Custom cameras in P3D without EZdok

This tutorial will explain how to get custom camera views in Prepar3D (only!) without EZDok.

Are you looking for the FSX version? Click here.

 

Hello there! I think if you are reading this you don’t have money to buy EZDok or are just interested!

All steps will be explained in detail.

These are all the steps we will be talking about:

  1. Find the positions for where you want the custom cameras to be.
  2. Change the output data to the correct format.
  3. Add the data into the simulator.
  4. Fix the button click cycle through views feature.
  5. Hotkeys

I will also be talking about some stuff I figured out while doing this.

 

Step 1: Finding the camera offsets.

To do this, we need to set up new custom cameras.

Step 1.a: Open P3D in the aircraft you want the custom views for.

In this tutorial I will be using the Aerosoft Airbus A320 CFM.

Step 1.b: Go in the Virtual Cockpit.

This step is required for the correct offsets. Right click anywhere in the simulator, hover over Cockpit and click Virtual Cockpit.

Step 1.c: Set up the camera view that you want.

Do this by moving over the XYZ axis and changing the pan and tilt. Let’s take this as my view for example.

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Step 1.d: Create the custom view.

To do this, open the Right Click menu, hover over Custom Camera and click Create New.

A window like this should pop up.

View post on imgur.com

Make sure Camera: has Virtual Cockpit next to it.

You may also give the view a name at this point, I’ll be calling it Potato

Click Save, a window will pop up, you may click Yes.

You can do this for as many as you want, just make sure you give it another name each time!

Step 1.e: Save this Scenario.

Open the Menu Bar by opening the right click menu and un-ticking Hide Menu Bar.

Click Scenario > Save…

Give it a name, I’ll be calling it Carrot.

Click OK.

 

Step 2: Find the view and add it to the views.

Step 2.a: Open the saved Scenario and find the view.

To find this, go to the P3D files folder. For me it was: G:\Users\Nick\Documents\Prepar3D v3 Files

Now find the file that you just saved. Don’t worry, you’ll find three. (.asc, .fxml and .wx)

Open the .fxml file in Notepad++.

If we run the search function (CTRL+F) for Potato. We’ll soon find the data we require.

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You’ll see that I’ve selected the data we need. You can see that the Title is Potato.

The data we need always starts with <Section Name=”xx”> and ends with </Section>.

Paste this section into Notepad++.

Step 2.b: Converting the data to the correct format.

So, in order for P3D or FSX to read this view we need to change it’s format.

This is the format we want to get: (taken from a captain seat view I already set up before)

[CameraDefinition.036]
Title = Captain Seat
Guid = {C69C6771-EB1F-4346-ADD7-0F8910277CE3}
Description =
Origin = Virtual Cockpit
MomentumEffect = Yes
SnapPbhAdjust = Swivel
SnapPbhReturn = False
PanPbhAdjust = Swivel
PanPbhReturn = False
Track = None
ShowAxis = YES
AllowZoom = TRUE
InitialZoom = 0.3
SmoothZoomTime = 0.5
ZoomPanScalar = 1
ShowWeather = Yes
XyzAdjust = TRUE
InitialXyz = 0.01, -0.02, -0.04
InitialPbh = 5.52, 0, 1.61
ShowLensFlare=TRUE
Category = Sensor
PitchPanRate=50
HeadingPanRate=50
transition = Yes
HotkeySelect=1

You’ll want to use this empty template to make your life much easier.

[CameraDefinition.xxx]
Title = # Put Title Here
Guid = {C69C6771-EB1F-4346-ADD7-0F8910277CE3}
Description =
Origin = Virtual Cockpit
MomentumEffect = # Yes/No
SnapPbhAdjust = Swivel
SnapPbhReturn = False
PanPbhAdjust = Swivel
PanPbhReturn = False
Track = None
ShowAxis = No
AllowZoom = TRUE
InitialZoom = 0.3
SmoothZoomTime = 0.5
ZoomPanScalar = 1
ShowWeather = Yes
XyzAdjust = # True/False
InitialXyz = # x, y, z
InitialPbh = # pitch, bank, heading
ShowLensFlare = # Yes/No
Category = # Choose existing category here
PitchPanRate = 50
HeadingPanRate = 50
transition = Yes

You’ll have to start of by replacing everything that has a # in front of it with the right value.

Also remove the hashtag.

The code below this will explain what each thing does. Stuff with a star in front of it may not be replaced. You do have to remove the star.

