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Bad triple monitor support in Project CARS explained

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I get asked this question a lot when I say that I don't like Project CARS purely for it's bad triple monitor support. Those of you who run there side monitors on a big angle know all this already but I get this question from people who run their monitors at a flat or very low angle. They often say there is nothing wrong with Project CARS triple monitor support because it looks okay on their monitors. If you do have your side monitors on an angle then Project CARS will look horribly distorted, the more extreme the monitor angle the worse it will like. At 60 degree monitor angle it is unplayable.
 
I will start of by quoting a post I did on the subject over at the SimXperience forum followed up by a more detailed explanation of why people with angled monitors have problems in Project CARS. I know this is probably too long for most to read and those of you with angled monitors already know all this but hopefully someone at SMS takes notice and adds in better support. I am really surprised that this wasn't a major concern during the beta. I am sure at least some of the testers should have been running angled monitors. 
 

I run my side 60 degrees which gives me a total horizontal FOV of 180 degrees. For this to work you need to render the screens separately. AC, rF1 & 2, iRacing, GSCE all let you do this. This is my POV in AC.

IMG_0045_zpst8kvqhgn.jpg

If I back the camera out you can see that I can see almost back to the B pillar (In some cars I can)

IMG_0017_zpsjyxzhomf.jpg

Here is a more top down view of my monitors in GSCE, you can see that in this car I can see the B pillar on the left hand side and the right B pillar is just out of frame. This is great for wheel you are passing people because you can see out of your side windows.

IMG_0808_zpsg4vxbm9q.jpg

Now this is Project Cars. Because the screens aren't rendered seperately I need to flatten out the monitors so I is one flat image, this is how Project cars and codemasters games work. If I leave my monitors on an angle then it will be massively warped because it is not taking in to account the extreme monitor angle.

IMG_0817_zpsjv6lhquy.jpg

So you can see from that Project Cars photo that my FOV is correct, My steering wheel is in the correct spot and everything is the right size but without the wrap around screens then the horizontal FOV is terrible. I can't even see the mirror on the left hand side. Compare that to my earlier photos where I can see all the way back to the B pillars and you can see what my problem with Project Cars.

I can't race with such a limited FOV and with the monitors flat then the edges look so far away. With my angled setup each monitor is perpendicular to me and each monitor is exactly 530mm from my eyes. My screens are very close, there is just enough room behind my wheel for my fingers on the shifters but this lets me get the full 180 degrees FOV (iRacings Max FOV is 179 so that is what I build my rig for)

IMG_0860_zpsvxr9wemc.jpg

This is from another post I wrote on the same matter on a different forum. We are talking about the new Red Bull Air Race game that Slightly Mad Studios is working on and I saying that it is a pity that SMS doesn't support triple monitors properly, another member said to get a bigger TV so I explained why it doesn't matter how big your screen is or how close you are, it is never going to be as good as a angled screen setup because it doesn't wrap around you. The last photo in the section shows how games that support seperate screen rendering works. They have 3 in game cameras which render each screen correctly.
 

 



 
The problem is that Project CARS renders the image as one flat image. It doesn't take in to account that my monitors are on a 60 degree angle so they look extremely warped. It feels like someone has squashed the sides of the car and track towards you, extremely fisheyed.

In AC or other games it renders the game as 3 separate images which have the perspecive shifted at a 60 degree angle so the view out my side monitors are what you would expect to see. It takes in to account that my monitors are at a 60 degree angle and renders the image so it looks correct.

The problem is that Project CARS is trying to project a flat image on to an angled surface without correcting for that angle

For me my FOV is even more extreme than the images I posted. I have a full 180 degrees of horizontal FOV. basically of you sit in my cockpit and turn your head 90 degrees then you will be looking at the edge of my screen. It is way bigger than your peripheral vision covers, you actually need to turn you head right over to see the edge of my monitors.

On a single camera it would be more like this

1camv2_zpstm6werwi.png

And on 3 cameras it would be more like this (When looking straight at the side screens the virtual camera would be positioned right behind my eyeballs)

3camv2_zpsnye8jkmp.png

Here are some screenshots from my setup and you will see how different they are. I used a road car because the dashboard give a really good visual indication of the problem. I am using Assetto Corsa as an example of proper triple monitor support but I can do the exact some monitor setup in iRacing, Game Stock Car, rFactor 1 and 2 and Euro Truck Simulator 2. I am using the AMG Merc in both games using the same vertical FOV

AC

ACvpc1_zps2ado0los.jpg

Project Cars

ACvPC2_zpsfi4logop.jpg


Another shot on the straight

AC

ACvPC3_zpstoxrib5s.jpg

Project Cars

ACvPC4_zpsyfzggtdl.jpg

It is a bit hard to see in the big screenshot so here is a zoomed in shot of the intersection of the monitors.

