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View Full Version : Why Zooming The View Isn't Cheating

01-28-2005, 03:13 PM
Over the years I've seen discussions wherein such things as view zooming, external views and padlocking are described as "cheating". Here I'll address view zooming...

Compare the size of your monitor's screen, at your usual viewing distance, with your view of the rest of the desk and room, etc. As compared to the nearly 180 degree panaroma your eyes provide, that screen is a pretty small window.

My 19-inch monitor has an actual viewable horizontal width of 14 inches (35.5 cm). At my usual viewing distance of about 2-1/2 feet (76 cm), the screen subtends an apparent angle of 26 degrees. If PF offered a view angle of 26 degrees, this would match perfectly. That is, the view I would see on screen would appear at the same size on my retinas as would the real life view. The smallest view angle offered in PF is, of course, 30 degrees -- a fairly close match.

But of course this is a quite restrictive view angle, kind of like wearing blinders. So we all usually zoom back to the normal 60 degree wide view so as to have a better handle on the action. But even this is fairly small, really, so I'm sure some of you out there often fight using the widest angle of 80 (or is it 85?) degrees.

Now, how does monitor resolution factor in? I've set my screen resolution at 1024 X 768 pixels. At PF's minimum field of view angle of 30 degrees, this yields 34 pixels per degree (1024 / 30 = 34).

The resolution limit of the average human eye is about 2 arcminutes, or 1/30 of a degree. Across 30 degrees the eye can therefore resolve about 900 "pixels" (30 degrees X 30 "pixels" per degree = 900 "pixels"), which is not much less than the 1024-wide pixel array on my screen. So to a good approximation we can say that at a screen resolution of 1024 X 768, PF's 30 degree field of view is a pretty good match to the actual resolution limit of the unaided eye, especially if the screen is viewed from a distance equal to 1.87 times the screen's width, which for a 14-inch wide screen equals 26 inches, or 66 cm. At this viewing distance the screen's angular width equals the simulated one of 30 degrees.

Now we can see how it is that the more commonly used "normal" view angle offers a rather under-sampled simulated view. At a 60 degree view angle the on-scren representation is drawn at half the linear resolution as for a 30 degree wide view (not exactly, though, because of the distortion rendered by the Gnomonic projection employed). And this appears even worse to the viewer because we're observing a 2-dimensional world, and therefore resolution is actually perceived as the square of the linear (one-dimensional) resolution. A reduction by a factor of 2 in linear resolution appears more like a reduction by a factor of 4 (2 squared = 4).

To appreciate this, place your face at the distance appropriate for the view angle as set. For example, at the normal 60 degree wide view, in order to see the on-screen view at the same size as it would appear in real life, the screen-eye separation should be only 0.86 times the screen width (for my 14-inch wide monitor, barely over 12 inches, or 31 cm)! From this close distance the view looks pretty pixelated, eh? And of course for wider views your face would have to be even closer yet.

The bottom line is this. Even though the zoomed-in views look like your silicon pilot is peering through low-power binoculars, in reality the view much more closely matches the real life view as would be seen by the unaided eye.

So, zoomin' in ain't cheatin'! Indeed, it could rightly be called a handicap because of the view angle restriction. Aaahhh, if only we could have that same 30 degree view representation on a wrap-around, 180-degree, hemispherical monitor in which our eyes are placed at the center of curvature. THAT would be immersion, baby!

01-28-2005, 03:13 PM
Over the years I've seen discussions wherein such things as view zooming, external views and padlocking are described as "cheating". Here I'll address view zooming...

Compare the size of your monitor's screen, at your usual viewing distance, with your view of the rest of the desk and room, etc. As compared to the nearly 180 degree panaroma your eyes provide, that screen is a pretty small window.

