[HOW-TO] Using the Drone Cam, Tips & Tricks

Intro

You have seen those fancy pictures from the sim, but you’re wondering how those were taken? Look no further, because in this guide I’ll explain how to use the Drone Cam (or Showcase Mode), and I’ll also give you some tips & tricks. As a real life drone pilot, this mode is like second nature to me.

To get started in using the drone cam (or Showcase Mode), either press INS, or go to the camera menu and select Showcase. In this menu you’ll find some settings that you can change, I’ll go over them below. For each setting I’ll also list the most important shortcuts you might need, both for keyboard and Xbox controller users.

Showcase Camera Settings Window


Controlling the Drone Cam

To control the drone camera, I highly suggest using a controller (both PS4 and Xbox controllers will work fine). By using a controller you can use the thumbsticks (or joysticks) to translate forward, backward, left and right. By using the triggers you can increase or decrease the height of the drone cam.

For people using a DualShock 4 controller, I highly recommend using DS4Windows because then the simulator will see your DS4 as an Xbox controller, giving you the same default bindings.

To reset the drone cam to its default position, press 5 (NUMPAD), or click on the RESET POSITION button at the top of the drone cam menu.

Important: to regain control over the aircraft when in drone cam mode, press C.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Translate Drone Forward W Left Joystick up
Translate Drone Backward S Left Joystick down
Translate Drone Left A Left Joystick left
Translate Drone Right D Left Joystick right
Translate Drone Up R RT
Translate Drone Down F LT
Pitch Drone Up 8 (NUMPAD) Right Joystick up
Pitch Drone Down 2 (NUMPAD) Right Joystick down
Yaw Drone Left 4 (NUMPAD) Right Joystick left
Yaw Drone Right 6 (NUMPAD) Right Joystick right
Roll Drone Left 7 (NUMPAD) LB
Roll Drone Right 9 (NUMPAD) RB
Drone Top Down View CTRL + SPACE X + Y
Reset Drone Cam 5 (NUMPAD) X + A
Reset Drone Roll SPACE RB + LB

Drone Follow Mode

Drone Follow

The Drone Follow Mode can toggle between following a target, or remaining stationary. When this setting is turned on, the camera will follow your aircraft as if were attached to it. You can easily switch which aircraft to follow by pressing CTRL + Page Up (next target), or CTRL + Page Down (previous target). Leave this off if you want to record your landing or take-off, without having the camera moving with your aircraft.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Toggle Follow mode TAB RS
Follow Next Target CTRL + Page Up /
Follow Previous Target CTRL + Page Down /

Drone Lock Mode

Drone Lock

Next up we have the Drone Lock Mode setting. Enabling this setting will cause the drone cam to lock onto a set target (to your own aircraft by default). This means that the drone cam will always be looking at the center of the target, no matter how you move the camera. This is perfect if you want to create those typical real life “orbit” drone shots. You can manually set a target by pressing X + LS on the Xbox, there is no default binding for the keyboard. Toggling this setting can be done by pressing LS or CTRL + TAB. Lastly, you can also move to the next target (in most case another player) by pressing A.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Toggle Lock mode CTRL + TAB LS
Set Target / X + LS
Lock to Next Target A /
Lock to Previous Target SHIFT + A /

Drone Focus Mode

Drone Focus Mode

The Drone Focus Mode will allow you to adjust the focus, enabling you to have blurry backgrounds. There are 3 settings: DISABLED, AUTO and MANUAL. This mode is perfect for those “bokeh” loving people out there (myself included).

In the AUTO mode the cam will automatically focus on what is in the center of the frame.

In MANUAL mode you have full control over where to place the focus. Adjust focus by pressing F2/F3, or B + RT/B + LT.

Drone Focus

To adjust the focus without using shortcuts, you can change the slider above. 100% means infinite focus, 0% will focus very near.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Toggle Depth of Field F1 B + Y
Decrease Depth of Field F2 B + LT
Increase Depth of Field F3 B + RT
Toggle Auto Focus F4 B + LS

Drone Rotation Speed

Drone Rotation

This setting will adjust the speed at which the drone cam will rotate. You can change it by dragging the slider or using shortcuts.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Increase Rotation Speed F4 X + LB
Decrease Rotation Speed F3 X + RB

Drone Speed

Drone Speed

This setting will adjust the speed at which the drone cam will move. You can change it by dragging the slider or using shortcuts.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Increase Drone Speed F2 X + LT
Decrease Drone Speed F1 X + RT

Drone Zoom

Drone Zoom

With this setting you can zoom in or out. You can change it by dragging the slider or using shortcuts.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Increase Drone Zoom + Y + RT
Decrease Drone Zoom - Y + LT

Free Camera

Free Camera

The free camera option is the default mode of the drone cam. In this mode you can freely change the position of the camera.


Fixed Camera

Fixed Camera

The Fixed Camera mode allows you to switch between pre-defined views. In this mode you can’t move the camera. To access this mode, either use the camera menu or press END (while already in the drone cam mode).

This is the go to mode if you want to have one of those nice looking wingviews.


