Get Online With a Flight Simulator Game

Almost everyone has a game that they enjoy playing. Before video games, many people played board games like Monopoly or Life. Beginning with the development of arcade video games in the 1970’s, there have been unbelievable improvements, including huge advances with the flight simulator game.

Early flight simulation was used for military purposes and didn’t become popular with the general public until the 1970s when programs like Airfight were developed as an educational flight simulator game. You were able to choose a military jet loaded with fuel and weapons and shoot down other player’s aircraft.

Soon arcade games became popular such as Pong and Pac Man, but they were rather inferior to the games of today, as were the flight simulation games. At the time, though, they seemed highly advanced and they created the baseline for future games.

Finally, in the early 1980’s, video game consoles started to gain popularity and games like Donkey Kong and Zelda were big hits. Other games were created that ushered in the modern style of 3D graphics, but most visual effects still looked pretty 2D and movement was not very natural.

The games consoles were soon followed by gaming computers with sounds cards. Game controllers and joysticks began to be sold with the systems to allow for more realistic action. As computer graphics continued to improve, the flight simulator game manufacturers were able to replicate the detailing of both the inside and outside of the various planes that were available.

Soon there were developments in the ability to provide a distant focus point for the pilot of the flight simulator game. With the use of a curved mirror and wide angle display equipment, a distant focal point representing the horizon made the view much more life like.

One issue that was resolved soon after was the fact that most computers didn’t have enough memory to allow the movement of objects to flow smoothly. The improvements in graphics forced computer companies to find a way to increase the computing power. The increase of band width offered by internet providers helped to avoid the jerky motion with video delivery.

As video gaming has become more and more popular, controllers have been added to give more realism. Joysticks, yokes and rudder pedals offered a whole new challenge to the flight simulator game, but it also made it much more enjoyable. The good thing is that you can still just use your computer keyboard to play a game too, if you can’t afford to buy other controllers.

Online play opened up a new way to hook up with other pilots playing the same game, and fly in formation. It also allows you to update software and add new downloads more quickly and easily.

With technology constantly changing, the realism of the flight simulator game will no doubt keep improving along with it. Soon, you will not be able to tell the difference between what is virtual reality and what is real.

Factors in Choosing a Golf Simulator – Software

Maybe the most important factor in choosing the right golf simulator for you is the software.

Software:

o Game Play:
There are several different options to consider here. How many courses are available? How many courses come with the base unit? How many of the courses are renditions of real courses? Are the courses computer based images (3D) or is it a picture based images (2D)? What I would suggest looking for here is: The number of courses which suits your needs, there is no reason to pay for 50 courses if you are only going to play 10. It takes a long time to get board playing a course on a good golf simulator. The major problem with a picture based system, is you can only play your shot from where there has been a picture taken. So if you hit the ball into the rough or out of bounds and there has not been a photo taken of that area, you will be atomically taken back to your previous shot with a one stroke penalty. Now for a PGA player this might not be a big deal but for the rest of us, who do hit the ball into the rough, it makes for a very slow and very frustrating round of golf.

o The Latest and Greatest Software:
There are a few companies who have released new software this year (2009). The new software adds cool new features to the game play. New features include variable weather options, time of day options. Now you can play your round of golf in the afternoon with a stiff breeze which is constantly changing as you play your round, watch the sky darken as your round nears nightfall. As you play your favorite round on the cost, see the waves move in and out on the surf, hear the waves crash along the coastline. With the new software you will also notice the true to life fairway and greens. When you hit a drive the ball should roll with the slope of the course. Beware, there are some simulators on the market, when you hit a ball it will only go straight and will not follow the slope of the course. If you are looking for the most realistic round of simulated golf this is a must feature and one to not over look.

o Number of Golfers:
One feature which is important for all applications is the number of golfer who can play at one time. All simulators will allow one golfer to shoot their shot one at a time. But there are some simulators out there which limits to the total players to just two or four golfers per round. I have found in commercial applications it is best to have up to eight players per round. This makes tournaments and leagues much easier to manage and drive revenues for your business.

o Swing Analysis
Swing analysis software is the most important tool for people who want to use their simulator as a training instrument. A good swing analyzer will enable you to do club fitting as well as dissect a customer’s swing to determine problem areas. But again some simulators have this software built in and others offer it as an add-on which is not compatible the simulator software and can cost upwards of $15,000. What really makes a swing analyzer a useful tool is the information and feedback it provides. Features to look for are club speed, launch angle, ball speed, club and ball path and spin. Many of the variables which will determine what type of swing analyzer will come with your simulator will depend on the simulator’s sensor technology. This and more will be discussed in the article dedicated to the topic of “Sensor Technology”.

