Camera API

I also would like to see this. Here are some thoughts:

  1. Ability to create cameras any where in the world and control their lat,lon, altitude, pitch, and roll. Also with the ability to zoom the camera
  2. Ability to create cameras in the 3D cockpit or outside the plane but the camera moves with the plane. That said you can control the camera pitch, roll, heading and X,Y,Z relative to the aircraft. Also have the ability to zoom the camera.
  3. The ability to place cameras on any of the AI traffic.
  4. With all items above you should have the ability to adjust the camera with each frame. As an example to apply vibrations or animations, like an automatic orbit, walk-around, etc.

Just some initial thoughts. Mark Stick and Rudder


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Another set of features that will be very useful for a Camera API, is the
ability to convert back and forth between world Lat/Lon coordinates and Screen
coordinates, which could be combined with handling of mouse clicks to achieve
things like clicking on screen to move/select/drag objects. The Dev Mode
already use it to edit the scenery and has several ray casting features, which
would be very useful if they were exposed through an API. Perhaps something
more high performing than Simconnect, working directly through WASM. About
Simconnect, it would be already a big improvement if we could just get new
Simvars with the absolute position of the active camera view, or its position
in relationship to the user airplane, or both. Also, when creating a new
camera on the fly, it would be nice if all the following could be controlled:
- The projection ( Perspective or Orthographic ) - The Zoom Level - The
Near/Far clipping plane, to create cameras optimized for short or long

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Just so everyone is on the same page about the state of this, I will add clips
from every Dev Q&A; below. The question is basically getting asked on every
stream now.

From March 21, 2022: Here is Asobo’s response to the following question:

      1. ChunkyAviation: Can we have the camera view system opened up to devs to create custom camera views & programs similar to EZDok or Chaseplane in FSX and to allow for the creation of custom fly by and spectator views to lock onto other aircraft in multiplayer or single player replay? TLDR:
They’re not sure what it will look like if the camera changes often or
quickly. Not scheduled yet “but maybe something we should rethink”

From April 27, 2022: <Twitch
NNteKu8b926j5oA6> TLDR: They’ve always hesitated to make a camera API
available. They want to make improvements to the built-in camera system.

Dear Asobo, I really hope this gets re-considered… another example of why we
need this: I am currently
stuck with many limitations that would prevent showcasing my product much
better and provide my customers with a much better experience. I even tried
the RTC route to find out the tutorial provided with SDK documentation doesn’t
really do what it says, and it is also limited. It would be great if we could
create any RTC sequences outside the hangar, people want to see products in
action… flying, passing POI, performing maneuvers, etc. So please expand this
as well, not very much use to have this only via the hangar. Thanks for taking
the time to read our ideas. Best Regards, Raul

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Hi, If you want to understand what we’re after, please have a look at
FSRealistic: A lot of their features are
awaiting a proper Camera API and honestly what they have done with what they
have is really impressive. Please look at the reviews online to get a sense of
how important this is. I see no parallel universes where Asobo/MS would
come anywhere close to the level of customization and stability 3rd party
developers would be able to offer. For the good of the entire community,
please give us a proper Camera API. Thank you

In addition to what Keven is saying, have a look at the Sting S4 parachute
deployment… if I had better camera API I could have showcased this cool event
even better by adding specific shakes, momentum, and many other features when
the pilot pulls the emergency lever. This is as far as I could take it: I wanted to do much more for such a dramatic
event, including being able to zoom out on the drone camera, momentum shakes
on landing with the parachute, etc. There are hundreds of applications for
this, and the reason we are asking is just to improve our current products
even further as requested by our own audience. Thanks for taking the time to
evaluate the request. Raul

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I’d like to add my +1 for this response. I’m developing the G36 Improvement
Mod (<
project/216094/2420>) & a PA-46-500TP
build-journey/478148/99>) and the ability to use a camera API to add specific
shakes, vibrations, and general aircraft dynamic movements would add so many
levels of immersion to our mods/products. For example I’m using the XML
behaviours on the G36 to simulate spark fouling, at the moment the affect is
so limited as I can only model rpm fluctuations, the abilty to ‘shake’ or
‘vibrate’ the aircraft/view would be amazing!

Yes, +1 for a camera API. We‚d like to be able to place the camera freely,
e.g. also with relative coordinates related to the user aircraft (or any AI
object perhaps). Plus camera rotation along any X, Y and Z camera axis. Use
case: freely place the camera during replay.

