Paragliding simulator HCT Vive VR Saint Hilaire

Just recently I have been approached by a paraglider pilot Matt who is also a doctor and doing a particular study involving paragliding. Matt is wanting to create a high fidelity simulator including hardware and software to help his study and Paraflysim is his preferred choice of software simulation. I will be working close with Matt for next few months in order to help him interface the required hardware into paraflysim and develop the scenarios he requires.

The whole setup will be housed in a extreme condition wind tunnel at a university in the UK and will be tested by real pilots.

However, one major requirement for this was it had to be VR and HTC Vive was the particular choice. This means that I have been homered with such amazing VR headset and have successfully got Paraflysim working extremely well using the Vive.

It really has take me into another train of thought to how Paraflysim could be used and probably will be used by myself from now on!

I will post more updates and pictures on my setup.

By doing this it will significantly improve paraflysim for many reasons such as:

I have expert advise on my doorstep about particular features I want to add in.
The simulator will get extensive testing.
Particular features required for testing will need to be added.
And many more…

So i myself am very excited by this project and see it as a big opportunity to get paraflysim to such a level that it could be one of the best paragliding simulators for both fun and educational purposes.

For now I am working on a particular location required for the study which is Saint Hilaire in France, this is 100km x 100km! Here is a quick snapshot of me flying around.

Saint-Hilaire3

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Rainbow Beach Australia Paragliding

Costal paragliding and “Dune Gooning” has been something that has been on my list to try for a long time. Having never actually tried it in Paraflysim I wasn’t sure how the physics and/or wind system would react to such a different conditions (low wind and more head wind rather than ridge lift). So I decided to give it a go and to my surprise Paraflysim behaved exactly as I had hoped.

The physics and wind system took well to that style and allowed for that low style beach flying that can be achieved under these conditions, skimming the sand!

It also meant I got to improve the ocean visuals which now look better, I do have plans to improve on them but as they can be quite a performance overhead I have tried to compromise for both performance and visual satisfaction.

Here are a few images of me flying along Rainbow Beach in Australia.

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Lots of updates! Terrains, Flight Physics, thermals!

I have been so busy with development recently I just haven’t found the time to update the website, I do update facebook when I can which is much easier but anyway, i apologies and thought I would do a quick update!

So the development… a lot has happened and there has been some significant changes and improvements to Paraflysim, off the top of my head here are a few…

Custom Terrain system now features close detail textures, tree and grass maps.
Thermals now feature cores and inversion and have had lots of improvements on the reaction to the paraglider.
Thermal maps mean we can now use real thermal locations on custom scenery.
Paraglider Physics has seen some improvements
New 3D models (harness and wing)
Water / Ocean system for coastal scenery

and another big one is HTV Vive compatible!! but i will talk more about this later (but it is amazing!)

I will try and cover the above in individual posts with more details.

Here are a few pictures ive taken along the way.

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Thanks

Andy

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I am back and with updates, new stall physics

Well, as with anything that fits around spare time, work and life I didnt get much time at all to work on paraflysim over the summer but I am now back working on it and want to release a version of 1.6 early into the new year. I still have my big todo list that I am now starting to work through once again, one of which is realistic stalls. Stalls in paraflysim have been pretty much none existent due to being such a complex event, but in order to do “acro” or even to just have that realistic feeling I feel its important that I try get the stall physics to feel as real as I can.

I am still very happy that the majority of my last development was on the scenery system, it works really well and looks great and as its now “user loaded” and not hard programmed in it makes it nice and easy for me (and you guys) to create new scenery and use it in paraflysim.

I hope you guys haven’t lost faith in me yet, I will go quite sometimes but always have a passion for paraflysim and will do my best to get it released!

turkey-flight-dec-2016-high

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Coastal paragliding in Paraflysim

One thing kept cropping up from users and I kept “brushing it under the carpet” and that was it seemed a lot of users live and/or fly on the coast and while i knew the physics and wind system would work fine, the visuals I had never even taken a look at and always kept to “in land”. So I decided to have a go and managed to add water to the scene editor, to be honest, i found that even using photorealistic textures of coastal areas actually look good anyway, but adding a moving water layer on top made it look much more better.

As assumed the winds work just the same as they are all calculated real-time based on the terrain underneath and around the pilot. It has actually added another dimension to paraflysim and really give the effect of an open world, Have a nice long 20km coast to fly along is really nice!

