5. The TrackIR software
- The TrackIR software is the interface between TrackIR, TrackIR Enhanced games and simulations, and you. It must be running in order to use TrackIR. A list of games that are TrackIR Enhanced can be found in the Titles tab of the software or on the Enhanced Games page of the TrackIR website.
Once you have determined that a game is TrackIR Enhanced, you can continue to the next step. Verify that the TrackIR software is running before starting the simulation that you wish to use with TrackIR. Once the game is running, it should be possible to control the view by moving your head. Some games may require you to turn on support for the TrackIR in the game menu or activate the virtual cockpit. If the TrackIR it does not work immediately, please consult the game's manual or manufacturer support for more details. The Enhanced Games page of the TrackIR website contains hints and tips for supported title compatibility.
5.1.1 Basic Settings
You can access a few global tracking settings in the Basic Settings section. These settings enable you to quickly and simply adjust the speed, smoothing, and tracking type for all games. Basic visual preview options are also available. For details on adjusting Basic Settings, see section 5.6.
5.1.2 Advanced Settings
Many more settings are available to further customize your TrackIR experience. The Advanced Settings section enables you to manage profiles, edit motion curves, preview tracking and view control, assign profiles to titles, and adjust camera hardware settings. For details on adjusting Advanced Settings, see section 5.6.
5.2 Size and Layout
- You can choose between three layouts: Panel View, Preview Window View, and the default Panel/Preview Split View.
You can resize the software window by clicking and dragging the bottom right corner.
5.3 Main menu
Access the Software Options menu by clicking on the TrackIR logo in the top left corner of the software.
Minimize to System Tray
When selected, minimizing the software will send it to the System Tray instead of the Taskbar.
Check for News Updates
When selected, the software will check for news updates immediately.
Check for Software Updates
When selected, the software will check for software updates immediately.
Check for Game List Updates
When selected, the software will check for game list updates at startup.
Minimize to System Tray
When selected, the TrackIR software will minimize into the Windows System Tray instead of the Windows Task Bar.
Clicking this menu item will close the TrackIR software.
5.4 Application Options
Access Application Options by clicking on the wrench logo at the top left corner of the software
Minimize to System Tray
When selected, minimizing the software will send it to the System Tray instead of the Taskbar at startup.
Check for News Updates
When selected, the software will check for news updates at startup.
Check for Software Updates
When selected, the software will check for software updates at startup.
Check for Game Updates
When selected, the software will check for game list updates at startup.
Run On System Startup
When selected, the TrackIR software will automatically start as soon as Windows loads, every time you turn on or restart your computer.
When selected, the TrackIR Software will run in a minimized state when it is started. It is recommended that you minimize the software while playing games and simulations, as this will consume the fewest system resources.
5.5 Help menu
Access the Help menu by clicking on the question mark icon in the top left corner of the software.
This menu item launches a window with information about the version of the software you are using, and contains a link to the NaturalPoint website.
This menu item launches the TrackIR 5.x software manual.
This menu item directs you to the NaturalPoint Customer Support web page.
5.6 Information Pane
Identifies which generation of TrackIR (3, 4, or 5) is active, as well as its serial number.
Identifies which profile is currently loaded.
Identifies which TrackIR Enhanced game or simulation is interfacing with the TrackIR software.
5.7 Basic Settings
Select the TrackClip button for the standard hat clip or the TrackClip PRO button for the headset clip upgrade.
Adjust the Speed slider above 1 to multiply responsiveness on all axes. Adjust the slider below 1 to decrease responsiveness for all axes. Speed adjustments are global and will be applied to all profiles. You can see a visual representation of the multiplier on the curve graph in the Advanced Settings. The original curve will appear as a green line, and the multiplied curve will remain orange.
Note : Because this multiplier affects all profiles and all axes, it is not ideal for small, specific adjustments. Small speed adjustments for particular points or particular axes should still be managed with the curve editor’s control points on a per-profile basis.
Smoothing is used to stabilize head movement as it is converted into in-game view control. Increasing the amount of smoothing will provide a steadier view, while decreasing the smoothing will make panning the view more responsive. Smoothing adjustments are global and will be applied to all profiles.
5.8 Advanced Settings
5.8.1 Profile management
Profiles are a collection of settings (motion curves, hotkeys, axis enabling/disabling, etc.) that enable you to optimize TrackIR according to game conditions and personal preferences. Primarily, profiles control how your actual head movement is converted into in-game view control.
