My tool for a nice looking DMD behind the glas of a grill on a system without a grill. ;)

This project was developed just for my setup. It closes a gap. There are amazing tables and nice backglasses, but the DMD is only nice looking, if you you use real cabinet. I made some directb2s and changed the DMD's transparency and played around with it allot. But the results don't look "real". The main reason is, that the DMD is above the backglass and not behind it. So I decided to code a small (9,8 MB are transparent graphics) c# gdi+ application for it.

1st layer is still the backglass.
2nd layer is the DMD. Now with a pixel based black border (backmask) from my tool.
3rd layer is the glow and glare of the glas.
4th layer is the grill-graphic.

How to install:
Extract the zip and start the DMDOverlay with admin privileges. (They are needed for analyzing the VPX window-processes.)

Layer demo video:

How it works:
When you start a VPX table while DMDOverlay is running, the DMD-window is recognized and a section is inserted in the configuration file (DMDOverlay.ini) in the application path. When the application finds your setup data for the recognized table, the overlay will be rendered in top of the DMD.

How to setup the table data
When you have already startet some vpx tables, then you get them listet in the setup window. Perhaps you have to reload the list once.

Now it's time to setup a table.
Select a recognized table (window process name).
Set the correct rom-name to enable the three Overlay-Modes and click "save".

Now you can choose ...

1) "Templates" are predefined grill-DMDglass combinations.
They're sized fullwidth and positioned via the top-position value on
the second screen. You can set brightness, glow-level and a
black backmask.

2) "External imagefile" has the same positioning but without
DMDglass. This must be part of the image.

3) "Glass only" is just the glass aligned on the DMD. You can adjust
an optional padding and the glow intensity. This is your mode,
if you want the DMD on a grill within a backglas.

Have fun.


Version 1.1 (25.10.2019):
  • Fileselect-dialog for external grillimages
  • Debug-Info for zindex

Version 1.2.1 (28.10.2019):
  • available romnames listed automatically
  • Pinball FX3 support (One grill for their tables. You must activate cabinet support to have the DMD on second screen. The grill is listed as "Pinball FX3".)

Project by

Profile Photo b4sti

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  1. hworths1545 3 weeks ago

    Can’t get the DMD to ‘go behind’ the DMD glass. IT appears on top of the DMD glass window. I am using Template mode and have tried author’s grills as well as standard (plastic, metal, silver, brushed metal, etc…) grills.

  2. BrandonLaw 3 weeks ago

    These look better than my real DMD! Great job.

  3. Blacksad 3 weeks ago

    Very interesting !

    Could we imagine to call an external folder for the grills overlay ? (not the included one’s ?)

    Could we image to do the same thing concerning no DMD machines ? (overlay on the 4 digitals scores and credits and ball in play display, for Eight ball Deluxe for example ?

  4. Blacksad 3 weeks ago

    Ok my fisrt question is stupid :) I think the option Glass only is made for this :)

    What about the second question for no DMD tables ?

  5. Author
    b4sti 3 weeks ago

    This could happen, if the DMD ist more aggressive in getting the top position. I’ve tested it only with the standard Vpinmame DMD, there it should work. Are you using another DMD-Emu like Freezy? Another aspect: If the settings-window is open, the DMD-Overlay is not at top-position until the settings-window is minimized again.

    My tool is only for DMD-Overlays. The digital scores (like Diner or other older classic tables) are mostly integrated in the directb2s-backglas.

  6. hworths1545 3 weeks ago

    I am using the Vpinmame DMD and am not using another DMD-Emu like Freezy. The settings window is minimized and the DMD will still not go behind the virtual glass. Any other ideas anyone?

    • Author
      b4sti 3 weeks ago

      My Setup is this: Newest VPX 10.6 beta, newest Vpinmame, newest Backglas-server.
      Because i’m using the pinup system, my settings are these:

      My DMDOverlay sets itself to top every second (if settingswindow is minimized).
      At your setup there must be something trying to set the DMD to top position more aggressivly.
      Do you use a directb2s backglas?
      There is an option for bringing it to top. I disabled it, because the backglas has to be the lowest window.
      If it is disabled, the DMD sets itself to top position only once. If you activate it by clicking, the DMD gets in top position too.

      You should try to play around with these things. If nothing helps, i can build you a version with a dominant topmost timer.

  7. Holt 3 weeks ago

    This looks promising. I would love to see some kind of layer effect like this produced for the zen pinball tables. Their DMD looks so bad.