My 19-inch monitor has an actual viewable horizontal width of 14 inches (35.5 cm). At my usual viewing distance of about 2-1/2 feet (76 cm), the screen subtends an apparent angle of 26 degrees. If PF offered a view angle of 26 degrees, this would match perfectly. That is, the view I would see on screen would appear at the same size on my retinas as would the real life view. The smallest view angle offered in PF is, of course, 30 degrees -- a fairly close match.

But of course this is a quite restrictive view angle, kind of like wearing blinders. So we all usually zoom back to the normal 60 degree wide view so as to have a better handle on the action. But even this is fairly small, really, so I'm sure some of you out there often fight using the widest angle of 80 (or is it 85?) degrees.

Now, how does monitor resolution factor in? I've set my screen resolution at 1024 X 768 pixels. At PF's minimum field of view angle of 30 degrees, this yields 34 pixels per degree (1024 / 30 = 34).

The resolution limit of the average human eye is about 2 arcminutes, or 1/30 of a degree. Across 30 degrees the eye can therefore resolve about 900 "pixels" (30 degrees X 30 "pixels" per degree = 900 "pixels"), which is not much less than the 1024-wide pixel array on my screen. So to a good approximation we can say that at a screen resolution of 1024 X 768, PF's 30 degree field of view is a pretty good match to the actual resolution limit of the unaided eye, especially if the screen is viewed from a distance equal to 1.87 times the screen's width, which for a 14-inch wide screen equals 26 inches, or 66 cm. At this viewing distance the screen's angular width equals the simulated one of 30 degrees.

Now we can see how it is that the more commonly used "normal" view angle offers a rather under-sampled simulated view. At a 60 degree view angle the on-scren representation is drawn at half the linear resolution as for a 30 degree wide view (not exactly, though, because of the distortion rendered by the Gnomonic projection employed). And this appears even worse to the viewer because we're observing a 2-dimensional world, and therefore resolution is actually perceived as the square of the linear (one-dimensional) resolution. A reduction by a factor of 2 in linear resolution appears more like a reduction by a factor of 4 (2 squared = 4).

To appreciate this, place your face at the distance appropriate for the view angle as set. For example, at the normal 60 degree wide view, in order to see the on-screen view at the same size as it would appear in real life, the screen-eye separation should be only 0.86 times the screen width (for my 14-inch wide monitor, barely over 12 inches, or 31 cm)! From this close distance the view looks pretty pixelated, eh? And of course for wider views your face would have to be even closer yet.

The bottom line is this. Even though the zoomed-in views look like your silicon pilot is peering through low-power binoculars, in reality the view much more closely matches the real life view as would be seen by the unaided eye.

So, zoomin' in ain't cheatin'! Indeed, it could rightly be called a handicap because of the view angle restriction. Aaahhh, if only we could have that same 30 degree view representation on a wrap-around, 180-degree, hemispherical monitor in which our eyes are placed at the center of curvature. THAT would be immersion, baby!

Feathered_IV
01-28-2005, 03:33 PM
I recently read an interview with a Saburo Sakai who mentioned having a pair of binoculars in the cockpit. For what its worth.

Arm_slinger
01-28-2005, 03:40 PM
BUGGER!!! I was going to make a joke about that!!!

I am still going to!! :P. The axis put bindings on their gun sights so they could clip the bino's to it it :P

01-28-2005, 03:55 PM
Indeed, I've also read about pilots carrying binos -- makes complete sense.

But the field of view of a typical 6X or 7X bino is around 7 degrees -- much less than the current PF minimum of 30 degrees. Imagine zooming in the view 4X more than can be done currently (to acheive a 7.5 degree field of view), and how that view would jump and whip around with even small control input...

Stiglr
01-28-2005, 04:46 PM
When has anyone suggested that using zoom was cheating, or even an "exploit"?

It's pretty common knowledge that the full zoom view most closely represents real life vision, only that our monitors limit how much "real estate" we can cram into 17 - 21" on a screen.

