This topic contains 46 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  miguelcerca 2 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #46131
     CarnyPriest 
    Participant
    Member

    This is for people who are not running a real DMD.

    For desktop/single display users hopefully you are using the built-in DMD renderer in VPX, but if you are also using VP9 and physmod then there should be useful information for you too.

    Some of the settings in the VPinMAME dialog have been there since the beginning, but not everyone knows what they do.

    Settings28b-1

    Display Antialias % is a sharpness adjustment but in its effect it provides a rudimentary setting for glow or bloom for each DMD pixel. Zero is completely sharp/no bloom. 100% and the glow from a single overlaps some of the adjacent pixels. The default is 50%. There is some consensus that the value should be lower for realistic direct view configurations. I have a p2k-style cab where the DMD is reflected onto the playfield glass. I actually set the value higher than the default.

    http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=8173&hl=

     

    Intensity – 66% 33% and Off – one definition is that there are four shades in the native VPinMAME renderer, three levels of on and then one for off. Intensity sets the value for each case. Well, except that there are three settings and not four. I’m not certain what these are in fact, but I’m thinking that it is a contrast/brightness setting for the difference between one level and the next. In any case, a non zero value for Off means that even when the pixel is not lit you can still see it a little bit. In terms of brightness, the VPinMAME display is not even close to a real DMD but to try to get as much brightness as possible users tend to increase at least 66% and 33% above the default values (67 and 33, respectively). Some discussion:

    http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=5140&hl=%2Bdmd+%2Bintensity#entry36108
    Compact display – excludes the empty spaces in between DMD pixels. Of course, the display can then be resized to fit. In some respect, the result could be viewed as a poor man’s ColorDMD LCD (without the hi-rez upscaling and antialiasing). Here’s an example. Check it out:

    http://vpuniverse.com/forums/forums/topic/2687-code-change-to-enable-sam-le-driver-board-support/?do=findComment&comment=31380

     

    Double Display Size and Display Opacity %. Not as much mystery here. I’d say these would be of interest to DT players. Instead of always having the display on the left side of the backdrop, you could enable Double Display Size then set Opacity and move the DMD over the top end of the table. It will look a bit like one of the display options on the old versions of Pro Pinball.

     

    What’s new with version 2.8?

    Most VPX users are aware of exclusive full-screen support and that it requires disabling DirectDraw (ddraw) in the registry. The upside is that some fixes were made and a new scaler added that makes getting great looking displays with no tiling or screen door artifacts so much easier to do. There are three sizes of DMD, each with native aspect ratios defined in the source code:

    standard 128×32 DMD -> 257×65

    128×16 DMD such as hook or tmnt -> 257×33

    Sega 192×64 DMD -> 385×129

    Achieving a pixel perfect display is now as easy as simply retaining these aspect ratios. They don’t have to be scaled up by integer factors. Any factor will do, then just round the width and height if needed. The display will look as it was intended to look. Cab users inevitably may have a bezel that is off for whatever reason. I think even for these users who are sizing to fit where the dimensions are not authentic, the new scaler will still produce good looking results.

    For those still using DirectDraw, let’s put it this way. VPinMAME uses DirectX 7 which is ancient. DirectDraw itself was ancient technology when DirectX 7 was current (15 years ago!). Time to move along. But DirectDraw was retained in case users have some sort of performance issue.

    Version 2.8 includes a modular driver solution for real DMD users. Also included in the stand alone package is an experimental single file solution that supports all of the available real DMD controllers. It’s freezy’s implementation based on his dmdext program. The happy by-product is that the solution also supports an alternate virtual DMD renderer. What does this mean?

