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How to setup Tobii Eyetrack with FaceTrackNoIR to allow TrackIr emulation in games

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Just got my hands on an Asus Z271T 27″ monitor.

The “T” stands for Tobii Eyetrack and it comes pre-installed under the monitor.

The first thing I wanted to do was get it working in racing games such as Assetto Corsa.

Unfortunately, native game support for racing games using Tobii is absolutely anemic, as of today only a handful such as F1 2017, Drift cars tokyo… blah blah.

No actually popular games are supported out of the box.

FaceTrackNoIR to the rescue

It turns out that FaceTrackNoIR has a plugin that allows it to interface with the Tobii bar and turn your gazes into Freetrack commands, which in turn can emulate trackir commands.

The first thing was to download the app here: http://facetracknoir.sourceforge.net/information_links/download.htm

Unfortunately the program requires a small USD 4 donation.

Not exactly a large price to pay, however as the program doesn’t come with a trial there is no way of knowing if the program would work.

It definitely makes it harder to pull the trigger on it. I think that allowing people to try the program first and get it running smoothly THEN have a donate box set at $5 would make more people pay for it.

Once its downloaded, you also need to grab the plugins pack that contains the Tobii plugin.

Installation is quick and easy, first the FaceTrackNoIR setup, then run the plugin pack setup and select the Tobii plugin.

Getting it to work

It was initially very confusing to get working, too save you time just use the following settings as a base and tweak as you see fit.

Tracker Source: Tobii EyeX

Set the tracker source to Tobii.

Set it to “Absolute View” that way it will map your eye focus on the screen to an absolute yaw and pitch value. You can adjust the maximums later.

You want “absolute” so that looking at lets say, the left hand side of the screen will always tell the game to look “45 degrees to the left”.

There are curves under the “Absolute View” tab, but its best to leave that alone.

Select Yaw if you want the screen to pan left/right.

Select Pitch if you want the screen to pan up/down.

I didn’t find I needed roll etc.

Filter: EWMA Filter Mk2

I used the EWMA filter because it allowed me to smooth out the camera panning in games. If you don’t use smoothing what happens is if you glance left for 1 sec, the entire screen will pan left causing your viewport to jitter all over the place.

Once again my settings here are very conservative.

I want the in game camera to pan slowly across the longer I look at the side of the screen. Which feels very natural for racing games. You don’t want the viewport to suddenly pull left or right, as it means what you are focusing on suddenly pulls across making you have to track your eyes back and forth following it dance across your screen.

Curves

Finally, you want to adjust your curves. This is important. By default the range goes up to 180 degrees.

Which means looking left of your screen causes the in game camera to swivel around 180 degrees all the way to look back.

Here are my curves.

I decided all I really needed for racing games was about 30 degrees of additional rotation left/right and up to 10 degrees if I look up.

This means as I line up to enter a corner, I can look into the corner and the camera will pan across to it so that I can see more of the corner making it easier to to know when to turn-in and how far you are to the kerb.

Adjust the curves as you see fit.

Giving it a go

I fired up Assetto Corsa and as long as I was in the dashboard view the eye tracking started working immediately. No setup required! All I had to do was press “START” on the FaceTrackNoIR program.

If needed to adjust curves, I could do it in the FaceTrack program without having to restart the game etc, makes adjusting it really easy. The only thing I needed was lots of smoothing so that quick eye glances would give me a nice slow pan instead of immediately jumping.

So this is my view when I look straight ahead at my monitor.

As I glance over the right, the camera pans and I can see my mirrors.

If I looked all the way to the left of the monitor I could see my rear view mirror. The great thing about eye tracking is that the shift is very natural and subtle.

If you look up into the rear view, the camera will pan slowly so that its more in view. Not distracting at all.

It works great in game.

 

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