The zoomed back views are the ones "in error", if you want to call it that.

|CoB|_Spectre
01-28-2005, 05:08 PM
Good post, prop-head. You appear very knowledgable and clearly state your view with substantiating data. As for someone's opinion that it may be cheating, well, everyone's got an opinion, right? Doesn't mean their's is correct, founded in logic or worth anymore than the next guy's. Fly with the settings you enjoy and feel convey what you think is most accurate. If you fly online, find others that share your viewpoints (no pun intended). After all, that's why Oleg gave people options. You paid for 'em, use 'em.

plumps_
01-28-2005, 05:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by prop-head:
The resolution limit of the average human eye is about 2 arcminutes, or 1/30 of a degree. Across 30 degrees the eye can therefore resolve about 900 "pixels" (30 degrees X 30 "pixels" per degree = 900 "pixels"), which is not much less than the 1024-wide pixel array on my screen. So to a good approximation we can say that at a screen resolution of 1024 X 768, PF's 30 degree field of view is a pretty good match to the actual resolution limit of the unaided eye, especially if the screen is viewed from a distance equal to 1.87 times the screen's width, which for a 14-inch wide screen equals 26 inches, or 66 cm. At this viewing distance the screen's angular width equals the simulated one of 30 degrees. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can see a hair on the monitor from the normal viewing distance (~85 cm). Against a bright background I can even see it from a distance of three metres! The average thickness of (european) hair is 0,07 mm. That's much thinner than the width of a pixel on the screen. 4785 average hair would fit in the horizontal width of my monitor (335 mm), the same space that is taken by only 1024 or 1280 pixels. Does this simply mean that my eyes' resolution limit is above average? At least it means that for me even the zoomed view is much worse than the real life view.

01-28-2005, 05:54 PM
Plumps,
A single high contrast line (or dot) is no test of resolution because it's simply one object. Resolution implies the ability to diffrentiate, or perceive, two or more closely spaced objects. If you can obtain a fine Ronchi ruling (alternating dark and clear/white lines) of known spacing, see how far you can place it from your eyes before it merges from perceptible lines to a grey blur. Then a little math will reveal your resolution limit. It will be less than so-called "resolving" a single hair, I can assure you. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

plumps_
01-28-2005, 06:14 PM
Then I'd say that the technical term 'resolution' doesn't tell the whole story. My example still shows that the human eye can see things that a monitor can't show.

Isn't a single hair seen against a bright background comparable to distant aircraft that you track with the eyes until it becomes so small that it disappears?

Stiglr
01-28-2005, 06:34 PM
That our monitors don't replicate human visual acuity is another rather obvious statement.

The problem I have with this particular sim's visual system is that not enough steps are taken to make up for that. The biggest, most glaring example of this is how dots hide from view against the terrain, without factoring in the relative size of monitors vs. our real world spectrum of view, our ability to use depth perception to see objects framed against a background, even our visual motion sense.

It seems to be the policy of the design team that a pilot paying attention still won't see things over half the time.

plumps_
01-28-2005, 06:45 PM
Stiglr, with the new dots it's much better than it used to be. Now I can actually see Pe-8s against the ground on the Smolensk map when they're 2-3 km away, which was almost impossible before PF.

Bearcat99
01-28-2005, 09:47 PM
As far as I am concerned... cheating is only cheating when one person has an exploit that no one else has access to. This is in the same vein as the old "trim on a slider cheat" rubbish. If everyone can go out and get another stick, even a cheap \$10 one with a slider for trim then where is the cheat? If everybody has access or potential access by say buying a cheap joystick with a throttle just for trim or a HOTAS for zooming their view or uses externals if they are available.... then where is the cheat? Cheating is having an unknown advantage that no one else has but you and that you hide from everyone else. Other than that it is using the featurs of the product to their fullest.

LuftWulf190
01-28-2005, 09:59 PM
I think its rediculus to consider zooming in to be a cheat. Granted I dont do it because it throws off my gunnery, and since I'm primarly a FW pilot I dont get too much of a chance to stare at a target.

