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"DBS Walk and Follow" for FSX

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This program allows you to walk around your aircraft in FSX, just like Active Camera did in FS9. Has anyone tried this new "DBS Walk and Follow" program yet? Does it work well with FSX and is it worth getting?From their webpage, DBS Walk and Follow lists the capablilties of using this camera. Among the most attractive features:Walk mode: Three dimensional free camera movement without limits of distance or altitude. Follow mode: camera can be attached to the user aircraft (virtual cockpit and aircraft external view)It's got a host of other features, but the ability to walk around and view your aircraft from any angle seems the most appealing. Website:http://www.dbsim.com/Waf.x/dbs.waf.x.htmI really would like to to buy this, but wanted feedback before I spend some hard earned money on this. Do you think it's worth it to get this program for FSX?

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Did a search here on avsim with keywords DBS Walk and found several posts. Maybe some of them are useful to you.http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...topic_id=445899http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...topic_id=437984http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...topic_id=252327And here is a review: http://www.avsim.com/pages/0408/WalkFollow/WalkFollowX.htmDon't underestimate the power of Avsim Search ;-)Ulf B

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Thanks Ulf for your response. :-) I do already know about the AVSIM review on the DBS program that you mentioned, and have read it previously a few weeks ago. It's been a few months since the DBS Walk and Follow for FSX was released, and the purpose of my inquiry was to get feedback from those who already bought it and hear their opinions on whether they thought it was worth the money.Perhaps some might have also downloaded the freeware "EZ Walk Camera" and could provide a comparison between the two programs? Seeing a lack of responses, I gather not too many have purchased the DBS Walk and Follow for FSX program?

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I have just read the review too ( the other links return an error.... ), strange but thru i did not find any comparison with the famous FS9 Active Camera program. The one thing i miss most in FSX is my beloved 'Approach View' , a wonderful feature of AC with which you could just mousepoint a spot along the runway from within the VC and than watch your approach and landing from this most spectacular point of view ( forget about that in the real world... ) over and over again during replay, changing the view spot over and over again as well if you like. A piccie tells a thousand stories ( forget about the pilot forgat to put the gear down ) :http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/190406.jpgWhile i do kinda like the FSX default Tower view a spectacular view like this is out of the question. To anyone who uses FSX Walk&Follow : can such a 'runway view' be setup with W&F while FSX is running, i.e. 'on the go ' ??.... I see all kinds of screenshots of W&F External model, VC- and Scenery Views but nothing that indicates that i can stand along the runway and view my approach and landing during replay. Either with the landinggear up or down. :+Any reply, hoping for a positive, would be highly appreciated. Thanks ! The FSX W&F price is indeed a little steep but if i can get my beloved 'Approach View' back i'd be willing to pay double that price !Cheers,Jan

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I wrote the review of Walk & Follow, along with Angelique Van Campen. We do compare the FSX version of W&F to the FS9 version. I purposely do not compare competing products in my reviews. I feel that would be gauche. While most developers welcome competition, the ones I have talked to have been extremely reserved about the idea of mentioning competor's products in a review.As for runway views, I will be as clear as I can: Walk & Follow has two modes: "Walk" and "Follow".In Follow mode, the camera follows where the aircraft goes.In Walk mode, you can walk the camera to wherever it is you want it to be in the FSX world. If you want to stand with the camera at the end of a runway, there you go. If you've read the review, you should come away with that understanding. Also, though, if you've read the review, you should see that W&F is complicated to operate and pricey. Once you get past the sticker shock (after all, for some flight simmers, money is no object!) and the learning curve, W&F works nicely enough. My biggest gripe is that it cancels out the TrackIR, which bugs me a great deal. Since I've reviewed it, I've been using W&F for all of my subsequent reviews. I like it for setting up screenshots. As it can take me up to an hour to set up an individual shot, I don't need to rush W&F settings. But if you like setting up ad hoc shots really quickly, sometimes W&F is a little counter-intuitive.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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Thanks very much for your reply, Jeff, most appreciated ! :-)Roger about not mentioning a competing product in your review although, as you maybe know, there is no Active Camera for FSX and, as Anticyclone has stated, there won't be in the future neither. Hence my concern... > If you want to stand with the camera at the end of a runway, there you go. Sounds good but could i bother you with two more questions here,please, Jeff ? #1. Does 'walk' actually mean what it says, i.e. you have to 'walk' to a point or view ( exactly like it is with FS9 AC in 'Exterior Pilot View' ) or is there maybe a quicker way to setup a viewpoint in Walk mode ? ( like Slew maybe ?..... ) #2. Does Walk mode work during Replay ? I have exchanged a couple of emails with one of the DBS devs who was very friendly and helpfull indeed but questions like these remained kind of 'misty'.Thank you once again for your answer, Jeff.Cheers,Jan

