Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Steeler

Sky Dolly - free flight recorder / replay app (FS2020)

Recommended Posts

Dear community,

I am excited to announce that the latest Sky Dolly v0.6 preview release has just been made available yesterday:

  https://flightsim.to/file/9067/sky-dolly

Sky Dolly v0.6 as reached a major milestone, namely the support of database (SQLite) persistence - the "logbook". Flights are automatically persisted - away with pesky file handling 🙂

CEZStIkU.png?width=1400&auto_optimize=me
 

Features include:

  • Smooth replay with cubic spline interpolation of the sample points
  • Variable record rates, from as low as 1 Hz (great for conserving space on long commercial airline flights) up to "auto" ("as fast as possible" - great for "acrobatic flying")
  • Basic simulation variables "with visual impact" are recorded: flaps, gears, ailerons, rudder, spoilers, ...
  • Initial flight conditions, aircraft information, waypoints and simulation times (local and zulu) are recorded
  • Basic store / restore / delete database functionality (including backup and disk space optimisation), with sophisticated flight filtering on the roadmap
  • Easy and inutitive user interface, with keyboard shortcuts
  • Very resource friendly (< 1% CPU usage during recording, on an i7 4.2 GHz CPU)
  • Basic CSV import/export

 

Source and (older) binary releases:

  https://github.com/till213/SkyDolly

Happy flying and recording 🙂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear community,

The freshly released Sky Dolly v0.7 preview has introduced a major new feature: recording & replay of "formations":

Recording

Adding new aircrafts to an existing (or new) flight is as easy as:

  • Switch to the "Formation" module (press F2)
  • Press the "Record" button (key R)

That's it! The newly recorded aircraft is automatically stored in the "Logbook" (database). Sky Dolly does not impose any limit on the number of aircrafts in a given formation. And the best part of it: while you are recording an aircraft all existing aircrafts are replayed at the same time! So you know exactly where you are flying in relation to the other aircrafts in your formation. While their replay sample rate is set to "auto" (interpolation for each "simulated frame" event) you may still change the recording sample rate at any time (also during recording - because why not), from "auto" to as low as 1 Hz.

Replay

Replaying a formation flight is equally simple:

  • Load a flight (by double-clicking on it in the "Logbook")
  • Press the "Play" button (spacebar)

And all aircrafts are replayed in sync. Press the "Pause" (key P) button or seek in the timeline (left or right arrow keys): all aircrafts are controlled with a single user interface instance (as you would expect, actually ;)).

Additional Features

  • Set the initial recording position relative to the current "user aircraft" (the aircraft which is being followed by the camera in the flight simulator)
  • Remove aircrafts from a flight
  • Jump "from cockpit to cockpit", by changing the "user aircraft"
  • Or why not take control of the "user aircraft" yourself, at any time during replay? And if you "get lost": simply hand back control to Sky Dolly 🙂

And if screen space is at a premium you may switch to "Minimal UI" mode at any time, which still provides the required features to record & replay formation flights:

069dbdfc459e64d9411a12ed7ecf79e15d2bdfaa

Known Issues

The "AI controlled aircrafts" are "jittering" quite substantially, especially at "higher speeds" (something above 120 knots or so). The ugly "jitter" effect is less extreme (or hardly noticeable) the farther away aircrafts are from the camera, or when using a static drone camera. So you should still get some nice "cinematic shots" done.

But the "jittering" somewhat limits the fun factor in manual formation flying, which is really only acceptable with slower aircrafts such as then Zlin Savage Cub for the time being.

An improvement could be to be able to send all position and instrument data "in one go" (with just one fuction call) per "simulated frame" events. But to my knowledge the SimConnect API does not yet offer such a function which would take "an array of data requests" as argument. It is also possible that the "physics engine" is still trying to influence the AI aircraft's position, despite corresponding "release AI" and "freeze position" calls beforehand.

As other replay tools show the same "jitter" effect I believe that this is simply a shortcoming of the current SimConnect implementation, which will hopefully be improved in the future.

In any case, have fun with the new feature - and I am looking forward to seeing your new "cinematic formation flights" 😉

Edited by Steeler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear community,

I am thrilled to announce Sky Dolly v0.8 which introduces a new plugin architecture and multiplayer formation flying! While the SimConnect API does not give access to multiplayer aircrafts the CSV import plugin now allows to add the imported aircraft to an existing flight. The aircraft type can now also be chosen.

In the Formation module each aircraft can then be time-shifted, by adding or subtracting a time offset. This synchronises the formation flight.

Further hightlights

  • A new KML ("Google Earth") export plugin with basic style options
  • Filtering of the logbook by creation date, free text search, aircraft type, duration and formation
  • New "fly with formation" replay mode (in the Formation module)
  • Usability improvements

For instance, by hiding the "replay speed" group box the user interface can now be truly minimised:

9ef911ff733fe67a7e65de8ac6a83ae78634b56a

Sky Dolly is open source. The latest binaries are available at:

https://flightsim.to/file/9067/sky-dolly

Edited by Steeler
Updated screenshot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear community,

The latest bug fix release Sky Dolly v0.8.6 also introduces an new IGC file import plugin. IGC stands for International Gliding Commission and the file format is produced by flight recorders in (real-world) gliders.

