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.

 

22 Comments
  1. randr 2 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 2 years ago

    Nice Work, a great reference to have.

  3. Thalamus 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 years ago

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

          • Author
            Drybonz 2 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).

  5. MnHotRod 2 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 2 years ago

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

  7. Al 2 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 !!
    Cheers,
    al.

  8. Chaz 2 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 2 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 2 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 1 year 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months ago

    Thanks so much for this! Your work is appreciated.

    • randr 2 months 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

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