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Achieving Moonlight in FSX Video


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Hi all


A story to tell that resulted in me flying in "moonlight" and recording the outcome to HD video.


I have been involved with a professional documentary maker in the UK to FLY fsx sequences of 4 Bomber Command Raids in WWII. The idea is that surviving members of crews who flew these missions will narrate the documentary outcome to be released and shown in the new RAF Bomber Command Museum being built in Lincoln and to open in October 2015. I hope to be there.


The first raid in the series covers the Dambuster attack on the Sorpe to be narrated by Johnny Johnson AJ-T's bomb aimer. Shooting the video clips needed to be associated with details he wanted to describe. Quite different to a stand alone video. For example Johnny wanted to talk about the episode in training where AJ-W flew under them when AJ-Q was flying at +30 feet along the canal near Sutton Bridge. Another was the attack on a armoured train near Soest on the way to the Sorpe that almost caused their demise. Pretty difficult stuff to do in fsx and provide a satisfactory "illustration" of the events.


Made all the more difficult since I live in South Australia.


It was of course necessary for the raid on the Sorpe to be filmed in approximate moonlight. Something FSX only seems to do over water. AJ-T took off from Scampton at 10:02 pm and if one progressed to the dams some two and a half hours or so later the video was almost impossible to view on a TV screen.


The solution came by picking a constant time for every part of the raid where one had a darkened sky in one direction and highlights on the horizon in the other direction. Of course the highlight on the horizon could not be shown in the video so it was necessary, for example, to shoot the Sorpe attack in two stages, one at around 10pm and one using dawn lighting after the 180 degree turn. The result then was a darkened sky in both forward directions AND a visible aircraft releasing the droppable Upkeep from +30 feet above the waters edge halfway along the Sorpe's earth dam.


Hours of work were involved. Such things as removing autogen objects from the Aerosoft West German VFR Scenery so as to be more so in the 1943 era. No wind farms back then.


The results are superb on the TV and I feel sure will enhance the Museum Exhibits for all to see after October 2015.


Cheers, from Down-Under.


PS: by the way, the other films are Sink the Tirpitz from the cameraman's point of view in Lancaster JO-V (shot from the rear door). Attack the Wizernes V2 Rocket Site and the dropping of the first Grand Slam on the Bielefeld Viaduct (particularly difficult because todays scenery has a lake on the normal approach that had to be covered by cloud). My friend Koos Van Menen in The Netherlands provided paints for the Lancasters, flak and also built objects to be attacked were there are none in fsx. The Tirpitz was also a special version provided by Erwin Welker to fire guns in the direction of the incoming Lancaster stream. I drop only 5 Tallboys from 14000 feet with two hitting the Tirpitz in exactly the same places as the original attack and causing her to roll to port and eventually to roll completely over. Indeed a mammoth project in which one can take a lot of pride in an outcome that is well beyond the normal realms of the simulator. For this project it has been made to "simulate" each event

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Might be interesting to relate how an unknown was seconded to work on a fsx video for the RAF Bomber Command Museum. It was after viewing this fictitious video I made just after the Canadian Lancaster arrived for its UK visit.


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