The TrackIR ships with some default profiles which have been tuned to perform well for a wide variety of games and simulations. The default profile provides a good starting point for customizing the motion to suit your needs as you become more familiar with using TrackIR.
Optimized for the broadest range of genres and game play styles. It has a fairly strong dead zone to prevent unintended head movements from being tracked. It is more scalable than the Smooth profile, lending itself well to broad adjustments with the Speed slider.
Similar to the Default profile, but with a very minimal dead zone and more even motion scaling across all axes. More ideal for flight and racing than first-person.
All axes are unscaled, giving an exact 1:1 ratio between actual and in-game head movement. This profile is included more for testing and comparison purposes than in-game use, though it might be appropriate in some simulation or gaming situations.
Note : 4.x profiles can be imported into version 5.x. They will be overwritten in the 5.x profile format upon exit of the software.
22.214.171.124 Create, Copy, and Delete a Profile
Creating New Profiles
Press the “Add” button (plus sign) to create a new profile and add it to the list.
Copying a Profile
Press the “Copy” button to make a copy of the profile that is currently highlighted in the profile list. The new copied profile will be added to the profile list with “Copy of” added to the beginning of the profile name. You can change the name of this profile by editing the “Name” field.
Deleting a Profile
Press the “Delete” button (minus sign) to delete the profile that is currently highlighted in the profile list. Before the profile is deleted, you will be prompted to confirm deletion.
Saving a Profile
You can save changes to a profile by pressing the “Save” button. Unsaved profile changes can be kept or discarded by responding to the prompt that appears upon state change or shutdown.
Note : Profiles are saved in C:\Program Files\NaturalPoint\TrackIR5\Profiles. Windows 7 and Vista users with the User Access Control active may find their profile in one of the following alternate locations where <yourusername> is your user account name. Please note that in 64 bit operating systems, the program files directory is called "Program files (x86)".
- C:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\VirtualStore\Program Files\TrackIR5\Profiles
- C:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\TrackIR5\Profiles
- C:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\NaturalPoint\TrackIR5\Profiles
- C:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\NaturalPoint\TrackIR5\Profiles
- C:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\Roaming\VirtualStore\Program Files\NaturalPoint\TrackIR5\Profiles
- C:\Users\<yourusername>\AppData\Roaming\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\NaturalPoint\TrackIR5\Profiles
126.96.36.199 Profile Settings
To change a profile name, type the new name and then press “enter.”
When selected, the profile is locked as the only global profile. All TrackIR Enhanced games will load the exclusively loaded profile. Note that as long as the Exclusive Load feature is active, the auto loading of other profiles will be disabled.
Hotkeys allow you to map keys or buttons on other input devices to perform functions in the TrackIR software. You can select the keys to be used, turn the hotkey on or off, enable toggle mode, and trap the hotkey. Select the hotkey you wish to edit (Pause, Center, or Precision) from the dropdown menu.
The Pause hotkey allows you to control whether head tracking data is being sent to the TrackIR Enhanced title. You can pause head tracking to keep the in-game view fixed, even while your head is moving.
The Center hotkey allows you to re-center your in-game view. Every time the Center hotkey is pressed, it re-defines your current head position as the new center.
The Precision hotkey enables precision mode, which temporarily steadies the view by increasing smoothing. When precision mode is disabled, smoothing settings return to the normal profile preset. Precision mode is commonly used in combat flight simulators when tracking an enemy in your sights to keep the view as stable as possible.
- Key Button
Use to map the hotkey. Clicking these buttons brings up a dialog box that allows you to change the key assigned to the function listed next to the button. You can assign keyboard keys, joystick buttons, or mouse buttons as hotkeys.
- Enable Checkbox
Turns the associated hotkeys on and off.
- Toggle Checkbox
Toggled hotkeys are enabled by a single key press and disabled by a second key press. Non-toggled hotkeys require the key to be held down for the hotkey to be enabled and released for the hotkey to be disabled.
- Trap Checkbox
Trapped hotkeys will not be available to any other programs. Untrapped hotkeys will still perform the hotkey function within the TrackIR software, but can also be simultaneously used in other software that is running alongside TrackIR.
- Note : Hotkey settings are stored on a per-profile basis.
Check to enable head tracking for each particular axis. Uncheck to disable.
