This topic contains 28 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Schreibi34 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #98271
     Jeremy 
    Participant

    Hey Guys, I am in the process of trying to figure out how to build / re-create tables.  Someone here once advise it is best to start with modding existing tables to see how things work and then go from there.

    So I decided to take a stab at just modding the lights on some tables.  I only did this for learning purposes and not to share with the community just yet.  I will obviously need to get the creators permission first.

    I decided to mod some of Loserman’s fantastic old Gottliebs.  First of all, I absolutely love his work on these tables.  But for some reason the lighting wasn’t quite right to me, so I took a stab at it.  I have attached an image of my most recent attempt, this is his 4-Square table that was recently posted.  Ultimately I would like a warmer lighting color, but I haven’t quite found it just yet.

    Attachments:
    #98282
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Looks good! But I’m no help with lighting as I don’t understand it either really.

    Currently playing around with FP to VP conversions. Nothing serious just trying to have fun.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #98284
     Thalamus 
    Participant
    ContributorMember

    @jeremy : You know. Its when you start poking around that this hobby really starts to be fun. Personally I prefer tables to be darker like Bord did show us in the original thread for this table. So, I would much rather see the light coming through on a darker play field. It is easier to evaluate the lighting you’ve done as well that way. But, I agree. It looks good. The problem with lighting tables is when your task all of a sudden revolves around drop targets. :wacko:

    #98286
     Jeremy 
    Participant

    @jeremy : You know. Its when you start poking around that this hobby really starts to be fun. Personally I prefer tables to be darker like Bord did show us in the original thread for this table. So, I would much rather see the light coming through on a darker play field. It is easier to evaluate the lighting you’ve done as well that way. But, I agree. It looks good. The problem with lighting tables is when your task all of a sudden revolves around drop targets. :wacko:

    Thank you for the feedback!  I will check out Bord’s comment.  Do you mean to say that the table as a whole should be darker which would make the lights stand out brighter?

    #98287
     Jeremy 
    Participant

    I saw Bord’s mod and it looks great.  I will have to learn this technique.  In the meantime here is a slightly darker version of the above.  I also added a bit of orange to the lighting to give a slightly warmer look.

    Attachments:
    #98289
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Well I have done a lot of lighting even on drop targets just look at joust table as example lots of drop targets and shadows/lights switching there.  The problem I have is understanding what all the settings in editor do for lights! Honestly I have never been happy with any lighting I’ve ever done.

    Funny this topic came up actually as I’m ready to give up on my jaws build because I’m not happy with guess what….the lighting!

    Currently playing around with FP to VP conversions. Nothing serious just trying to have fun.

    #98290
     Jeremy 
    Participant

    Well I started with light adjusting as I always just loved how pinball tables look.  I love the usually warm lighting, especially in a dark room… it just invites me in and gets me going.

    #98291
     Thalamus 
    Participant
    ContributorMember

    @jeremy : now we’re talking. This I’ve learned from Flupper, or maybe it was Bord.  Try 255, 180, 100 for natural light.

    @randr : I understand your frustration so well. If there is one thing I find hard to understand myself, it would be lighting. Can’t make it look good.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Thalamus.
    #98293
     Jeremy 
    Participant

    OK, I tried that color @thalamus and it looks great to me!  Below is with it applied.

    Attachments:
    #98295
     Thalamus 
    Participant
    ContributorMember

    So. Now its time for you to throw yourself over and improve your own collection to your liking. ;-)

    #98297
     bord 
    Participant
    Member

    @jeremy : now we’re talking. This I’ve learned from Flupper, or maybe it was Bord. Try 255, 180, 100 for natural light.

    Couldn’t have been me. I’m a 255, 214, 170 kind of guy.

    Seriously though, looking good @jeremy!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #98300
     Jeremy 
    Participant

    I have now updated “300” also by Loserman76.

    Attachments:
    #98303
     shiva 
    Participant

    That’s pretty nice. You sure can get some interesting effects if you just play around with the settings. Not just lights, but how the pf displays etc.

    #98329
     Schreibi34 
    Participant
    Member

    I made a little lighting tutorial for my 32a Hot Tip mod. It’s a bit outdated but should include helpfull hints.

    A couple of things that are not in the tutorial:

    Falloff = How big the visible light is (red circle in the editor)

    Falloff power = How fast the light fades towards the outer limit. Low number = big bright area in the middle fading quickly to the outer limit, high number = small bright area in the middle fading softly to the outside.

    The left colour is the light colour on a dark surface, the right one is for brighter areas. If you use a bright orange on the left, white with a touch of orange on the right and a Falloff Power of around 2,5 you will get a good realistic behaviour.

    One important thing with the lighting colour is, that you can not light something in a colour that is not in the resources. For example if you have a plastic with a fully red colour (rgb 256,0,0) you can not make the light comming through look like a warm red. It will look like a white’ish washed out red. No matter what light colour you choose! Same goes for insert lights. Pure yellow plus pure red light will not result in an orange insert. It will stay yellow!

    You can download Vector or Victory 2.0 to see how i have done it.

    Here is the old tutorial:

     

    I work as a CAD-Constructor in the german automobile design industrie. Sometimes i have to do renderings from my work for presentations. I’m far from perfect in this but i do know quite a bit about that lighting / shadow / material stuff. I looked at a couple of tables that were using obstructed lights. The problem was that the shadow area of the shaped light was way to dark because it’s just lights out right next to the full GI light. And the darker the setting of the table is, the worse it gets. Big lights make it worse too. When you look at a rendered picture you can see light reflecting and bouncing all over the place. Shadows are never completely dark on a pinball table and they are not as long. Only if you turn the roomlights completly off you will get those massive shadows.

