Third-person Vehicle

Here is something we didn’t expect (NSFW). The machinima crew behind RedVsBlue, Rooster Teeth, actually did a hack!

The idea is simple enough, how could you experience driving a vehicle like in a video game – aka, third-person. With some steel bar, Canon 5D camera, and a 15inch monitor inside of a blacked out cab, they accomplished just that.

What surprised us the most, is the great difficulty and difference there is between the video game vehicle and the real life one. But all of us here at HAD know why; they need to replace the steering wheel with a joystick. While they’re at it they can make it wireless and remote-controlled. Finally a HUD would be easy enough to program (might we suggest processing). Oh dear lord, is the world ready for this!?

27 thoughts on “Third-person Vehicle

  1. Just repeat this on a truck retrofitted with EMC mobility controls and there’s your joystick controls. One stick for gas/brake, another for steering.

    I had this idea brewing before, actually – however, in first person, and with a remote vehicle cab, to tele-drive a box van.

    One van is stationary and translates any input on it to another van that’s on the road, with several HD cameras and displays to cover each mirror and window.

  2. That’s awesome but you need to raise the camera up a little so the driver can see the front of the hood. The camera angle they used is better for long distance/high speed racing, not slow obstacle course driving.

  3. It’s usually written as one word pete; goddamn or goddam or goddamned, don’t let any poor spellcheck algorithms mess you up.
    (I know firefox constantly marks things bad and wants to split words into components, sigh)

    I found it amusing but I’d like a more serious attempt at the same thing, and with the camera slightly higher since it seemed a bit low.

    @Dakota they already have a show on discovery where guys convert trucks that are controlled remotely and then battle eachother using machine-
    guns and explosions, so the remote controlled thing is already done a lot, but the twist here is that you sit in the car, that’s the interesting bit.

  4. Pretty awesome work there by them. I’m presuming they’re just using the DSLR in video mode, tethered to a PC using some kind of Canon remote camera control software?
    Very entertaining! Reminds me of the vertical tail wing cameras they install on Airbus A380s! There’s a very cool view from them!
    There were several things I kept having to do when playing GTA4 –
    1-Use reverse view for awareness of surroundings, esp. for whats directly in front of the car. But adding this ability to their rig would double their costs at least!
    2-When driving fast its important to see from a higher perspective to get a greater idea of whats in front; I’d hold the camera control thumbpad up a little as I drive fast so I can just see the horizon at the top of my TV. Alternatively I’d have preferred it to default to a much higher perspective and thats what they could have done to improve visibility, at the risk of overextending the boom with the expensive camera!

  5. @shazzer : The NSFW tag is presumably for the blow-up doll.

    @stu : The camera is simply connected to the display via HDMI out. This is apparent from the closeup of the cables, and explained seconds later.

    @jon : yeah, 120v battery. aka, and inverter? :\

    @tim : too bad they didn’t keep crashing into things before the textures are loaded (This still constantly annoys me).

  6. Also, bonus points for the soundtrack, faux loading screen, and the yakuza (another reason for the NSFW maybe? Excellent flying kick).

    Not the most insane hack, but a simple and well executed idea it seems many of us had.

    It seems the barbells on the z-bar really helped stabilize the video, I couldn’t see too much of the rig on top of it, maybe the had some more tech helping out. But the shots above are nice and stable.

    Wins science.

  7. I’d love to have a go at driving that car!

    @harc, here’s a couple of similar ideas I’ve seen:!v=g_CjjAvNEW4!v=TuC1st-cA9M

    Short of getting a real car to try this out I’ll have to try it with an RC car, I’ve already put a wireless camera on the bumper of a car and drove it using LCD video glasses, just need to move the camera up and back to get a 3rd person gaming perspective.

  8. I would like to see it done with multiple cameras and articulated mounts so they could recreate the camera panning ability in 3rd person video game driving. That would be more of an engineering concept IMO anyway.

    Cool stuff though!

  9. idea for simply making the camera change angle based upon speed:

    Two hacky ways of doing this, both have the same draw back though –

    1. attach to large helium balloon – so at slow speeds will be above the car, at higher will go low and behind for a more horizon based view.

    2. Attach to flexible boom (with only 1 degree of freedom) and attach something to use the drag of the air to force the boom down. At low speeds camera is above the car, at high it gets blown backwards and gives an improved view for speed.

    Issue with both these ideas – wind…

  10. @shazzer, localroger, PidGin128: Maybe you should actually read text at the beginning? It’s for the numerous “fucks” throughout the video.

    As stated before, the camera angle in GTA games is way too low. In almost every GTA game, when driving at high speed, I usually have to thumb up the camera angle slightly to see what’s IN FRONT of the car.

    I also don’t drive my car (virtual or real) like a myopic grandma. They obviously didn’t give a crap about the truck (what with Yakuza all over it with foam bats and flying kicks), so where’s the power slides? Hit the freaking GAS, you candyasses!

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