View Full Version : Tried Il2 guncam footage again. 109vHurri,P47vHe111, P51v190 and P38vAM265a.Thoughts?

01-07-2008, 06:37 AM
Ok, guys, I'm currently just trying a few thing in IL2 movie-making.

After some quite reasonable success in BoB2:WoV with guncam footage, I thought I'd have another try with IL2.

Three things make gun-camera difficult in IL2:

1) The explosions from cannon-shell hits are too excessive. A flare and sparks would suffice, the yellow-orange explosion is too severe.

2) Speckle debris from hits. Although great to signify damage, it should really be soft and out-of-focus as it neares the plane.

3) The smoke and vapour trails on rotation become straight lines that look totally unconvincing.

I have tried my best to create something here that looks authentic.

The first clip is a 109E attacking a Mk1 Hurricane. I have added camera flicker, shake and also B+W and finally shot is at 1/2 speed (as I did for the rest of the footage).

Clip 2 is a P-47 attack on an He-111, head-on then finishing with a couple of B'n'Z attacks.

Clips 3-4 are a P-51D-20NA taking on Fw-190 F8

Clip 5 is a P-38 late taking on an AM65a

I'd like some feedback as to whether it looks as real as possible from the game footage.

Download it here:


You will need the XVID codec to view it which can be downloaded it here:


Running time 5 minutes 19 seconds, in widescreen 800x444.

File size 49.09mb

Cheers, MP.

01-07-2008, 06:53 AM
well...I'm downloading your video clip as I write this, but you will have to wait til I get a chance to watch it if you want a review.

I'm interested to see what you have come up with here. We here at "IL2" have all seen "gun cam footage" before and it will be interesting to see if the community at large feels that your efforts are successful...

I have a video/story/idea I have been working on and I'm constantly trying to think of ways to visually express my ideas...I'm curious to see what you have come up with.

thanks for sharing...http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-07-2008, 07:06 AM
This was my reply to FlyingFinn at Battlefields.com, after spotting the final plane is a Ki-84b not an AM265a, he was the first to spot the deliberate mistake...blimey he was quick!:

Finn, as far as I know, you are the first to point this out, well done.

I actually did that because in WW2 gun-camera footage some planes were mis-identified I wasn't expecting it to be noticed so soon "Mr. Eagle Eye!" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Glad you like the footage, I think I've almost nailed the effect now, really please with the B+W start and the colour P-51 footage.

Thanks for the reply,

Cheers, MP."

Hope you like it too zardozid.

01-07-2008, 07:11 AM
Nice compilation.

My 2 cents:

Less shake more motion-blur.

The shake mostly comes from the projector, so the pictures generally moves up and down, but much less to the sides.

The cameras were quite good but the material is aged. If you look at guncam-footage, it is blury and grainy especially on a movie this size. (IIRC these were 8mm cameras?)

Besides that AFAIK the guncams were linked to the trigger and had a zoom. So the movies should start closer to the action and with a narrowed field of view.

01-07-2008, 09:34 AM
The only thing that I would add is that the only time the camera shake should occur is during actual firing, other than that the camera should appear to be relatively stable. More motion blur would be good also. Nice movie though. Can't wait to see your next one.

01-07-2008, 10:06 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys, I'll certainly give that a try, so for the moment.

Camera speed (slow-motion) looks ok.

Film should be softer focus (but not too soft)

Grain should be enhanced.

Camera blur should occur at trigger point.

Less before and after footage (but I think I will leave it still slightly loose to give viewer 'in and out' point, especially plane crash gives finality.

The actual colours I think are pretty close to authentic, I made sure the pacific was slightly greener after watching original footage. The camera flicker I think looks very effective.

I'll decrease the FoV and may increase the grain on footage, I'll have to see how that looks.

Next try I'll go for P-51,P-47, 109 and 190, cheers, MP.

01-07-2008, 10:21 AM
Any chance you could put more of your stuff on youtube, mystic? Just a humble request, not at all a demand, as I am not keen on downloading huge files all the time.

01-07-2008, 01:32 PM
Well, MP...A long time ago, I was the self-proclaimed "King of Simulated WWII Guncam Footage". That was back in the days of EAW and CFS2 and the early years of IL2. You'll possibly recall my Website, "Wiley's WWII GunCam World", which went belly up and no longer exists. I initially created the site to host and display my many guncam clips, and the very few clips created by others. The site evolved from being comprised of only Guncam clips to the hosting of IL2 movies in general, as that movie-making genre began to expand in late 2002.

In any event, I've watched and dissected/analyzed pretty much all real guncam footage that can be found, as well as researched the 'process' of guncamera installation and operations.

I can proclaim without any hesitation or doubt that you are now the new reigning "King of GunCam Footage". Your footage is the very best I've ever seen, avoiding all the errors made by others who have attempted to create realistic guncam footage from our Flight Sims...the most obvious and recurring being the showing of the gunsight reticle in the 'footage'. As you know, guncameras generally did not film 'through' the gunsight, itself (an exception noted below related to the US K-14).