This plugin allows you to import such IGC flight recordings and replay them via Sky Dolly in MSFS. Note that pitch, bank and heading are reconstructed based on the imported position data and optional "additions" (as specified by the "I record") such as environmental noise level (ENL) are currently ignored (the ENL is parsed in the upcoming Sky Dolly v0.9, in order to detect propeller start/stop, which will also feature an IGC export plugin).

Sky Dolly is open source. The latest binaries are available at:

https://flightsim.to/file/9067/sky-dolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear community,

I am happy to announce Sky Dolly v0.9 which revolves around more import / export functionality, namely:

  • CSV: import of flightradar24.com and Flight Recorder files
  • KML: import of flightradar24.com and generic KML files (having at least one gx:Track element)
  • GPX: import of GPS echange format files, with mappable waypoints, routes and tracks as well as default altitude and velocity (the later being used in absence of elevation and timestamp data)
  • IGC: International Gliding Commission file export, including "C records" which contain the waypoints (according to the flight plan in MSFS)
  • The existing IGC import plugin now
    • also parses the environmental noise level (ENL) if available and turns on/off the engine (propeller) according to a selectable noise threshold
    • updates the waypoint ("C record") timestamps according to the actual flown path ("closest point")

Further improvements

  • The aircraft selection in the various import dialogs is now editable, with autocompletion
  • The "Delete" key now deletes the selected flight in the logbook
  • Logbook columns are only resized ("fit to content") upon initial flight loading; after that manual column resizes are kept
  • The replay can now be "looped"
  • The "indicated altitude" simulation variable is now recorded, for "analytical purposes" (e.g. the new IGC export plugin exports it as "pressure altitude")

The complete changelog is available on github.com.

Sky Dolly is open source. The latest binaries are available at:

https://flightsim.to/file/9067/sky-dolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear community,

I am happy to announce Sky Dolly v0.10 which further improves import and export functionality, including two new plugins:

  • GeoJSON export, including style properties
    • style properties interpreted e.g by https://geojson.io)
  • GPX export plugin, including the possibility to export real-world timestamps
    • Suitable for GPX "photo tagging" of screenshots taken during flight recording

Further improvements

  • Import
    • All files (of the same format) can now be imported from the selected directory ("batch import")
    • Imported aircraft can be added to the same (formation) flight, or into distinct flights
  • Export
    • File existence is now checked before overwriting existing files
    • The entire flight formation may now be exported, into separate files or - if supported - into a single file (e.g. KML and GPX)
    • All export plugins support data resampling (1 Hz, 2 Hz, 5 Hz, original data, ...)
    • The CSV plugin now supports export in flightradar24.com CSV format
    • The IGC plugin now exports "K records" (every 20 seconds), including true heading (HDT) and indicated airspeed (IAS)
    • The KML export plugin does not have any line segment size limitation anymore
  • Various usability improvements and bug fixes

The complete changelog is available on github.com.

Sky Dolly is open source. The latest binaries are available at:

https://flightsim.to/file/9067/sky-dolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear community,

I am happy to announce Sky Dolly v0.11 which brings a lot of "under the hood" improvements (among them reduced RAM usage), but also some new features and improvements of existing functionality:

  • With the introduction of the GeographicLib (open source, third-party) the altitude differences ("undulation") between the WGS84 reference ellipsoid and the EGM2008 geoid are now properly calculated in the GPX and IGC import/export
  • The CSV export plugin now supports a simple "position & attitude" format, suitable for flight path analysis e.g. in table editors
  • The Formation module now allows to keep the aircraft to be recorded at its current position, by introducing a new Set relative position option
  • A truly minimal UI mode (configurable in the settings) saves even more valuable screen space

Further improvements

  • Table columns can now be moved, tables have alternating colours per row
  • AI object management (creation and deletion) has been improved in the Formation module, resulting in less aircraft flickering when e.g. switching the user aircraft
  • Various usability and user interface layout improvements and bug fixes

The complete changelog is available on github.com.

Sky Dolly is open source. The latest binaries are available at:

https://flightsim.to/file/9067/sky-dolly

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear community,

I am happy to announce Sky Dolly v0.12 which brings the software architecture of Sky Dolly one huge step closer towards "the final picture": the modules are now also implemented as plugins (just like the import/export plugins and the flight simulator connection plugin). This reduces memory usage even further (below the 10 MB RAM mark when the application launches in "minimal mode"), because the plugins - and so now also the modules - are unloaded from memory right after use.

A new Location module is also introduced:

  • Capture, manage and teleport to locations
  • Locations may have attributes such as category, country, identifier and description
  • A selection of default ("system") locations is provided, including a challenging visual approach to Santos Dumont (Rio de Janeiro - based on a real-world flight)
  • Latitude/longitude coordinates may be copied from e.g. a forum post or Google Maps and pasted right into the Location module (with CTRL + V)
    • Various formats are supported: decimals (with optional comma-separator) and DMS notation

Note that locations can even be captured during a flight recording - nice.

spacer.png

Further improvements

  • Tables are now more efficiently updated "per row"
  • When starting a new recording the user aircraft is now updated in the Logbook module as soon as it becomes available
  • Various usability and user interface layout improvements and bug fixes

The complete changelog is available on github.com.

Sky Dolly is open source. The latest binaries are available at:

https://flightsim.to/file/9067/sky-dolly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Tom Allensworth,
    Founder of AVSIM Online


  • Flight Simulation's Premier Resource!

    AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!

    Click here for more information and to see all donations year to date.
×
×
  • Create New...