    1. Dots for DMD pixels. VPinMAME renders DMD pixels as squares which is a reasonable approximation for plasma displays. Dots are a reasonable approximation for LED displays. For those that are sticklers for accuracy, Stern started switching from plasma to red LED displays around Tron’s production run and have been using them up to the new Batman 66 table.
    2. Renders up to 16 shades. VPinMAME is limited to four shades which works for most tables but Alvin G used six shades and Stern SAM 16 shades. VPinMAME was downsampling in order to display these systems. A lot of detail gets lost.
    3. Support for 16 shade color palettes. Most people know about VPinMAME support for four color palettes. It works well for WPC, Data East, Sega, and Stern Whitestar among other systems. It worked not at all for Gottlieb System 3 or Stern SAM. Palette files developed with the Pin2DMD editor work for all of these different systems.
    4. Full color DMD support (reminiscent of ColorDMD). Allows those without a Pin2DMD setup to now enjoy full color patched game code developed using the Pin2DMD editor or Pinball Browser/SmartDMD.

    How do you do it?

    Installation – In the stand alone official VPinMAME package copy the contents of folder DMDext to the VPinMAME folder on your hard drive.

    Overwrite with the latest version of the dll which as of today is

    http://vpuniverse.com/forums/forums/topic/2728-sam-build-with-modular-dmd-drivers-for-pindmd123-and-pin2dmd/?do=findComment&comment=33165

    For whatever rom you want to use the new renderer go the Settings dialog and disable Show DMD/Display window and then enable Use external DMD (dll).

    You can adjust the size and position of the display either by editing DMDDevice.ini -or- by starting VPinMAME either by using Setup.exe -> Test or by running its table in VP. Drag the display where you want it and resize using the grip visible in one corner of the display.

    Color palette support – lucky1 uploaded a collection of palette files here with instructions:

    http://vpuniverse.com/forums/files/file/4371-color-palettes-collection/

    A couple of other palette files that might be interesting

    http://vpuniverse.com/forums/files/category/86-pin2dmd-color-palets/

    Full color game code projects

    http://vpuniverse.com/forums/files/category/87-table-support-files/

    Follow the directions included with each project. They are all Stern SAM projects so you definitely have to use the unofficial SAM build

    Also requires the following tool to patch the official Stern game codes sets available at sternpinball.com

    http://vpuniverse.com/forums/files/file/4400-bsdiff-bspatch-for-windows/

    As mentioned earlier, this is very experimental, bleeding edge tech. Not always reliable in my experience. For me a crash requires a cold reboot, but it is already very promising. I’ve already switch all my SAM tables to use the new solution.

     

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    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #46253
     roar 
    Participant
    Member

    So this is a rather amazing post! This info should be added to the tool tips for the hover over on each of those fields! Thanks for compiling this.

    #46254
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Yeah how did I miss this post!? Very informative!

    ********************************************************
    Messing with the VPinball app and push notifications.
    So if you haven't downloaded app yet what are you waiting for!?
    *******************************************************

    #48324
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Help!

    Trying to get this to work.  See if I’m getting these steps right

    1. put Dmddevice.dll in same folder as vpinmame.dll
    2. Put Dmddevice.ini is the same folder
    3. download the alt color zip and put the altcolor file in the same folder as dmddevice.dll
    4. open vpinmame (at least the 2.8 version) setup and check enable external dmd
    5. do I check the colorize dmd box?

    When I do steps 1-4 or 1-5, I get nothing.  Just usual orange dmd

    Do I need to download specific color roms or do that patch thing to make it work, or do the palettes work on their own?

    I’m using an lcd monitor for dmd.  Any help would be appreciated.  I’m dizzy from reading all the forum posts and feel lost.

    I used the default values in the dmddevice.ini (virtual dmd enabled = true)

    #48325
     TerryRed 
    Moderator
    MemberContributorModerator

    Help! Trying to get this to work. See if I’m getting these steps right

    1. put Dmddevice.dll in same folder as vpinmame.dll
    2. Put Dmddevice.ini is the same folder
    3. download the alt color zip and put the altcolor file in the same folder as dmddevice.dll
    4. open vpinmame (at least the 2.8 version) setup and check enable external dmd
    5. do I check the colorize dmd box?