[CameraDefinition.xxx]
Title = “Potato” — THE NAME OF HOW IT WILL SHOW UP IN P3D/FSX
Guid = {C69C6771-EB1F-4346-ADD7-0F8910277CE3} — A UNIQUE ID. YOU CAN MAKE THIS YOURSELF
Description = — THE DESCRIPTION OF YOUR VIEW
* Origin = Virtual Cockpit
MomentumEffect = Yes — CHOOSE IF YOU WANT THE VIEW TO SHAKE DURING TURBULENCE, LANDING ETC
* SnapPbhAdjust = Swivel
* SnapPbhReturn = False
* PanPbhAdjust = Swivel
* PanPbhReturn = False
* Track = None
ShowAxis = No — CHOOSE WETHER TO SHOW THE AXIS INDICATOR OR NOT
AllowZoom = True — ENABLE OR DISABLE ZOOMING
InitialZoom = 0.3 — SET THE DEFAULT ZOOM FOR THIS VIEW (Explained later)
SmoothZoomTime = 0.5 — CHOOSE HOW SMOOTH THE ZOOM WILL TRANSITION
ZoomPanScalar = 1 — CHOOSE HOW MUCH YOU WILL ZOOM PER CLICK
ShowWeather = Yes — CHOOSE IF YOU WANT TO SEE WEATHER IN THIS VIEW OR NOT
XyzAdjust = True — CHOOSE IF YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO MOVE THE EYEPOINT IN GAME OR NOT
InitialXyz = 0, 0, 0 — VALUES FROM THE CODE YOU GOT FROM THE SCENERIO (Explained later)
InitialPbh = 19.01, 0, 25.70 — VALUES FROM THE CODE YOU GOT FROM THE SCENARIO (Explained later)
ShowLensFlare = Yes — CHOOSE IF YOU WANT TO SEE LENS FLARE OR NOT
Category = Cockpit — CHOOSE WHICH CATEGORY YOU WANT IT TO BE IN
PitchPanRate = 50 — CHOOSE HOW FAST YOU WANT THE VIEW TO MOVE UP AND DOWN WHILE PANNING, HIGHER IS FASTER
HeadingPanRate = 50 — CHOOSE HOW FAST YOU WANT THE VIEW TO MOVE LEFT AND RIGHT WHILE PANNING, HIGHER IS FASTER
transition = Yes — CHOOSE IF YOU WANT A SMOOTH TRANSITION OR NOT

Here’s how to fill in some gaps.

InitialZoom: Data from the scenario file, below is what data line you need. Underlined text is what you need to get from it.

<Property Name=”Zoom” Value=”0.3” />

InitialXyz: Data from the scenario file, below is what data line you need. Underlined text is what you need to get from it.

<Property Name=”Translation” Value=”0, 0, 0” />

InitialPbh: Data from the scenario file, below is what data line you need. Underlined text is what you need to get from it.

<Property Name=”Rotation” Value=”19.018749237060547, 0, 25.703159332275391” />

I suggest you round up the big numbers to 2 decimal digits.

 

Step 3: Add the data to your simulator.

Find the aircraft.cfg file of the aircraft you are adding this in. Found in the SimObjects Airplanes folder of your Sim. For me it was G:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\SimObjects\Airplanes\Aerosoft Airbus A320 CFM.

Open the aircraft.cfg file in Notepad++.

Now add the data we just converted to the right format into the bottom of aircraft.cfg.

Change the xxx in [CameraDefinition.xxx] to the right number. It is the highest number used, the one before bottom one might not be the highest one! For me it was 036.

Save it!

 

Step 4: Changing the view with the press of only 1 button. 

So we know that EZDok allows you to just press one button to cycle through the views you have set up. In P3D it is not that hard to do.

Step 4.a: Change the Category.

Change the category to a category you do not plan on using, for me it was Sensors. I never use them so I can get rid of them.

Step 4.b: Find the cameras.cfg file.

Now we need to clear all current Sensor views. We can do this in the cameras.cfg file located in the simulator’s appdata folder.

Navigate to it by starting a search in Windows for %appdata%. Now open the folder called Lockheed Martin, inside of that open Prepar3D v3.

Open the cameras.cfg file in Notepad++.

In this file, remove all views that are in the Sensors category. A view starts at [CameraDefinition.xxx] and ends at the next view’s [CameraDefinition.xxx].

Fix all the numbers after CameraDefinition so they are in order.

Save the file.

Step 4.c: Set up the one click cycle in P3D.

Start P3D, begin a flight and open the settings menu. Move to the Controls, then to Buttons and Keys.

For the Event Category select Views.

Now scroll down until you find View (next in current category).

View post on imgur.com

Bind that to the key you want.

Click OK.

The views should now be working!

Step 4.d: (OPTIONAL) Fixing the issue that when cycling through you also cycle through the Custom category.

For this, simply add CycleHidden = Yes to all the views in the Custom category. You can do this in the same aircraft.cfg file we used before.

 

Optional: Hotkeys

You can read Step 4 of my FSX guide here.

 

Protips:

A quick note: Adding xyzRate = 1 to for example the custom Wing View the Airbus comes with will let you move around quicker.

You can also enable XYZ movement, pan and tilt for the Airbus’ custom views by setting them to true.

 

This was it, thank you very much for reading, and I’ll hope you’ll enjoy it.

I will be notified when you leave a comment, so don’t hesitate to leave one down below when you are in need of assistance.

 

Thank you to the following sources:
http://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv2/LearningCenter/utilities/camera_configuration/camera_configuration.html
http://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv2/LearningCenter/getting_started/view_system/using_views_and_windows.html

2 thoughts on “Custom cameras in P3D without EZdok

  • Hi, thanks for your post on this. It was helpful.

    I’m wondering, however, if the camera can transition smoothly between views. Currently, it just jumps to each view without any transition (meaning, the camera doesn’t pan). The transition that occurs when you select a custom camera view with your mouse is what I like the most. I’d like to have that transition occur with the shortcut key as well.

    Any idea if that’s possible?

    • That’s definetly something I am going to try and fix. I think I might have found what is the issue, but I need to check if it really is and what a solution to it can be. I’ll be updating this whole tutorial tonight.

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