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HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!
A public forum for the JG300 Wild Sau Gruppe!
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:44 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

OK testing is done and I am now gonna be writing up the how-to on doin' this. It will take me a couple hours easily so here's some screenies from my first succesful formation flight to tide ya over...









Oh, and fr8ycat:

- JG300-fr8ycat
Wasn't quite what I was expecting but heck, I'll take it.............give Sweets a run for her money. Laughing


That's Ali Landry (google image search for more)....The Cayuse covergirl if ya remember them promo pictures I made up for the first Loach release...and she's got sweets beat all to shame I'd say.... plus real women, too!!!

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JG300-fr8ycat
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:55 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

Knew it was Ali, sorry forgot about her being the Cayuse covergirl. Laughing

This is awesome Stoopy, cant wait.
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JG300-fr8ycat
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:04 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

Now.........this works as a movie also, like fraps? If so will be a great tool for a certain Blood and guts movie......right?

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:18 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

Well, in a way, You would still use FRAPS to record the video of whatever is going on in FS9, and Windows Moviemaker to edit & put together the scenes and soundtrack. FS Recorder allows you to record your flights and play them back within FS9, in real-time, including playback of multiple recordings at once. I thoroughly recommend:

1) Making sure you're updated to version 1.3 or 1.31 of FS Recorder (from the website). Version 1.2 does not support playback of multiple recordings.

2) Record a few flights from at the pigsty or wherever and experiment with playing them back singly, and together. There's a few things to get used to on how that is done.

3) Looking into Active Camera if you don't already have it, as it goes with this tool really well. For one thing, it provides a constantly-updating "flyby" view of your plane(s) and there's nothing more rewarding than seeing your formation of recorded planes go whizzin' by with the doppler-effect sounds filling the speakers. It's payware, but cheap, and the demo works in a fully-featured way as long as you stay within the KSEA area. If you decide you like it, you just purchase it online and it's activated to work all over the FS 'world'.

Make sense? Use FS9 and FS Recorder to put the airplanes where you want, doing what you want them to do, recording each one at a time. Then play them all back together with FS Recorder while recording the result with FRAPS. Edit the FRAPS video with Windows Moviemaker for the finished product.

Gotta get back to writin'.....

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Last edited by JG300-Stoopy on Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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JG300-fr8ycat
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:23 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

Got it.

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:18 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

OK, the writeup isn't going to be finished tonight simply because my eyes are killin' me. However, I did do one more experiment and found that one fairly complex part of the process isn't necessary...this is real good news! So I'll have it tomorrow for sure!

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 1:50 pm
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

Alrighty Gents.....here it is, it may need some changes and tweaking based on comments, so bear with me, Bottom line is, it's not as hard as it may look, but - I get wordy becuase sometimes it's better to have too much info than not enough. I will re-edit this based on your comments and results.

Also: The example shows this being done to the stock Bell 206. Well, turned out to be a bad idea, since that helo has a problem showing animations as a recording. ALL other helos (except the Robinson) seemed to work great, although that doesn't include everything out there. So this example is only an example, you can follow it and apply to a "real", quality downloaded helo and it should work great, or follow it explicitly and experiment with the Bell....but the rotors won't turn in the recording of that one. Anyway here you go:

Recording and playing back Helicopters with FS Recorder

As we know, making a recording of a helicopter with FS Recorder is very possible - it's just playing it back that causes the simulator to crash. This is due to the fact the FS9's (and FSX's) lack of capability to use Helicopters as AI (computer-generated) traffic, and the dependancy FS Recorder has on using the AI routines of the simulator. So the trick is, to make a duplicate "Kind-of" AI Helicopter that the sim can use without crashing, and that FS Recorder can thus use as well. This is done by "cloning" the entire folder of the helo you want to use, then modifying the files slightly to make a tweaked "AI Helo" that is dedicated for that purpose. This only has to be done once per helicopter type you want to use. The second part is, since you use the REAL non-tweaked helo to record your flight, and FS Recorder 1.3 or 1.31 embeds the aircraft type into the the recording file, you must "tweak" the recording file to use the AI helo instead. This last part is a temporary workaround until version 1.4 of Matthias Neusinger's FS Recorder is released, which will allow much easier modification of the recorded aircraft name (THANK YOU MATTHIAS!)

Now for the caveat: It ain't real simple but also ain't impossible, obviously. If you're determined to to do it, you can...but it's not user-friendly at this point and requires a certain level of tech savviness, because the "tweaking" requires some small but specific changes. And remember, for now at least, you need to "massage" each recording file before you can play it back, or the sim will crash when you try to replay a real helo recording. The good news is, you don't have to go through all the trouble of making a true AI helo, which can be an involved subject - just a few tricks have to be employed so it works with FS Recorder.

