust the camera zoom.

Stage Five - Add head movement effects.

Stage Six - Assign a joystick button or key to the view.

Stage One - Create and name the new camera view

If you already have created a similar camera view in the past and just wish to copy it then simply select the view using the Select a Camera to Edit or Clone button before you start.

Select the camera type Virtual Cockpit.

Click on the Add or Clone a Camera button, a new camera view will be created and you will see a name of the form 'Camera View X' appear in the name window. Click in the name window and rename the view to something more appropriate (for example, B737 Captain).

Stage Two - Assign the Aircraft Types

Click on the Assign Aircraft Types to the Camera button and select (highlight) the aircraft types you wish to assign to the view from the displayed list. You can use the standard Windows selection procedures to highlight your chosen aircraft types. Hold down the CTRL key to add/remove items, hold down the Shift key to select a group of items. Click OK when done.

Since this is the first view to be created for the selected aircraft group, click on the Default View option to indicate it is the default view, to be automatically displayed when the aircraft is selected.

Stage Three - Move the camera into position

The camera's eye point is adjusted using the green arrow buttons. The six available degrees of freedom (6DOF) or XYZ PBY axes are all controlled about the aircraft's central axis looking forward. The X axis moves the eye point left and right, the Y axis up and down, the Z axis forward and back, and the Pitch, Bank, and Yaw movements are as expected.

The Speed of movement, or step size, is controlled using the Speed of Movement slider. The camera's motion can be either Continuous or Stepped by selecting the appropriate mode radio button. In continuous mode, any of the red stop buttons can be used to stop the current motion. Also clicking more than once on a green arrow button will speed up the movement in the chosen direction, or slow down any motion in the opposite direction.

If you wish, you can also assign the coordinates manually using the current XYZ PBY coordinate edit boxes.

At any stage you can press the Reset button to reset the eye point back to its initial, last saved, position.

Remember you can click on the Save Cameras at any stage in the proceedings.

Stage Four - Adjust the camera zoom

This stage is optional and my advice is to not use anything other than the default zoom level unless you absolutely have to, for example when adjusting the view to show a specific area of the instrument panel. If you do need to adjust the zoom for any view always try to minimise the number of fine zoom steps, that is always use the nearest coarse zoom setting before making any fine adjustments. When the software displays the camera view it must follow your exact steps to recreate the same zoom setting, setting zoom level x1, then adjusting the coarse zoom, then issuing the fine zoom steps.

Stage Five - Add head movement effects

Dynamic and Automatic Head Movements (DHM and AHM) are intended for use in virtual cockpits and are usually always set for the pilot and co-pilot cameras. These effects are usually disabled for virtual cockpit views that are specific to instrument panels, engine controls, communications panels etc.. In other words, do not use these effects if you want your view to be completely stable in order to control a panel switch or button etc. Having said that it is fairly simple to operate buttons and switches with the mouse even when the DHM effects are enabled.

For this exercise click on the Enable DHM checkbox, open the DHM dialog using the DHM Options button and enable all the DHM options, open the AHM dialog and enable all the AHM options then close the AHM and DHM dialogs. N.B. AHM effects are automatically disabled when using TrackIR.

Stage Six - Assign a joystick button or key to the view

Click in the upper Button / Key box to assign a joystick button, click in the lower box to assign a key command. Any assigned key command must not be used elsewhere (FSX, FSUIPC etc.), if it is then FSX will refuse to relay the key press event to the OpusFSX interface. The OpusFSX interface will accept buttons 1 through to 32 of Joysticks 1 through to 8. All button and registered key events are displayed within the Spy window when the button or key is pressed. If they are not displayed then the joystick or button is invalid, not registered within FSX, already assigned elsewhere, or just an illegal entry.

Finally don't forget to click on the Save Cameras before closing the Cameras dialog. Your default virtual cockpit view should now be defined and saved within the FSXSERVER.CAM file.

You can repeat this exercise and move the eye point across to the right hand seat position to create the non-default First Officer's position.


Windowed Views

Windowed views are ideally suited to computer systems equipped with either multiple screens or single large screens. DHM cannot be specified for windowed view types. Windowed views cannot be associated with joystick buttons or keyboard keys, they are automatically opened when the aircraft is loaded and then must be manually undocked (if required) prior to using the Restore Win option to restore their sizes and positions.


It is not possible to alter the camera's eye point in windowed views so they must be edited in the main window. The settings for the view are specified entirely within the FSX or Prepar3D aircraft.cfg files. Separate sizes and positions are stored for your docked and undocked views, allowing you to save different preferred window position and sizes. The aircraft.cfg files on the OpusFSX server and all OpusFSX clients are updated each time you click on the Save Cameras button within the OpusFSX Camera Configuration dialog.

