Thursday, January 31, 2008

You have GOT to be kidding me...

I... I can't stop laughing! When I first heard of this thing I thought it was a joke. Unfortunately it isn't. What is this? Retirement for wingviewers? Autopilot too fiddly and complex now? Can't see the wing any more? Fear not dear airliner sim pilot, we have just the thing for you!


Notice the clever use of the FS font style?

If I could stop laughing I'd probably cry.

I'm staggered, seriously. I mean W T F?

On the plus side they actually have billboard ads for cigarettes in the... I was going to say 'game'... in the... umm... thing. When's the last time you saw a 'sim... thing' be so refreshingly politically incorrect? ;)

Riveting gameplay! Get on the bus! Get off the bus! DRIVE the bus! OMG, too fast! NO... not THE BLURRIES! HAHAHAHAHA.

In case you think I AM joking, and let me assure you I am not, click the link below... if you dare. ;)

Still laughing too hard to sleep.

-lotus out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I solved the most annoying of all SP2 bugs!

Woot, go me! :)

Spent six days coming up with a solution for that ridiculous cloud flashing crap we keep seeing over cities and around airports. Tested by Pebble and confirmed working. Hells yeah! Now I can get back to my video work without cringing every time I fly near any kind of settlement.

Here's the procedure, I posted it on Avsim for all to benefit from:

The Fix for SP2 Flashing Clouds

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flying at ZERO feet AGL...

Just to shake things up from all the Flight Sim stuff, I figure I'll show you a little something that I like to get up to whenever possible. In case you wondered where the 'lotus' in Lotus Films came from, this will give you an idea.

This film covers a day spent blasting around the Seattle International Raceway at some pretty insane speeds, around 150mph on the main straight. It's an incredibly fast track with some truly challenging curves, including one very daunting downhill chicane. I'm in the gunmetal blue Lotus Elise, my mom (yeah, my *mom*) in her silver Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, and even my uncle came out, nicking a white Elise for the day. The love of speed is hereditary in my family. ;) Great fun and absolutely exhausting!


Unstart at 80,000 feet...

Well lookie here, my first hardware review. It's gonna be a thorough one too! It's a motherboard comparison between the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 and the Asus Maximus Formula! Ready?...



Whew, stellar review eh! Yup my brand new Gigabyte motherboard had a meltdown on me, so I've been out of the loop for a few days while it got replaced with the excellent Asus one. Turns out the Gigabyte board wouldn't run 4 gigs of ram, umm, at all! Brilliant! Well done guys.

Pebble of course is boggled by the fact that whilst Lotus strives to live on the bleeding edge of PC technology he's always shocked when he finds himself actually bleeding. ;)

Friday, January 18, 2008

One Last Teaser...

Now that the star of the next film is in place it's time to let you see her. :)

(click image for full resolution version)

The Dassault Rafale M is, in my opinion, *the* sexiest aircraft ever created by human hands. This particularly gorgeous model, created by Thor's Hammer of Dijon, France is not publicly available nor will it be for quite some time, so please don't ask where you can get it. However he has graciously allowed me an exception specifically for the making of the next film. :)

The image isn't photoshopped but is actually a still from one of my test shots, which I've been working on for four hours straight, and given that it's now 7am I need some damned sleep!

I wasn't kidding about that '3am' thing in the header. ;)

-Lotus out.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Things to come...

Well I've been getting quite a few people pestering me lately on when the next movie's coming out, which I must say I'm pretty humbled by. The concept of having some fans wasn't something I'd ever considered when I started making FS films haha. So thanks for that!

Anyway, here's a little teaser of something I'm working on. It's just some test shots, and the final film will likely feature neither this plane nor song, but it'll give you an idea of the 'feel' the next film might have. ;) This is however a small part of what's going into it. I'm not giving everything away hehe.

This is the first time I've released any kind of work in progress for one of my films, outside the group of people who help me make them anyway, so we'll see how this goes. Also I'd greatly appreciate it if this video does not leave my blog. Links however are fine, thanks. :)

The aircraft: Alphasim's fabulous Saab JAS39 Gripen.
The place: Austria.
The gist: Pure joy.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lament: The Deleted Scenes...

