Tony Pick is creating a series of 3D computer models of Sussex Windmills as add-on software, designed to work with versions of the Microsoft® Flight Simulator 2002 and 2004.
The first windmills in the series were Jack and Jill at Clayton, followed by Heritage Mill at Chailey.
The models are designed in Gmax (included as a game pack option with FS2002/2004) and are textured using Tony's own digital photographs.
The models are then exported as Flight Simulator scenery into the simulator at their correct locations via LAT/LON. The models appear to users of the software in 3D, the correct size, and look as close to the real thing as is possible with the currently available modeling tools.
Each "virtual windmill" model is supplied via zip file for download and includes all the required information for installation in each product. The scenery models that Tony produces are FREEWARE and as such may be used by anyone who has the required Microsoft® Flight Simulator software.
The images may show optional PAYWARE available for the simulator. The images shown include the VFR Terrain and Photographic Scenery available from Visual Flight at www.visualflight.co.uk covering the whole of England and Wales. This extra scenery is not included with Microsoft® Flight Simulator 2002 and 2004 and must be purchased separately.
Each model is basically a series of polygons or lines drawn in the correct alignment, then textured from a photograph of the subject edited via Paint or PSP, PHP software to format into a bitmap image. The images may be a single side profile or a combination of photos of one image which are then applied by hand to each part of the model.
Tony has photographs of Stone Cross and Shipley windmills with background references supplied for dimensions, so these two will be the next in the series. The series will continue with other Sussex Windmills as and when Tony finds time to visit and photograph them.
The trees seen in some of the images are also 3D and are auto generated by either the modelers for each subject or in the case of the Mills using the VFR scenery. Each tree is placed by hand in the software in the correct location against the photo-realistic ground image. The position of each tree is correct although the size and type of tree may not always be 100% correct. This adds greatly to the feeling of 'being there' when flying about in the simulator and provides good visual references when flying VFR.
Tony's grateful thanks are due to Simon Potter and to other "Windmill devotees" for supplying him with information on the mills and for inspiring him to continue the project.