Warp and blend software for curve screens

Document the build progress for your screen or computer setup.

Postby windturbin » Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:22 am

Hi,

My hobby is building flight sim cockpit. I have capable PC, Geforce 900 graphics card, Triplehead2go device, 3-Benq w1080st's, 48"x 144" radius wall screen.

I was using 3- LG 24" wide screen monitors @ 5760x1080. The visuals were very good, just did not care for the small screen and bezels.Thus built curved screen and purchased projector's hoping for ultimate visual experience!

Am very happy with all I have done thus far except for the most important part.....warping/blending visuals!!!!!

Have purchased a warp/blending software and am very disappointed in the quality of visuals. I can not read the text on my desktop because of blur. And the flight sim visuals are not near as good as on my previous LG monitors.

I am trying to figure out if there is a warp/blend software available that will meet my high standards! Or even if it exist? I downloaded Nthusim Plus trial and am able to warp. But appears as though that is all I able to do? Can't blend with trial either? I can not see what my desktop looks like? I can not see how my simulation looks? All I can see or do is warp which I am already very familiar with!

I can not afford to keep purchasing warp blend software again and again in hopes that maybe one is better than another. Maybe they are all the same and none will meet my expectations? Is kinda crazy to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on software without seeing or knowing what it looks like in real time?

Here is a question.....

How does nthusim plus compare to it's parent warp blend software immersaview? Or commerial vs non-commercial? What is the difference between the two? Visual wise?

Thanks in advance for any insight ;)

Image
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Postby BHawthorne » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:40 am

Looks like a fun sim. WWII fighter setup?

Immersaview and Nthusim use the same core. That being said, In February-March Immersaview is adding another software engineer, so we should be seeing some new progress to things. Right now Nthusim 4.0 development is a bit stalled because of manpower being put on VADAAR development. It's where Immersaview is currently making their main income from. I've gotten the OK from management to push a new agenda that involves some vary major changes in Nthusim. Part of that will be rendering quality improvements.

My guess is that you're using Nthusim 3.4 for testing. 4.0.226 is a better basis to try things out. Blending should work just fine in demo mode. Are you sure you downloaded the Plus version? Standard is only for single projector use. 4.0 also adds WDDM desktop mode. I'm not overly happy with the rendering quality of text on WDDM mode though, so I'm pushing for an improvement of that in upcoming additions.

The current development version of 4.0 can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-Il4 ... TV0V0JxejQ

I'm curious, could you set your projectors to splash the default blue no-signal on the screen and photograph it? It'll better help me understand how much of the projection is splashing outside the usable screen area. That'll help me better evaluate the mounting location for your setup.

Random thoughts on warp software. Could you work with us to make a short list of what you like and dislike about warp software? Part of the new features under development can be directly influenced by feedback right now. User interface, the configuration mechanics and tutorial instructions are all subject to change based on any feedback you'd like to give. Ultimately, unless we make something people want, noone is going to buy it. Therefore, giving feedback will better help us towards that goal.

Thanks,

-Brad
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Postby windturbin » Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:25 pm

Hi Brad,

Yes, F4U corsair pit.... Am WWII buff.
Image

Yes, downloaded the Plus for 3-projectors 3.4. Thanks for that, just downloaded 4.0, will try to give it a try tomorrow!

Here is projector light with no warping, any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Image

With warping (immersaview)
Image

Be glad to give you any information I can, I thank you for any and all information you can give me as well. Will get back to you when I get a chance to play with 4.0.

Thanks for reply,

Warren
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Postby BHawthorne » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:04 pm

Looks like a fun setup! What sims do you fly? Awhile back before I got my F-84F fuselage section, I purchased P-51 blueprint CD set from ebay. For awhile I was going to go WWII too. Ended up going 50's era instead though. There are so many interesting options out there for WWII sim content. Not too much out there for 50's era for me unfortunately though. How did you go on the instrumentation? Hard to tell from the picture, but looks like you are using some gauge kits? I need to go that direction myself with my F-84F with all the gauges in it.

Given the layout, your projector mount locations look pretty optimized. No matter what you do, you're going to lose some of the pixels outside the calibration area. Theoretically, you could lower the projectors a bit on mounts with extensions, but that works against you for rigidity of the projector mounting. Lower the projectors a bit might make for the bow being less pronounced on the lower part of the projection. It might be more trouble than it's worth for 5-10% more of the pixels put within the calibration area.

You mentioned TH2G. Are you using that to the projectors? With Nvidia 900-series I'd pick Nvidia Surround over TH2G unless it has to do with special setup with displays dictating the use of the TH2G also.

