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  • #182981
    Skitso
    Participant
    @skitso
    Member

    Hey everyone!

    As you might have noticed, there’s a hot topic going on here and on vpforums about certain modder, his mods and what kind of improvements are considered “enough” to warrant a public release. With that in mind, I decided to start a new WIP. It’s something I’ve never done before, but maybe this will be an example of what making a proper mod takes…

    I downloaded the latest version available and made a quick visual check how it looked. It’s not actually that bad, but there are the usual issues like:

    • flat and boring overall lighting
    • overexposed insert lighting
    • low quality insert textures
    • low quality PF

    The first thing to do to a table like this is to extract the playfield texture and load it to an image editing software for a closer inspection. It’s important to have the PF texture as good as possible before messing with the insert lighting, as many of the issues people are having with their insert lighting is because of unsuitable textures. Often bad textures are compensated with too bright lighting that will give you an ugly overexposed end result. With good textures, a beautiful, balanced insert lighting is much easier to achieve. There are also a few tricks regarding insert lighting I’ll teach you later.

    Well, back to the PF texture… On a closer look it’s actually quite a lot worse than I thought:  the low resolution original image has been raped by first resampling it to 200%, then adding a hefty digital sharpening and finally saving the result in a lossy jpg format. Saving this is going to take a while…

    original1

    Removing most of the jpg artifacts is quite easy with edge preserving smooth, but the image will lose some definition and small details in the progress that needs to be hand painted back later. The bigger issue are the sharpening halos that are the bright lines seen around high contrast edges like between the fish’s black eyebrows and green skin. To get rid of those… it’s just pure, time consuming manual labor. Here’s an example of the same part of the playfield after edge preserving smooth, cleaning the sharpening artifacts by hand and adding back detail lost in the first step:

    redraw1

    Much better. I’ll continue this WIP with the redraw and post a new image every now and then… this’ll take a while, but the end result will be worth it. Keep tuned. :)

    10 users thanked author for this post.
    #182982
    bord
    Moderator
    @bord
    MembervipContributorModerator

    I CANNOT LIKE THIS ENOUGH:

    Look at what Skitso is doing re: edge halos. Instead of increasing them to make the playfield look sharper he is removing them. BECAUSE REAL THINGS DO NOT HAVE SHARPENING HALOS.

    Hey, I hate compression artifacts as much as the next guy but some clever use of noise and filters can tamp it down to a reasonable level. The real scourge upon the visual world is sharpening halos. And Skitso is a guy with the skills and finesse to know that they have to go, even though it is a painful process to remove them. So bravo, friend. You are a beacon of artistry and an example to many.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #182990
    cyberpez
    Participant
    @cyberpez
    Member

    I had to google what a sharpening halo was..  but yeah I hate those too ;-)

     

    Keep it up Skitso, I’d expect nothing else from a detail mod….  you know…  details

    #182999
    Sixtoe
    Participant
    @kiella
    Member

    Aye, I’ve seen a few upscaled and AI upscaled things and sometimes it can be pretty horrible, redrawing them by hand is sometimes the only way of doing it but it’s an incredibly laborious process, but when it’s done it always looks much better. I’m still learning and sometimes my lack of patience gets the better of me!
    Do you use a drawing tablet or a mouse? I find the mouse sometimes feels like it gets in the way…

    #183023
    TNT2
    Participant
    @tnt2
    Member

    Awesome! One of my favorite, and I think most difficult, tables.

    #183046
    robertms
    Participant
    @mophead
    Member

    This is a wonderful idea @skitso, excited to get a glimpse into your process. Perhaps all wannabe “modders” should bookmark this thread and take notes. I just hope this doesn’t slow down your other monster project??

    #183047
    Shannon
    Participant
    @shannon1
    Member

    I also appreciate a glimpse into your process and look forward to you posting more in this thread!

