VPX Camera/Light Mode Tutorial

Camera/Light Mode is a great feature added to Visual Pinball as of version 10 (VPX).  It allows you to edit your backdrop POV (point of view) settings to your taste with the benefit of being able to see the changes you are making in real time.  This is, by far, the easiest way to adjust your table backdrop POV settings.  It’s so easy that once you have done it a couple times you can completely set up any table, in any orientation, to your taste in a minute or two.

To enter camera/light mode select it from the “table” menu in the VPX editor.  You can see that the keyboard shortcut is F6.  You can use the keyboard shortcut if you prefer.

Once you enter camera/light mode, you will see the settings in the upper left corner.  You change the values of the settings with your flipper buttons.  You scroll through the settings with your magna-save buttons.  Magna-save buttons can be assigned in the Preferences > Keys, Nudge and DOF menu in the VPX editor.

Use your magna save buttons to scroll to the “Layback” setting.  Use your flipper buttons to practice changing the layback settings.  A good setting range is usually around 40-70, but try to find whatever setting you like.  Here is a picture of a “zero” layback.  With this layback perspective you are looking directly down on the table.  Notice that you can only see the top of the drop targets.

Here is the same table with a high layback setting (70).  Notice that the perspective has changed.  We are no longer looking directly down on the table, but at an angle.  The fronts of the drop targets are visible.

The inclination setting is similar to layback, but will skew the perspective making the back of the table look smaller, or like it is further from you.  Experiment with both settings to find what works for you.

The X Scale setting will change how wide the table is stretched.

The X Offset will change the horizontal position of the table.

The Y Scale setting will change how tall the table is stretched.

The Y Offset will change the vertical position of the table.

Unfortunately, there is currently no setting within camera/light mode to change the table rotation from landscape to portrait, and vice versa.  If you download a table that is not rotated the way you prefer, we need to change it the old-fashioned way, before we enter camera/light mode, to make other changes.  Landscape is “270”.  Portrait is “0”.  Enter the setting you want here:

Other settings in camera/light mode, such as Z Scale/Offset and Light Emission, etc… can be considered “advanced” settings and for the most part will be used by table authors, or not at all… so they will not be covered in this tutorial.

Once you play with the camera/light mode settings and set up a couple tables it will be like second nature and you won’t know how you lived without it.  Don’t forget that you can also import and export your backdrop POV settings to share them!  Tutorial

Many thanks to toxie and fuzzel and everyone involved in the development of VPX for adding this great feature!

Please feel free to link to this tutorial any time there are questions about camera/light mode in other threads.


  1. randr 7 years ago

    Now that’s a blog post! Very nice! I will make a section for this and then will link to the section. Again very well done!

  2. Jesperpark 7 years ago

    Nice Work, a great reference to have.

  3. Thalamus 7 years ago

    Agree with Jesper. Your description is especially good because you don’t try to go to deep. Perfect match for the new users if you ask me.

  4. senseless 7 years ago

    Thanks, really nice explanation. But how do you get the settings to display in the left corner? I always get them sideways on the right top side of the screen which makes it difficult to read.

    • Author
      Drybonz 7 years ago

      Is your monitor rotated properly in Windows? If so, I have no idea… it should be in the top left by default. You may want to post that question to toxie and fuzzel over at VPF.

      • senseless 7 years ago

        In default the monitor is not rotated, this means if I start the pincab the screen is in landscape. All tables are rotated 270 to get full screen. I will drop toxie a message to see if I need to change something because I would love to have the settings in the left corner :).

        • Author
          Drybonz 7 years ago

          Now that I think about it, I always run my monitor in portrait orientation for VPX, so I have never actually seen where the settings are at by default in landscape. Is it sideways for other landscape users?

          • senseless 7 years ago

            I think that is the difference. I expect other landscape users also see the settings sideways.

          • Author
            Drybonz 7 years ago

            If that’s the case you have a few options… 1… obviously, you would just have to keep it like that. 2… ask toxie and fuzzel if they can rotate the text when it’s in 270. 3… change to portrait mode (0).

          • insert58815 4 years ago

            How do I use the old method to open the option to set the rotating screen on the right

  5. MnHotRod 7 years ago

    Nice work Drybonz. Question, and maybe this is advanced. When I installed Doctor Who, the upper portion of the playfield appears to have a lot of positive layback, and the lower portion of the playfield has a lot of negative layback. It’s like I’m looking at the playfield with a fish eye lens. What setting do I change so it looks normal?

  6. Patrick Delage 7 years ago

    Fantastic explication. For regular user like me. Just need starter option, not advance.

  7. Al 7 years ago

    Nice Cheers,
    I’m the idiot who changes settings then goes back to check quits out tweaks again till the grey square looks right then loads, quits out .. rinse wash repeat .. :) This’ll save a heap’o’time and it’s just been hiding there !!

