Difficulties controlling Windows app with XBox controller?

Hi all, I’m posting a question on behalf of someone else. They’re having trouble driving the Windows app using an XBox controller:

Most of the issues have to do with the rate of motion assigned to thumbsticks controls. When assigning a specific motion action to one of them (like zoom, rotate, move, etc…) the rate at which the motion is carried out by the software is different depending on the direction in which I point the thumbstick. One direction of motion will be faster than its opposite in every case. For example, when assigning the “Zoom out” action to a thumbstick, “Zoom out” rate when pushing the thumbstick forward is much faster than the “Zoom in” from pulling the same thumbstick back. It makes smooth, even motions in all directions nearly impossible to achieve.

Is anyone familiar with this problem? Any workarounds or solutions? Thanks!

Yikes, looks like I can confirm the issue. For me, orbiting to the left is about twice as fast as orbiting to the right.

Zoom I was aware of and has always been much faster in than out. The biggest workaround I see is practice until we can get a fix :confused:

Thank you pkgw for posting this question on my behalf. As astrodavid mentioned, the rate is of one motion is about double as its opposite for any motion action I assign to the thumbsticks and, if I assign the opposite action to the stick, then the slow/fast motions are reversed. I’m not a coding expert by any means, but the controller behaves as though the “positive” and “negative” rates for each motion action are not assigned the same values.

I have been “practicing” as astrodavid suggests, but it is difficult to create smooth videos nonetheless.
I’m on a relatively short deadline to create these videos for the Canadian Space Agency and would prefer finding a solution if anyone has any to suggest.


Thanks for investigating, @astrodavid. I kind of want this to be a hardware issue, since I have trouble imagining how this sort of asymmetry would get introduced at the software level, but we’d have to get quite (un)lucky for you to be able to reproduce the problem easily.

I do see reports of people finding asymmetries with XBox controllers in general, e.g.:


But again, this seems to be happening far too consistently to be hardware.

Thanks for your continued investigation @pkgw, it’s appreciated.

I also find it unlikely that it would be a hardware issue considering I have had the same problem on 2 different controllers, including a brand new top of the line elite 2 controller, and @astrodavid reproduced the issue so quickly. I will, however, contact X-box support to see if they have any ideas for me to try. I will also ask a friend to lend me an Xbox 360 controller to test.

I’m also trying to see if making videos in the WWT app could work for me, but the rendering done in frames instead of a video is new to me. I’m trying a few of my image and video editing programs to see if I can make it work. I’ll also look into the app’s manual and this forum for help.

Thanks again

@Stephane I definitely recommend using tours to create the visuals that you are looking for and I would be happy to give you a demo of how to go about creating the tour and rendering it out.

Rendering to frames will give the best output, but if you prefer a capture method, you could create a tour and then play it with a screen capture software like OBS (https://obsproject.com/) running in the background. An example of a tour rendered to video with very limited post processing:

@astrodavid I’ve already done multiple tests on various applications. I was using a controller in order to move the view as I required while doing screen captures using Camtasia, which worked quite well and easily on 4K resolution except for the controller’s variable motion rates I mentioned.

I am now exploring the tour option which does seem interesting, though I am not yet familiar with it. When I create slides, they are not full screen or at full resolution while playing so I lose a lot of quality compared to the method described above.
I then tried rendering as video, which I assumed would actually render as a video file format, setting custom 4k resolution as it is not in the listed options. The output .png files are all at 2560X1343, which isn’t bad, though not 4K for some reason. There is a 4K rendering options but only for dome master.

As I’ve never combined frames into a video before, I searched the web and found many ways of doing that and, having Adobe Creative cloud in the office, I am attempting to do that in Premiere. I also tried in Camtasia, but with both app’s, each frame is imported with a 4,69 seconds and 5 seconds duration respectively. Since the minimum duration I can select for them is 0,1 seconds, the resulting video would be at 10 FPS, which is much too low.