AC, You will notice here the side view is steeply angled in relation to the center view, this is to account for the 60 angle of my side monitors. You can also see a little gap for the bezel correction which is done in game (This is important so the game can know exactly where to put the 60 degree bend in the image) If you look at the seam line in the dashboard you will see it doesn't look straight at all but when you display this on my angled monitors then it looks perfectly straight.

ACvPC13_zpshm0xvdvh.jpg

Project CARS, You will notice that the game does nothing to compensate for my angled side monitors. When viewed on a flat angle like this then the seam line looks straight but when you display this on my angled monitors then it doesn't look straight at all because of the angle of my monitors.

ACvPC14_zpsr8tbwwvy.jpg

It is a bit hard to see what this really means when you are looking at it on a flat monitor like we are in the forum so I will show you some photos comparing AC to Project Cars when they are on my angled monitors.

For this example I used the AMG Merc again. I adjusted the vertical FOV to be the same in both games.

This is my center view from AC

ACvPC5_zpsagkpjsy8.jpg

And this is Project CARS

ACvPC6_zpsxmpgrtgn.jpg

They look pretty similar so you know I have the right vertical FOV in both games, and the center screens on both games look pretty much the same.

Now this is when Project CARS breaks down. If I turn my head and look sideways look what happens.

In AC I can look to the right and I can see out my side window and I can see my side mirror, remember I have a 180 degree FOV so this is with my head turned quite far to the right. Basically everything in the virtual world is exactly where it would be in real life, I need to move my head the exact same amount as I would in a real car to look out the side window.

ACvPC7_zpsm9hlddwv.jpg

Now in Project CARS. When I look to the right you will see that the dashboard is all warped and stretched, I can only just see the other side of the front window. I can't see the side mirror or side window at all.

ACvPC8_zpsbtoyospe.jpg

So lets look at how this affects a corner.

Here in AC I can look out and see the corner to the right, I can spot my apex for this corner and the next. It looks exactly how it would in real life

ACvPC9_zpsq5kja1vj.jpg

Now lets look at that same corner again is Project CARS, because it doesn't correct for the side monitor angles the corner looks much sharper. I can see the apex for the next corner but it is right over the edge of my monitor so I need to turn my head 90 degrees to see it when in reality I would only have to move my head about 30-45 degrees to see the next corners apex. They makes it look like this corner is a really sharp hairpin instead of a more gentle corner.

ACvPC10_zpss4lkzqxx.jpg

Now here is a more close up view looking out over to the right and we can see how the dash looks.

In AC

ACvPC11_zpscbgnknfc.jpg

In Project CARS

ACvPC12_zpslfgonkfk.jpg

Here is an animated GIF switching between both games. I left the monitor frame in shot so you have a reference point to how angled my monitors really are. AC is the one where the dashboard looks straight in game and you can see the side pillar. Project CARS is the one with the warped dash and gear indicator.

ACvPC_zpslyyiwjkh.gif

I recorded a video of the difference because that shows the difference really well.



In the AC part of the video the dashboard looks straight, you can see the door over to the right just like in a real car. In Project Cars everything looks distorted, the side mirror and dash look massively stretched. The don't vanish off in to the distance like in AC, you don't have that depth in Project CARS. In AC it feels like I could reach right inside to monitor and unlock the passenger door like I would IRL.

If we talk about horizontal FOV then in AC I have 180 degrees, 60 degrees FOV on each monitor angled at 60 degrees (I love how everything is 60 degrees, go maths!!!!) Now in Project CARS to get my center screen to look correct then I need to lower the horizontal FOV down to 108 degrees. Then that 108 FOV is being pseudo stretched over a 180 degree display which is why everything looks so stretched and warped. It is not only the perspective that is wrong it also makes it looks stretched. If I had my monitors flat then it wouldn't looks as stretched because if my monitors were flat then the far edge of my monitors would be a metre away from my eyes but with them angled the far edge of the monitor is only just over half a metre away.

This makes Project CARS unplayable for me. I actually started to feel ill just driving the car into position for the screenshots because it does your head in, none of the horizon lines are straight in Project CARS and you get wicked motion sickness because everything is so warped and twisted. I mean it looks bad in these screenshots and photos but when you are moving it is actually nauseating bad.

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Hey Richard, long time no speak, what a brilliant post!!!

 

Read it with a lot of interest, and yes I can see exactly what you mean, personally I am enjoying Pcars from a gameplay perspective and I'm running a league with Ricky Davies at the moment, the patches that have been released so far have vastly improved the game since launh......However......

 

The lack of triple screen support IS a major flaw, and they need to get onto this asap.....it needs to be addressed on the next patch without fail!!! once they sort this out they really will have an amazing sim on their hands....it looks beautiful, it plays beautiful (don't care what most say,it is no way arcade with all assists turned off) and we have a lot of fun racing with it, there are a few other flaws which I wont go into now, but its certainly getting there!!