  8. Chaz 7 years ago

    Is there any way to make the shift keys scroll through the settings? IOW holding the key down would continuously go through the setting numbers, instead of having to press the key 10 times to advance 10 numbers?

    • Author
      Drybonz 7 years ago

      There is not. It’s been requested with the VP team, but I have no idea if they will add it.

      • Author
        Drybonz 7 years ago

        As of VPX beta 10.3 this feature has been added. You just hold down the key to make fast changes. This feature is in beta (like everything in the beta versions), so if you notice problems or have suggestions make them to toxie and fuzzel in the beta thread at VPF.

  9. Micronaut 6 years ago

    I play in desktop mode and I always have to make adjustments, well, now the camera and the lighting can be configured in real time, now it is much better and faster to customize the tables, friends, visual pinball is at such a high level of progress that years ago we could not even dream, I’m certainly excited

  10. vogliadicane 5 years ago

    This is still such a precious tut. Not that I still need it, but it is worth gold for starters: makes something challenging so easy and clear to understand.

    • Author
      Drybonz 5 years ago

      Thanks… my original hope for this was that we would all have a place to direct questions by new guys so everyone wouldn’t be typing out the same answers over and over. So, hopefully, it has been useful in that way.

  11. PinballerinID 5 years ago

    Thanks so much for this! Your work is appreciated.

    • randr 5 years ago

      I think it’s taken this long for people to find these great write up’s I did make them front page in app so I hope more people read them as they are great references

  12. MydknyteStyrm 5 years ago

    For some weird reason the text on my settings is too small to read. It worked fine a while back but not it’s microscopic and illegible. Is there a font setting somewhere?

    • smellar 5 years ago

      I know it’s been a couple of months, but yes I found this too @MydknyteStyrm.

      Interestingly it seems to behave differently on a table-by-table basis. If I go into camera/light mode on High Speed the settings in the corner are fairly large and easy (for my ailing eyes!) to read, but if I do the same on The Getaway the settings are tiny. (I’d include a couple of screen captures to demonstrate, but it seems images can’t be added to thread replies)

      When switching back and forth between the two tables the behaviour is always consistent, so I’d surmise it must relate to a text/scale setting somewhere within the table files themselves.

  13. Author
    Drybonz 5 years ago

    Guys, the text size is in VP itself. You can ask toxie and fuzzel about it over in the VP beta thread at VPF… if I remember correctly, fuzzel already addressed this, and there was some reason it wasn’t going to change, but my memory is, generally, not to be trusted, so it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

  14. smellar 5 years ago

    I understand it’s within VP – was just corroborating MydknyteStyrm’s comment on text size and observing it changes from table to table in case somebody happened to jump in with a “here’s where that size can be configured” kind of comment :) I HAD checked at VPF and other forums previously, and this thread was the only one anywhere to make any mention of the varying text size.

    Incidentally the VP 1.6 beta thread mentions discusses moving the location of the text on screen (might be considered), and adding an in-game camera adjustment mode (can’t be implemented due to different rendering methods) but no mention of text size. So seems your memory can be trusted about as far as my own Drybonz! ;)

    Bringing things back to the original thread topic though, you put together an excellent tutorial here … was a revelation to me when I discovered VP had this feature! I’m certain you’ve collectively saved the community hundreds of hours of tweaking camera settings manually, so thank you from all of us :)

  15. Author
    Drybonz 5 years ago

    I’m glad you liked the tutorial, and I’m sure you can open discussion on this in the beta thread as far as text size if you would like to.

  16. Greynurse 4 years ago

    Fantasmagorical. I’m getting into properly looking “under the hood” or bonnet, if you’re a citizen of Trumpland. JP Salas set me on the path when I asked if there was a single way to rotate all my 700+ VPX tables for use in a cab. When he pointed out to go to video settings and check “Always use FS backdrop settings”, I suddenly realised I was overdue to get familiar with the nuts and bolts. Don’t think I will ever author a table from scratch (Primitives are still a mystery to me, but they sure are purty) but I would like to be a table mechanic to help others down the track.
    Thank you for this tutorial. A fine contribution to the community and my personal knowledge.



  17. kore64 4 years ago

    Thank you for this! I dont know how I have not run across this post before now…

  18. ssquires68 4 years ago

    Nice tutorial thank you, this clears up what exactly some of the POV settings are. One question because I always question myself if I’m setting up my POV as best as it can be. Does anyone have an optimal setting for most tables for a 40″ playfield standard size cab? I have used the POV files that are linked on the spreadsheet but wonder what those are configured for.

    Thanks in advance

  19. Diguelo 4 years ago

    Very nice and well presented tutorial.

    Only suggestion would be a less busy table playfield, but awesome never the less.

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