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P51 dogfight video


Chaka321
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Thanks for the link. I've watched more than a few episodes of Dogfights; it's cool hearing from some of the pilots in person (so to speak). Unfortunately, the show's animator doesn't know much about flying, and they don't use a physics program at any point, so the animated aircraft don't at all move the way real aircraft do. Still, most of the time, the show does the job, mostly.

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Thanks for the link. I've watched more than a few episodes of Dogfights; it's cool hearing from some of the pilots in person (so to speak). Unfortunately, the show's animator doesn't know much about flying, and they don't use a physics program at any point, so the animated aircraft don't at all move the way real aircraft do. Still, most of the time, the show does the job, mostly.

 

It is unfortunate...but I work in factual entertainment as a picture editor, I personally edited an episode of Air Aces (Hero's of the skies in Europe) and let me tell you how EXPENSIVE the CGI element is. The animators hand build the aircraft models and skins and then have to go and animate almost the entire running time (with some shortcuts). They have a very tight deadline and we often don't see a final render until days before picture lock (wireframe meshes).

 

The guys who did the animations for my show LOVE aviation, we would block out sequences using die cast models. Unfortunately the reality is you are only given so much money from the network and the production company needs to pay it's camera crew, editors, producers etc as well so like any project, allocation of resources must be handled responsibly. The reality is most people watching don't know how a real plane handles, they want the overall picture with the story element...the show is about the stories in the end, not how accurately the planes are modelled or how they behave in the air (very difficult to achieve on a budget).

 

If this were a MIchael Bay, Steven S hollywood picture, i would have a reason to side with you on this...but factual entertainment series have a substantially shallower budget to play with and they are becoming less and less frequent because they are so costly and their audience is small (compared to generic house renovation shows lets say).

 

If we love aviation, we honestly should be more positive to the shows that actually touch on the subject. Story is critical, the special effects are secondary. Our show used drama re-creation, live action warbirds and CGI plus archival footage to tell the story, each episode was 1.3 million to produce (6 episodes) and involved 3 networks and one very rich Lord (because he loved it). The show was a smashing success, but unfortunately to expensive to do another season because advertisers didn't get the "numbers" to justify another season.

 

Smashing success for a 6 part world war 2 aviation documentary series costing over 6.5 million vs a house renovation show who's entire 13 episode budget is 2 million...very different beasts.

 

Anyway opened up a whole other bit there...I hope somewhere in that rambling mess you can find a new appreciation for this type of show and the work that goes into making it (and obstacles we have to face as well).

 

:thumbup:

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If it's about the story in the end, then Dogfights fails in that respect, too.

 

Que macho voice:

 

"The bad guy is there, the good guy is here..."

 

-------------

 

I can't comment on Air Aces and I hope you guys did a much better job.

P-51D | Fw 190D-9 | Bf 109K-4 | Spitfire Mk IX | P-47D | WW2 assets pack | F-86 | Mig-15 | Mig-21 | Mirage 2000C | A-10C II | F-5E | F-16 | F/A-18 | Ka-50 | Combined Arms | FC3 | Nevada | Normandy | Straight of Hormuz | Syria

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If it's about the story in the end, then Dogfights fails in that respect, too.

 

Que macho voice:

 

"The bad guy is there, the good guy is here..."

 

-------------

 

I can't comment on Air Aces and I hope you guys did a much better job.

 

That story is from the perspective of the American pilot, so yes they did refer to themselves as the good and bad guys...if any war was to have that distinction it was the Axis being bad and allies being good but of course that's up for debate, but most people who watch aren't going to argue with that type of language. You'd be surprised at how little people know when watching a dogfight, it uses a lot of language and moves that will pass over the majority of people's heads, so they write in a simple form.

 

Who's to say the 65 year old dogfight which probably happened in the span of a few minutes max is told in an accurate fashion. Gun cam only shows when trigger was pulled and the combat ace is reliving a dream like experience that happened half a century ago...so there will of course be flaws. The OVERALL story for an AMERICAN audience is what that show specifically is targeting.

