Field of View (FOV aka why does that track look so wide?)

Johnnypenso

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Johnnypenso
Update May 4, 2015: Video from Alan at VVV regarding FOV and view adjustments from Project Cars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=258&v=BmVQzEMtBmo

There will be a lot of players coming from Forza or the GT series that are used to an exaggerated and large Field of View (FOV) setting and may find some videos on the internet about Project Cars or other racing sims that appear to be too wide relative to what they are used to. Of course in your own game you can use whatever you feel comfortable with but a "proper" FOV is that which matches the field of view you would have if you were sitting in a real car but your vision was limited to the size of your tv screen.

You can do an interesting experiment by holding butting your thumbs together and holding your forefingers up in front of your face and matching the size of your screen in your usual gaming position, then going out to your car and replicating it in the real world. Note what you can and cannot see in the cockpit and outside the car and it's usually far more limited than what you are used to in most racing games.

This is a popular FOV Calculator Punch in a few paramaters and it'll tell you what the proper setting is for your setup and the game you are playing. Assetto Corsa uses a vertical FOV as opposed to a horizontal FOV so the numbers are lower but for me, the calculator says about 35 and mine is set to 40. Below you'll see what changing the FOV does in a static image. The views are in order of my native 40 to 50 to 60 to 70.


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Here's the always entertaining, but wordy, Mr. Empty Box, who pretty much nails the entire FOV question in one video:



I was hesitant to use the real FOV for Assetto Corsa but gradually lowered it from a GT6 like setting of around 60, down to 40 and I'll never go back. IMO there is a huge advantage in seeing the track details along with hitting your marks in both braking and apexes and outweighs the disadvantage of a more limited range of vision.
 

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glassjaw

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As someone who only tends to play on console, this is something I've never really had to consider. I did have a brief time with iRacing and I didn't really notice much of a difference, probably because I never saw it running side-by-side with GT or Forza. Also because I probably just chalked the differences in what I interpreted as track wideness as iRacing being more authentic & realistic than the console sims. As I'm looking at it now I'd probably prefer the first or second-widest. The narrower options make it seem like it'd be much, much more challenging to drive.
 

mister dog

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Makes sense, if you look at eau rouge in the first couple of screenshots, with the 40 settings it is already quite visible but on the wider settings it seems more distant. The speed at which you will reach the corner will remain the same though so less time to 'plan your line' if you choose the higher settings.

Not many games give you the option to tweak it so it's good that in games like PCARS at least everyone can adjust it to their liking 👍
 
3,209
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Punknoodle_Nick
Generally it's those with single monitors who run a higher FOV because without it you lose a lot of peripheral vision. Imagine having just the bezel from a monitor and sitting in a real car and holding that bezel in front of you. With the correct FOV you would only see what you can see through that monitor bezel, effectively cutting out half your windscreen.

That's why I've made the switch to triple monitors. With the correct FOV it's like sitting in a car and having 3 monitor bezels spread around you and being able to see only through those bezels. The a pillars appear in the right place so it's a much more realistic feeling and enables you to place the car better.

Here is a quick video I made showing my view when sitting in my rig with my triples and the correct FOV. I'm turning the camera to focus on the apex and you'll see the edges of the bezels when I do so.

 
1,116
Gassolini
Just as Johnnypenso was making this, I made a related case in the other thread, partly to reinforce his posting there and comment on FOV-confusion. Maybe I should just copy it over here...
 
1,116
Gassolini
To make it clearer what the effects of the different FOVs are, I've taken Johnnypenso's examples and made overlays with some width reference lines. If you look at, say, a car's fender and a track's white line, the two will line up relative to each other at different FOVs. However, if you look at the overlaid pictures, you'll see how the change in focal length makes quite a difference.

This difference is a lot more evident at speed, where the track at the lower FOV (higher magnification) will seem to move faster towards you. If you also change camera angle, which then give you correspondingly bigger changes in perspective, it will become even more evident. FOV can fool you in many ways...

Edit: Imagine if you drove without a cockpit there (bumper view), for the sake of discussion, then it would really stand out. Remember, these pictures have the car in the same spot, and if you look at those gantry risers, it's quite a bit of difference. And, the further from the center of the picture the greater the displacement is for a change of FOV.


2hrz5vl.jpg
 
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2,621
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GTP_crowhop
If a game is able to perfect FOV so that the single screen appears curved, they'd have it mastered. Using cockpit view in GT6, for me, feels like I am driving while looking through a straw. I just want to be able to see my side view mirrors, dammit. I was going to get the PSEye just for GT6, but they took that functionality away. So I continue to drive using the "bumper" view with the FOV set around 70. At least I can see if there is something directly in front or behind me.

Does it make much difference if you use a larger tv? Would a 55" tv be much different than a 40" when it comes to FOV?

This, imo, is the biggest limitation for racing realness. Unless you can throw money at 3 32" tvs (my hope), it is difficult to really get the immersion.

Could you alter the settings to make the new curved TVs useful for this?
 