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It's not a bother. Or at least up until question #2. You thought of something that I missed in my Review !!! If I used smiley-faced emoticons, one would go here. Seriously, it's not a bother.With the Walk Mode, you can walk slow, you can walk fast, you can even zoom over the planet like Superman, although that introduced heavy blurries and the occasional crash for my system. If you have some favorite places to view, like the end of a runway, it's easy to save that position for later. Then you can easily call up your list of custom saves and go right there. I do find it a bit time-consuming to set up the precise veiw I want, but once I have it, I can just save it for later. The folks at DBS are absolutely friendly and helpful. However, English is not their mother language. How's your Russian? Mine is очень неудача (very bad).As for Active Camera, I never did have that for FS9. Although it looks similar to FS9, the camera system for FSX is different, making it difficult to just port over something like AC. There are some freeware camera utilities around, but I haven't used them in a long time, and so I am out of touch on that topic. Of course, with freeware, you can just try them out for yourself without needing my opinion. Walk & Follow is a lot of things, but freeware it ain't.So, now for Question #2. I have no idea! I don't use replays all that much. I will look into it and let you know, unless someone else has the answer first.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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Thanks very much for your answer, Jeff, again most appreciated. Walk mode does sound interesting and might be the next best thing to the 'point & click' method of AC, i fully understand it won't be that easy though.Personally i have found that ever since the first freeware version of AC was released it has been my all time favourite FS add-on. Even if only for its magnificent Fly-By view mode ( i dare say much,much better than the FSX Fly-By view mode because totally and easily adaptable. Height, range, view position (or random), duration of fly-by, that sort of thing ). Serge Baye and Guillaume Darier have been constantly upgrading their little FS View Mode Gem up until being able to padlock an outside view like f.i. the threshold of a runway while flying at downwind, and i dare say AC has been the best and most versatile 'view mode adaptor' we have ever had in FS. I was therefore pretty upset when i heard from Serge that he and Guillaume decided not to upgrade AC for FSX. I do appreciate that the Aces team have bothered to include a fly-by view (about time!) and a more or less nice Tower view in FSX( althought not movable anymore like it is FS9 :-mad ) but it is a far cry from what i have been used to with FS9 AC. Pity really..... All my hopes aimed at DBS now.... i think i just might buy W&F even if it was only to support them.So you forgat all about Replay then, huh....? :-hah Well, you are excused of course, i can imagine the majority of simmers don't even use it. Myself i use it all the time, i'll replay every take-off and landing ( from exterior view surely ) and if the landing happened to be exceptionally good or spectacular i'll pour myself a cuppa and enjoy watching it over and over again. Alas not so that much in FSX anymore because of the missing approach view and other view mode possibillities. I just hang on to FS9 for that. :-cool If you have a chance to check if Walk mode continues to work during Replay i'd appreciate to hear about the outcome, Jeff. Thanks much ! Btw, my Russian is worse than yours but my Dutch is pretty good.:-) Cheers,Jan