 

Air aces was different, it was more about the pilots culmination to ace status and their motivating methods behind it. No we didn't refer to the germans as the bad guys, we even had German ace Hans something (I forget his last name now) tell his perspective on dealing with certain British and American aces and how by the end of the war the germans were throwing trainee pilots up to fend off battle hardened bomber formations (specifically during the American/British bombing offensive unofficially dubbed "big week" where american fighters were cut loose from tight bomber formations to shoot down german interceptors).

 

My specific intent in defending dogfights is there is a financial reason behind why the animated planes don't move exactly or as accurately as the real planes, their overall objective is to tell a story, they can't by any means use live action planes to simulate those dogfights and don't have the budget for the highest end CGI. It's not due to the lack of skill or whatever on the animators fault. You can't even blame the networks, because they are at the mercy of the advertisers who in the end call the shots...you think Pepsi or GM wants to spend $150,000 on top of what they've committed just so the planes look like they have a more accurate flight model? (It would cost HEAPS more than that, just an example)...I can tell you they wouldn't. They are cutting corners left right and center.

 

I've done a lot of science and war documentaries, first and second drafts are usually written as accurately as possible, but the language confuses the majority of the audience (focus groups ruin TV). So part of the network notes that come back are to simplify ... again not the animators, writers fault etc. There is always a balance when telling an accurate story/explaining science that needs to be TV friendly so of course it gets watered down. Fact of the matter is TV networks are moving away from any male viewership as their most loyal viewers and the ones with the most buying power are females. The only demographic that can count on a male audience is SPORTS...that's it. The rest of the television world is catering to female audiences with a very small percentage being male driven.

 

Look at TLC, THE LEARNING CHANNEL?? Became about John and Kate plus 8 and onto that stupid redneck family and that little kid beauty pageant crap.


Edited by element1108
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I enjoy Air Aces, I hope they are doing more...

 

Nope :(....still re-running like crazy, but in the end...too costly i suspect. I wouldn't say it's DEAD in the water, but I've certainly not heard anything I get green light emails. Actually when I got the initial green light of the show I immediately emailed the exec producer so I could get on it...LOVE WWII aviation.

 

I cut Episode 6, Gabby Gabreski...the best 3 months I've had to work on a show because I simply loved the content.

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My specific intent in defending dogfights is there is a financial reason behind why the animated planes don't move exactly or as accurately as the real planes

 

I can't agree; I don't think that the problem with Dogfights dogfights is the quality of the CGI, or even the level of complexity in the animation. Rather, it seems that the person(s) responsible for portraying the way the aircraft move don't understand how the aircraft should move. Not even approximately, like someone who's observed fighters and aerobatics airplanes at air shows, but rather no idea, like the people who work for LucasArts. Big budget films' CGI almost invariably display the same lack of understanding of basic aircraft physics I'm griping about (I'm not even talking about advanced aerodynamics or fine-tune details, but the basic stuff); this is also why I don't think that Dogfights's low budget is the problem.

 

History Channel Argentina, I believe it was, used a modern flight sim (Jet Thunder, I think) to shoot their air battles. Dogfights does not have graphics that are better than those of a flight sim (which, do note, was not one of my gripes--I can easily overlook sub-par graphics), so I don't see why they can't just shoot the scenes in a decent flight sim. Would surely be much cheaper than paying animators, wouldn't look any worse in terms of graphics, and would look a world better in terms of the way the aircraft move. In short, I feel that the problem with Dogfights in its kinetic aspects comes down to the relevant people not knowing their field the way they should.


Edited by Echo38
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I think what element says makes sense, I am sure there is a tight budget on these episodes, and to be honest they do a descent enough job for what it is, sure it could be better, and in a perfect world you would have a special effects house that understood the planes they were animating, but in reality you have special effects houses that know more about their craft than every possible thing they could be asked to create. (ie if they were asked to create a CG simulation for a show on a hockey game, they would have the same trouble with that if they knew little or nothing about hockey)

 

As for Lucas, I assume you are talking about Red Tails? Well that was a whole other mess, he butchered they story for the sake of entertainment, its not a surprise he did the same with the combat sequences. But that comes down to what GL thinks people want to see, turns out people dont want to see over the top fantasy when the real story holds up on its own...

