This article presents the fourth tab of the control window with all the necessary tools concerning the management of camera perspectives during the operation of your project.

Summary

Preamble

Camera selection is one of the essential functions for viewing your EEP project. You can see everything that appears in the 3D view, from the angle of the camera you are controlling with the mouse or keyboard. In this mode, you move the camera intuitively and freely explore the arrangement of the elements of your layout. Conversely, you can pair the camera with a vehicle and enjoy the railway scenery from the perspective of the passenger or the driver.

Camera control is mainly managed in this tab. However, there is another approach to consider and which will be covered in a separate article: handling camera events with a camera contact point (article coming soon)..

Window overview

The window has five main buttons:

  1. Free camera (mouse or keyboard),
  2. Linked camera,
  3. Tracking mode,
  4. Center ,
  5. Maximize Full screen mode.

Free camera

To move freely in your layout, you can use the mouse or the keyboard. To activate free camera mode, click on button (1) as shown in the image above.

Free camera using the mouse

Let’s start by detailing the different movements with the mouse and for each of them, a short demonstration video is avalable.

To move forward, hold down the right mouse button and move the cursor toward the top of the window.

To move backward, hold down the right mouse button and move the cursor down toward the bottom of the window.

To go to the left, hold down the right mouse button and move the cursor toward the left side of the window.

To go to the right, hold down the right mouse button and move the cursor toward the right side of the window.

A small summary of the movements in the four directions while keeping the right button of the mouse pressed (follow the movement of the cursor):

Note : In all cases, the more you move the mouse towards the edges of the screen, the faster the movement in the 3D window will be.

Now, if you replace the right mouse button with the center wheel held down, you will create a rotary motion at the very location of the cursor as shown in the video below:

Then, if you move the cursor in all four directions by rotating the middle mouse wheel, you will rotate the camera in the direction of the cursor:

If you place the cursor in the central area of ​​the screen by turning the wheel, you will change the zoom factor:

To finish with the mouse, if you place the cursor on the left or on the right side of the screen by turning the wheel while holding the [Ctrl] key, you will move the camera sideways on its horizontal axis:

Free camera using the keyboard

Now we will see the movements and adjustments of the camera with the keyboard. The difference between the mouse and the keyboard and ix that with the latter, the step of adjustment and movement in the window is finer compared to the mouse, which allows more precise adjustments. Use the four arrow keys to rotate the camera in all four directions. This command is similar to the camera pivot. Use the two Up or Down arrow keys while holding down the [Ctrl] key to change the camera zoom. This command is similar to changing the zoom factor with the mouse. Use the two Left or Right arrow keys while holding down the [Ctrl] key to move the camera sideways on its horizontal axis. Use the arrow keys while holding one of the two [Shift] keys to move the camera circularly. This command is similar to moving the camera with a rotary motion.

Important : The two [Shift] keys do not produce the same effect. To understand the difference, imagine a circle and a O point  in the center of the circle. With the combination [Left Shift + direction key], the camera moves along the circumference of the circle aiming at O point in the center. Conversely, the [Right Shift + direction key] combination causes the camera to rotate 360 ​​° while remaining fixed in the center of the circle. In both cases, movements are possible horizontally [Left – Right] and vertically [Up – Down].

Use the [Page Up] or [Page Down] keys to move the camera up or down vertically as in the example below:

Press the [Space] bar to move the camera forward (equivalent to [Ctrl + Up] but with faster movement).

Press the [R] key to move the camera backward (equivalent to [Ctrl + Down] but with faster movement).

We are done with the free camera movements associated with mouse and keyboard combinations. Now we are going to continue with the rolling stock camera and you will see that the approach is different.

Rolling stock camera

This mode links the camera to the rolling stock selected in the Manage Rolling Stock Operation panel. During the journey, the camera remains in the same position, relative to the vehicle. To start, activate the free camera mode by clicking on the button n ° 2 illustrated in the Presentation of the window. Then, choose a predefined initial camera perspective (buttons A to F) to the right of button n ° 2. Of course, the keyboard-mouse operations of the free camera remain operational for the linked camera, which allows you to perform fine adjustments (except lateral displacement, which makes sense as the camera remains focused on the selected rolling stock).

We will also see the assignment of 0 to 9 keys of the alphanumeric keyboard for the different camera perspectives.

