I've uploaded some demonstration software (link
works on my system with a dual monitor display - It should be
treated as "proof of concept" software as it is intended to
demonstrate the effect and is NOT provided as a fully functional
and tested application.... see sections below for more info.
This approach of a software implementation of the
motion enhancement method is not restricted to MS Flight
Simulator or even to flight simulators in general but is also
directly applicable to racing car sims for example. This will
allow for some interesting motion enhancement effects without
the need to build motion hardware - on the right are a couple of
movie clips with the method applied to LFS racing sim.
WHAT IT DOES
The demonstration software generates a duplicate of the FS9/X Main
Display window, reduces this in size to produce a smaller window
on a black background and then induces movement of the duplicate
display which induces an additional sense of motion for the
flight sim user (at least it does for me)!
The display motion is generated in real-time from the flight
motion of the aircraft.
The demonstration software is
intended for use with MS FS9 or FSX running with a dual screen set
up. Otherwise, to be honest, I don't
really know what range of hardware it will run on. I've run the
software on my Vista 32 bit Dual Core PC with a Nvidia 8000
series graphics card. It does need an OpenGL capable card. It
should also run on XP SP2 machines as the bitmap handling
functions it uses are supposed to be supported on XP SP2 - but I
haven't tested this.
The dual monitor setup should be with the
desktop extended across the two displays.
The main FS window needs to be
made active in order to keep your keyboard commands active and
the sound output audible, however you also want the duplicate window to
be visible at the same time - so they really need to be on separate monitors.
Motion Enhancement Software
On my system the demonstration software runs
better with FS9 than FSX probably because of the lighter CPU
loading. Although the OpenGL element is hardware accelerated the
bitmap handling uses the main CPU and will affect the sim frame
rates. On my system both FS9 and FSX take a 5/6 fps hit when the
display motion software is running. My best (crude) efforts
produce a frame rate of roughly 13/14 fps in the moving display
itself - not great but good enough for demonstration purposes. I
have the sim frame rates capped at 25 fps and get a working rate
of roughly 19 fps in the main sim window when the software is
You will need an up-to-date copy of FSIUPC installed
as this is how the sim data is extracted.
I haven't tested compatibility with other FS addons at all,
however there shouldn't in principal be a problem. There are a
handful of hotkeys programmed (see below) and if these coincide
with hotkeys for other active applications there might be some
Unzip the zip archive contents into a dedicated directory
and run the .exe from there. There are no registry settings etc
so to uninstall just delete the files.
For best effects darken the room when you are flying so that it
is the moving display that holds your visual attention and not
your stationary surroundings. This is important. You may also
find that the effects are strongest when you concentrate on your
1. Do the unzipping.
2. Start a FS9/X flight in windowed mode. Move the main sim window
onto the 2nd display and SIZE IT SO THAT IT COVERS ROUGHLY 75%
OF THE SCREEN AREA (the duplicate moving display window will use
this size to set the size of the bitmap it uses - making it
bigger will increase the amount of pixel data that has to be
processed and will slow things down, make it smaller and the
performance will improve but the resolution of the moving
display image will reduce).
3. Move the FS window back to the main (1st) monitor (can be
done the other way around but the
always-visible task bar sort of mucks things up a bit). DO NOT
RESIZE THE SIM WINDOW. Best to use a VC view. The current motion
setup is for a light GA aircraft - eg Beech Baron.
4. Run the BFF_Screen_Motion exe. It should produce two new
windows - a small UI and a bigger
OpenGL window containing the duplicate sim window.
5. Move the OpenGL Display Motion window to the 2nd monitor. Hit
hotkey "M" and the Display Motion window should maximise on the
2nd monitor and the main sim window will become active on the
1st giving you flight control and audio. You can now take a
flight using the 2nd monitor as your main display - try it in a
darkened room with only this monitor visible to reduce the
visual impact of the fixed monitor structure. This is an
important element in tricking the brain about the motion.
6. To finish hit ESC to close, or hit hotkey "N" to de-maximise
the motion window which can then be moved about as required.
NOTE When running with FSX I find I get smoother motion if I set
the BFF_Screen_Motion process priority to "high". On my system
the program does not increase its CPU usage but it does seem to
get interrupted less by FSX. You can do this in Task Manager or
by setting the Priority parameter in the vis_screen.cfg file.
This may not work an all systems off course so you may need to
NOTE The sliders can be used to do a simple scaling on the
window motion. Experiment with this... you may need to make
adjustments if you are flying other than a light aircraft.
For use with MS FSX better results might be
obtained if FSX's dynamic head movement effects are removed.
These are therefore:-
M - Maximise motion window and make FS active
N - De-maximise motion window
ESC Close Display Motion application
PageUp - Increase display motion window size
PageDown - Reduce display motion window size
...... sorry if these conflict with other apps - but this is
just for demonstration.
The GUI has some sliders that allow the horizontal, vertical,
tilt and in/out components of the dynamic movement to be scaled.
Setting the capping frame rates in the sim seems to make a
difference to smoothness etc but this is probably dependent on
how powerful your machine is. Setting weather and traffic low so
that the CPU load is reduced is probably sensible to get the
best demo effects for now.
Try a flight in stormy weather.
What do you think about the touchdown effects? Try a one-wheel
Try an "off-road" excursion, or landing on a gravel runway.
Try a full stall.
The motion can be adjusted in several ways using the settings in
the vis_screen.cfg file but you will need to read the relevant
section in the BFF Motion Driver V2 manual where there is a lot
more detail about the configuration parameters - see Appendix *.
I'll get these in first! My OpenGL programming is rough to say
the least - sorry if the app falls over or misbehaves. It
doesn't interfere with your FS settings - it just duplicates the
image bitmaps from the sim window using standard Windows API
calls - the only programming interaction with FS is through the
usual calls to FSUIPC to pull the flight data.
Let me know how you get on...
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19th January 2009