I do have just a few suggested tweaks which you might consider:

First, I agree with Capt Lone Ranger and Choctaw that a bit more blur/motion-blur would be appropriate. I also agree that the shaking should be more closely synched with the firing of the guns/cannon. Some acft had switches to turn on and off the guncamera(P-51's I believe, for sure), so it would be feasible to have extended footage beyond just the precise time/duration of the weapons being fired; however, very extended sequences such as following a target's long/gradual decent until it impacts the ground lead the viewer, I think, to sense we are watching a 'mini-movie' rather than guncam clips/footage. Note that the guncameras seem to have been set to record for a period following the release of the gun-firing trigger/button, for perhaps 5 seconds or so. If you are showing an extended pursuit and attack upon a target, you might try showing the aforementioned shake as guns are firing followed by no more than 5 seconds of smoother non-firing 'observation' of the target acft...then, a hard break in the footage, resuming when you again begin firing on the target.

Another point: the cameras would be fixed focus...so, if you are showing a "closing" attack upon a target acft, firing from a very long distance at first then eventually closing until you almost collide with the target acft, you might want to consider starting the guncam footage blurry (out-of-focus), then clear(in-fcous) when you would generally be observing your set gun convergence range, and finally increasing the blur as you get very close (ramming distance). That's a subtlety that many will not notice and may not be worth the effort. I sometimes spent a lot of time doing that back in the day...just for my own sense of anal perfection. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Now, being IL2 specific: I would avoid any footage which shows the artificial angular roads in the back ground...they destroy the immersion/reality of the footage. Likewise, the expanding shockwaves from a ground explosion (acft impact) look, to me, artificial. And, finally, even the IL2 buildings look artifical in guncam footage. imho

You are right about the coloring of the Pacific footage (real stuff). Color film was used in the Pacific, seemingly more than in the ETO...
From some research I did a long time ago:

5th Air Force began using color film in the fall of 1943, mainly because the black and white film in gun cameras couldn't handle the contrast between bright sky and dark jungle, so much of the film shot by a gun camera would be either too dark to see anything or too washed out to see anything. Color had similar problems, but at least you could tell if an e/a was on fire or not, and whether the fire grew as the plane dove toward the ground. Color film wasn't always available, and developing it was a sort of rough-and-ready affair. A few days after a reel was developed, often all the colors would have faded to a brownish yellow, but by then it didn't matter, the mission having been assessed, reports written, and the film was tossed in a box and forgotten.


On film it looks as if most tracers act erratically, i.e. one projectile looks like two, two projectiles look like one connected with a lightning bolt, or various white or blue lines shoot from each tracer, and it all looks as if it's some sort of wild disco show. But to the naked eye tracers don't look like that. All of this is due to gun recoil and what the recoil does to the camera/film during the recording process. Some gun cameras were worse than others, and some were better, and some were outstanding. Probably the best gun camera film recorded was when the camera was wired directly to the K-14 gunsight. Most cameras were mounted in the wing, but depending "how close" to the guns -- proper -- determined the film quality. The P38, having guns in the nose and the wing camera in the leading edge of the left wing, is some of the best camera footage that I've ever seen. Much of the P51 stuff is great too, having the camera wired directly to the K-14 sight. The P47 was pretty good, too -- even though the camera was mounted about three feet from four recoiling.50 caliber Brownings. But it was a heavy plane, and a good, stable gun platform. Maybe that's why most of the footage is viewable. Probably the worst footage, as far as quality goes -- is the early Hellcat footage. The camera was mounted about a foot away from three .50s, in the leading edge. You can view the target with no problem, but the recoil effect on the camera makes the tracers look ape****.

Some other points from my research of long ago:

I have discovered in my initial research that the gun cameras on the Me262, P38, and Mosguito were Definitely located in the very forwardmost part of the nose of the acft..."shooting" footage through a port...Makes sense..and is simple, logical, and aligned with the axis of the aircraft and, presumably to some degree focussed at the guns'/cannons' boresighted optimum range(s)... The fuselage-mounted, as opposed to wing-mounted guns/cannons, as on the Me262 , WERE also set in the nose, but ABOVE the center line...leaving that centerline free for the gun camera.

However, I can find, so far, no references to the specific location of the cameras on other, single-engined fighter aircraft. I would assume they would have been in the wing(s)... But, in ONE case, I DID find a source that shows that in a P51, the Camera was somehow located , it appears, in the Prop Spinner/nose of the acft! A cutaway diagram/drawing of the P51 distinctly shows the camera "Port", thru which the GC would 'film', as being clearly located in the forward tip of the Spinner.

