Head Tracker

0.0 1.0 2.0 OpenTrack 4.0

This is one of the oldest parts of my SimPit. This DIY head tracker is made of cardboard and in use for over two years now. It may be ugly but it gets the job done.

DIY head-tracker made from cardboard
DIY head-tracker made from cardboard

I wrote a detailled blog post on it’s construction and also made a video of the making process.

Watch this video on YouTube PeerTube BekoPharm


I get asked often how this is configured and while there is no one-size-fits-all setting I do have some pointers on this. The most important part is setting up the camera correctly. For this I use v4l2ucp which allows me to tune various parameters. We want as many FPS (frames per second) as possible. For this I dial the Exposure way down and disable any automatic gain and focus. Cameras tend to maximize this when they only get darkness and this kills the FPS on most webcams. Some other parameters like Contrast or Gamma may be tweaked as well to make the detection for Opentrack easier.

More settings are available in Opentrack. The part that gets often overlocked are the Mapping properties where a Max input and curves can be configured for each axis. Make use of this! Especially for Pitch where only small movements are usually desired to have a greater effect while Yaw wants total opposite settings of this with a triple head setup 🖥️🖥️🖥️.

This works on Linux???

Hell yes. I jumped many hoops for various games to this day and have a pretty good track record by now. I demo a lot of that on my YouTube channel and on the blog. I’m also going to add some game specific chapters here and add head tracking notes whenever needed.

Watch this video on BekoPharm

I also recommend setting a hotkey to stop/start the head tracking in Opentrack. This resets the calibration to a new ground zero.