If you make changes to an aircraft's windowed views, other than a zoom adjustment, you must force FSX or Prepar3D to reload the modified aircraft.cfg file. This can only be achieved by either restarting the simulator, or by first selecting a different aircraft type then reloading your original aircraft.

Undocked windowed views must be undocked manually before their size and positions can be saved or restored using the Save Win and Restore Win button options, or the Save Windowed Views and Restore Windowed Views options within the simulator's OpusFSX menu.

After you have moved and resized all the windowed views use the server or client program's Save Win button option to save the layout of your system. This option saves the position and sizes of all  your docked and undocked windowed views on the server or client system, this gives you the option of restoring the screen layout in the future with the Restore Win button (or simulator's OpusFSX menu).


There are three steps involved in displaying windowed views,

         Open the windowed view

         Undock if required

         Restore the size and position

Opening the Windowed View

Windowed views cannot be associated with joystick button or key commands. Windowed views are displayed automatically each time you change the aircraft selection or load a flight.

You can also control the windowed view display using either the Open Win (and Close Win) buttons on the server and client program forms, or via the Open Windowed Views and Close Windowed Views options within the simulator's OpusFSX add-on menu.

Undocking Windowed Views

Windowed views are displayed in an identical manner to the simulator's 'Views - New View' menu option, they appear as docked new view windows within the simulator's main display. You can undock the windowed view if you wish but windowed views cannot be undocked automatically within FSX or Prepar3D, therefore,

All windowed views must be undocked manually by the user.

Manually undock them by right-clicking in the window area and selecting the Undock Window option.

Restoring the Window Views

Finally, if you have previously saved the windowed views position and sizes using the Save Win button then use the Restore Win button to restore the previously saved position and sizes of each of your docked and undocked windows. These button options are provided on the server and each of the client programs. These options are also available via the simulator's OpusFSX add-on menu.


The Save Win and Restore Win options reduce the process of preparing for a flight to the following three simple steps,

1.      Load the aircraft and flight into the simulator

2.      Either leave the windowed views docked, or undock them as required.

3.      Either click on the server or client program's Restore Win button, or select the Restore Windowed Views menu option within the simulator.

This procedure has to be repeated on each system displaying windowed views.

Warning - the Restore process will not work if you have a TH2Go device, the device changes the window sizes and positions making them unknown to other software.


Windowed Views

Tips for Creating Windowed Views

The software only works with views you create using Live Camera, in other words its own camera views and not views you open using the FSX menus.

1. Windowed views can only be created by the software editing your aircraft.cfg files in the simulator's SimObjects folders, located in <FSX>\SimObjects\Airplanes and <FSX>\SimObjects\Rotorcraft. If you look in these folders you will find an aircraft.cfg file. You can open these files using Notepad, if you go to the bottom of the aircraft.cfg file you will find our camera definition for the custom External Views.


Title = "OpusFSX Aircraft View"

Guid = {01021987-E220-6507-1024-462840738899}

Description = OpusFSX Aircraft View


If you have successfully created a Windowed view you will also see that view appended here ...

For example,


Title = "OpusFSX Windowed View 1"

Guid = {01021987-E220-6507-1024-462840738990}

Description = OpusFSX Customized External View


If CameraDefinition.899 is missing then you either have the Live Camera feature disabled or the LC software cannot access your aircraft.cfg files. The aircraft.cfg files are amended each time OpusFSX server program is run and when you click on Save Cameras, which you must do to save your camera views.

The Getting Started guide for Single PCs (and Networked PCs) has sections describing how to set the sharing and permissions on drives and individual folders. If you have the above CameraDefinition.899 missing then you most likely will have to make sure the relevant drives and folders are shared. First alter the drive containing FSX, then share the FSX installation folder itself. It is quite a simple process.

2. After OpusFSX has made changes to the cfg files you must load an entirely different aircraft type and reload the original aircraft to force FSX to reload the cfg data, including the modified CameraDefinitions contained within.

3. Windowed views cannot be Undocked by the software, there is no facility in FSX that allows this. So when Windowed views are displayed, if you want them Undocked then you must do it manually by right-clicking in the window.

4. Windowed views should not be assigned with any button or key commands. They are displayed automatically when you select the aircraft and when you click on the Open Views button.

5. To assist you, when the view is displayed you should Undock the view, reposition and resize it, then click on the Save Win button. Next time the view is displayed and Undocked (by you), you can then click on Restore Win and the software will attempt to reposition and size the window for you.

Warning - this process will not work if you have a TH2Go device, the device messes with the window sizes and positions making them unknown to other software.