    Just in case someone is interested i have written a little tutorial off what i have done. I have left you guys an example on my modded table on layer 7 to the right outside of the table. It’s a basic set of the 3 lights with an example of the triangle shadow to the center and the one that wraps around the post. The lights are preset to give you a good starting point for an environment emission scale of about 2-3 and the day-night slider about 1 increment from the left. This surely depends on the resources you are useing! Just copy the threepack to your table and experiment with it.

     

    Table grafics / materials are unchanged. Original 32A. Visually i just changed the lights. I used pictures of stripped playfields to position the lightsources.

     

    I am now using 3 lights per GI.

     

    1. A small one with high transmit (around 0,9 – and low intensity of about 3-4 depending on the plastic and personal taste) to show the light bulb through the plastic. Set the hight about 5 units below the plastic hight. If you want to use bigger lights on darker tables you need this to set a smaller highlight.

     

    2. Shaped / obstructed light with the rays being triangles with straight lines on the sides. The tip of the triangle ends in the center of the light source which makes it a lot easier to get a geometrical correct shadow (look at the template in layer 7). Select the obstructed light and ad 3 angled controlpoints next to each other by pressing F10. Pull the middle one to the center of the light. Be carefull. Don’t pull it over the middle because then the lightsource is under a shadow and the light turns off. Zoom in and make shure you stop before the centercross. Just pull the other two control points until the lines touch each side of the rubberpost.

    Now we have to make it look good for the DT users (thanks for wakeing me up, HauntFreaks). Wait with this step until you are sure that you have finished the tuning of your lights and shadows because scaling and readjusting the shadow after moving a light will benefit from the triangle shape.After you have finished the lighting add two more angled controlpoints (F10) where the shadowlines make contact to the rubberpost.Pull the controlpoint from the center to the post and make it smooth. Now you can wrap the shadow around the back of the post. You might need a second smooth control point (F11) to make it fit more perfectly around (this is also shown in the example on layer 7). Set this to a hight of about 0.5 because if you set it higher the viewing angle might cause an offset on the shadow.

    Transmit has to be set to zero for this light!

     

    3. Fully round GI that is at least 20% bigger (falloff) then the shaped light. Low transmit to light up the plastic the way you like it. Set the hight above the target hight and below the plastics. This light has a transmit value >0 and if you set it to let’s say 20 the targets will be lit from behind halfway up.
    The reflections on the ball will also benefit from this hight value because the ball will now be fully lit by the big lightsource. When set low, the ball will only be lit with the reduced transmit value.

     

     

    When you work with it, make sure you have at least two emty layers. Three would be better. Work with one threepack in let’s say layer 4 and use layer 5 and 6 for storeing so you can select single lightsets a bit easier. Chaos will make this a bad trip!

    You can play around with the values and balance everything to your likeing. A brighter shaped light will lead to more visible shadows. Also lowering the brightness of the fully round light will make the shadows more visible. Balancing is the key. You can also play around with falloff power to influence the fading of the shadows and for shure you can scale the size of the obstructed light to set the length of the shadows. If the triangles are centered correctly, the rays are not loosing contact to the rubber post when scaling.

    It’s important that the fully round light is at least 20% bigger (falloff) then the shaped one so the shadows fade into light. A falloff power of 2,5 is a good starting point for all lights.

    If you start to see things from the playfield through the plastics go to the material settings for the plastics and set opacity as high as about 0,998. On this table a opacity of 0,99 let’s me see stuff from under the plastic. This is because with this method there is a lot more light under the plastics.

    Baked in shadows might ruin the emersion of a dark table. They are usually rendered from gameroom/pub/arcade lights. Dark tables produce their shadows on a playfield level. Which means roomlights throw plastic shadows onto the playfield, GI lights throw it up to the ceiling. Only things that are lower then the light hight will produce shadows on the playfield. This table’s lighting has a mid to low overall brightness and a low opacity roomlight shadow would be the best choice for this setting. But sadly i don’t have the time and the knowledge to do ad this to the table.

     

    Ok, so much for now. I hope this was of some use for a couple of people. If hope my english was not too bad and you guys did understand what i was trying to say.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #98330
     Thalamus 
    Participant
    ContributorMember

    @schreibi34 : Good info like could in my opinion be pasted into a new wiki entry. It is something you might want to go back to and don’t mind someone improving upon.

    #98335
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Now this is some information we all need. Great stuff

    Currently playing around with FP to VP conversions. Nothing serious just trying to have fun.

    #98337
     Schreibi34 
    Participant
    Member

    I can write an updated and more detailed tutorial.

    Is there already a wiki where i can add this stuff? If not, somebody got to help me out where i should put this.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #98339
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    https://vpinball.com/wiki/visual-pinball-knowledge-base/

    Currently playing around with FP to VP conversions. Nothing serious just trying to have fun.

    #98547
     Schreibi34 
    Participant
    Member
    #98549
     Sliderpoint 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Lights are an opinion thing.  I do mine different than @schreibi34 describes.  And while it’s interesting to see how he does it, I would recommend people try different things and take bits and pieces from how different authors do it to find what they like.

    One thing that I will add to the info that you need to keep in mind is that the color on the left is the color that will be reflected on the ball as it passes by.  So if you set it to orange, an orange light will be reflected on the ball when it passes by even though it may not look that orange on the playfield.

    -Mike

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