TrueView takes virtual rotation (yaw, pitch, roll) into account when applying physical translation (x, y, z) movements. This allows you to turn your head to one side, lean toward the monitor, and have your in-game view zoom in the direction you are virtually facing. Disabling TrueView results in physical translation superseding virtual rotation, so that moving toward the monitor physically always moves the in-game view straight ahead, making it impossible to zoom in any direction other than straight ahead.
188.8.131.52 Motion Curves
Each axis can be adjusted to have a faster or slower response to your actual head movement. The TrackIR software uses motion curves to amplify your real head movement, allowing complete control of the in-game view with varying degrees of head movement. Changing the motion curve for an axis allows you to fine-tune the amount of head movement used to control your view. It can also be used to create a dead zone, which helps negate small, unintentional head movements when the view is centered.
Select Axis for Editing
Select the desired axis for editing from the Axis dropdown. Once selected, the current motion curve will appear in the preview window below.
Using Control Points for Curve Editing
The control points on the graph allow you to change the shape of the curve by clicking and dragging the points. You can manually enter values or fine tune with the arrow keys in the adjustment boxes above the curve.
The X value of a control point represents where your head is in actual 3D space. So, a control point with an X value of 15 would represent actual head movement of 15 degrees (rotational) or 15 cm (translational).
The Y value of a control point represents its multiplication. So, a control point with a Y value of 4 would multiply your actual head movement by 4 at that position. A control point with a Y value of 1 would result in 1:1 head/game movement at that position. A control point with a Y value of .5 would reduce your in game movement to 50% of your actual head movement. A control point with a Y value of 0 would result in no in-game movement at that position (a “dead zone”).
Combining the X and Y values into one coordinate determines how much motion scaling will occur at various points of your actual head movement. For instance, a control point coordinate of (15,3) would result in your in-game view control being 3x your actual head movement when your head is at 15 degrees. So, 15 degrees of real life movement would result in 45 degrees of in-game movement.
Note : You can zoom in on any area on the graph by hovering over it with your mouse pointer and using the scroll wheel to move in and out or left-clicking and dragging over a region. Click the scroll wheel to reset zoom. You can resize the graph by increasing the size of the entire window or the settings pane
Deselect the mirror checkbox to manipulate control points on the graph independent of their mirrored value. This can be especially useful in optimizing the pitch and zoom axes.
Check to reverse tracking for each particular axis. Reversing the Pitch, Roll, X, and Z axes allows for placement of the TrackIR camera behind your head.
Check to enable 180 degree view limits on rotational axes.
Manually enter values to precisely adjust the selected control point on the graph.
If you wish to save a curve that you have created as a template for use with other curves or profiles, click the “+” next to the Templates dropdown. This will add the curve template to the list. To change the template name, type a new name in the field and then press “enter.”
Note : Shifting the curve down to 0 will flatten it, causing it to lose shape when shifted back up.
If you wish to save a curve that you have created as a template for use with other curves or profiles, click the “+” next to the Templates dropdown. This will add the curve template to the list. To change the template name, type a new name in the field and then press “enter.” Remove a template by pressing the “Delete” button (minus sign). Stock Templates include One:One, Deadzone, Smooth, Fast, and Slow.
Adapted from the One:One default profile, this template is completely unscaled, giving an exact 1:1 ratio between actual and in-game head movement.
Inspired by the Default profile, this template has moderate speed of motion with a large dead zone. When head movement is relatively stationary, in-game view will not move. Movement will slow when crossing the mid-point of axes.
Inspired by the Smooth profile, this template has moderate speed of motion with a very slight dead zone. Actual head movement must be more stationary to keep in-game view still than with a dead zone, but movement will be smoother when moving across all axes.
Adapted from the Smooth template, this template has aggressive motion with a very slight dead zone. In-game view control will require less actual head movement, but actual head movement must be very stationary to keep in-game view still. Movement will be smooth when moving across all axes.
Adapted from the Smooth template, this template has gentle motion with a very slight dead zone. In-game view control will require more actual head movement, but actual head movement does not need to be as stationary to keep in-game view still. Movement will be smooth when moving across all axes.
Apply Curve Template
Apply a curve template to the desired axis by selecting it from the Templates.
5.8.2 Title Management
The Titles section displays a list of all TrackIR enhanced Titles, allows sorting by genre, and enables you to assign a profile to a TrackIR Enhanced title so that the profile will be loaded automatically when the title starts.