2,883
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JohnSchoonsBeard
I don't get a different impression of the track width from varying FOVs, it still looks the same for me.


Compare the first and last image. Look between the left and right wheel arches. That space will take up much more space on your screen giving you a better and more detailed view of what is coming up allowing for more precise driving and car positioning. Of course that first view is only accurate if your screensize and how far your eyes are away from it are the same as in Johnnypenso's mancave.

The closer you are the wider the correct field of view setting should be as your screen will take up a larger proportion of your actual field of vision. Conversely if you sit on a sofa further away the screen becomes smaller in your actual field of vision and to be correctly represented the field of view in game should be set lower (showing a smaller portion of track)
 
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Wolfe

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Wolfe2x7
Good resource for people who were unaware. 👍

Personally I cannot stand to play with a narrow FOV, which makes it frustrating when I can't change it. Sometimes I'm forced to use the chase cam in other games, or I stop playing entirely. The thing is, at least on a single-screen setup (and especially a 15" laptop or 20-some-inch CRT), that peripheral vision conveys how quickly you're moving.

To me, calibrating the in-game speedometer with that innate perception is more beneficial than having a closer view of the braking point or apex, which won't do me any good if I enter the corner way too hot because it seemed like I was going 60mph instead of 100+. Not to mention evading a sudden crash or pileup, where it would be nice to have an idea of the momentum I'm carrying without glancing at the speedometer first.
 
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Johnnypenso

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If a game is able to perfect FOV so that the single screen appears curved, they'd have it mastered. Using cockpit view in GT6, for me, feels like I am driving while looking through a straw. I just want to be able to see my side view mirrors, dammit. I was going to get the PSEye just for GT6, but they took that functionality away. So I continue to drive using the "bumper" view with the FOV set around 70. At least I can see if there is something directly in front or behind me.

Does it make much difference if you use a larger tv? Would a 55" tv be much different than a 40" when it comes to FOV?

This, imo, is the biggest limitation for racing realness. Unless you can throw money at 3 32" tvs (my hope), it is difficult to really get the immersion.

Could you alter the settings to make the new curved TVs useful for this?
Size of the TV does change things if it's the same distance as your old TV. The bigger the TV, the wider the FOV and the higher the "proper" setting. I'm sitting about 48" from a 55" screen. On my old 42" screen I'd have to use a narrow FOV setting because the "window" I'm looking through, the tv, is smaller but the same distance away.

With my "proper" FOV I can't see the side mirrors on a street car. IIRC the only one I can see them on is the Lotus 49 with it's narrow cockpit and close mirrors. With the adjustable seating position, I sometimes move towards the middle of the car to bring the rear view mirror into play and to reduce the screen taken up by the pillar.

Curved screens won't make much difference would be my guess. They aren't curved much and I think the curve is designed to work further away than I would sit in front of my TV. IIRC correctly Samsung curved tv's are designed with a 10 foot radius but I don't know what effect it would have to sit 48" away like I do. Be interesting to find out though:cool:. Triple curved 32's? Now that I'd like to see:cheers:

EDIT: Dayum:eek::eek::eek:
 
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WarriusZero
I really need to stop looking at these triple screen videos, it starts making me question my choice of going the PS4 route... :lol: ( but then the budget minister lovingly reminds me why :rolleyes:)

With my set up (32" tv around a meter away), the FOV calculator gives me a value of 39. That seems quite low, I may have to bump it up a bit so I can see better what's happening around me. I guess I'll be able to play with the settings to find the sweet spot.



For comparison purposes, on Driveclub, the alternate cockpit view (without the wheel) is now my default.
 
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Willfred_1
I really need to stop looking at these triple screen videos, it starts making me question my choice of going the PS4 route... :lol: ( but then the budget minister lovingly reminds me why :rolleyes:)

With my set up (32" tv around a meter away), the FOV calculator gives me a value of 39. That seems quite low, I may have to bump it up a bit so I can see better what's happening around me. I guess I'll be able to play with the settings to find the sweet spot.



For comparison purposes, on Driveclub, the alternate cockpit view (without the wheel) is now my default.
I would personally be questioning wether or not the ps4 would be right route at the start of this cycle. Having brought a ps4 then a PC I regret buying the ps4.
 

MXH

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This is a popular FOV Calculator Punch in a few paramaters and it'll tell you what the proper setting is for your setup and the game you are playing.
I dunno' about that calculator. Is it really supposed to give me an awfully narrow 27° FOV for a 42'' TV (single monitor) when sitting approx. 200cm away from the TV? I prefer the 4th option, sort of what I used in GT5.

Personally, I go with whatever gives me more sense of speed, whithout being too ludicrous, like this one:


Beautiful.
 
155
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not_him_59
You can do an interesting experiment by holding butting your thumbs together and holding your forefingers up in front of your face and matching the size of your screen in your usual gaming position, then going out to your car and replicating it in the real world. Note what you can and cannot see in the cockpit and outside the car and it's usually far more limited than what you are used to in most racing games.

...