Miscellaneous Settings

Exposure Setting

While not listed in the main settings menu, there is also the possibility to change the exposure of the drone cam.

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Toggle Drone Auto Exposure CTRL + F4 Y + LS
Decrease Drone Exposure CTRL + F2 Y + LB
Increase Drone Exposure CTRL + F3 Y + RB

Drone In/Out

The last setting of the drone cam, are the in and out points (bookmarks). With this setting you can create dolly like movements of the drone cam.

You start by placing two bookmarks (the IN and OUT point). After you have set those, you can transition between the two (PLAY and REWIND).

Important shortcuts:
Name Keyboard Shortcut Xbox Shortcut
Set Drone Bookmark IN / A + LB
Set Drone Bookmark OUT / A + RB
Drone IN / OUT Play / A + LT
Drone IN / OUT Rewind / A + RT

Tips & Tricks (coming soon)


Version 1.0

Version history

1.0 - Initial release

83 Likes

Any update on this one? Tips and tricks would be great. Thanks.

1 Like

Is there a way to put drone on runway end and make kind of fly-by view?

1 Like

I do that, but I manually move the Drone there. Not aware of a shortcut, but one would be great. They would need to also have target next go to the of the other runway(s) end.

Yeah, I would do it using the Drone Free Camera, position it wherever you want it on the runway and then disable the Follow mode.

1 Like

Some of us have a hat switch to pan left right up and down in the cockpit. You put those same 4 commands on the very same hat but for the exterior camera modes as well as the cockpit.
You can also put those very same commands on the same hat for the drone camera mode.
The hat will now do exactly the same thing in all 3 modes cockpit, drone (showcase), and exterior.

The 4 commands:
cockpit:
cockpit look right
cockpit look left
cockpit look up
cockpit look down

drone:
yaw drone right
yaw drone left
pitch drone up
pitch drone down

external:
external view look right
external view look left
external view look up
external view look down

If you have another hat available you can use it to translate the views straight instead of panning the view
cockpit
translate cockpit view right
translate cockpit view left
increase cockpit view height
decrease cockpit view height

drone
translate drone left
translate drone right
translate drone up
translate drone down

external
(you can’t move the external camera like this)

Want to translate inward or outward using a two way toggle switch or perhaps a two way hat or 2 buttons?
cockpit
translate cockpit view forward
translate cockpit view backward

drone
translate drone forward
translate drone backward

external
(can’t do it). You can zoom in and out but that is different than translate. Zoom moves the plane and the scenery. Translate only moves plane in relation to the stationary scenery.

A note for these which I mentioned above (panning the view in external view)
external view look right
external view look left
external view look up
external view look down
These by default are on the mouse. I showed how to put them on a 4 way hat above. But the panning is very very fast on either mouse or hat. But If you instead assign those 4 commands to 2 axis (such as an auxiliary flightstick or an Xbox controller 4 way axis),then the panning will be nice and slow. Which is an advantage using an Xbox controller (external and cockpit panning is nice and slow). Unless you move the stick further along the axis, then the panning becomes faster. So you can control the panning speed.
Here are the commands to assign for doing that (already preprogrammed on Xbox controller):
cockpit
cockpit view yaw axis
cockpit view pitch axis

drone
drone yaw axis
drone pitch axis

external camera
external view pitch axis
external view yaw axis

Here’s the axis commands to assign for zooming (different than translating in/out as I mentioned above):
cockpit
cockpit view zoom axis

external
external view zoom axis

Note: I also remove the above command from the mouse for cockpit zooming. Therefore the mouse wheel will never zoom, but only will move the gauge knobs and handles. This makes things so much easier to adjust knobs and levers by not also zooming with the middle wheel.
I use a Thrustmaster Warthog throttle which has two very large throttle handles. One handle I use for the throttle. And the other I use for zooming in/out in cockpit and external views. So I don’t need to ever zoom with the mouse wheel. Which makes it so much easier. If you have a throttle quad with a spare lever, you could use that for zooming. Any axis controller is easier than using the mouse to zoom.

4 Likes

Just thought I’d throw it out there, but this device (Logitech Heavy Equipment / Farm Controller) has been the greatest tool for ALL my drone activity. I’m not a fan of the tiny handheld Game Controllers, and this device allows me to use a large Joystick to fly the drone camera and operate interior and exterior cameras too. $149 well spent.

Jim-Sim

4 Likes

Moving the Drone around with my X-Box-Controller is quite nice.
Follow/Unfollow MY plane works without problems.

BUT to set a different plane as a new target and follow/lock this with the drone does not work for me.

Is it bugged or does ist work for someone?

How to make these drone camera settings as default settings?
Drone Lock Mode - On
Drone Focus Mode -Auto

They are always reset…

Drone camera is great with Xbox controller for me while flying with honeycomb alpha and Logitech extreme 3D stick

-Bram
SkyLane

P.s. allowed to share a sample video? I’ll edit if interest

Make a copy of the Default Profile. You can do that on the Controls page.
Save it with some other name.
Modify it as you wish.