I periodically get asked about multiheaded video cards for FlightGear. My standard answer is that I don't know for sure, but I suspect they wouldn't work well for FlightGear. However, the questions keep coming and I feel like I'm not able to give a really good answer.

So can anyone help me out? For instance, has anyone tried one of these sorts of cards?


What kind of opengl support is available under linux?

I have always assumed that to render 3 views to 3 monitors, I'd have to run through the render loop 3 times, once for each view. Each time through would do a different view frustum cull, etc. etc. (Note that the trick of making one big window and stretching it across all 2 or 3 displays is not acceptable because we'd like to cover a larger field of view than you can realistically do in one window without severe distortion.) Also there might be space between each display that would need to be accounted for in the config for each display (field of view, view center offset, etc.)

So would I need to run 3 copies of flightgear on the same machine? Could I modify flightgear some how to draw three different views/windows from a single application? What tricks do people use to most effectively leverage multi-headed opengl displays?

Has anyone played around with any of these options who can report success or failure or something in between? What kind of performance are you getting?



Curtis Olson        http://www.flightgear.org/~curt
HumanFIRST Program  http://www.humanfirst.umn.edu/
FlightGear Project  http://www.flightgear.org
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