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Like I said, a low budget doesn't prevent a show from using a flight sim to solve the problem. That's why I'm not buying that the budget is the problem. Heck, even shooting the fights in old IL-2--with all of its flight physics flaws--would look more realistic (in terms of aircraft motion--heck, probably also in terms of graphics, even) than what Dogfights ended up with.


Edited by Echo38
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Well, it sure wouldn't hurt to use the ones that exist. If pretty much no one notices that the aircraft fly wrong--which seems to be the case--then no one should notice if the aircraft fly ~right in the WWII episides and fly wrong in the Korean War & Vietnam ones. ; )

 

I believe that I could make a vastly more realistic portrayal of History Channel's WWII dogfights, if I had the budget that their animation team had. I'm no fan of IL-2 (if you search my name and IL-2 on this forum, you'll see that I regard the series as a failure as a flight sim), but even using just that, my hypothetical team could make the dogfights much closer to the reality than what there is. Oh, well ... woulda, coulda, shoulda ...


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So where is the cost savings there? Not like Joe Blow can jump into CloD (or whatever) and recreate a famous battle and they just throw it on TV, still plenty that would have to be done, in the end it would be close to the same... the stories remain the same, and what I enjoy the most...

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Red Tails....aweful, but Lucas has killed the special effect so no point expecting him to make them sing even though he's got the resources..puke.

 

I used DCS and IL2 for animatics actually, so I could cut in the live action stuff with the action to see how it would flow. Unfortunately the software used to animate doesn't include a physcal world, the planes are anatomically correct, so the moveable parts move when planes bank etc, but that's it. The rest is done inside a virtual world with no physical properties applied against it. The animators would have to animate the shift in weight or whatever physical flight simulates.

 

IL-2 intellectual property would cost heaps, there's no way Ubi would license that out without it costing an arm and a leg. Besides IL-2 is a brand and has a style, so does dogfights. THe fact of the matter is and you may not like hearing this (i've come to accept it) the general public in this genre DOES NOT CARE OR EVEN KNOW the difference. It passes right over their heads, except people like us who live by it almost as a religion.

 

A network or a studio isn't really going to funnel an already stretched budget into another intellectual property and I'm sure those flight sims you quoted aren't going to let some program use their blood and sweat for pennies either.

 

It comes to is it worth the expense, 99.9% of these types of shows (especially TV stuff) won't accept that as an expense.

 

It's just the way it is unfortunately.

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THe fact of the matter is and you may not like hearing this (i've come to accept it) the general public in this genre DOES NOT CARE OR EVEN KNOW the difference. It passes right over their heads, except people like us who live by it almost as a religion.

 

Yup, painfully aware of it. Kind of ironic that I'm in this slot in this discussion--when Flyboys came out, I was the one on the other end. My flight sim buddies were all, "I didn't like Flyboys because it had historical errors and the rotary engines didn't rotate," while I said: hey, maybe if the serious aviation folks hadn't all snubbed it, it wouldn't have failed at the box office. Its failure sent movie producers a message: "flying movies aren't profitable, don't make any more." I'm aware of the flaws in Flyboys, but I enjoyed it anyway; I can't think of any finer dogfighting in the history of flying movies (even if the birds do move like aerobatics planes, but I can't blame the producer, 'coz he was an aerobatics pilot!).


Edited by Echo38
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Flyboys was amazing...not 100% but seriously a good balance. It didn't do well because of the genre man...women don't care about this stuff...(demographic certainty not schauvanism).

 

Our office cuts Mayday as well... That show is male! They are in their 14th season as well and have listened to viewers discussing inaccuracies but have the benefit of being a massive hit to incorporate those modifications. It's a slow process obviously by the time you see it the season is in the can but they take note for next season.

 

Cgi budget is still tight...and the physical world (unless your Pixar) is top expensive to recreate.

 

Pixar hand animated everything by the way, no motion capture (cough, dream works, cough).

 

;)

 

Red tails my god what a horrible film that was. I let the cgi accuracies slide, but the writing, story and acting were horrible. We had a red tails episode those gents were and even still very disciplined and articulate...they had to be they were th cream of the crop. Honestly the characters portrayed in red tails film did them no justice.