    When I do steps 1-4 or 1-5, I get nothing. Just usual orange dmd Do I need to download specific color roms or do that patch thing to make it work, or do the palettes work on their own? I’m using an lcd monitor for dmd. Any help would be appreciated. I’m dizzy from reading all the forum posts and feel lost. I used the default values in the dmddevice.ini (virtual dmd enabled = true)

    Do you have the palette files in your “VPinMAME \ altcolor” directory?

    Are your all DMDext files in the main VPinMAME directory? Are they ALL “unblocked” ?

    Try copying the same DMDext files into your “Windows\SysWow64″ and your Windows\system32” directories and see if that helps.

    Yes I have colorize enabled.

     

    The “palette” files will work like the normal “colorize” option used to….though for me the palette files ALWAYS would work no matter what. (i had to remove the files for the games I didn’t want to use those palette files). Without a palette file you can still use your own 4 colours for each game.

    Do you have pretty dots at all?

    #48326
     Jesperpark 
    Participant
    Member

    Answer to #5 check the colorize DMD box as well.

    #48327
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Terry,

    1. my palette directory setup looks like this:
      1. Vpinmame/altcolor/[table rom name]/pin2dmd.pal.  example: attack from mars ” Vpinmame/altcolor/afm_113b/pin2dmd.pal
    2. what are dmdext files?  Is this the dmddevice.dll or something else?  I downloaded this file from Freezy’s post in vpu.  Is it just one dmddevice.dll or several ( I saw in the latest Vpinmame/Sam beta there are dmddevice.dll in folders named “pin2dmd” pindmd1, pindmd2, and pindmd3.  Are those what you are talking about?

    Unfortunately, I think I am getting lost on these two points.  First, the structure of the altcolor file path and what the term dmdext means.

    #48328
     TerryRed 
    Moderator
    MemberContributorModerator

    I think your palette files are correct.

    When I say DMDext files, I mean:

    DmdDevice.dll

    DmdDevice.ini

    DmdDevice64.dll

    DmdDevice.log.config

    It’s Freezy’s files you want, as he is the one who makes DMDext which works with virtual DMDs

    Try putting those in your “Windows\SysWow64″ and your Windows\system32” directories. Make sure they are unblocked….ALL of them.

    Make sure you have the newest VPinMAME, and the newest DMDext dll files.

    You should be getting nice “dots” at the very least with a resizable window.

    Make sure all of your VPinMAME files are running as admin, and also make sure they are all unblocked as well.

    #48335
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    In VisualPinball/vpinmame directory I have

    dmddevice.dll, dmddevice64.dll, dmddevice.ini, altcolor folder (inside are the palettes)

    I am using vpinmame 2.9, the most recent beta version on vpu

    I put dmddevice.dll and dmddevice64.dll in their respective windows system folders

    I still do not get any color.  Just the usual orange dmd.

    Not sure what I am doing wrong.  Will the color dmd’s show up on vp9, physmod, and vpx?

    They should show color during the test, right?

     

    #48336
     TerryRed 
    Moderator
    MemberContributorModerator

    The test never worked good for me back when I set mine up, but I think that has changed.

    Not sure why you don’t have colour…it may be the version the DMDext’s DLL’s that you are using. I know some of the newer ones had an issue with colour (only showing orange)…not sure if that was fixed. I haven’t updated mine in a while.

    The big question is…. is it working at all? Are you getting DOTS?

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #48337
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Terry,

    not sure what you mean about dots…I guess not…little squares are what are making up the dmd

     

    #48338
     TerryRed 
    Moderator
    MemberContributorModerator

    Terry, not sure what you mean about dots…I guess not…little squares are what are making up the dmd

    Then I think its not working at all if you are still getting the “square pixels from PinMAME” instead of “DMDext’s nice crisp clean dot pixels”. Check to make sure that it is not running under your playfield,etc…. especially if you are in exclusive full screen mode.

