Field of View in Racing Simulations

Lith1um

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
2,829
/lots of new racing sims are about to come out, many people are dipping their toes in the sim racing waters for the first time. I wanted to take a quick moment to discuss the most overlooked topic of the sim racing world, Field Of View.

The FOV which you run in a sim has a drastic effect on your experience as a racer. With the vehicle traveling at the exact same rate in each instance, a wider FOV setting gives the effect of exaggerated speeds, makes everything look as if they are farther away, and looks as if the tracks is rushing upon you at a quicker rate. Lower FOV's give the feeling of traveling at slower speeds, they make everything look closer to you, and everything approaches you much slower.

There is only one "real world correct" FOV setting for your setup. Running the correct FOV will make you a better driver, will make you faster. Too high an FOV and you'll have less sense of distance, scale, and position. Everything will be screaming by you, and you'll have less time to see, react, and place the car. Too low a FOV and you sacrifice awareness of your surroundings, everything will look closer than it actually is, and you'll brake sooner.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yYeiAHsdr0


p.s.
An extremely wide FOV setting is the reason that console games like NFS have the feeling of traveling a billion miles an hour.
 

Lith1um

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
2,829
/Second most overlooked topic in SimRacing, FFB levels and clipping.

What is clipping? A transistor which is switching a load only has so much bandwidth. It can only transmit information by switching on and off as rapidly as it can. If you try to amplify a signal which is within it's capability, lets use a perfect sine wave, the signal can make it through without the peaks and valleys in the wave form being "clipped" off.

If you increase the signal level beyond what the transistor is capable of handling, the peaks and valleys get "clipped off" and you no longer have a nice sine wave, you have something closer to a square wave. Which means information is lost.

In the case of transistors being used to amplify music, it's the braking point between loud music and crap distortion.

In the case of a power handling device such as the transistors handling the power to your wheel's FFB motors, it's the difference between feeling as much as possible of the ffb range your sim is outputting while having cooler running equipment, versus losing ffb information while holding your wheel's power transistors open so long that they saturate with heat, along with your motors too probably.

It's important to understand that the consumer level FFB wheels we commonly use have a limited number of FFB strength steps which they can use to portray the entire range of steering column forces that your sim wants to convey. Logitech G series wheels have 64 discrete FFB levels. Fanatec wheels, and the Thrustmaster T500, each have 128 discrete FFB levels. Within this range, there is a loss of useable steps for the default ffb dead zone, as well as any dead zone which you add in increments.

What does this mean? It means that if you run your wheel with too high of a FFB setting, you will lose information and heat saturate your equipment. And if you run it with too low a FFB setting, you'll wont fully utilize the limited number of available FFB steps and you won't fully experience your wheel's capabilities.

Consider that the consumer FFB wheels which we all commonly use are all weak. They are no where near being capable of outputting the level of steering torque present in race cars. So it's important to maximize your ffb level to the maximum setting which is devoid of clipping.

During long races, the consumer wheels which we all use, loose a certain percentage of FFB strength as the race progresses due to heat saturation of the motors and power handling circuits. They all exhibit some level of, "fade". Running the correct FFB level minimizes this effect.

Just some considerations for people jumping into the sport....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96pEg6QxM88
 
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