This time we were surprised by the work of Patrick, whose philosophy is to obtain the best screenshots of the simulator without a hard work of edition. What you see is what the FSX is able to give you. I asked Patrick a few words to explain us his experience in the world of the simspotting, and I found it so interesting that I want to show you written in his own words.
“The first time I ever used a flight sim was when I owned an Atari ST and bought Sublogic's Flight Sim, I remember it was lots of fun due to it having a modem connection so I could fly with a friend but I never got into it very seriously, just for fun. It was not until @5 years ago when I got back in to flight simming with Microsoft's Flight Simulator X. I happened to buy it due to a discount and loaded it onto my PC. I certainly did not get hooked on it and I hardly ever really used it much or did any serious flying. Then about 4 years ago I happened to view some screen shots from FSX I saw on some forum. The screen shots graphically appeared very impressive to me and I did some more searching on other forums and viewed 1000's of screen shots, many of them where great, some of them where fantastic, I was especially interested in the unedited screen shots of FSX because I was starting to see what FSX could achieve with certain addons, mods & tweaks. I started to learn about the many addons, both freeware & payware, that were becoming available for FSX and made the vanilla version of FSX look so much better visually and graphically. Also I found out about 'tweaking' the art of improving performance in FSX for your PC which again made the whole flight sim experience smoother, visually better and overall more enjoyable. I did spend about a year learning the serious side of FSX, how to fly a plane, how to land, what do the controls do, what do the instruments mean etc. I was amazed with how much there was to learn (I am still a total novice flyer) but what got me really hooked into FSX was when I started making my own screen shots. As I mentioned, I seen many screen shots that really impressed me and they inspired me to try out my own screen shots. I learned a great deal from viewing & reading other screen shots posts and using that knowledge, I started trying out my own screen shots ability. So about 3 years ago I posted my first screen shot post and have been posting screen shots ever since. In that time I have discovered I have a talent for capturing eye catching screen shots after I got lots of praise, compliments and feedback in all the posts I was making. I personally have learned a great deal about creating screen shots and still feel I am learning new things all the time. My biggest personal challenge is to capture screen shots in FSX that could nearly pass for real photos but without the need for photo editing of any kind, kinda like 'what you see in these screen shots is what you see in FSX'. This to me is the real challenge, I always enjoy chasing that 'perfect shot' and it feels great sharing the best of my work with the FS community. I also hope my screen shots will provide some inspiration to others in the same way that other screen shots have been inspiring me.”
"Now as I mentioned before, the standard version of FSX is rather bland and visually never really captured my attention. When I started learning about addons, both freeware & payware, I realized that the sim could appear much more appealing and visually stunning. I have a great deal of admiration for all the people that spend time creating new aircraft, airports, scenery, utilities etc for FSX. Whether freeware or payware, it is because of their time, talent, dedication and enthusiasm, that the world of FS has become much more alive, interesting and visually more appealing. I am just a tourist in that world, taking some nice pictures along the way and sharing them with other enthusiasts."
"One of the most common questions I get asked, 'Which addons do I use in my screen shots or what do I need to make my flight sim look like those screen shots?'. Not an easy question to answer as this also depends a great deal on budget and personal taste. I personally use a massive amount of addons in my flight sim (at last check my FS install is @420 Gb!) a combination of freeware and lots of payware. I will attempt to give some personal suggestions on what I feel will improve anyone's FSX.The first addon I ever bought for FSX and which is still one of the best would be Real Environment Xtreme, this product added a great deal of live to my FSX and I could not live without it now. For scenery I personally enjoy flying with photoreal scenery, not everyone's cup of tea I know. The best photoreal scenery would have to be the amazing freeware scenery by team NL2000 (NL2000v4 for FSX) and also very good is freeware scenery by Blue Sky Scenery (on a side note: nearly all freeware project do accept voluntary donations and personally I donate some money if I use any piece of freeware on a regular basic). Also I have seen some fantastic payware scenery from Earth Simulations which I would highly recommend, like Alderney, Isles of Scilly and the recent Shawbury Fields. For airports I mainly use payware, the onces I would recommend are FSdreamteam, Aerosoft produce many great Dutch, German, French & Spanish airports and UK2000 scenery does excellent coverage of the major and smaller UK airports."
"Now onto aircraft, this is very much up to personal taste, I have a wide variety of aircraft in my hangar, mostly payware but also a fair few freeware onces. I prefer to focus on the visual model of the aircraft when I am decided whether or not to get a new aircraft. The looks of the aircraft are of great importance to me especially if the aircraft is very photogenic. There are plenty of great looking freeware aircraft that are available but one that stands out in my mind and I use them both regularly are Dino Cattaneo's T-45 Goshawk & F-14 Tomcat. Nearly all recent payware aircraft look great, the onces I use often are the Boeing range from Captain Sim, the Super 80 from Coolsky, the MD-11 from PMDG and many many others. I also must mention one more item which has made my sim a visual treat and pleasure to fly, not to mention it has helped me capture some great screen shots, and that would be the amazing livery repaints by McPhat. Specifically their UHDT (Ultra High Definition Textures) and HD livery range for Captain Sim's 757, Coolsky's S80 and PMDG MD-11. Ever since they started to release these amazing high detailed liveries with jawdropping specular and bump mapping, the detail on the visual models have just become so much more real looking. I am hoping to see more companies adopting HD livery paintkits and improve the visual look of their aircraft in the near future."
"Another thing worth mentioning are 4 great little freeware addons for FSX that can help to make anyone's sim a more enjoyable experience. These would be 1) ENB mod series - this does sacrifice some FPS but does a fantastic job of adding better lighting in your sim 2) FSWC great utility to change the water reflection and you can adjust it on the fly 3) EZwalk - great little camera utility which I personally use for some of my screen shots although most of my screen shots, believe it or not, are taken with the FSX standard camera tools & views and finally 4) FSrecorder - can record any flight (useful for playing back flights so I can take screen shots) and it can now also produce video files from your flights.
All in all, one could spend a great deal of money buying new addons for their sim but depending on your taste and preference, you can easily narrow down your selection. There is plenty of freeware out there that look great, enjoyable to use and will fill up your sim time."
"Back to my personal FSX usage, what do I use my sim for? To me it is a matter of time management and what personally fulfills me while using the sim. At this point in time I mostly enjoy creating flights around my creativity of making screen shots, so I spend nearly all my FS time around doing screen shots. Ever since I got into FSX, I always felt it was not just a hobby but also a future investment of learning and passion. I discovered that there is so much to learn in FSX and many of the aircraft will probably take years to master properly, but years I have. So I feel FSX will have a long future, there are still plenty of 3rd party companies that are producing quality addons for it, a whole FS community that is still very much alive, enthusiasts and talented individuals that write many great freeware mods/sceneries/aircraft for FSX. It is possible that I may move onto another future flight sim platform, like the upcoming MS Flight but unless the new Flight sim is compatible with all the FSX addons, I doubt I will change from FSX for many years to come. Also, as PC hardware is getting better & faster, FSX is starting to look and perform better every year that goes by."
You can comment and rate the photos of Patrick in the main Simspotters's gallery. http://www.simspotters.org/index.php/ultimas-imagenes
We can also enjoy with Patrick's youtube channel to see all those great add-on that use in his simulator. Must be seen to 1080p. http://www.youtube.com/user/Soya4me#p
Just an example...
All his videos are now in our section "Ultimos Videos" http://www.simspotters.org/index.php/sim-videos/latest-videos
Thanks for your time Patrick!!