    #183054
    JR
    Participant
    @jfr1
    Member

    Wow, looking forward to following this!  @skitso ‘mods’ have me playing a few tables – looking at you MM! – that I’d previously barely spent time with.  Thanks skitso!

    cyberpez wrote:
    ‘I had to google what a sharpening halo was.. but yeah I hate those too ‘             …I pretty much have to google everything bord writes;)

     

    #183071
    Skitso
    Participant
    @skitso
    Member

    Do you use a drawing tablet or a mouse? I find the mouse sometimes feels like it gets in the way…

    Just mouse. I’m pretty used to do high detail stuff with mouse. I’ve started with Deluxe Paint and old school game pixel art and animation more than 25 years ago. :)

    #183073
    Skitso
    Participant
    @skitso
    Member

    I just hope this doesn’t slow down your other monster project??

    Not really. I’m pretty much done with MB (for now). At the moment it’s just waiting for a new mesh playfield from @bord and that’ll probably happen some time next week. After that it will go to @rothbauerw‘s physics and code factory to really get a new life.

     

    #183076
    Tom
    Participant
    @armyaviation
    MemberContributor

    We really need some more tutorials about stuff like this.  I had no idea there was much of a difference between jpeg, png, …. teach us o wise one!

    #183080
    Skitso
    Participant
    @skitso
    Member

    I had no idea there was much of a difference between jpeg, png, …. teach us o wise one!

    Well yeah, there is a difference, but to be honest, a jpg with it’s compression set to a minimum is good enough for pretty much anything regarding textures like this. It’s just that often (like in this case) the compression levels have been cranked to an unnecessarily high levels – and that will ruin the texture. Also, compressing it again and again will make it worse every single time the texture is saved.

     

    #183097
    ashleyb
    Participant
    @ashleyb
    Member

    I just hope this doesn’t slow down your other monster project??

    Not really. I’m pretty much done with MB (for now). At the moment it’s just waiting for a new mesh playfield from @bord and that’ll probably happen some time next week. After that it will go to @rothbauerw‘s physics and code factory to really get a new life.

     

     



    @skitso
    looking forward to this, your mods are fantastic.  Have you also got a Monster Bash update in the works?  Really looking forward to that if the case!

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by ashleyb.
    #183104
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    Just amazing, you come up with details I would never notice (without wearing glasses ;-). “Why should someone Mod an already perfect looking table?” I am thinking and in the end I am overwhelmed by the result – proven before. Maximum respect to your perfectionism! And big thanks for sharing it (I have to admit, most of the things I do not know what you are talking about, but I love to play it…lol)

    #183177
    Skitso
    Participant
    @skitso
    Member

    The middle part of the playfield is full of small detail and is very time consuming to fix. Lot’s of freehand drawing and referencing from images online. Especially the hand net was really a pain in the butt to do, but absolutely necessary to nail because it’s an insert light so making it now as perfect as possible will make my life easier when designing lights. More on that later. Here’s a quick image of the area before…  (click the images to full size)

    original

    …and after:

    fixed

     

    EDIT: ooops, just noticed I forgot the sock stripes. :)

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by Skitso.
    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #183186
    Shannon
    Participant
    @shannon1
    Member

    From someone that has redrawn playfields, I know how time consuming and tedious it can be to stare at all the details in a playfield( like those sock stripes). But, I love doing it as much as anybody. I am extremely glad that you, Bord, Flupper, Roth, Dark have decided to share your knowledge in these threads.  I think it pushes this hobby forward and helps new people see into the process and preservation of this hobby.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by Shannon.
    #183191
    robertms
    Participant
    @mophead
    Member

    And that’s why we love VPinball.com. Kudos to @randr for providing the environment and the moderators for keeping things in check. Don’t know why, but it’s hard to imagine this kind of stuff discussed in detail on other sites.

    #183193
    Tom
    Participant
    @armyaviation
    MemberContributor

    Hey, theres alot of graphics people chiming in on this thread, you guys might be VERY interested in something like this

    https://vpinball.com/forums/topic/cue-stern-1977-prototype-b2s-redraw-help/

    Hehe, sory, lol

    #183220
    Mr_H
    Participant
    @jhopwood
    Member

    Looks awesome Skitso! Love your mod’s – that’s what I call a mod. A significant visual upgrade and also things like physics to the point its actually pretty close to a new version. What a shit storm of a thread over on the other page abouts mods!

    Pumped to hear you have MB in the works, thats great news. That was the first vpinball table I played and got into because of.

    #183229
    Mr_H
    Participant
    @jhopwood
    Member

    Is there a wip thread of MB somewhere that I’m not seeing?

     

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