    I tried this on Indiana Jones as pictured, but it put my DMD behind The B2S window so that I couldn’t see it at all. I couldn’t figure out a way to reset the table to default, so I ended up having to fully re-download and install the table to get the DMD working again. (Turned out to be a good opportunity to adjust the POV settings)

    I am using default DMD stuff and I’ve picked custom colors for the 4 color mix.

    I find the step during install where you have to type in your rom to be a little confusing. I assumed that with Indiana Jones that meant “ij_l7” but I don’t know if that is sufficient for that field. Having this be a totally open-ended field, with no verification seems bad. Am I meant to know the rom name for all 2 something of the table I use? Do I need to dig through each script to configure this overlay?

    For now, I’ll go back to the basic DMD till I see a little more on this.

  8. Holt 3 weeks ago

    Kay, update…

    While trying to get this to work, I ended up resetting the vpinball graphics settings to default.

    And then after reinstalling the Indiana Jones table, the overlay now works right. So I cannot really help identify what the problem was.

    So that Said, I realized that one reason I’m having trouble getting my Indiana Jones table to look like yours, is that you are using custom grille Art. It would be great if you would share a couple of your custom grille files so that I can get started making some of these. It would be really nice to have the program look at a folder for choosing these rather than have to type them all in (again thinking of scalability)

    If you haven’t already, I think It might be time to create a forum thread where people can share the flood of custom grilles that are sure to come.

    • Author
      b4sti 3 weeks ago

      @Holt, this is the first release. I coded it just for my setup. I just shared it for those with the same setup (2 screens) to try it out.

      In the romname field, there must be the romname for the used DMD.
      You’re right, there should be more validation code, more errorhandling code, more from all.
      Perhaps next holidays i can change things that useres report not working or integrate some usefull features.
      Your pulldown-fileselect suggestion will be included.

      I’ve uploaded the custom made Indiana Jones grill:

      Have fun.

  9. hworths1545 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for your reply.

    I confirmed that I have the latest versions of VPX 10.6 beta, newest Vpinmame, and newest Backglass-server installed.

    I am not using the PINUP system.
    I simply launch each table from my VPX directory in Windows 10 with no front end.

    I do use the Directb2s Backglass Server for displaying my backglass.
    I tried to disabled the DMD coming to the top in the Directb2s Backglass settings by right clicking on the backglass and disabling (unchecking) this option.because the backglas has to be the lowest window to appear behind the virtual glass in your DMD Overlay program.

    I still can not get the DMD Overlay program to work for me. I select the Windows table (i.e. Fish Tales, The Flintstones, and Medieval Madness) and then type in the ROM name for each table and SAVE. I am in Template Mode and I can see the grill templates that have been pre-designed for tables like Fish Tales and The Flintstones. However, I can not see any DMD glass effect, as my DMD window appears on the top.

    Also, if I select different grill overlays, such as Silver, Metal, Brushed Metal, or Rusty these do not appear. It always defaults to the special designed grill overlay instead.

    I have minimized the DMD Overlay program in Windows 10 and this does not help either.

    I am perplexed by what I am doing wrong???

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, as the pictures you posted of tables with this program running properly look awesome.

    • Author
      b4sti 3 weeks ago

      @hworths1545 your setup sounds absolutly correct. I wish that things would work out for you. We must seperate some things. If you can’t see the selected grilles, than something is wrong with DMDOverlay or it’s setup. The z-index (DMD is topmost) problem is something different.

      Is the DMDOverlay at the right screen?
      Is it at the selected top_position?
      Perhaps your DMDOverlay.ini is corrupted?

      Let’s try it together…

      Step by step for fishtales:
      01) Exit DMDOverlay (CLOSE the Setup window / not minimize)
      02) Delete the DMDOverlay.ini.
      03) Start DMDOverlay.exe with admin privilegs.
      04) Start VPX with admin privilegs
      05) Load fishtales / launch fishtales
      06) Quit fishtales
      07) Open DMDOverlay settings window
      08) reload list
      09) select “Fish Tales (L-5)” in the list
      10) Insert romname “ft_l5” (without quotes)
      11) click “save”
      12) select tab 1 “Template Grill” (Hint: If you click on another tab, the mode will change.)
      13) Choose template “SquareSpeakers”
      14) Choose style “Rusty”
      15) click “save” again

      Now you should open the DMDOverlay.ini with a texteditor and check the entries.
      You can post them here, if you are not sure.
      If everthing is ok, DMDOverlay works like aspected.

      16) Launch fishtales again

      Now Rusty Template should be on screen 2 (with the backglas and the DMD).
      If this is ok, we can look at the topmost-problem.

  10. Tom 3 weeks ago

    Man this is really cool. If I didn’t have a dmd screen this would look amazing

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