Meanwhile, here's some of my fav footage to emulate:
Guncam footage (http://files.filefront.com/GCLiliWMV/;9396892;/fileinfo.html)

To see how far you have come and why you are King of GunCam Footage, here's some stuff I did back in the IL2/FB days when I would save footage of my kills (and keep meticulous logs)when I flew campaigns/careers in the Luftwaffe:
Hauptmann Wallachstein (http://files.filefront.com/Wallachstein3WMV/;9396871;/fileinfo.html)

Oberleutnant Wallachstein (http://files.filefront.com/Wallachstein2WMV/;9396865;/fileinfo.html)

And, finally, here is one of my Pacific Color GC clip (http://files.filefront.com/WildcatKills3Bettysavi/;9396897;/fileinfo.html)s.

Now, let the curtain fall on Wiley's guncam era.....

All Hail to MysticPuma, King of Guncam Footage!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

01-07-2008, 04:59 PM
That's very king Dolittle, and much appreciated.

I think I'm pretty close to nailing the scratches,hair and grain so I'll try the FoV, try and make the cannon hits not so cartoony, in-and-out of approach focus should be reasonably easy.

Deleting angular roads shouldn't be too difficult along with the buildings and so to not showing the explosion on hit. Along with the other suggestions I think I can get pretty close to as authentic as possible.

I'll repost another thread when I have had a go at it later this week.

Thanks for the advice, cheers, MP.

01-07-2008, 05:56 PM
try mine... Its not exactly the same type of guncamera style but IMO it looks pretty realistic...

01-07-2008, 06:13 PM
I disagree that all guncam needs to be grainy. I have some WWII guncam on DVD that could have been recorded yesterday. It really depends on the film stock, but it also depends on the plane that shot the footage. Look at early nose mounted P-38 guncam and then compare it to later J & L models when the camera was mounted in the wing pylon.

I hesitate to offer suggestions, but I think the B/W footage needs a starker look to it. A more definite black and white look. I thought your video had too soft a gray appearance. Other than that I think it looks very realistic.

01-07-2008, 08:16 PM
Another point: the cameras would be fixed focus...so, if you are showing a "closing" attack upon a target acft, firing from a very long distance at first then eventually closing until you almost collide with the target acft, you might want to consider starting the guncam footage blurry (out-of-focus), then clear(in-fcous) when you would generally be observing your set gun convergence range, and finally increasing the blur as you get very close (ramming distance). That's a subtlety that many will not notice and may not be worth the effort. I sometimes spent a lot of time doing that back in the day...just for my own sense of anal perfection.

For daytime shooting, the lens aperture would have generally been set small enough to offer sufficient depth-of-field such that everything between 50m and infinity would have been in good focus. Adding de-focus outside of gun convergence would be unrealistic, even a waste of time. Indeed, it would result in the appearance of photographing small models (I've done this!).

But otherwise, Doolittle, your comments were quite illuminating... thanks! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

And MP, I'd like to chime in on the YouTube posting request bandwagon (is that two of us so far?), if that's no bother.


01-07-2008, 08:57 PM
Well, I just watched. And I agree, probably the best simulated gun camera imagery out there.
In particular, the late-war de-saturated color and its hue was very evocative of the actual films I've seen! Dirt and dust are just right.

Some comments I would humbly offer...

1) The 109 sequences had too much shake. In particular, the blurry 4-point field center locators at the frame edges should remain steady, or at worst jiggle just a wee bit due to small displacements of the film in the gate.

2) Overall, the brightness variations (mostly darkening to simulate underexposure) were too large and perhaps too frequent.

3) My impression was that a more zoomed-in viewpoint would be more proper. Have you tried the 30 degree FOV?

4) Period films were always 4:3 aspect ratios. I feel this should be observed.

5) In the sequence "titles", keep the A/C designations more general. E.g, "Bf-109E vs Hurricane", "P-51 vs FW-190", "Mustang vs Focke-Wulf", etc. Moeover, try to give the titles the same film "look", too.


Some general observations...

The film format universally used (or nearly so) was 16mm. If a good and representative high-resolution scan of a relevant frame could be obtained, this could yield a good reference for simulating the appearance of film grain and softness.

If you want to simulate ground pounding... Cameras in ground attack A/C often had their sight lines adjusted so that the guns' boresight would pass through the top of the field, even as much as along the very top edge. This was done because after a gun or rocket pass the pilot would pretty much immediately commence pull-up, causing the target(s) to drift toward the bottom of the frame during or just after impact of ordnance.


-HH- Beebop
01-08-2008, 02:40 PM
Nice work Neil. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

My only comment is on the color footage. Although good to my eye I thought it looked too "FujiFilm" and not enough "Kodak" if you follow my (bizarre) thinking here.
A bit less saturation and less blue/green more red/yellow emphasis.

But then again I'm much better at mission building and (to a lesser degree) skinning so what would I know eh? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Overall though I throughly enjoyed it and added it to my ever expanding IL-2 Movies folder.