The forum thread at: <
api-in-simconnect/334102/42> which got a quite a number of votes has been
closed due to being an SDK request here. So this is another vote for Camera
API support.

20+ year user flight simulator here, starting at FS98, through now. FSX
onward, I always had the ability to set and maintain completly custom
interior/exterior views, that were custom to my needs and set-up. When I
switched over from X-Plane about a year ago, I was perplexed that I could not
purchase a 3rd party camera add-on to manage my custom views for the many
different aircraft I fly in the sim. I KNOW I’m not the only non-developer to
experience this frustration. We had be getting a ton of votes on this
topic, and even if it was not the intention, it is EXTREMELY frustrating to
have that wish list topic closed. It makes it appear as though Asobo is
closing a wish list topic that they don’t want to provide a remedy to.
users fly a variety of aircraft. Myself, airliners. Having a One-Size fits
all approach to the camera settings in regards to seat height, zoom, etc,
doesn’t function well for one user with more than one aircraft.
seating position (and thus camera position) various from a 737 to an A320 to
an MD-80. Many users have different screen sizes, resolutions, screen set-ups,
etc, and need to customize their views to a particular aircraft they fly. This
is where a 3rd party camera app comes into play. The various camera apps used
for P3D and X-Plane have been phenomenal. I can hop into a 737 or an A320, and
my camera seat height, zoom, lateral/vertical positions and pitch is all
maintained and is proper to my personal set-up. I’m just a user, and I don’t
stand to make a penny off an development for any camera utility. I do stand to
gain an immense amount of camera functionality and hours of flight simulator
enjoyment, which would alleviate 90% of my frustrations with this sim. I beg -
PLEASE, PLEASE, Asobo, create a camera API so 3rd party developers can
create camera utilities to better serve the community! :slight_smile:

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What the heck is going on in this video? What are they

It is stated in the comments that they use some “custom solution”, still no
offical API support. They also say using their method can cause issues while
flying, but it’s working good enough for this walk around feature.

While the subject of views is up again, I’ll revive my one simple request.
Camera.cfg docs say you can turn off the transition between custom views.

  • The switches in the camera.cfg do not work for this
  • It must be doable because:
    • The default taxi sequences switch between drone views without transitions
    • Switching from internal to external view occurs without transition

I would love to know where we’re at on this 558 days later. Thank you!

Agree 100%. I still fly XPlane esp now I purchased V12 and the updated
X-Camera . Every time I use my interior and exterior views it reminds me of
how simple it should be in MSFS. Please add my vote to your request to
Asobo/Microsoft to make available a means to make it happen

Can’t believe this feature has never been prioritized, even though it’s an
obvious benefit for the entire community. I hope they are working on it behind
the scenes.

Hello, A camera API for 3rd party developers is essential and will allow them
to create immersive addons like ChasePlane which will allow us to easily
configure default cameras for each aircraft; to create personalized cameras in
the cockpit, in the cabin and also outside the aircraft; create cinematic
cameras (qui se déplace toute seule autour de l’avion de façon cinématique);
and also add camera effects such as take-off and landing shake. Currently, it
is difficult to create views outside the aircraft by modifying the camera.cfg
file, and we can see black textures appear at the cockpit level (as in the
video above) because the simulator thinks that we are still in the virtual
cockpit and therefore does not know that we are outside the plane. It is also
complicated to configure the default views for each aircraft. It is therefore
for all these reasons that it would be very useful to open a camera API for
3rd developers to allow them to develop addons such as ChasePlane and to solve
all these problems. Kind regards, Charles

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Eagerly waiting on any news on this feature :slight_smile: I’d really like to be able to
programmatically (via SimConnect) set the camera with 6DoF. Possibly also in
relation to the user aircraft, that is its center of gravity, for use cases
like: * camera circles around aircraft (relatively speaking, but would always
move together with the aircraft and possibly also tilt with the aircraft) *
camera is located under a given jet engine And also possibly to lock the
“object of interest” (the user aircraft in most cases), such that tilt and
rotation would be automatically computed based on the camera and object
position. But a simple API to set the world coordinates (lat/lon/alt together
with “camera attitude”: pitch, bank and heading) would already be a good
start. Because then we could at least do our own computations and update the
camera position (with those 6 degrees of freedom) ourselves.