Stiglr
01-28-2005, 11:25 PM
Oh, goody, you can now see a GIGANTIC Pe-8 at 2 - 3km??? Oh joy, let's dance in the streets.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

civildog
01-28-2005, 11:34 PM
I just figured I remembered my binoculars. Along with my shark repellant, flare gun, raft, and clean underwear.

x__CRASH__x
01-28-2005, 11:37 PM
I've never, in all my years of IL-2 flying, heard zoom view called a cheat. You must really be flying with a strange crowd.

plumps_
01-29-2005, 05:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stiglr:
Oh, goody, you can now see a GIGANTIC Pe-8 at 2 - 3km??? Oh joy, let's dance in the streets.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Stiglr http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
Stiglr http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif
Stiglr http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I know you really need all the bugs you can find as they allow you to keep b*tching about this series.

But you even have the guts to keep b*tching about the improvements. Wow, that's what I call determination...

|CoB|_Spectre
01-29-2005, 09:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bearcat99:
... cheating is only cheating when one person has an exploit that _no one else_ has access to...Cheating is having an unknown advantage that no one else has but you and that you hide from everyone else. Other than that it is using the featurs of the product to their fullest. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree...to an extent. No doubt someone exploiting a weakness in the programming may not be playing ethically, but since everyone else could do it, doesn't make it a cheat (i.e, trim on a slider). That exploit allowed maneuvers physically impossible,so Oleg adjusted it accordingly to stay within more realistic parameters. On the other hand, before Oleg's team closed the loophole that gave an unscrupulous player the ability to unplug their network connection for short periods thereby allowing them to escape dogged pursuit, then upon reconnect making themselves materialize in an entirely different location...that's a cheat in my book. IMHO, it doesn't change from being a cheat because it was previously known only to a few, to a non-cheat simply because it was later made widely known. You're always going to have people who cry "cheat" even when they are soundly outflown. You're always going to have people who will look for programming weaknesses to exploit because they want to win at all costs without having to develop the necessary skills to win otherwise. Just like you're always going to have people who will indiscriminately label someone a "whiner" anytime their opinions differ. The astute, informed observer can tell the difference.

Latico
01-29-2005, 12:17 PM
I don't see how anyone can concider using the zoom feature cheating, myself.I have to use it to find and ID targets, but I don't care for it much for gunnery as it seems rather unsteady.

I'm curious as to why the "Padlock" (enternal view) feature is often shut off in most online games. I don't have the trackIR system yet and this feature is probably as close to that as we have. There are 2 uses of the padlock. 1) to follow an enemy plane during combat and 2) for assigning targets (both air and ground) to AI wingmen.

We don't have AI wingmen to assign targets to in DF games but we often do in coops. I have to wonder if the host of coops may not realize the ability of target assignment using the padlock feature. Or, is there a system conflict for those that have the TracIR?

Stiglr
01-29-2005, 12:45 PM
Come on, plumps, I'm sure you can figure out why I don't think it much of an "improvement" if you can see a plane the size of a Pe-8 at a MILE. You should be able to see every fighter in the game at that range if you're doing more than making a quick glance in the area. Unless it's parked in a revetment, it will be visible to anyone not wearing coke-bottle lenses.

This sim's visuals are HORRID when it comes to moving, flying aircraft against the ground.

civildog
01-29-2005, 01:05 PM
How could zoom possibly be a cheat? It's just a pair of "binoculars". Heck, at my advanced age I need it to read some of those tiny little gauges so they can tell me if I'm about to explode again.

It's far more realistic than hitting F2 to stand on the wing and look around, or Ctrl-F2 to magically check out the competition, yet those are often allowed.

DuxCorvan
01-29-2005, 02:08 PM
And, in fact, since F2A telescopic sight has not functionality as Ki-43's, zooming in after hitting shift-F1 is the way to go and have the same 'telescope' effect.