Friday, February 25, 2011

EasyHeadTrack mentioned in the FlightGear Newsletter

Meir Michanie added configuration within Flightgear.

EasyHeadTrack:

Headtracking available now for Linux
Easy FlightGear interface
Just works (no need to recalibrate when it looses track)
Only a webcam required, face tracking with opencv without any markers
X, Y, Z axis supported
Not quite as sensible as marker based solutions but good enough,
so no need to wear a funny hat ;-)

Read about it in the FlightGear February Newsletter

Saturday, February 5, 2011

FlightGear Head Tracking

Meir Michanie proposed an udp interface to flightgear and introduced me to an existing ARToolkit based image tracker gpl project by Anders Gidenstam. We are using this existing interface to control the flightgear view. The Free Software model allowed for a fast development of a working prototype.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Experience Head Tracking with a Webcam in X-Plane

The head tracking plugin for x-plane is now available for testing. 

Get the plugin and the headtrack program here: Downloads

1. Download headtrack.deb (available for Ubuntu 10.04 64bit) and install the headtrack program
2. Test your webcam with headtrack
3. Install the headtrack.xpl plugin
4. Make sure the headtrack program is running and start x-plane
5. Hit the F8 Key to start the head tracking

Have fun!


Post your feedback at the x-plane.org forum.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Performance Optimization

Using the power of your multicore processor efficiently:

After achieving fluent head tracking results on my developing box, I was not content with the performance on stock Ubuntu 10.04 (fast x-plane fps but stuttering head tracking results).

With a real time kernel everything worked well. The real time kernel also improves general audio and video streaming quality, but you have to reinstall your video driver after you change to a real time kernel. So I looked for another solution.

Have you already wondered about the poor job of your multi core processor, when there are running two compute intensive programs parallel (stuttering etc. ...)?

The problem is related to bad scheduling of the Operating System. So I just avoid the scheduler and fix the cpu affinity for the programs. Hi program, this is your processor, you do not have to share it!

On my quad core processor i already achieve very good performance, when I use one cpu for x-plane and one for the head tracker. Excellent performance is achieved when I use two cores for the flight simulation and one for the tracking.

You do not have to tinker with your system, fixing your program to a cpu is easily achieved via the schedtool command.

(Not necessary anymore: The performance optimization is now already integrated in the headtrack program.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Download the Tech Demo

Only available for Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit Users yet.

Install the binary package (Sorry, not available any more, just download the real thing!) of the head tracking tech demo on your Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit OS. Type the command: headtrack to start the tech demo. Hit the ESC key to quit the demo. (A click on the window will not close the demo! You have to use the ESC key.)

The program headtrack shows a video stream from your webcam in a window and draws a box around the detected head. 

This tech demo does not control the view in any other software yet, it is only provided to allow a sneak preview of the technology and a compatibility test of your webcam. You will need the OpenCV libraries installed to use the headtrack program. (These should be installed automatically by the dependencies in the .deb file)

You would like to give some feedback on the tech demo? Please visit the X-Plane.org Forum to leave a comment.

Regards, have fun with the tech demo!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Head Tracking on a Netbook

Head Tracking on an Eee PC 701
(Ubuntu GNU Linux 10.04)
Just tried to compile the head tracking server on my Eee PC 701. Good, that it works on a standard Ubuntu 10.04 with stock OpenCV 2.0 packages. Batteries included!  Bad, that the level of performance on a netbook does not compete with the speed on a quad core desktop machine with custom optimized opencv libraries.

Anyhow I am glad that soon you will be able to experience it yourself on your Ubuntu Box!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

3D Effect with Head Tracking



This video is a demo for the achieved 3D effect. The headtracking is turned off during the middle section of the clip. Have fun watching the consequences.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Webcam Head Tracking in X-Plane



Head tracking on X-plane with an Webcam.

For the technically interested reader: A local server implemented with the Open Source Computer Vision Library (OpenCV) is used to capture the videostream and to provide the headposition to a client plugin for X-Plane. The plugin uses the data to update the view accordingly.