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I think it's great that you thoroughly use the Replay function. Apart from entertainment, it also has great value as a teaching tool. I go through phases with flight sim. Sometimes I want to explore the world, sometimes I like daredevil antics, and then sometimes I hit the books and perform flying drills for competency. More often than not, I will leave flight sim for a stretch and find something else to do.When I do flight drills, I do like to use the Replay, although for some activities I find that the animation isn't fluid enough. All right, enough of the pre-amble. I experimented with W&F in the Replay mode, and like the majority of the program, it's a good news/bad news scenario.The good news is that W&F certainly works with the Replay mode. I had no problem activating it and running it in Replay.The bad news is that the W&F camera is locked into the last position it was in before I entered Replay mode. The camera position and direction cannot be moved while a replay is playing.So, for instance, you can set up a Walk camera at the end of a runway. Then you can temporarily disable W&F and make your landing from your normal view. Then you can go into Replay. Then you can re-activate W&F and see your aircraft from that saved viewpoint.The same is true for Follow mode: you can set up a following view anywhere, fly your aircraft, and in replay, you will see the aircraft in follow mode. This would work really well if you placed the camera right next to a wheel on the laning gear.The downside is that in normal flight, as the sim is running (or even if it is paused), you are free to move the camera. In Replay, the camera is locked in place. It won't pan, zoom, truck, nothing. In Follow mode, the camera is locked in place relative to your moving aircraft, like a wing view. You can change W&F views as the replay is running. So, let's say you set up 5 saved custom views along a runway. As your plane lands, you can change views by selecting them as you like from the W&F menu. W&F has a tendency to reload the scenery every time the walk camera travels a certain distance, but you can disable that behavior. At best, the system would work like a battery of static cameras, like a film shoot. You might moderately expect a few blurries if your cameras are too far apart. At worst, you might crash your system, as I found that asking too much of W&F would sometimes drop me to the desktop.It's not the same as Active Camera, so I don't know how you feel about that.As for my Dutch, it's as good as the Babel Fish translation website:Volgende tijd die wij zijn samengekomen, u moeten=zou= me een bier kopen.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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Thanks a lot for your elaborate explanation of W&F in replay mode, Jeff. With it you have more than sufficiently corrected the missing of this specific item in your W&F review. :-coolWhat you have explained here certainly is interesting enough for me to buy W&F. Not being able to change camera position during a replay is a down side but your suggestion to setup and save a couple of camera views along a runway might well make up for that. I have a fav airport where i do all my testing with my own creations and check out new third party aircraft models as well. With W&F i might be able to setup an UVASH (Ultimate Virtual Aircraft Spotters' Heaven) in FSX again now too.(-:Just as a side note about how far some FSimmers ( or maybe only one..) with an 'aircraft spotters heart' will go : would i spoil the fun to just choose that new exiting aircraft model i have been waiting for for how long in the Select Aircraft Menu, hit that 'Fly' button and there she is ??...... Nope. After installing the new model i'd choose my special 'aircraft spotters' Flight situation. On my fav airport i have setup an AC 'Approach View' situation with the default Cessna, engine running,parking brakes on, along side a large building. With Approach View setup i see the large building but not the Cessna which is hidden behind it. I then go into the Select Aircraft menu and select my new, just acquired, exiting new aircraft model. ( trying not to look at the preview model image.. ) Going back into the sim i still only see that large building, not the new loaded aircraft. Release parking brakes, add a little throttle, and wait for things to happen as the view on the building slowly starts moving... Suddenly the tip of the nose comes peeping from behind the building and it doesn't take long for the whole nose and cockpit of the aircraft is revealed. From within the virtual aircraft spotters group exiting cries can be heard: " Holy Hydraulic Handpump Handles, guys !! Seems like a Blackjack !!! " " Yep! And it's coming our way too !!". Once the big monster is completely clear of the building it indeed makes a 90 deg right turn right towards the now bowled over with ecstasy watching aircraft spotters, hidden in the bushes behind the fence, until the magnificent and exotic looking aircraft is completely filling up the field of view. After the aircraft has passed us it makes a 180 turn a comes back again towards us. Then it stops right in front of us. I can't hold it any longer, climb over the fence and make gestures to the pilot that i'd like to come aboard. A small ladder is lowered from underneath the fuselage, i hit the 'S' key and climb aboard.Well, it takes all sorts, doesn't it. :(You can imagine how much i miss AC in FSX but i'll be checking out W&F asap now and have good hope i can start aircraft spotting to my hearts content in FSX now too. As for the beer, you'll be most welcome ! :-beerchug Thanks a lot again, Jeff ! To Tim H : sorry for going on about AC and replay modes like this, Tim, atleast it does concern W&F and i hope Jeff's comments might help you too with your decision to buy W&F or not. Thank you for posting the thread. Cheers,Jan

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At the risk of stating the obvious, if you have FSX Delux, the SDK allows you to create any view you want :-)XP Pro SP2-FSX SP2AMD FX60-8800GTS-2 Gigs RAMFEX-GEX-UTUSA-FSGenesis-and a bunch of other stuffComputer optomized by www.fs-gs.com

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Thanks for your suggestion, PPSFA. Not so obvious as you may think, first time for me to have a serious look at the SDK... ;-)I did know about the possibillity surely but always kinda 'feared' i'd be opening up the proverbial 'can of worms' . First trials atleast show something in that kind of direction : ending up to go scuba diving in the middle of the sea instead of aircraft spotting alongside a runway, i.e. and we're off... :-badteeth Maybe you can help me with this first hurdle that seems to have to be taken (atleast by me.. ) : Lets take the FixedCameraTest (CameraDefinition.004) from the FSX SDK.Notification of the Lat and Long params here is N43.104648, W77.681682, where in FS the Lat/Long notification makes much more sense : N43* 6.28', W77* 40.90' ( roughly the same spot as givin in the CameraDefinition 004 of the FixedCameraTest.flt ) I mean, how on earth ( to stay on topic) do i transpose the FSX Lat/Long notification to the odd notification as shown in the CameraDefinition section ? I sure have tried, always ending up in the sea. Quickly learned to wear a wetsuit when trying new camera positions. :+ Hope you can help me a little bit further because i have found that Walk&Follow alas is not the program that will do what i am looking for... Cheers,Jan

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Sorry but Im on vacation and I dont have access to my FS computer for another week, maybe someone else can jump in here and help.XP Pro SP2-FSX SP2AMD FX60-8800GTS-2 Gigs RAMFEX-GEX-UTUSA-FSGenesis-and a bunch of other stuffComputer optomized by www.fs-gs.com

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Notta lotta folks round here seem to care about other than default camera positions... :-roll Better results now with the params i entered after a computer restart. All new camera setups magically jumped into *almost* correct positions. No need for a wetsuit anymore... :-cool Still hope someone will explain how to enter a 100% correct camera position into the CameraDefinition section.Have a nice vacation ! :-sun1 Cheers,Jan

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It may be the title of the thread, try starting one directly related to the camera views, I know some here have a lot of talent when it comes to tweaking them.XP Pro SP2-FSX SP2AMD FX60-8800GTS-2 Gigs RAMFEX-GEX-UTUSA-FSGenesis-and a bunch of other stuffComputer optomized by www.fs-gs.com

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