I was hesitant to use the real FOV for Assetto Corsa but gradually lowered it from a GT6 like setting of around 60, down to 40 and I'll never go back. IMO there is a huge advantage in seeing the track details along with hitting your marks in both braking and apexes and outweighs the disadvantage of a more limited range of vision.

I've been wrestling with this for a while and tried various configurations. The start point I make is from the position of my wheel IRL, then if my screen is 3 feet away from me (my set up is actually less than that, more like about arms length) then I should see on the screen what would be 3 feet away from me in a real car. Which means effectively a point just the other side of the windscreen. For balance and feel of what the car is doing I find this invaluable and way way better than any other view. The only problem is often the height is too high. Once I have that setting established, I adjust the FOV to give me the most authentic sense of speed that I can experience which for the moment is 63. Without that depth of perspective the illusion of speed is lost.

btw FOV is another way of saying "the depth of perspective" and if anyone skipped the art lesson that day, it means how far away the distant objects appear. If they appear smaller then the relative distance appears to be greater and hence the distance travelled increased along with the sense of speed. hth.
 

mister dog

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I wonder which parameter is the closest to what a real racing driver would experience? I'm guessing closer to the cockpit like in the 40 setting but then having the advantage of peripheral vision which a TV set limits am i right?
 
1,768
United Kingdom
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Zakspeed_TV
I really need to stop looking at these triple screen videos, it starts making me question my choice of going the PS4 route... :lol: ( but then the budget minister lovingly reminds me why :rolleyes:)

With my set up (32" tv around a meter away), the FOV calculator gives me a value of 39. That seems quite low, I may have to bump it up a bit so I can see better what's happening around me. I guess I'll be able to play with the settings to find the sweet spot.



For comparison purposes, on Driveclub, the alternate cockpit view (without the wheel) is now my default.

Don't worry PS4 has Project Morpheus coming 👍
 
1,116
Gassolini
I wonder which parameter is the closest to what a real racing driver would experience? I'm guessing closer to the cockpit like in the 40 setting but then having the advantage of peripheral vision which a TV set limits am i right?
Basically, yes. I'd very much like a triple screen setup one day...

Like WarriousZero, MXHyland and others I also struggle with the dilemma of trading a narrow FOV for peripheral vision (preferably enough to see the mirrors in a single seater). I use a 37" TV about 45" away, for which 40° would be 'real'. I end up using 65° or so as a compromise.
 
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Willfred_1
When using cockpit cam or helmet cam without the helmet or dynamic depth. The head position can be adjusted, this has allowed me to get the correct fov and still see my mirrors. With head movement fine tuned it makes it even easier to use.
 
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WarriusZero
When using cockpit cam or helmet cam without the helmet or dynamic depth. The head position can be adjusted, this has allowed me to get the correct fov and still see my mirrors. With head movement fine tuned it makes it even easier to use.

That's good to know. I'm looking forward to this kind of setup combination.
 
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JohnSchoonsBeard
Like many including @Willfred_1 I end up with a compromise due to my desire to see the wing mirrors.

What would be great is if there were apps (all systems please) to turn an iPod or phone into a side mirror then we can stick the phones where we want.

Alternatively an option to add virtual mirrors superimposed in cockpit mode on bottom left and right corners could help. I think Game Stock Car Extreme has them but I'm not sure in which view.
 

Johnnypenso

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I dunno' about that calculator. Is it really supposed to give me an awfully narrow 27° FOV for a 42'' TV (single monitor) when sitting approx. 200cm away from the TV? I prefer the 4th option, sort of what I used in GT5.

Beautiful.

Imagine sitting in the back seat of a fairly large car and placing a 42" tv around where the windshield is. That's your realistic FOV given your particular setup. For a wider FOV you need a massive tv or sit closer to the tube. As always though, you play the way you want to play.

I wonder which parameter is the closest to what a real racing driver would experience? I'm guessing closer to the cockpit like in the 40 setting but then having the advantage of peripheral vision which a TV set limits am i right?
A real racing driver can turn his head:lol:. I kind of do similar to what @nepal road does in that I eliminate the wheel/driver animation and try to place my real wheel where it would be in the car with my proper FOV, but I often move towards the middle of the car to eliminate the lost vision due to some of the massive pillars on some cars. I also like to bring the rear view mirror into play as covers a wide area behind the car and lets me know if someone is about to overtake without having to glance left or right to see the mirrors.

Like many including @Willfred_1 I end up with a compromise due to my desire to see the wing mirrors.

What would be great is if there were apps (all systems please) to turn an iPod or phone into a side mirror then we can stick the phones where we want.

Alternatively an option to add virtual mirrors superimposed in cockpit mode on bottom left and right corners could help. I think Game Stock Car Extreme has them but I'm not sure in which view.
This would be golden. I'd be out buying another 2 tablets today to keep one for the HUD and 2 for mirrors. I've never looked into it but if you could add 2 small monitors left and right of your main screen with the rear views I'd probably consider that as well. Mirrors on the bottom left and right of the screen would be a great option as well. Not sure why every game doesn't have this!