To review the steps, they are:

1) Duplicate or "clone" the helo you want to use...this is as simple as copying and pasting it's folder in the FS aircraft folder, and renaming it.
2) Replace the .air file for it with one for a fixed-wing non-helo aircraft, and also make some minor changes to the aircraft.cfg file
3) Fly the REAL (original, non-tweaked) helo in the sim, and record the flight with FS Recorder.
4) Modify the FS Recorder .frc file you created, substituting the original "real" helo name with the dedicated-AI helo name.

Lather, rinse, repeat steps 3 and 4 for any additional recordings you want to make with your helo. If you want to use another, different helo as well, then perform steps 1 & 2 for it to "prep" an AI version for use.

Tools required: "Stranger's" cool "Rename It" tool to modify the Recorder files just slightly after recording them:

www.fs-recorder.net/do...d=renameit

Download and install, and create a shortcut to it somewhere very convenient becuase you'l be using it quite a bit (once per helo recording).

Step 1: Make a duplicate folder of the helicopter you want to use with FS Recorder:

Easy enough. Navigate to your FS9 "Aircraft" folder (or SimObjects\Rotorcraft" in FSX), right-click on the the folder of the helo you want to use, choose "copy", then right-click again, choose "paste", then right-click one more time on the new folder name and rename it to exactly the same name as the original except put the letters "AI" at the end.

As an example, we'll use the stock Bell 206b. Copy the Bell206b folder, then paste it, then rename it, getting rid of the "Copy of " at the beginnging, and adding "AI" at the end, so it appears as shown here:



The contents of both the folders should be identical at this point.

Step 2: Modify the files of the AI version for FS Recorder:

Two files need to be changed: First, the .air file needs to be replaced with a suitable one. Then, the aircraft.cfg file need to be modified slightly to make this a new AI helo with a name and other parameters that indicate that.

It turns out that any .air file from a regular prop plane should do the trick. Let's go grab one from a plane that doesn't fly too fast and that everyone should have...the Piper Cub! Go to the "Piper_J3Cub" folder in the "Aircraft" folder, right-click on the file " Piper_J3Cub.air", and choose "copy". Then navigate back into the folder of your new AI helo, right click, and choose "paste".

Now, rename that .air file to the correct name of the helo .air file (which is still in the AI helo folder) but also add the letters "AI" just before the period and filename extension (don't add it to the very end of the whole filename, just add it at the end of the first part of the filename, as shown below. Simple!







Next: Double-click on the aircraft.cfg file to edit it and change the entry values in all of the [flightsim.x] sections to correspond to the AI naming you will need. For the Bell, the new entries look like this (and maybe I changed more than I needed to, so this perhaps can be trimmed don - but it works):

(note that we're adding the letters "AI " just at the very END of entries such as "title", "sim", "ui_manufacturer" "ui_type" and "ui_variation")



For helos with multiple repaints and additional [fltsim.2], [fltsim.3], [fltsim4] etc.entries, the same changes wil need to be applied in those sections as well.

Save the file and that should do it.

Step 3: Go record the file and "tweak" it for use!

Load the REGULAR, unmodifed version of the helo (NOT the new AI version if it shows up in the aircraft menu, unless you want weird results and a helo that might fly like a Piper Cub) and record a short flight with FS Recorder...save the recording as usual.

Step 4: Now, change the recording slightly before playing back so it uses the fake "AI" helo instead:

The objective here is to open the recording file you just created and change the name of the REAL helicopter you just recorded, and, just like the edits for the AI helo, simply add the letters "AI" to the end to trick FS9 and the recorder into playing back the helo recording with the fake AI helo so FS9 won't lockup! Easy huh? Well, let's start:

Fire up Stranger's "Rename It" tool that you downloaded from the link way above and installed. Navigate to the folder where you store your FS Recorder files, click on the file for the recording you just created, and the name of the original aircraft you recorded it with wil be shown in the entry field toward the ottom of the applet window.



Modify the aircraft name to represent the name of the new "AI Helo" we made - in our example, we go to the end of the filename and simply add the letters A and I so the name is now exactly conforming to everything else we've been doing ("AI" at the end).



That's it....save the file using "Save As", give it a slightly new name (since the tool protects the original recording file by not allowing it to be overwritten) and you're done. Actually pretty easy huh?