Please see in the image below for the presentation of the preset perspectives for a camera:

This mode links the camera to the rolling stock selected in the Manage Rolling Stock Operation panel.

2 = Default perspective
A = Camera perspective to the left of the rolling stock
B = Camera perspective to the right of the rolling stock
C = Camera perspective diagonally at the top left of the rolling stock
D = Camera perspective diagonally at the top right of the rolling stock
E = Camera perspective at the front of the rolling stock
F = Camera perspective behind the rolling stock

Default perspective

Below with this locomotive you see the default perspective when you first click on button # 2:

The same locomotive with a perspective view to the left. You can obtain the same result by pressing the 1 key on the alphanumeric keypad:

Camera perspective to the right

Perspective view on the right. You can obtain the same result by pressing the 2 key on the alphanumeric keypad:

Camera perspective diagonal top left

Perspective diagonal view on the left side. You can obtain the same result by pressing 3 key  on the alphanumeric keypad:

Camera perspective diagonal top right

Perspective diagonal view on the right side. You can obtain the same result by pressing the 4 key on the alphanumeric keypad:

Camera perspective in front

Perspective view from the front. You can obtain the same result by pressing the 5 key on the alphanumeric keypad:

Camera perspective at the back

Perspective view from the back. You can obtain the same result by pressing the 6 key on the alphanumeric keypad:

Earlier in this article, we told you that the keys from 0 to 9 on the alphanumeric keypad are assigned to different view perspectives. We have just seen the keys from 1 to 6. What about the numbers 7, 8, 9 and 0?

7  Key automatically activates the dynamic camera closest to the selected vehicle. If it is moving, EEP will automatically switch to the nearest dynamic camera (see the Editing cameras article – article coming soon).

Keys 8 and 0 activate the views of the cabin. The two views may differ in some locomotives. The mechanic, for example, may be visible in one, but not in the other. Exit the cabin view by pressing the function key [F9]. The camera will then stay in its current position. Pressing the button again will reactivate the on-board camera.

Finally, 9 key  displays the view located above the vehicle as in the figure below:

Now you might be asking yourself this question: “but why link a camera with so many different view perspectives?”.

Well, watch the video that follows carefully. We will board several trains, at the same time, as a traveler, driver as well as spectator as if we were following them with a drone and as a bonus, we will climb into the cabin of a truck:

It must be recognized that all these different perspectives contribute to the dynamism of the scene. Towards the end of the video the control window has been intentionally captured, but with a bit of practice it is much more intuitive to select a vehicle directly in the 3D window with the mouse and use the numbers from 0 to 9 on the alphanumeric keypad to change the view perspectives.

As already explained above, after having pressed a key, you can modify the point of view with the mouse as detailed in the free camera part (except the lateral movement). And of course, who says rolling stock, this does not only apply to trains, but also to all rolling vehicles and even boats or planes.

Tracking mode

Tracking mode activates dynamic cameras. These allow, from their fixed positions, to follow the selected vehicles. If a vehicle is moving, the camera will follow it.

Place several dynamic cameras in strategic places and you will always have good visibility on your rolling stock (to create dynamic cameras, please see the article Editing cameras (article coming soon).

To activate the tracking mode, press the 7 key on the alphanumeric keypad. Once the vehicle moves away from the field of view of the first camera, the first camera will automatically hand over to the next closest dynamic camera. Click on the video below to view the tracking mode:

Center the camera at a time interval

The particularity of this mode is to automatically center the camera on the active rolling stock according to an interval defined in seconds.

In this video, an interval of 4 seconds is set. It’s up to you to find the usefulness you can have with this mode:

Full screen mode

As its name suggests, this mode lets you take full advantage of the environment resulting from your project. To activate this mode, press the [F4] key and to cancel it, press the [ESC] key. Naturally, all keyboard controls for the different camera perspectives remain operational. You can also use the mouse to change the viewing angle. In the video below, different viewing angles have been used via the numbers on the alphanumeric keypad:

This article is now complete. If you have any questions or suggestions, please give us your feedback in the leave a reply input box below.

Thank you for your helpful comments. Have fun reading an other article. 

eep-world.com team

This article was translated by Pierre for the English side of the EEP-World from the article written by Domi for the French side of the EEP-World.

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