The thought process of Nthusim is to be a clean and simple interface to take a lot of the confusion out of the process. Anything you could let us know that is helping or hurting in that philosophy would be useful for version 4.1 development in February-march time frame.

-Brad
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Postby windturbin » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:32 am

I fly IL-2 1946 mainly is much fun! But also FSX (but not yet since going to projectors) and want to try out X-plane eventually. My gauges are Flight Illusion kit, they work with IL-2,FSX and X-Plane. Your F-84F fuselage, is it real or built?

Thanks for projector mount input, I might try to extend the shaft's to lower them about a foot to enable me to use a few more pixels if like you say... I can make stay rigid! This is the type of info I was hoping get from this forum! I want to try to use every last pixel I can!

Nvidia Surround? , was not familiar with it. Did a search, best I can tell it is a software? The first thing that comes to mind is hardware related, how does one plug three monitors or projectors into one video card?

Anything you could let us know that is helping or hurting in that philosophy would be useful for version 4.1 development in February-march time frame.


First let me say that the Nthusim Plus software is better than what I previously was using. With Nthusim, it is not perfect but I can read the text on my desktop without un-warping every time I need use my desk top. That gets old quick, especially when you need to click somewhere you can't see anymore because it it off the screen! I am curious if it is possible for Immersaview engineers to get the desktop even clearer? In the mean time maybe more pixels will help.

I also tried out the commercial immersaview warp blending. The best thing immersaview could do for Nthusim would be to implement the same user interface for warping and blending. It had better control points, better pattern screens, the option to have the checker board pattern or desktop to use was very good. To be able to fade the checker board pattern and see the desk top through it was very nice as well! Having the option to set the blend overlap to what ever percentage you want is a good thing, makes for better blends if you have enough pixels to overlap say 25% and still fit your image on your screen.

Image
Image
More blending controls would be nice, color, gamma, gain, slope etc. So far my blends are not perfect, will keep working with it, not sure yet if I will be able to get it perfect.

Most importantly to me though is working on clarity! Also I wonder if it is even possible to some day have the technology to have projectors image on curved screen to be as clear as the top of the line monitors???? Probably top of the line projector would help too ;)
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Postby BHawthorne » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:03 am

I fly IL-2 1946 mainly is much fun! But also FSX (but not yet since going to projectors) and want to try out X-plane eventually. My gauges are Flight Illusion kit, they work with IL-2,FSX and X-Plane. Your F-84F fuselage, is it real or built?


Excellent, IL-2 is a fun series to fly. I own all the IL-2 titles. The F-84F nose section I have is real. It's the nose from 51-9345. Was built under contract in Kansas City, Kansas. It's a F-84F-10GK version. Only 15 of the 10GK version made. There are 2 versions of the F-84F cockpit and ejection seat. I have the first version of both in the OD green and black painted interior scheme. The newer paint scheme was almost totally gray. I purchased it from someone who lived in League City, Texas in 2008 and trailered it back home to Kansas where I have it now.

Thanks for projector mount input, I might try to extend the shaft's to lower them about a foot to enable me to use a few more pixels if like you say... I can make stay rigid! This is the type of info I was hoping get from this forum! I want to try to use every last pixel I can!


Tricks I've learned over time in previous builds. Whatever you do make sure the mounts are rigid as possible though.

Nvidia Surround? , was not familiar with it. Did a search, best I can tell it is a software? The first thing that comes to mind is hardware related, how does one plug three monitors or projectors into one video card?


Matrox was the original company to implement spanning modes for multi-display with their GXM products such as the TH2G. In 2010 both AMD and Nvidia implemented on a driver level spanning modes so you no longer needed a special hardware box to span. Nvidia calls their spanning mode Nvidia Surround and AMD calls theirs AMD Eyefinity. It's implemented within the video card driver settings. Just plug in the projectors to the video card and go into the video card control panel to enable the spanning mode. The interface for Nvidia and AMD are different but they basically do the same thing.

First let me say that the Nthusim Plus software is better than what I previously was using. With Nthusim, it is not perfect but I can read the text on my desktop without un-warping every time I need use my desk top. That gets old quick, especially when you need to click somewhere you can't see anymore because it it off the screen! I am curious if it is possible for Immersaview engineers to get the desktop even clearer? In the mean time maybe more pixels will help.


I agree, I use mine with the desktop a lot. It works but isn't ideal. There are a few things I'd like to see the software engineers tweak to improve matters. The key is getting as many of the pixels within the usable screen area as possible. From there it's dependent upon the scaler method used on the warp grid. That's the part that can improve a bit on the software side.