I will now attempt a suggested option I found to use photoshop to recombine the individual frames into a video and see what the result looks like.

I assume you are using an app to do that. Which one is it? I welcome your suggestions and ideas.

Thanks for the help.

@Stephane It may be easiest (or at least quickest) to set up a call to try to get you satisfying answers based on your computer setup. But to attempt to answer these questions…

When you mention that tour slides don’t play at full screen or resolution, do you have the “Full Screen Tours” button checked (can be found by clicking the settings tab at the top)? You can further optimize framerate for real-time playback by specifying framerate that can be found under the “View” pulldown menu.

When rendering to frames, you can add a custom resolution and input 3840 x 2160 at 60 fps. However, to output the full resolution frames, it is best to detach the view to a second monitor if you have one (“View” pulldown menu → “Full Dome” → “Detach Main View to Second Monitor”). You also need a 4k monitor that is set to 100% scaling through Windows. A higher % scaling through windows will shrink the resolution output.

Importing frames into Adobe Premiere Pro (my preferred method), you can change the interpreted framerate to 60 fps. Sometimes WWT drops a frame or 2 per second during the frame renders, so you may be a bit short on your total time.

I hope this helps!

@astrodavid Thank you very much once again for taking the time to help. It is greatly appreciated and you have been of great use to me.

I did know about the frame rate in the view menu, though I assume it is independent of the FPS specified during rendering, but somehow I had missed the full screen tours toggle. Also, thanks for the scaling thought, I’m new to 4k screens and had not noticed that windows scaled it automatically. That solved my output resolution issue.

Regarding the second monitor, I’m using a relatively new laptop and my 4k screen is a second monitor connected to it. I run WWT directly onto it every time. Do you suggest I make my laptop screen the primary to run everything, including the app, but not the dome which would be the only thing active on the 4K monitor? Considering that WWT renders the video frame by frame, I’m wondering how it would be advantageous?

Finally. I used Adobe premiere as you suggested and, though I couldn’t find a way to set the imported frames at 60 FPS, I did manage to set each imported image’s duration as 1 frame, which may have been what you suggested in the first place. Result: A nice 4K video of reasonable size as my first test.

Also, through all my hectic search for solutions, I completely forgot to mention that I really like the video you linked. Your selection of objects and areas of the sky to see was quite beautiful and I liked the way you used zooms in and out as well as how you superimposed images. A very enjoyable video to watch.

In the end, this pleasant discussion may not have resolved the hardware-specific issues I had, but it did solve my problem as you have converted me to tours that run without a controller at whatever pace I want. So another big thank you for your invaluable help.

It’s been a pleasure to get to know you a little. Cheers and a great day to you!

@Stephane Happy to and glad to be of help!

Regarding your screen setup, especially in render mode, I do recommend keeping everything on your laptop screen except for the detached WWT window that is being rendered - this generally results in the best overall rendered frame output.

In Adobe Premiere Pro, you can right click on your newly imported frame sequence and select “Modify” → “Interpret Footage” which then brings you to a menu where you can specify FPS to 60 (or whatever is correct).

Thanks so much - I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the video (you can check out more on the WWT youtube channel (AAS WorldWide Telescope - YouTube) if you like!)

And again, glad to be a help to you - if you need any assistance creating tours (I definitely recommend using the timeline to fine tune your cinematic visuals). Don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll be happy to help. This post gives what I hope is a nice overview of different ways to use the timeline on Windows with a tour example with which to follow along.

Happy tour making!

@astrodavid Thanks once more for all the info. I will follow your advice regarding my monitor setup and the “Interpret footage” option should come in handy.

Creating tours is very easy to learn and understand and this post has made sure I get started properly, but if I run into difficulties, I know where to go for help:)

I’ll make sure to look into the youtube channel for more examples and for the simple entertainment and awe factor.

Many thanks once again and have a great day!

1 Like