After you verify it works, you can delete the original recording file that still has the original helo name in it.

Step 4: Go back to FS9 (or FSX) and play the tweaked FS Recorder file as either "Play as Traffic" or "Play"!

Oooops...one more word on that. This seems to work with every single downloaded helo I've tried it on, but for whatever reason, in proofing the above with the STOCK helos, I found an odd thing having to do just with the stock Bell 206b OR the stock Robinson R22. For whatever reason, the rotors don't turn and the sound is not right on the Bell, and the Robinson just don't work...it still crashes. This does not happen with any other helos this has been done with. Don't know why yet (suggestions are appreciated). Since it's just the stock Bell 206 anyway, chances are any real helo nut won't care about this, but it's a concern. So far this seems to work with everything else.

There is some good information out there on the topic of AI Helos, check Hovercontrol.com, and odds are that playing with different variants of modified .air files (such as the ones from Holger Sandmann for AI helos) may resolve specific issues with any individual helis, but the topic isn't simple and goes somewhat beyond the scope of this how-to for FS Recorder.

Comments and questions appreciated, I'll update with clarity when and where possible.


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Last edited by JG300-Stoopy on Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:22 pm
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

And an update, for anyone still interested....

Binary editing using a hex editor as shown in step 3 above is now no longer necessary, thanks to a gent named Stranger working up a nice little tool to open up the recording files and replace the name inside with whatever you specify.

The full info and link to download is at the FS Recorder forum where we've been discussing this:

http://fs-recorder.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=102

This is still all temporary until version 1.4 of the recorder comes out which will implement this capability, but is a nice alternative to the hex editor for anyone who doesn't want to deal with it.

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JG300-fr8ycat
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:07 pm
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

Well this will is very cool.............when I get it to work LOL.

So I followed the directions and get the loach to record and playback.........now how do I fly with my recording? When I hit "play as traffic" and select my recorded file I end up in the recorded files helo.

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:47 pm
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

??? That's odd. That would happen if you hit "Play" as opposed to "Play as traffic".

When I am sitting on the ramp in my loach and select "Play as traffic" the other Loach shows up and goes through it's whole flight. If I select more than one file for "Play as traffic", they all show up. And I'm still in the loach I started out with.

Are you usingg any special views?

Also, does the same thing happen if you just make a recording and play back a regular fixed-wing?

Maybe if you can upload your recording, I can take a look at it and tell you if my experience is the same.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:15 pm
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

If I hit play it plays the recording with my view being in the recorded helicopter.

If I hit play as traffic I'm sitting there in my helo but nothing els shows even though the play as traffic window is counring in the lower right hand corner.


The file is only 18kb let me see if I can get it on the server. I'll PM you when complete.

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:55 pm
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

OK, Do me a flavor and also upload the aircraft.cfg file and the .ar file for the AI version of the loach you created too? The description of the problem is something I've seen and fixed before on my end and I'd like to confirm before I waste your time walking through something that may not be the problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:37 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

Still playing with and getting the hang of it. Just have to remember to change them files. Very cool stuff.



One thing I did and don't know if it's any big deal was played back a recording with the Loach, and went into the change aircraft function in FS9, changed aircraft to the UH1C and the recording finished playing back with the UH1C no probs......This was before I even made the AI folder for the UH1C.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:50 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

CoooOOOOoooOOOOL!!!! Oh man that's a beautiful pic.

Glad to see you got it goin'!!!

Yep, the playback option has a quirk in that it will play the recording but will use whatever visual model YOU are in when you start the playback. You switched to the UH-1 and then told it to play back the Loach recording, it said "okay" and grabbed the loach recording, the AI loach .air file, but used the UH-1 model and textures. It's just a weird quirk.

If you play back multiple recordings at once (by holding down the CTRL key to select more than one in the file load menu) it will do this with only one recording, and it wil be the LAST recording you pick.

It's something you'll get used to. I just stay in the aircraft I want it to use and when playback starts, I hit pause and then switch to another aircraft that I want to be in.

This is great progress!!! I also tried Stranger's little tool to avoid the hex editing and it seems to be real simple and effective. I may stay with the hex editing just becuase I'm comfortable with it, but it's a great option.

Nicely done!



For the record, what was it? Do I need to add anything to the instructions?

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JG300-1Bullet
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:43 am
Post subject: Re: HOLY MOLEY!!!!! What a GREAT FREE Utility for FS9!!!!!

Gee Boss .......Do you ever sleep????
Just thougt I would say THANKS for all you work for all the community

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