6. Another useful test to check you have a correct view setup is to load your flight then use the S key to cycle through your view types. You should see (in the top right-hand corner) the following view types ...

Virtual Cockpit  ->  Outside View  ->  Tower View  ->  Aircraft View  ->  Custom View OpusFSX External View

before it then cycles back to the VC view.


Windowed Views and Frame Rates

Windowed views are ideally suited for use on the 'non-flying' client systems. On these systems, by their very nature, the use of multiple windowed views will have far less of an impact on the displayed frame rates than say on the main 'flying' server system.

In fact, the use of multiple windowed views on the main 'flying' server may result in considerable reduction in frame rates, especially if you are using a complex aircraft such as the PMDG 737NGX, or you are operating close to an airport with complex scenery (e.g. during the takeoff and landing phases of the flight). However, there will be far less impact on the frame rates during the cruising or decent phases of flight.

Windowed views will always have a considerable effect on the frame rates within the Lockheed Martin Prepar3D simulator, on both server and client systems.

The Open Win and Close Win buttons on the server and client program forms, and the Open Windowed Views and Close Windowed Views options within the simulator's OpusFSX menu, can be used to remove and re-display all windowed views whilst flying.

These options give you control over the display of the configured windowed views, most useful on the main 'flying' server system. For example, you can close all windowed views during certain 'high-demand' phases of flight, and re-open them during the less demanding phases.

For your convenience, the restore, close, and open view options have been duplicated as Restore Windowed Views, Close Windowed Views, and Open Windowed Views options within the FSX and Prepar3D simulator's OpusFSX Menu.


Creating Panoramic Views

2D cockpit views are generally used on the client systems to create panoramic (scenic) views. On the client systems this is achieved by setting the 2D panel transparency to 100% (making the panel invisible) and then setting up the client views via the server's Camera Control dialog. On the main 'flying' server system it is up to the user to press Shift-1 to disable the 2D panel display. Note, the eye position will be different with the 2D panel enabled so you should always disable the panel when displaying scenic views on the server.

Please refer to the OpusFSX Getting Started Networked PCs guide for detailed instructions on setting up your client systems.

The field of view (FOV) of all displayed windows in the simulator is affected by the shape of the window. You must take this into account when creating or editing any camera view. If the FOV is important, for instance when view is part of a panoramic vista, you should undock the simulator's main viewing window and adjust its size and shape before adjusting its eye position and zoom level.

Any 2D cockpit view that is panned more than 45 degrees either side will reveal the virtual cockpit walls. The cockpit walls can all be eliminated by simply moving the 2D cockpit views forward a few meters. For example, setting the Z-axis to 2.0 will move the eye position forward by 2 meters and usually fix your eye point outside the invisible 2D cockpit. You will need to experiment with your selected aircraft cockpit by adjusting the Z-axis and panning the Yaw-axis around to cover the full extent of your intended panoramic vista.

If you are using windowed view to create a panoramic vista, you can use the Display Windowed View button to display one or more windowed views to assist you in creating and aligning the current view. You may also find it helpful to undock the simulator's main view during this process, this will allow you to adjust the shape, position, and size of the main window aligning it with the other displayed windowed views. You may also find it helpful to use the Stepped camera control to make fine adjustments to the camera's eye position.

If you create a panoramic vista without using windowed views (i.e. on systems not using multi-screened PCs) then not only will you achieve the optimum system performance but you will be able to change the displayed vista with a single button or key press. To achieve this simply assign the same button or key press to the required set of views on your server and client systems. Each set of views would be configured with a different eye position or perspective. For example, you could recreate the same panoramic vista using external aircraft views with the eye point moved 50 meters behind the aircraft.


Out of Sync - OpusFSX External Views

It is not possible for OpusFSX to determine the current view sub-mode selected within the simulator's main window. If you display an external view within the main viewing area and get the wrong external view then please use the A or Shift-A keys to cycle back to the OpusFSX External View, after that everything will be back in sync.  


Spy Messages

We have left some of the Spy messages in the software. These messages can be seen by clicking on the top right-hand Spy button on the server's main form. These messages will indicate when the mode changes occur within the software; the mode will change between TAXIING, AIRBORNE, and LANDING and are indicated with the following messages.



SIM   LANDING  ,  Accel  xxxx  ,  Factor  x.xxx

Where on landing, the vertical acceleration (in units of 100 x feet per second squared) is displayed as 'Accel  xxxx', and the resulting severity factor (< 1.0 for smoother landings, 1.0 for normal landings, and > 1.0 for heavier landings) is displayed as 'Factor  x.xxx'. At present, normal landings have an assumed acceleration of 8 feet per second squared. The Spy window automatically closes after two minutes.  

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