 

Once again, great post buddy

 

Take it easy

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Great read avenga , im on tripples too and like you i realy dont get it that no one on the pcars beta didnt have any issue with it , its the same with raceroom and ive put it on the rr forum and its now on there to do list . As for sms i realy hope they sort it out but i doubt it cuz there,s only 5% that use tripple screens . Oh and gratzz on the monitors , i found it hard to watch to see a awesome rig and ditto hardware go to waste with that fov u were running before , now its good and i can sleep again hahaha .

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Hey Richard, long time no speak, what a brilliant post!!!

 

Read it with a lot of interest, and yes I can see exactly what you mean, personally I am enjoying Pcars from a gameplay perspective and I'm running a league with Ricky Davies at the moment, the patches that have been released so far have vastly improved the game since launh......However......

 

The lack of triple screen support IS a major flaw, and they need to get onto this asap.....it needs to be addressed on the next patch without fail!!! once they sort this out they really will have an amazing sim on their hands....it looks beautiful, it plays beautiful (don't care what most say,it is no way arcade with all assists turned off) and we have a lot of fun racing with it, there are a few other flaws which I wont go into now, but its certainly getting there!!

 

Once again, great post buddy

 

Take it easy

 

Thanks. Yeah, I would love to play the game but with my monitors at 60 degrees it makes me physically nauseous even driving around at slow speeds. As I said in my post, I felt quite ill just doing a half a lap to park the cars for the screenshots. I think if you were at maybe 30-45 degree side angles then your brain could cope, it would still look bad but not enough to make you feel ill. At 60 degrees it just looks too wrong, your central vision is telling you one thing and your peripheral is telling you another so your brain just freaks out and you get motion sick.

 

I was talking to one of my friends just after the launch about how unplayable it is with the bad triple monitor support. He said there were tons of post about it in the private forums. I have no access to these forums so I can't confirm this but from the sounds of it they either didn't care about it or it was too hard for them to fix. There is other problems like the maximum Horizontal FOV is 158 degrees so even then it won't support my 180 degrees FOV. It would probably mean a total rewrite of the in game virtual camera so I don't think it will be an easy fix. 

 

It seems like all I am doing lately is fighting for the niche 1% of use that have usual setups, like direct drive wheel support in Dirt Rally, increased maximum controller support in Next Car Game, ETS2 and others or 180 degree FOV support in games. I am glad that some developers are listening. I am stoked that Codemasters added better wheel support. I sent them a good half dozen emails about it with my suggestions, they never replied to any of them but the fact that they used the exact suggestion that I recommended makes me think I had something to do with it. I don't know how to start the process with Project CARS because I don't have any contacts in SMS, at least with Codemasters I know the community manager so I could hassle him.

 

BTW, for those who ask "Why don't you just increase the horizontal FOV to more than 108 degrees?" This is what Project CARS looks like if I try that. This is at 158 horizontal FOV so not even close to the 180 horizontal FOV I use in AC, iRacing and GSC etc. I can see almost as much horizontally but my vertical FOV is massive. In the other games that support angled monitors it means that I can run huge horizontal FOV but still keep the vertical FOV down. Normally I run 180 hFOV by 34 vFOV. In Project CARS this screenshot is 158 hFOV by 67.5 vFOV

 

2015-08-30_00006_zpsmfytgnxb.jpg

 

 

Great read avenga , im on tripples too and like you i realy dont get it that no one on the pcars beta didnt have any issue with it , its the same with raceroom and ive put it on the rr forum and its now on there to do list . As for sms i realy hope they sort it out but i doubt it cuz there,s only 5% that use tripple screens . Oh and gratzz on the monitors , i found it hard to watch to see a awesome rig and ditto hardware go to waste with that fov u were running before , now its good and i can sleep again hahaha .

 

Thanks. Yeah, I am pretty sure it did come up in the beta from what I have heard. I don't know why they didn't fix it. RaceRoom and Codemasters games are the others that don't have good triple monitor support. It is a shame because before I went for the 180 degree FOV I used to really like raceroom. I really want to try some of the new content but I can't due to the monitor support.

 

Yeah, it was really hard to engineer the switch over to the 180 degree FOV. I moved house a few months ago so I have enough room to leave my rig permanently set up now. That was the main thing stopping me from going to a big FOV. The other problem was that my monitors don't have a VESA mount. I figured out a way around that my fabricating my own monitor holder brackets. Now that I have done it there is no way I could go back. The fact that you can look over and see out your side windows is really good, if makes overtaking really exciting, the way that you have to dart you head over to check the side mirrors and you can see the car right up beside you.