The software you choose will have a major outcome on the overall performance and playability of your simulator. There are also two more articles on the topic of “Three Main Factors in Choosing a Golf Simulator” Please feel free to contact me through the website, if you have any questions on golf simulator software.

Shooting Food — Filming Food So It Looks Good Enough To Eat

I’ve worked a number of movie shoots with eating scenes and they can be very difficult because of perishable food items. Since the object is to make the food always look good (even if it is barely on the screen), there are special challenges in shooting edibles. And if you’re filming a feast, the food should look perfect!

I’ve created this list to share some of the most useful information that I’ve come across working Art Department with food handling. These items come from real world experience, so they should be applicable to most filming situations.

Here are some tips on filming food:

Use colored dishes

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Most non-professional art directors overlook using colored plates, service trays, glasses, etc. Color dishes do two things for you: add color to your scene and add contrast to food presentation. Imagine a black plate with a tomato and a leaf of lettuce on it. Much better than a white plate with the same items. Warning: Only do this if the colors of the dishes match (all glasses same color, all plates same color, etc.) If it looks like you picked up a hodgepodge of colored dishes at the local thrift store, it will ruin the film illusion.

Use a spray-bottle of cooking oil

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Most food has a matte finish so the food surface doesn’t reflect much light. A spray bottle of oil will add a shine to items that will enhance how most food appears on film. It will also add lighting highlights that enhances the look of food. A coating of oil can also be used to simulate wet food.

Think ahead about food rotting

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Many people think of food refrigeration before the shooting begins (making sure meat, etc. is well kept before 1st call). Beginners often forget to consider what the food will be like after 5 hours of shooting under the hot lights. Consider this when you’re putting together your on-camera meal. It’s hard to get a good performance out of an actor when a rotting pork chop is sitting right under his nose.

Mix real food with fake food

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If you use all fake food (wax grapes, plastic lemons, etc.), the food will appear fake on camera. The best technique is to mix real and fake food. This can work especially well with deserts. Fake ice cream with real cherries and whip cream looks good enough to eat! Also, mashed potatoes can be a useful stand-in for ice cream.

Use the vaseline trick for beading water

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Vaseline can be used on an actor’s face to simulate beads of sweat. Likewise, you can coat the outside of a vegetable (such as an apple). Use a hand spray filled with water and the water will bead on the surface for that just-out-of-the-garden freshness. Note that this effect won’t be picked up by the camera except with close-up photography and specific lighting, so don’t bother except under those conditions. This technique can also be used for beads of water on a glass if you need the glass to look like it’s sweating from a cold liquid inside.

Soft lighting makes food look good

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The general rule in shooting food is that soft light makes food look good to eat, hard lighting makes it look like poison. The hard light creates harsh shadows which makes food look blacker/rotten. Food lighting is exactly like lighting people — think of your desired effect.

Use dish soap for a head on a beer

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If the scene requires beer, dish soap provides a good frothy head that lasts under the hot lights. Obviously, make sure your actors don’t take a swig. That said, I would personally recommend avoiding shooting beer. Unless it is specially lighted, it will show up on film as a flat brown which typically less than appetizing.

Undercook food to retain firmness

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Many foods wilt under the long shooting hours and hot lights. Some foods such as pasta (especially spaghetti) can be under-cooked to a rubber consistency. These foods will then stay firm during the entire shoot rather than wilting and appearing exhausted.

Bring spare tablecloths

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Almost without fail an actor will spill something on your tablecloth. Both the spill and the stain will cause horrid problems for film continuity. Have 2 or 3 identical tablecloths on set. When a spill occurs, you can quickly swap out the dirty one for a clean reserve.

Consider using food doubles

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If the food shoot is going to be very long and the food needs to look perfect, you can use fake food for the long shots and the real perfect food for the close ups.