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Flyboys was amazing...not 100% but seriously a good balance.

 

[nod] I consider it a B movie (the plot can best be described as "cute") but it's in my top 5 films altogether, just the same. One of the most singular things about it (other than the dogfighting) was the way the characters progressed in their flying abilities throughout the film--the earlier dogfights have them doing the classic Tom Cruise "bitch wobble" (which is about all you see in most flying cinema), but by the end, they're pulling every trick that the top pilots do. I thought that was a really cool element.

 

Battle of Britain is, in my opinion, the best aviation-related film of all time, but I was disappointed at how tame the dogfighting sequences were, compared to what real aces were capable of. I mean, it was historically accurate; the average fighter pilot probably didn't do much more than they did in the movie. And I can't fault the stunt pilots for flying safely (what with them being real airplanes and pilots). But, as a virtual dogfighter, I was disappointed that there wasn't any really aggressive dogfighting--mostly just fighters following each other in more-or-less straight lines, with a bit of wobble thrown in. I have this problem with pretty much all flying cinema, excepting Flyboys.

 

I let the cgi accuracies slide, but the writing, story and acting were horrible.

 

I'll take your word for it. I saw a P-51 indulge in some thrust-vectoring in the trailer and decided to give the flick a miss. [grin]


Edited by Echo38
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I know the move you are talking about, does a super tight loop and smokes a 109 (in trailer they cut to a 262)....the worst though was what 10 p40's taking out an airfield? I don't think so....the reason the red tails stuck so close to the bombers was because they were so disciplined.

 

Other unites hated that strategy because they weren't effective so close to bombers, they wanted to be in a position to transfer their altitude into speed and not waste gas s turning to stay in formation.

 

I loved hearing why these pilots hated staying with the bombers...had nothing to do with recklessness or maverick attitudes...they wanted to protect those 10 man bomber crews as badly as the crews wanted to be protected.

 

Anyway derail there and sure it's more complicated than I just laid out...hates red tails that point stands.

 

We were lucky enough to be able to shoot aerials with our planes. We had a p47 in California, Lancaster in Toronto, spitfire and hurricanes in England, f4 phantom in Texas. Had a lot of fun ok that project.

 

 

Edit: walking home now will read you next top gun post in a sec...

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Loop nothing; that was a somersault! [cut to Peppy the rabbit hollering an instruction]

 

Lol...true! Anyway I appreciate your quest for quality...I've always paid attention to how planes and helicopters handle even as a kid I would try to mimic the way a Huey shifts move from transitional flight to a hover/landing.

 

My best dramatic articulation apart from sims of dogfights is reading the books. Describing the action is like nothing I've seen on TV or in a film. Most of them are underwhelming in terms of kills, but the stress on the body, the chaos, confusion, adrenaline for a very limited time and then poor... A sky once filled with planes is empty. The they have to find their way back home ; land and scramble again in a few hours...I mean the physical stress of that alone would just floor me...let alone have that emotional experience day after day.

 

Movies can't seem to translate that, they need the hero to kill 10 baddies in one sortie in order to cheat an emotional response.

 

Bomber pilots had the worst of it by far (in the air force) 12 hour in subzero temperatures having the odds completely against you (survival).

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That story is from the perspective of the American pilot, so yes they did refer to themselves as the good and bad guys...if any war was to have that distinction it was the Axis being bad and allies being good but of course that's up for debate, but most people who watch aren't going to argue with that type of language.

 

Not to get OT, but is it really up for debate? While individual pilots were not necessarily "bad," and it's certainly fun to simulate combat between both sides in computer games, there is absolutely no room for debate about who were the good and bad guys in World War 2. The military and political objectives of the Axis forces would be rejected by the vast majority of people and nations today. Where is the debate?

 

No need to engage in a lengthy discussion about historical matters which are beyond the scope of this thread. Nor should we inject modern political biases that are irrelevant to the period. We don't need to expend 3000 words to realize we're discussing semantics. I almost hesitate to write this response. Nevertheless, it's quite simple: WW2 Allies = good; WW2 Axis = bad. Period.

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