Based on head tracking tools by Johnny Chung Lee

This plugin has been deprecated by the Head Tracking plugin.

Wiitrack is an experimental plugin that distorts the view projection to create the illusion that your monitor is a window into a 3d environment. Wiitrack also automatically stacks windows based on their Z-level to make them look even more 3d. Wiitrack now interfaces with a separate plugin, Wiimote, to receive head location data using the same methods as Johnny Chung Lee. We are currently looking to use 6 DOF (the use of more than 2 points to get a true position) in the final version of the plugin. Wiitrack is available from Git

Using Wiitrack

  • <Alt><Super>Page_Up - Move window further into cube

  • <Alt><Super>Page_Down - Move window closer to viewer

  • <Alt><Super>W,A,S,D - Pan camera up, left, down, right, respectively

  • <Alt><Super>Q,E,R - Move camera out, in, and reset camera, respectively

  • <Alt><Super>T - Toggle mouse tracking

Configuration Options


Standard options for Wiitrack

Window Depth

How far apart stacked windows should be.

Enable Tracking

Enable polling of data from Wiimote

Fade Time

Length of Z-order change animation


Calibration options for tracking

Wiimote Above Screen

Is your Wiimote above your screen?

Height Adjustment

Adjust the height of your head relative to the screen

Sensor Bar Width

Adjust perceived distance of your head

Wiimote Vertical Angle

At what angle, in radians * 100, is your Wiimote

There are other options available for debugging, but these are not listed here.

Wiitrack with a Wiimote

Wiitrack makes use of the Wiimote plugin to poll infrared blob information to use for tracking purposes. In order to use Wiitrack to track your head, you must have Wiimote installed and enabled.

How it Works

Wiitrack uses the position of your head, calculated from the positions of two IR light sources and their distances apart, to distort the OpenGL projection matrix through the use of a Frustum calculation (Also known as an "Off Center Perspective"). When the camera is moved right, objects in the distance move to the right relative to the screen, and objects on the left side of the viewport appear to be larger. The screen would normally looked distorted, but when viewed from the right side, it will appear that your looking through your monitor at the side of a box. As the camera is moved back, the entire scene is resized on the Z axis to create the illusion that you are getting closer to our further away from the scene. This can be easily demonstrated with the plugin when using another plugin such as Snow to create objects that are "in front" of the view and moving the camera in. At a point, these objects are virtually at the same distance as your head, and as they move further on, they disappear because they are clipped by the OpenGL near clipping plane.

Auto Z-Stacking

Automatic Z-stacking works like 3d Windows but is always active, does not move the desktop, and does not scale windows. It is always active for the current viewport. Windows can be set to a manual depth using the appropriate controls (see above). Manually set windows will be ignored during Z-stacking.


A planned future improvement of the plugin is to add the option of true anaglyph rendering. This will render the entire display twice, once red and once blue, as with the Anaglyph plugin to create a better 3d effect. By adding anaglyphing to the plugin, the scene will seem even more 3d.

Wiitrack Developer Shopping List

There are two basic setups you can use with Wiitrack, the lights-on-your-head setup and the Wiimote helmet setup.

Lights-On-Your-Head Setup

This is the same setup used by Johnny Chung Lee in his video. You will need to purchase a few items:

  • Two IR LEDs and appropriately rated resisters
  • Batteries
  • Glasses of some sort (safety glasses)
  • Wiimote
  • Bluetooth Adapter

If you plan on working with the future anaglyph addition, this may be will suited for you as the glasses can be tinted like 3d glasses.

Wiimote Helmet Setup

This setup is what the developers believe will be the approach Nintendo will take. It requires you to have a sensor bar and a Wiimote.

  • Sensor bar - preferably something like the Nyko Wireless Sensor Bar

  • Bluetooth Adapter
  • Wiimote
  • (optional) A helmet or hat on which to put the Wiimote

This approach is preferred if you're not very mechanically inclined or want a "prettier" setup. This setup will also easily allow for multiple views (A future update may allow separate screens to be viewed through different Wiimotes)

Both setups allow you to use secondary Wiimotes for other applications. The total cost of each setup depends on the quality of your hardware. Generally, a Wiimote can be purchased for around $40 (USD), and Bluetooth dongles can be anywhere from $5 to $50 depending on the quality you're looking for. IR LEDs can be expensive, and you will need some electrical engineering knowledge to build the hardware. The Nyko Wireless Sensor Bar is $20 (USD) and is a prime option if you're looking for something more professional and simple. If you own a Wii, the sensor bar can be used simply by turning the Wii on. The lowest total observed cost of the project is around $65 (USD).