In order to associate profiles with titles, click on the drop-down list on the right-hand side and select a new one from the list of available profiles. Keep in mind that the profile will not be loaded until the title is started.
To isolate a specific group of titles (either by genre or your favorites list), select the category from the Filter dropdown menu.
Note : You can add/remove titles on your favorites list by highlighting the title and clicking the “+” or “–” button. Click the “X” button to clear your favorites list.
5.8.3 Global Camera Settings
Status LEDs Enabled
Turns the camera status LEDs on or off.
Status LEDs Brightness
Adjusts the brightness of the camera status LEDs. Adjustments do not affect tracking. This feature works with a TrackIR 5 camera only.
Light Filter Threshold
Used to control how much light TrackIR can see. A higher setting will result in more light being filtered out. If TrackIR is used in areas with bright or harsh lighting, the slider may need to be set to a higher value to filter out unwanted reflections caused by these lights. Increasing light filtering too high may reduce tracking precision.
Note : Make sure that Camera View is activated in the preview display to monitor how much light is being filtered.
Adjusts the brightness of TrackIR’s infrared lights. When the light filtering threshold option is increased to filter out unwanted reflections from ambient light, you can also increase TrackIR’s IR light brightness. Doing this will make the reflective markers on the TrackClip easier for the camera to track.
Video Processing Mode
Standard mode is intended for use with TrackIR 3 or 4. It should only be used with TrackIR 5 under extremely bright lighting conditions when the tracking screen is flickering and tracking is highly unstable. Please consult technical support before using this mode with TrackIR 5.
Precision mode is intended for use with TrackIR 5 and cannot be used by previous generations. It offers superior resolution and tracking stability.
5.9 Visual Preview
5.9.1 3D View
The 3D preview window provides instant feedback on what impact speed and smoothing and curve adjustments will have on your in game view control. You can customize the camera position, load panoramic backgrounds and wireframe grids, view third person head previews, and toggle the HUD on and off.
- First Person
First person view offers a visual representation of what your view control will look like within the first person viewpoint of a TrackIR Enhanced title.
- Third Person
There are many third person viewpoints available, and you can manipulate each by left-clicking and dragging to change the angle or using the mouse wheel to zoom in or out. Preset viewpoints include: Front, Top, Left, Right, and Rear. The smooth rendered head model represents your real-life head movement, and the wire-frame overlay represents the in-game view control.
Toggles the HUD (all windows on the 3D View Preview Window) on and off.
Use to display a 2D panoramic image to the wireframe sphere. These are helpful for previewing your current settings in a game-like environment.
Load custom panoramic images by selecting a bitmap in TrackIR 5\Data.
Show Pano Grid
Select to remove the wire frame sphere to see just the panoramic image or reapply the sphere after it has been removed.
The Camera Window shows a 2D image of what the TrackIR camera is tracking, and what is in its field of view. This helps you adjust the position of yourself and the TrackIR camera to get the best range of motion and tracking results. Undesired light sources in the camera’s view can also be identified using this window.
Left, Top, and Front Heads
The Left, Top and Front preview windows show a third person view of the head model. They represent in game view control, giving you instant feedback on how your current settings will translate in game.
6 DOF Data
This shows the raw head tracking data that TrackIR is detecting.
5.9.2 Camera View (2D Tracking Data)
The Camera View is a larger version of the Camera Window. It shows what the TrackIR camera is tracking, and what is in its field of view. This helps you adjust the position of yourself and the TrackIR camera to get the best range of motion and tracking results.
Undesired light sources in the camera’s view will also be exposed in this window. Green objects are being tracked by the camera while red objects are not. Other important tracking data (frame rate, tracking mode, and number of tracked objects) is located at the top right corner of the window.
5.10 Status Bar
5.10.1 Hot Keys
The hot key buttons display the key that is currently assigned to each function. The buttons can also be individually clicked to achieve the function.
5.10.2 Software Status Indicators
- Green On : Camera connected and detected.
- Green Off : Camera not connected.
- Yellow On : Camera is tracking a marker.
- Yellow Off : Camera is not tracking any markers.
- Blue On : A TrackIR Enhanced title is running and recognized by the TrackIR software.
- Blue Off : No TrackIR Enhanced title is recognized by the TrackIR software.