Revisiting the issue of camera placement

Last year, I had touched upon the matter of camera placement in Second Life. Of course, as everyone knows, nothing has changed since then as far as the official viewer is concerned. The importance and impact of the default SL camera offsets has been documented first by Penny Patton in an extremely interesting article written way back in 2011; she had even filed a JIRA. Besides this humble blog, prominent SL bloggers Inara Pey and Ciaran Laval had also written about this topic, spurred by Penny’s seminal blog post.

As said, there has been literally no action on behalf of Linden Lab on this matter. When I had mentioned the topic to Oz Linden back then in the Open Development UG meeting (offering the alternative of providing a number of easy-to-edit and easy-to-recall presets, as well as ye olde default settings, for those that still want them), he declined and cited the potential for user complaints and content breakage. In my previous post, I have stated my position on both of his arguments and explained my reasoning, so I think I don’t need to reiterate them here.

Now, back then I was using a modified version of Penny’s settings. My “old” settings were (front and rear view grouped together for your convenience):

CameraOffsetScale:

1.350

CameraOffsetFrontView:

X 1.950

Y 0.000

z -0.350

FocusOffsetFrontView:

X 0.900

Y 0.000

Z 0.350

CameraOffsetRearView:

X -1.950

Y 0.000

Z -0.350

FocusOffsetRearView:

X 0.900

Y 0.000

Z 0.250

Now, the new settings are:

CameraOffsetScale:

1.400

CameraOffsetFrontView:

X 1.950

Y 0.000

z -0.500

FocusOffsetFrontView:

X 0.900

Y 0.000

Z 0.350

CameraOffsetRearView:

X -1.950

Y 0.000

Z -0.250

FocusOffsetRearView:

X 0.900

Y 0.000

Z 0.500

And, below, I’m going to give you some pictures so that you can compare between the default and my current custom camera settings. Of course, you are encouraged to fiddle with them and see what works best for you. Let’s start with the default settings:

The default camera setting, rear view.

The default camera setting, rear view.

And the front view with the default settings.

And the front view with the default settings.

And now, let’s see my custom settings…

Rear view, with my custom settings.

Rear view, with my custom settings.

My avatar, viewed from the front with my custom settings.

My avatar, viewed from the front with my custom settings.

Feel free to compare them with what I had presented in my older post. Again, feel free to experiment and come up with the settings that work best for you.

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Mona

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See also:

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2pUmX-qF

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9 thoughts on “Revisiting the issue of camera placement

  1. Camera settings, avatar sizing and texture resolution, all issues – that if corrected – could really help to improve everyone’s experience of Second Life.

    1. Indeed. Most of the lag is actually caused by extremely high-poly meshes and unnecessarily high-resolution textures (try telling that to a fashionista…). And as for camera settings and avatar sizing, Penny hit the spot with both her posts and the JIRA she filed.

  2. I’ve become a believer and have mentioned the settings in my blog, too. (Most recent: http://paywriter.tumblr.com/post/70548694863/perspective) I have also found that trying to set more ideal camera settings for riding a motorcycle gums up the settings when you stop using the bike.

    One designer, Picasa Vella, uses an over-the-shoulder cam setting and I swear my track times are better riding her bikes than anything else I own or have demoed. I felt I could see the turns, critical to good runs, with the right amount of time to make the turn, while the farther off view made it harder to judge.

    I’ve mentioned this to one or two motorcycle designers without a lot of enthusiasm when they test rode my (Picasa’s) bike. This is a tough issue to get across, particularly with experienced avatars. But let’s keep the good fight going.

    1. Humans, like all animals, tend to stick to their well-established habits. Once they get used to something, they’re very hesitant to try something new, much less adopt it. That said, Second Life and its OpenSim clones is supposed to be immersive and, sadly, the default camera offsets don’t serve this purpose at all.

      Like you, I’ve found that Penny’s settings (and the ones I made based on them) offer me a better sense of place and space, allowing me to better judge my movements, use small spaces and even made it possible for me to downsize builds to something far more realistic than what is considered to be the “norm” in SL – when was the last time you saw stairsteps that are 60cm (nearly 2 ft) high in RL? Or bedroom doors that are 6 meters high? And how many people in RL are (without wearing super-duper high heels) over 2 meters (approximately 6.5 ft) tall?

  3. I use a viewer that has by default penny settings (Ukando) and i do believe there are more that use those ones, still i change always (and my soul mate as well) and even made a note card to how to change them on the debug setting for yours old ones!
    I don’t complain that LL never accepted them, but i do complain that the major tpv never bothered to improve that (Firestorm team, of all the thousands of features why never did like exodus or Niran that gave a pres choice of diff camera settings at start?)
    Still the issue i want to ask is why the new ones now?
    I’ll try them asap as i did changed some on yours old to be able to see my feet when i walk on the v3 interface even when the tab (stand up) shows on the bottom center of the screen)

    1. I think Firestorm could benefit from offering a camera placement preset system. So could other TPVs, actually. As for seeing your feet, I’ve combined the updated offsets with moving the screen-bottom buttons to the bottom right, freeing up some on-screen real estate.

        1. Yes, Firestorm is a big – very big – player. But, being so big means it can end up adopting certain new features later rather than sooner, in an attempt to ensure they work properly.

  4. Mde a few modifications;)
    Love them;)

    CameraOffsetScale

    1.400

    CameraOffsetFrontView

    X 1.950

    Y 0.000

    z -.0500

    FocusOffsetFrontView

    X 0.900

    Y 0.000

    Z 0.350

    CameraOffsetRearView

    X -1.950

    Y 0.000

    Z -0.250 (-0.5 – mine)

    FocusOffsetRearView

    X 0.900

    Y 0.000

    Z 0.500 (0.25 – mine)

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