I have create a few sceneries to test with, turkey and cornwall, UK and really happy with how they look.

Here is a screenshot of me flying on coast of turkey, using them winds to keep me aloft.

paraflysim-turkey-simulator

On a technical point of view, i am also to add whats called a “water mask”, this is a little bit like a “tree map” that you can choose to add to your scenery which will tell paraflysim to “level all areas” in the mask so that water is all flat. This is due to the inaccuracies in height map data where sometimes water seems to come up a cliff or bank, a water mask will solve this and make it much more real to look at.

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Custom Scenery and Terrain Creation Tutorials

Hi all, sorry for being a little quite these last few days, I have been very busy with trying to finish of the scenery editor. I would say it is now 80 – 90% complete which is good and so far is working very well. It now has the ability to choose from a selection of trees, as you can see from the following screenshot it looks more “England” now than the previous shots.

Ive also updated the multiplayer to work with custom scenery, the weather, size, scale and launch location all comes from the “host” to make sure everything is matching. Obviously you need to have the same scenery installed.

The other thing I have been busy doing is recording some video tutorials on how to create your own scenery for free using software and tools available online. I have been researching the best way to do this and believe i have found a process that is simple and works well.

The video tutorials will be:
1. Where and how to acquire the data.
2. Preparing the data for Paraflysim.
3. Importing and creating in ParaflySim Editor.
4. Tree and Object Map Creation.
5. How to share!

I have already done the first 2, although you can do anywhere in the world, the tutorial shows you how to create a small flying site in the UK at Lawley, Telford.

Screenshot from the scenery that gets created in the tutorial.

lawley_uk_paragliding lawley_uk_paragliding2

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Scene Editor – First Look 3D paragliding simulator

This is the first look at the new scene editor. This feature will improve and grow development continues, but for now it provides enough tools to allow you create new and edit scenes.
Once you have your heightmap, texture, tree and object map you can load them into the scene editor to preview your terrain, set the scales, wind direction & launch location.
Once done, you can save it and it will be ready for you to go and fly OR share with others! :)
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Dynamic skies, clouds weather & time of day!

Paraflysim now has dynamic clouds & time of day. This is something I have wanted to impletment for a while and finally got around to it. The possibilites are endless but what this menas is you can now choose to fly at any hour of the day, morning, mid-day, afternoon or evening and see the beautiful change in real-time as you fly. The clouds will move with the wind direction, and can also change from clear to cloudy, to overcast, to stormy all whilst you fly.

Sunsets and sunrises, clear skies and overcast/stormy, moving clouds with shadows. All dynamic which will change as you fly. Here are a few screenshots showing some different times and conditions, however the combination is endless!

paraflysim_dynamic_sky_clear paraflysim_dynamic_sky_cloudy

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Multiplayer stable and ready for testing!

Multiplayer now features everything it did before (thermal & environment syncing etc) and more. It also seems to be smooth and stable so far from my initial tests.  This time we have a nice server lobby with hosted servers. It also works will custom terrains too. There is some cleaning up to do but hopefully in the next day or too i might need some volunteers to do some testing with me. The server lobby & “matchmaking” is all done using an expandable cloud so I can increase the demand as required which is nice. Hopefully there will be no firewall issues to deal with with this new system. A few screenshots when i testing (trying to fly two paragliders at a time!)

multiplayer_new2 multiplayer_new1

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Flight Log Finished & Thermal Development

I have managed to finish the flight log system which works well and gives us some basic but good and useful information in order to review your flights. This I hope will grow and I can add more stats and information. I also want to implement it so users can send there flight logs online to the paraflysim website where others can see them.

I have also been working on improving the current thermals system, whilst it worked OK for version 1.5 with the new edition of custom terrain it need some work in order to get the system compatible with the new terrain system, but it also gave me opportunity to improve it. The thermal system now analyses the terrain data in order to select where thermals “might” get generated. It looks at terrain data, tree and object map in order to give a probability factor on where thermals develop and also takes into account weather and temperature. I have also improve the grow and life cycle as well as the strengths in order to make it more realistic.

I hope that once I have re-developed the multiplayer then I can begin developing a competition system which will allow users to create a competition such as a XC triangle and host this for others to join and have a competition. For this the thermal system needs to be as realistic as it can which is why I am and will continue to improve it.

Here is a quick screenshot of the final log page and also a flight log showing a thermal I caught just after launch. If you see the climb you can see areas where i kept falling out of the thermal but then finding it again.

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