Recreating My Motorsport Photos In Sim Racing

Cover Image.jpg
From supertourers, to banger cars - recreating my motorsport photos in my favourite sim racing titles is a lot harder than I thought it would be...

While I am a content writer and editor here at OverTake.gg, I am also a part-time motorsport photographer who loves to experiment with all disciplines of the sport we all love so much. From the short ovals to motorcross, I am there!

Photo modes are quite powerful tools in some sim racing titles, as we have recently established. When looking through the various titles, an idea came to my mind - why not try and recreate some of my real-life motorsport photos in sim racing?

Image 1: Renault Laguna Supertouring​

The first image that I set out to recreate will is my image of the infamous Williams Racing Renault Laguna supertouring car. The image was captured at Donington Park in 2022. The camera used was a Canon EOS 1100D, an entry-level cropped frame DSLR.

The settings took a long time to get dialled in, but I eventually settled on 1/125 shutter speed, F8 aperture and 100ISO.

Laguna - October 2022.jpg


This photo was one of many I took on my first time shooting photos at a racetrack, some imperfections and things could be done a lot better. But, the panning is smooth and the settings are perfect to recreate the photo.

I used Assetto Corsa for this recreation partnered with a paid mod from creator VRC. A skin pack created by OverTake user PF126p is also applied to make sure the car is as similar as possible.

Image 1-2.jpg


Assetto Corsa's baseline photo mode is perfectly usable, as explained in our previous sim racing photography article. One issue I ran into, however, was setting up the photo without having to reset the camera angle constantly. It was a real pain to deal with and forced me to re-position after each shot. A nightmare when you are trying to work the settings to your advantage.

The yellow tinge to the original photo seemed to be impossible to add to Assetto Corsa using its stock photo mode. Let me know in the comments below what you would do to perfect the recreation.

Screenshot 2024-05-13 143812.png


Moving into the editing process, the original image was edited in Adobe Lightroom with an Adobe original preset Modern 08. I decided to use that same filter but make some much-needed adjustments.

For example, leveling the exposure slider was essential; the in-game exposure adjustment was nailed down so there is no reason to change that in post. The highlights came down to fix the lighter colours in the background and the shadows came up to highlight the darks.

At the end of the editing process, I decided to reduce the 'Modern 08' filter amount to make it look more natural. I like my photos to be dark and feel quite impactful, but too much filtration on a photo can ruin what you are trying to convey.

Image 2: National Banger Racing​

Moving into the second image, the recreation of this action shot from United Downs Raceway in Cornwall, England is one of my favourites from my most recent photoshoot.

IMG_9637.jpg


This shot was captured on a Canon 250D with a 75-300mm F4 zoom lens. The camera equipment is by no means groundbreaking, but it is more than enough to capture fantastic action shots whether that be of Formula One vehicles or grassroots banger cars.

I used BeamNG for this recreation, as the damage model is like nothing else available and the ability to position cars exactly how I need them to be is the perfect combination for this action shot recreation. Unfortunately, due to the mods used, I could not change the colours of the cars. An inconvenience, but an unavoidable one.

20240513153413_1.jpg


BeamNG.drive's photo mode is one of the more restrictive ones within the world of sim racing and sim photography. The exclusion from that rule is BeamNG's fantastic showroom mod. However, for this recreation, that mode is useless. The depth of field and capture adjustment within the built-in photo editor are especially helpful in these shots, especially as the original is quite varied in subjects in and out of focus.

The original image is one of action and chaos. It's hard to portray that in a setup scenario such as the screenshot above.

image_2024-05-13_154716030.png


During the editing process, the 'Modern 08' filter was used again to create the baseline edit. The highlights are once again put right down to the minimum to negate any unwanted light and to balance the image perfectly within my dark and impactful editing style. The exposure is at 0.23 as opposed to the 0.05 in the Laguna image.

Image 3: Ginetta GT4 Supercup​

The third and final image I attempted to recreate is my shot of a Ginetta GT4 Supercup car at Castle Combe's May Madness event. Unfortunately, the only sim that I have access to that had Castle Combe was Assetto Corsa. I wanted to use three different simulators for these recreations so Snetterton on Automobilista 2 was a fantastic replacement with the Ginetta GT4 also available in the base game's content.

IMG_9938.jpg


This was shot with a very fast panning technique on a mid-range aperture and a 1/125 shutter speed. With panning shots, it is vital to have your camera set to multi-shot or whatever your make and model of camera calls that mode. This allows your camera to capture multiple images when you hold down the shutter. 90% of the images will not be in focus, but you get those occasional shots that make you grin ear to ear when you look back through your photos.

Ginetta _27.jpg


Automobilista 2 is a great sim for photography. The user interface for the photo mode is easy to access and not too confusing. The downside, as mentioned in the previous photography article, is that the camera movement freedom is fairly limited. The drone camera is by far the best for capturing specific images and angles that you need.

image_2024-05-13_175753899.png


Throughout the edit for this image, I struggled to get the colour balance correct. The colour in the original image is fairly dull and grey, a palette that seems unattainable in AMS2. If the image was a RAW file straight from my camera, I might have been able to make them match better.

I am by no means a professional, I'm still learning what works and what does not. But I enjoy doing it and learning along the way, that is all that matters to me right now.

Have you ever tried to recreate your racing photos in a sim racing title? Feel free to show off your work on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!
About author
Connor Minniss
Website Content Editor & Motorsport Photographer aiming to bring you the best of the best within the world of sim racing.

Comments

Premium
I think this was a cool little experiment. Might give it a go myself.

For the Laguna picture I’d be tempted to go into replay mode, use F5 view and the photo app on the sidebar rather than photo mode, and use shutter speed to get some decent motion blur, tweak the colour temperature, and then add the camera tilt in post.

This is the only ‘attempt’ I’ve ever had…
assetto overlay.jpeg
 
Premium
I just wanted to chime in and say I very much enjoyed reading the article and the responses from others who've done similar "photo comparisons". What I was wondering is how do you guys "line up the shot"? In an ideal world, you could probably overlay the photo on top of the sim with a bit of transparency so you could position the camera and car in exactly the same place. In that same ideal world, the sim could read the EXIF data to replicate camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed. If you can then also replicate the right time of day and amount of cloud cover you should be able to get pretty close.
 
Premium
I just wanted to chime in and say I very much enjoyed reading the article and the responses from others who've done similar "photo comparisons". What I was wondering is how do you guys "line up the shot"? In an ideal world, you could probably overlay the photo on top of the sim with a bit of transparency so you could position the camera and car in exactly the same place. In that same ideal world, the sim could read the EXIF data to replicate camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed. If you can then also replicate the right time of day and amount of cloud cover you should be able to get pretty close.
I just did it by eye tbh, took a loooooong time
 

Latest News

Article information

Author
Connor Minniss
Article read time
5 min read
Views
2,575
Comments
8
Last update

How are you going to watch 24 hours of Le Mans

  • On national tv

    Votes: 148 35.5%
  • Eurosport app/website

    Votes: 116 27.8%
  • WEC app/website

    Votes: 80 19.2%
  • Watch party

    Votes: 27 6.5%
  • At a friends house

    Votes: 9 2.2%
  • At Le Mans

    Votes: 37 8.9%
Back
Top