Well after getting this new system I decided to do a little house cleaning and ran across a number of clips from when I was working on Lament. More than any other film Lament was an absolute nightmare to edit down into a single song. I ended up with just a ton of extra footage that I had no place for in the final cut.

So here's all the stuff that was left out, yup, an entire movie's worth haha.


In case you're curious, the song is 'Bombs' by Faithless.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Beast Within...

As of today Lotus Films (the hardware portion) has a new home!

I did a minor trade-up this week, from a core2duo 6600 to... THIS...

This is a seriously *insane* little, err, big machine:

-Intel QX9650 Penryn 45nm processor (3.0 ghz stock)
-Swiftech high flow water cooling system with two 120mm fans.
-Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 Motherboard
-1.4 Terabytes of sata-2 storage goodness
-Big arse case ;)

The bits I'm keeping from the system that's carried me through 11 FSX films...

-Nvidia 8800 Ultra 768mb
-2 Gigs 1066mhz DDR2 Corsair Dominator ram

I'd forgotten how much I hate reinstalling windows and all my software, but so far everything's going well. My totally unoptimized copy of FSX is running a little faster and considerably smoother than it was on my highly stressed out core2duo. That old system was running at 3.4ghz, 54 degrees C, and was about as tweaked as a raver on his 5th pill. This thing is humming along at an amazingly cool 27 degrees. That's 4 degrees above ambient folks... not bad!

I'll post some performance comparisons once she's at 100% and I've had a chance to learn how to overclock her properly.

I just need to come up with a name for her. I think she deserves one. Suggestions are welcome!

-Lotus out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Music and Flight Simulator videos... Lotus' do's and don'ts....

I figure it's time to talk about music, specifically as it pertains to flight simulator videos. Every now and then I take a long wander through the new FSX arrivals at youtube and I am consistently stunned by the utterly terrible and cliche choices in music in them. So few people ever give any thought to this and it bugs the shit out of me.

So let me give you a quick rundown of the best and worst musical choices one can make when composing a flight simulator video.

The top 5 WORST tracks to choose:

1. Anything from 'Top Gun'. Never EVER EVER EVER use "Danger Zone" or anything else from that musical abomination of a film. Kenny Loggins was NEVER cool... EVER. Same goes for anything from 'Iron Eagle', for the reasons stated above. And yes, that includes Queen's only good song ever, "One Vision", ironically used in the Viper simulator scene. ;)

2. "Learning to Fly" by Pink Floyd. Just... don't... do... it. Thank you.

3. Hip Hop. It is an extremely rare video that can pull off anything flight related with a rap/hip hop soundtrack. Not a diss on hip hop, I quite like a lot of it, it's just that rap culture and aviation go together like strawberries and lard. The only video I've ever seen that actually managed this was Scott221's "Lose Yourself in Lock On". Absolutely brilliant. Check it out on youtube.

4. Country 'music'. I shouldn't need to explain why. It isn't music. It's an insult.

5. "You're the Conversation" by Chris Corner and Sue Denim. This is an absolutely fabulous track and I love it to death. It is also entirely OFF LIMITS. It was written for and accompanied the greatest single aviation moment ever filmed in history, the Alphajet Alps flight in 'Chevaliers du Ciel'. It is sacred. It should never be used by anyone for any flight sim film. Nothing can match the original scene it was used for and to imitate that would do nothing but cheapen that incredible moment of aviation art.

Top 5 GOOD music choices:

1. Pretty much anything electronic, specifically house and trance. Aviation is high tech at its best and I feel it deserves a high tech soundtrack. Exceptions to this are anything by Morel. If you don't know who that is then count yourself lucky.

2. Anything the editors of 'Top Gear' use for their shows. These guys are the absolute masters of matching music to visuals. I take great inspiration from their work.

3. Anything with passion. If a song sounds like it was a labour of love to create it's probably going to work well.

4. Anything you haven't heard before. I'm serious. The more mainstream a track is the more likely I am to mute it or kill the video entirely. If you haven't heard it before then it's likely few others have either and it will give your video a fresh feel.

5. When in doubt, go instrumental. Unless you have a story you're trying to tell through images and music then lyrics will just mess with peoples' heads and divide their attention. If you want to show off the visuals then don't confuse people by making them think in language at the same time.

For reference, here's that perfect aviation moment I was talking about.

-Lotus out.