    #48340
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Yeah, not sure what else to do.  I changed the ini with the x and y that I use for pinballX and that didn’t make a difference.  I don’t think it is running in the background.  All I need is the .dll’s and vpinmame?  is there anything else?  How is best way to check if under playfield?  I think I checked, but you never know.  Bummer, your setup looks so good…well, guess I’ll stay old school orange for a while.

    #48347
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    So, gave up last night and read over things this morning.  I didn’t realize that you have to set “use external dmd” for each individual rom.  So I tried this and got the following error : cannot find pin2dmd.  So I’m guessing that vpinmame is searching for external dmd but not finding devicedmd.dll.  I may try a different version of dmddevice.dll, but pretty sure mine is up to date.  I don’t need to have pin2dmd running for an lcd monitor, do I?

    #48349
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    One more question.  For those who have this working using a monitor for a dmd, what do you have enabled on your dmddevice.ini?  Just the virtual dmd or all, or something else?  Also, does this just work with patched “color roms” or with the regular roms that I see in the altcolor folder from Lycky1?

    #48371
     CarnyPriest 
    Participant
    Member

    Under the VPM settings for the rom:

    1. disable Show DMD/Display window
    2. enable Use external DMD (dll)
    3. enable Colorize DMD (4 colors)

    in the dmddevice.ini:

    1. [global] colorize = true
    2. [virtualdmd] enabled = true

    and set your position for the virtual dmd position

    regular roms with an altcolor pal file are colored much like the VPM four color palettes (except that the system can support 16 color palettes for SAM)

    patched roms enable full color frame modification (like ColorDMD). They also need an altcolor pal file.

    I would test functionality first with a WPC rom before moving to SAM support. It seems to me to work better without crashing with WPC.

     

    #48374
     Thalamus 
    Moderator
    ContributorMemberModerator

    C:\Visual_Pinball\VPinMAME\altcolor\abv106\pin2dmd.pal

    C:\Visual_Pinball\VPinMAME\DmdDevice.dll ( and DmdDevice.ini and DmdDevice.log.config )

    Start setup.exe -> Choose Test -> Airborne ( abv106 ) -> checked = Use external DMD, checked = Colorize DMD ( 4 Colors )

    Does anything happen now ?

    I should add that there is a newer dmddevice.dll from freezy over at VPU that you probably should try out anyway ( couple of hours old )

    If you have the colored roms and your VP is updates high enough ( which it sounds like ) you should get a colored DMD.

    The Dmddevice.ini isn’t really needed to get this to work. By default it will probe and try to find pin2dmd, pindmd[1,2,3]. Its there to prevent the constant probing.

    AND if you want to be very cool, show off your DMD to the rest of the word. Without the *.ini – that will NOT be possible. The dll will not try to stream without that info. So, in a way, the *.ini is required for both streaming and recording.

    • uh just now saw that your probably don’t have external, well, leave that one off then. Still – by default – the *.ini will turn on virtual + all DMD it finds, so I leave the info here for maybe someone else having issues.
    #48377
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Thanks a lot for your input guys.  I’ll give it a try when I get home today.  I also finally found roar’s guide and will try with those dll’s too.  I’ll test it tonight and let you know!

    #48388
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    :yahoo:

    God bless you people!!!  I’m looking at the prettiest little colored dots EVER!  I think it was a combination of incorrect vpinmame and/or dmddevice.dll.  For the next folks giving this a try, I highly recommend Roar’s guide along with thalumus’ testing and file placement.  Roar’s guide is on page 13 of the thread in vpu (trust me, I read them all!)

    So, anyone want to pm me some colored roms so I don’t die trying to figure out that bin patch system?

    #48412
     Dr.Tom 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Curious if anyone else has this issue.  But. After I load and play a game with the color dmd, it will then crash every time I try to start a new table.  I’ve got the dll’s in my system folders.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll try them out in the vpinmame directory.   Or try the newer dmdevice.dll.

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