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It's a pity you dont get on too well with the DK2 as it neatly sidesteps this issue, and Pcars has one of the better implemented vr solutions.

 

I was one of the beta testers, and I dont recall much being said about proper triple monitor support. That being said, it was a massive forum and impossible to read everything. I was always waiting for the announcement, but it never came. I assumed it was something to do with the high graphical demands it would have needed, on top of the already high graphical demands of the game.

 

If you had been part of the beta, your way of explaining things in detail and logic may well have got results. Alas, if I had said my version of your post, it would not have been anywhere near as convincing.

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It's a pity you dont get on too well with the DK2 as it neatly sidesteps this issue, and Pcars has one of the better implemented vr solutions.

 

I was one of the beta testers, and I dont recall much being said about proper triple monitor support. That being said, it was a massive forum and impossible to read everything. I was always waiting for the announcement, but it never came. I assumed it was something to do with the high graphical demands it would have needed, on top of the already high graphical demands of the game.

 

If you had been part of the beta, your way of explaining things in detail and logic may well have got results. Alas, if I had said my version of your post, it would not have been anywhere near as convincing.

 

Yeah. The DK2 just didn't feel good for me. I didn't like the narrow FOV. it felt like I had tunnel vision, like I was racing with horse blinders on. I didn't like that I had to look around with my whole head instead of just your eyes, like in a real car I would just dart my eyes over to see the rear view mirror, with the DK2 I had to move my whole head. I found if I wasn't looking perfectly straight then it was blurry. It also felt very claustrophobic.

 

The 180 degree FOV is the exact opposite, it feels so open and roomy. You forget that the monitor frame is there and it looks like the screens have real depth. Like you look over and the passenger door seems ages away, just like in a real car. I can dart my eyes where ever I want, everything looks in scale and correct. I can see the roof, dash and all of the front and side windows so I have all the visual info I need, I have to look over my shoulder to see off the screen. If I put a roof on my rig it would be exactly what you would see out of a real car. 

 

I missed out on the beta but I would have loved to have been able to give my feedback

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It's official now. It's never coming.

It only took them half a decade to admit they don't have the skills necessary to code for the triples... Or most likely Ian Bell and SMS were lying about it all along every time they said "it's definitely coming".

"We did investigate it thoroughly and the amount of changes required to the underlying system renders this unfeasible for Project CARS 1. We will implement enhanced support for Project CARS 2 for release, and it will be best-of-class." (http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?22367-ANSWERED-We-need-proper-triple-screen-support/page30)

BTW, one's got to wonder how on earth they already know something that still has to be developed will be "best-of-class"?!?!?!

Yeah...

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I can say this, I will not be wasting my money on Pcars 2 this sim is crap, hold on I mean game with out proper triple support it is just a game. They promise us all along that proper triple screen support is coming then they back pedal and say they cant do it. Not to mention the other problems it has like the fact it runs like s%#t on a AMD GPU.

 

I think we should all be demanding our money back 

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I can say this, I will not be wasting my money on Pcars 2 this sim is crap, hold on I mean game with out proper triple support it is just a game. They promise us all along that proper triple screen support is coming then they back pedal and say they cant do it. Not to mention the other problems it has like the fact it runs like s%#t on a AMD GPU.

 

I think we should all be demanding our money back 

The AMD card issue may be an even bigger story than the triple screen support (which still stinks).  Wasn't playable with my R9 285 on a single screen with everything turned off while the rest of the titles ran at 180+ fps and lots of eye candy.

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I hear you there John I am running a Asus ROG R9 290X and I am running it over clocked and I still struggle to get playable frame rates. 

 

One other thing that ticks me off is they closed the thread I started on the project cars forums for proper triple screen support. They dont want to listen to complaints. Probably because they know they are dead wrong and they dropped the ball on this one. 

 

 

 

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Just another in a million instances in today's digital/computer age where there is zero accountability for failing to deliver on promises.  I mean it can't even be the slightest bit surprising and it's almost expected.  It's always "the next one is going to be better, we promise."

Of course with all of that said I'm just playing on an xBox One so this doesn't really affect me and I would be lying if I said I wasn't going to buy PCARS 2.....I mean I don't have a lot of alternatives beyond Forza which no matter how much I try to love it I don't enjoy nearly as much as PCARS.

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Hey Avenga76, excellent post! I have been dealing with the same problem and am currently running my triples at 10 degrees because I run PCARS and R3E mostly but, reading your post makes me want to go back to a 60 degree setting. I will just run more AC,GSCE, iRacing and RF2. Even LFS has good triple monitor support. I so much miss the feeling of a real FOV. 

Thanks for the great post.

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Nice one, learnt a lot as I run Triples, will have to see what my setup is on AC.

Does it accomodate the triples automatically, or do you have to configure them...

 

Anyway I'll check this out.

 

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