I also tried out the commercial immersaview warp blending. The best thing immersaview could do for Nthusim would be to implement the same user interface for warping and blending. It had better control points, better pattern screens, the option to have the checker board pattern or desktop to use was very good. To be able to fade the checker board pattern and see the desk top through it was very nice as well! Having the option to set the blend overlap to what ever percentage you want is a good thing, makes for better blends if you have enough pixels to overlap say 25% and still fit your image on your screen.


Immersaview is also experimenting with a method they've named RapidCal. IMHO, some parts of that calibration method I like a lot. The way they handle the blend overlap areas and the calibration control point method they use. I do want to see some more functional calibration patterns implemented. Right now the grid and the colored lines are useful in Nthusim but aren't overly intuitive. I'm also wanting the overlap % to be user defined. I believe it was originally removed to simply things. IMHO, it's a bit too simplified with it being a static 12% though.

Thanks for the pics. Looks like it's working pretty good. Saw the desktop background. Wonder if they're going to make a season 4?

More blending controls would be nice, color, gamma, gain, slope etc. So far my blends are not perfect, will keep working with it, not sure yet if I will be able to get it perfect.


I'd also like to see more granularity on the blend profiles. Maybe double the amount available for the mouse scrollwheel. It's a bit of a balancing act between keeping things simple and giving the customer enough control over everything to get it looking right. I believe there is a happy balance somewhere in there to be had. We just need to find the most intuitive way to interface it.

Most importantly to me though is working on clarity! Also I wonder if it is even possible to some day have the technology to have projectors image on curved screen to be as clear as the top of the line monitors???? Probably top of the line projector would help too ;)


Projector technology is always a bit of a compromise. Personally, I'd like to see projector manufacturers wake up and realize that the consumer display market is moving on to 1440p and 2160p 2k and 4k resolutions. Clarity will come when we start seeing better resolution options. Also, I'd like to see the manufacturers wake up to DisplayPort for improved port bandwidth and laser-LED based bulb systems for 4-6x as long a bulb life for the projector as well as running a lot cooler temperature.
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Postby The_Nephilim » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:51 am

Well you are comparing a small 24" screen at 1920 x 1080 too a big 5' screen at 1920x1080 the smaller screen will seem crisper then then the bigger screen. what we need is 8K DLP PRojectors but they are far off into the future.. but if you really want clarity get this:


https://www.christiedigital.com/en-us/b ... -projector

That is a step in the right direction but alas as I am too poor to afford this thing currently. but as all things electronic the more it becomes mainstream and availability increases the Price will decrease.. I myself am awaiting 8K 3D Stereoscopic Projectors with lasers ;)..

I would say you setup is pretty good they are 1080P correct?? well currently for reasonable sums of money that is what we have available.. I would love to get those 3D Christies they offer that would be sweet but for now relegated to big companies and amuaement parks.. but we are getting there..

I too also notice the clarity issues as when I switch off nThusim the image does seem crisper and a bit fuzzy when enabled.. SO perhaps nThusim can give us some more clarity when warping??

AS for your 9xx series card you should be able to hook 4 monitors/Projectors up with that card.. you need 2 or 3 for surround and you can have an accessory display, I would run NVidia Surround vs the TH2Go unit..

what kind of Connectors do those Projectors have?? I know on the 980GTX Video card there are 2 display Ports and a HDMI also a DVI-D Connector. so you should be able to connect all 3 projectors to the video card and run Surround with NVidia drivers.. I run 3 projectors too and run a 980GTX on a Curved screen.. I had to use Display port to VGA Adapters to get mine connected but I was able to do it and run 3D Surround..

I was thinking of getting new 3D Projectors but nothing in the works for any new 3D Vision equipment.. so I am maintaining what I currently have.. I think nThusim Warp and blend is great as it is I get pretty damn near perfect blends with nThusim.. I had bought another Warping Software and it had the features you said and was never able to get it any where near perfect..

I think nThusim is easy for us noobs to this technology but am not against future upgrades to nThusim for better blends as long as it is not overly complicated and breaks what I believe works well in its current form.. Also I would suggest getting a Laser Lever and align your warp with that..

I bought one and the alignment looks so much better when aligning it with a laser.. I know out the box I can get a decent alignment but when using the Laser you see how off you really were.. I am going to do another alignment soon just need to get off my lazy butt and get her done hehe!!

If you need any help with your Blend shoot your questions and I can help also as I am a longtime user now I think your setup is really cool. Currently I fly mostly Fast jets and use a Virtual Pit being my screen is it as I fly a multiple Jets and Helicopters.. ;)
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Postby windturbin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:00 am

F-84F nose section I have is real. It's the nose from 51-9345.


That is too cool, am curious, from the nose to the cockpit? How many feet long? were do you keep it, in your garage / house? Are you using it currently for sim? BTW, I live driving distance from League city texas! Wonder if they have anymore lying around...haha

Whatever you do make sure the mounts are rigid as possible though
.

I made my own extensions (bolted pipe), not sure if they are going to be rigid enough yet, will have to see if they move at all over time. I have a friend who is a welder, I have another idea using aluminum if these turn out not to be ridged enough. By moving them down it did enable me to use more pixels. I also re-positioned them, put them closer together to get more overlap without stretching the pixels this time. I ended up with a smaller overall viewing area but it looks much better! The blue tape is just painters tape, comes right off, It helps me with the warping. Am leaving it there until I know there is no movement, or until I get a laser as Nephilim suggest. Also, by getting a better overlay, the blend looks perfect without using the blend tool.
extensions.JPG
extensions.JPG (149.18 KiB) Viewed 15021 times


Matrox was the original company to implement spanning modes for multi-display with their GXM products such as the TH2G. In 2010 both AMD and Nvidia implemented on a driver level spanning modes so you no longer needed a special hardware box to span. Nvidia calls their spanning mode Nvidia Surround and AMD calls theirs AMD Eyefinity. It's implemented within the video card driver settings. Just plug in the projectors to the video card and go into the video card control panel to enable the spanning mode. The interface for Nvidia and AMD are different but they basically do the same thing.


As for your 9xx series card you should be able to hook 4 monitors/Projectors up with that card.. you need 2 or 3 for surround and you can have an accessory display, I would run NVidia Surround vs the TH2Go unit..

what kind of Connectors do those Projectors have?? I know on the 980GTX Video card there are 2 display Ports and a HDMI also a DVI-D Connector. so you should be able to connect all 3 projectors to the video card and run Surround with NVidia drivers.. I run 3 projectors too and run a 980GTX on a Curved screen.. I had to use Display port to VGA Adapters to get mine connected but I was able to do it and run 3D Surround


I have GTX 960 , 1-DVI-D, 4-HDMI , my Benq w1080st's have just regular VGA plug in for PC. Need to read the manual, but don't think it will let me go HDMI video card to HDMI projector.
BenQ_W1080ST_connections.jpg
BenQ_W1080ST_connections.jpg (23.82 KiB) Viewed 15021 times

what we need is 8K DLP PRojectors but they are far off into the future..


Yes, will pick up 3 of these as soon as I win the Power Ball! :D
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Postby The_Nephilim » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:06 am

Hi Windturbin those connectors on the video card are Display port there should be 3 and 1 DVI and 1 hdmi.. check the manufacturer..
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Postby BHawthorne » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:54 pm

windturbin wrote:That is too cool, am curious, from the nose to the cockpit? How many feet long? were do you keep it, in your garage / house? Are you using it currently for sim? BTW, I live driving distance from League city texas! Wonder if they have anymore lying around...haha

It's the whole front to around 18 foot or so. Fits the car trailer length almost perfectly. Currently it's in storage for the winter. At the moment it's mounted to a car trailer. Plan is to weld up a cradle for it and put it on casters to move around in the shop area.

I made my own extensions (bolted pipe), not sure if they are going to be rigid enough yet, will have to see if they move at all over time. I have a friend who is a welder, I have another idea using aluminum if these turn out not to be ridged enough. By moving them down it did enable me to use more pixels. I also re-positioned them, put them closer together to get more overlap without stretching the pixels this time. I ended up with a smaller overall viewing area but it looks much better! The blue tape is just painters tape, comes right off, It helps me with the warping. Am leaving it there until I know there is no movement, or until I get a laser as Nephilim suggest. Also, by getting a better overlay, the blend looks perfect without using the blend tool.


Looks good. I use the painter's tape trick on my setup too. With all the screen assistance I do I really should pick up a laser leveler eventually though. :)


I have GTX 960 , 1-DVI-D, 4-HDMI , my Benq w1080st's have just regular VGA plug in for PC. Need to read the manual, but don't think it will let me go HDMI video card to HDMI projector.


W1080ST should have at least 2 HDMI inputs on the back of them. I know my W1070 has two and it's basically the same projector but different lens throw. Should be just fine with HDMI on the W1080ST. See the two HDMI ports to the far left? Either of those would work directly from the video card and Nvidia Surround enabled.

But I'm often of the mindset of if it's not broke, don't fix it. If the TH2G is working good, no need to rewire for HDMI. Thing is HDMI is a better signal because it's digital signal. While VGA is analog. Long runs of analog VGA cabling introduces a bit of white noise into the projection signal. Things to ponder if you want to upgrade the cabling in the future. With that in mind, I use Monoprice cables for the long HDMI runs. Rather cost effective. Typically about $1/foot for their cables.
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