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Dear FMOD,

I’m trying to resolve an issue with panning that’s been bugging me for a while.

The current 3d positioning (level and pan) works perfectly for a first person perspective: sounds that are on the left of the player are heard on the left of the player.

However, our game is a third person perspective. ie: you see the player on the screen.

Our configuration is that the listening position is at the player’s head and the orientation is determined by the angle of the camera looking at the player. This works great in 99% of times. Sounds are louder when they are closer to the player, and the general panning correlates very strongly with the position on the screen: Sounds on the left side of the screen are heard on the left. (panning is viewer’s perspective).

I can easily reproduce the effect using FMOD Event player. I did a screen capture, and popped a video on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gumvVKEbrJg

I also have a video file captured from the Wii Dev Kit showing the exact same symptoms in game. PM me if you would like to see this video (I can’t stick it on youtube…)

What I would dearly love to hear is a consistent pan from left to right regardless of the position on the vertical axis.

Is this possible?

Any ideas on how we can achieve this?

Thanks,
Matt

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Just to add some additional information, you can use 3d pan level to resolve the sharp panning – however 3d pan level is not supported on our target platform (Wii), so we’re in need to alternatives.

The best I could come up with is artificially pushing sound position up or down in the vertical axis as it comes close to listener – to create an artificial smoothing arc. So within radius R of listener the sound is pinned to the surface of a sphere with radius R (can never get closer than this) – in this way sound smoothly traverses from left, arcing to top of sphere, then arcing to right. This doesn’t work so well if listener is approaching a sound from above or below though (and it’s a bit hacky in any case).

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yes the issue is that you are going directly through the listener’s head so it is expected.

I am fairly sure 3d pan level is supported now in hardware, i’ll have to confirm this and get back to you.

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Brett, with respect it is only what is expected for first person perspective.

We’re not making a game that looks like Quake or Doom. For those games it makes perfect sense.

And when you have a third person point of view, there is no sense in a sound being panned extremely hard left when it is practically in the centre of the screen, very close to the player.

I would dearly love to have a "near field" effect where sounds pan towards centre as the distance approaches the listening point. Let’s face it, in reality a sound close to your head is heard in both ears, not only the left or right.

As Jade indicated, 3d pan level lets us implement this, except that it is not available on our platform (Wii).

Alternatively, if there’s no interest from Fmod in the "near field" concept, is it possible to manually set the panning angle?

As another alternative, is it possible to measure the distance from the listening point (player location), and measure the panning angle from another point (camera location)?

Thanks,
Matt

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I take it no one else has a problem with this… perhaps everyone is making first person games?

Any other input on being able to measure the panning angle from a different point. (ie: detemine 3d distance volume attenuation based on point A, and pannig based on point B).

Or simply being able to manually set a panning angle?

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Hi matt,

[quote:l34zb1j4]3d pan level lets us implement this, except that it is not available on our platform (Wii). [/quote:l34zb1j4]
Good news, the next release will support this feature on Wii.

-Pete

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