622 visits since 4 November 2010
9 Nov 2010
Version 1.2 Released
- Fixed a bug where using hatswitch in views other than Virtual Cockpit enabled the Banking Camera when it shouldn't have.
Thanks to Ross McLennan
4 Nov 2010
Version 1.1 Released
- Ctrl+P to Pause (disable)
- Bank angle limited to 40° left/right
- Configuration .ini file included to customise the above
20 Sep 2010
Version 1.0 Released
I experimented with FreeTrack
but had only limited success. The hardware was cumbersome and
uncomfortable, and the software took a long time to tweak, and then
still wasn't perfect.
That said, FreeTrack is an excellent concept and well worth trying out
. Well done to the FreeTrack developers for their efforts!
I decided to rather investigate an "automatic" head-tracking system. At
that time I was a PPL student, and had some flying experience, so I
knew what the natural instincts would be in terms of where one would be
looking when doing certain things in the cockpit. Most obvious of
course was "looking where one one is going", ie looking to see where
the aircraft is headed into a turn.
So Banking Camera was born.
How it works
The program hooks into
FSX via Simconnect - the API provided by Microsoft for the purposes of
extending FSX functionality. What it does is enquire as to the bank
angle of the aircraft and banks the camera accordingly. If the
hatswitch of Joystick #0 is activated, the banking is disabled for
three seconds to allow you to look around. After the 3 seconds, it
snaps back to the banked view.
- Snapping back to the forward view is too rapid.
Unfortunately, I can't find a way in Simconnect to query the camera
orientation, and then smoothly transition back to the banked view. If
someone knows, please let me know!
- Hatswitch events are only monitored for on Joystick #0. If
you have more than one Joystick defined (ie hatswitch is not on
Joystick #0), it will produce an ugly contradiction between the banking
camera and the hatswitch.
To get around this for now, configure the Joystick that has the
hatswitch on it as the 1st joystick, ie Joystick #0.
- Version 1.0 had no keyboard shortcut to Pause (ie disable)
the banking camera. Version 1.1 is configured to use "Ctrl+p" by default.
You can configure any key combination you like using the .ini file.
- I use FSX to practice manouvres and procedures for real
world flying. I never set radios, switches etc on FSX, so that wasn't a
concern for me. I found that the banking camera provided a more
realistic cockpit feel, and better visibility especially in the
circuit. It was never intended for aerobatics/combat. Any manouvres
exceeding rate 1 turns would produce a somewhat unnatural
camera angle. However, in Version 1.1, the camera bank is now limited
to 40° left/right by default.
You can configure the bank angle limit using the .ini file.
- Any other add-in that manipulates the camera will conflict
with Banking Camera. There is no way around this!
Installation & Usage
- Installation is automatic using the installer. No changes
are made to the FSX installation or configuration.
- A configuration file called "Banking Camera.ini" is created in the Windows folder.
There is a shortcut to edit this file in the Programs Menu.
You can specify the keyboard shortcut to Pause(ie disable) Banking Camera, and the camera bank angle limit.
Key combinations must be specified as follows: Ctrl for Control, Shift for Shift, Alt for Alt.
For Example: Ctrl+Shift+p
- To run, start FSX, then start Banking Camera. If you want,
you can have FSX start Banking Camera automatically using a file called
exe.xml (part of FSX). More detail to follow when time allows.
Thanks to the following people for their ideas/constructive criticism.
Please note that I am not a professional programmer and don't have a lot of time to spend on this,
but please feel free to send a mail if you have a question or suggestion, or better still,
you have some knowledge of Simconnect that you can share with me;)
In no particular order, thanks to:
- Ross McLennan, Adelaide, South Australia - Suggested limiting bank angle
- Bruno G.F.van Mulken - started this thread on Flightsim
- Luis - requested keyboard shortcut for Pause
- Jon L. Houston, Dartmouth, Canada - requested keyboard shortcut for Pause
Banking Camera is 100% FREE - and always will be!
Since 2010, Banking Camera has been downloaded by thousands of happy pilots, and providing support for so many aviators comes at a price, so we've added a PayPal button that will allow you to 'Purchase' this useful software.
There is NO OBLIGATION to do that however, but your contribution will go a long way to helping us help you into the future!
Please note: I have taken reasonable precautions to ensure that this software is free of viruses and malicious code.
Downloading and using this software is at your own risk.
Banking Camera is developed using Visual C++ Studio 2010.
If you get an error such as "...MSVCR100.dll is missing from your computer", you need to download and install the file below: