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Tutorial TECHNICAL TIP - How to Adjust your 3rd Person Ship Camera for Maximum Viewing

Discussion in 'TheBlackKnight's Mods and Guides' started by TheBlackKnight, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. TheBlackKnight

    TheBlackKnight Corsaire Flibustier Storm Modder

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    All,

    Another little useful tip.
    Some people like a wide view angle, some smaller for ship combat.
    Something which is indicative of CoAS (as well as POTC and POTEHO) is when navigating with VERY LARGE ships the default viewing angle becomes too small to be able to properly pan views when in sea mode.
    In essence, the larger the ship the more you may have to adjust the viewing angle to properly see what is going on.
    Think of this as "widescreen" mode for the camera.
    No new game is required.

    HOW TO DO IT:

    1) Open AICameras.c in program/sea_ai in a text editor like notepad
    2) Adjust the following values:

    SeaFreeCamera.Perspective = 2.085 (defaults at 1.285)
    There are 2X instances, so you will need to change them both.
    This controls the wide angle of the camera.

    SeaShipCamera.Max Distance = 1500.0 (defaults at 90.0)
    This controls the maximum zoom out of the camera.

    3) Save your file.

    Now you will have a much wider view of sea combat and ability to zoom further in and out.

    My preferences are to actually have a median value of about 1.885 for the perspective in most cases (but not all), because it keeps the camera from going into "fish eye" mode.
    When piloting large Man-O-Wars 2.085 is best in my opinion.
    When piloting smaller ships such as frigates, brigs, and corvettes a value of 1.085-1.285 works best for close ship fighting, but you will have pan more often to see what is going on.
    If you want to get really close up in the action keep the perspective value low around 1.085 or below, but be mindful of the size of the ship.
    Do not use values above 2.5 or below 0.995 because distortion becomes EXCESSIVE.

    I do not recommend changing other values because the camera can start to become distorted.
    First person camera should be left alone, although you can make some small height changes that can potentially help game play, but that is personal preference.

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  2. Hylie Pistof

    Hylie Pistof Curmudgeon Staff Member QA Tester Storm Modder

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    Am I reading this correctly? There is only one camera setting for all ships so that small ships have a large view and large ships fill the screen?

    In POTC somehow the camera moves back for the larger ships so that they also have a large field of view. Dunno how that is done. Why would they drop that feature?
     
  3. TheBlackKnight

    TheBlackKnight Corsaire Flibustier Storm Modder

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    Ok, this is a bit of technical answer here in less Akella code "techno babble":

    All third person sea mode cameras are coded from the Storm Engine (POTC, AOP, CoAS, POTEHO) start from on a specific model positioning at whatever "centering" is directed from the model itself when it was designed.
    From the basic code, all Akella games use the same camera engline design, unless you are enabling debug mode to "fly" around the world (which is not enabled by default)

    If the model is off centered (front to the rear, or left to right) when created, the camera will be as well.
    This is easy to spot when you look at the models in gmview or TOOL.
    Model scaling is also a factor, among several other specific pieces of code in game.

    The engine camera just directs them based on specified general game settings, and is the best place to make the corrections based on your personal preferences.
    Game resolution also has an effect, but its minimal in compared to game engine settings.

    That is why sometimes small camera_AI adjustments pay big dividends.
    Try adjusting the viewing angle (drop MKs default value to 1.885) and you will see what I mean.
    The default camera views normally are 1.285 (which incidentally is the POTC New Horizons value), which is a decent median in most ship cases but work very poorly with very small (tartanes and such), and also very poorly with large ships (man-o-wars)
    Hence, the reason I mentioned the tip, because you can make a small modification which improve game play dramatically.

    I like closer views with most ships except Ships of the Line.

    NOTE: You once asked where I adjusted the first person ship camera on another post to adjust the height of your character (dwarfs), this is the same coding section.
    I cannot tell people what the best values are because this is partially personal preference, and partially what works best based on the game resolution you play the Akella games.
    I only use resolutions at 1920X1080 or above.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
    Bava likes this.
  4. Mirsaneli

    Mirsaneli Freebooter Storm Modder

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    How do I fix this camera? No matter what I do and change in AIcameras.c, I still don't have a clear view with some ships...

    My current values are:

    SeaFreeCamera.Perspective = 1.385;
    SeaShipCamera.Perspective = 1.385;

    SeaShipCamera.MinDistance = 25.0;
    SeaShipCamera.MaxDistance = 1500.0;

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    That is probably the "high camera" bug that affects ship models that have the main mast joined with the hull file.
     
  6. Mirsaneli

    Mirsaneli Freebooter Storm Modder

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    So, basically, it cannot be properly fixed for some of the ships?
     
  7. Pieter Boelen

    Pieter Boelen (Not So) Old Seadog Staff Member Administrator Storm Modder Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Their models would have to be corrected, which is not easy and very time consuming.

    In some cases, you might be able to find an already corrected model in PotC.
    I know the CoAS modpacks are much more out of date.
     

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