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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 2476
Location: Arkansas, USA
I have learned a few things about the set up of shadow maps that I thought I would pass on:

Once I get the code for the shadow maps in the script, I make adjustments to the parameters there and then play the table to see the result. I don't know why but I often get lights turning off and other odd things happen when I make changes to the shadow map option in the BAM menu. Does this happen to anyone else?

I temporarily replace the playfield texture with a white texture. You can see the shadows more clearly this way. It helps to adjust the parameter for brightness with the white playfield.

The shadows for the slingshots look best when they are symmetrical to each other. A very slight movement of a light can change the placement of the shadow quite a bit. If you move a light without changing a parameter for the shadows in the script, you need to delete the ZIP file in the cache or it will load the same map.

The slingshots seem to look best with 2 lights so that each one is behind one of the the 2 metallic strips that are on the front of the rubber.

When I position the 2 lights in the slingshots where they cast the best shadows, the inlane sometimes ends up being too bright. I found you can add a wall in a half circle around the back side of the light and then adjust the transparency of the wall so it illuminates the inlane correctly. You can see the wall under the slingshot when you play the table but it just looks like a post and part of the hardware that is under it.

Shadows seem to look best with bulbs and not flashers.

The brightness of the shadow appears to be completely independent of the glow radius of the light itself. ...So you need to adjust each separately so they look correct together.

Set the parameter for Reflections to 0 unless you are adding a map to a colored light. If you set Reflections above 0 on a light that is white or off white, the playfield will look washed out.

George


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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 2476
Location: Arkansas, USA
GeorgeH wrote:
When I position the 2 lights in the slingshots where they cast the best shadows, the inlane sometimes ends up being too bright. I found you can add a wall in a half circle around the back side of the light and then adjust the transparency of the wall so it illuminates the inlane correctly. You can see the wall under the slingshot when you play the table but it just looks like a post and part of the hardware that is under it.


I need to amend this slightly. After having following Gimli's directions above and saving the TGA file to the texture manager, I deleted the walls and found I didn't need the walls anymore (one of Francisco's ideas).

Also, I added the following comment to the script above the shadow map section so I can identify the name of the field and value range. You may need to add some spaces after the quotation mark depending on how long the names of the lights are on your table. I find I can add new maps and make changes easier to multiple lights at the same time in the script. If I use the online method of making changes, I have to reboot the game anyway because it turns lights off and occasionally even turns them red. I do have to use the "Save as TGA" option online. I found you can use this option on any individual shadow map and it will save all the shadow maps on the table as a TGA file.

Code:
'                                                             Spotlight  White   
'                         Amount, Passes, Radius, Brightness, Range      Light   Reflection
'                         4-2000, 1-10,  .1-20,   .001-1000, .001-10, .0001-10, .0001-10


I found on "Reflection" that you can enter 0 even though the minimum entry is supposed to be 0.0001.

George


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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 2476
Location: Arkansas, USA
Well I need to amend what I said about the "Reflection" option on shadow maps. I couldn't figure out a use for it earlier because it makes the playfield texture look washed out. Then I got an idea from the Futurama table and created shadow maps for lights that turn on the ball hits a slingshot. I used the "Reflection" option to make a flash of light that radiates out onto the playfield. When you use the "Reflection" option like this, the playfield is supposed to look washed out for a brief period during the hit event. I'm not sure I would call this a shadow map but it is an effect that works.

I have found that the "Reflection" option works on any table. Unfortunately, I have found that you may not be able to see shadows using the other shadow map options if the playfield texture does not have areas of solid color. The playfield texture for Slamt1lt's version of the Star Trek table has vast areas of solid color and so the shadows are quite prominent. I only produced about 6 shadow maps on Funhouse because the playfield texture only has a few areas of solid color. I could not see shadows at all on Monster Bash because the playfield has no areas of solid color.

George


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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:29 am
Posts: 617
I have the same problem in other tables. For example Indians Jones by Williams.
I've tried to change the pf image with the classic p1 beachwood but no shadows at all... So I don't think is an area of solid color problem.

For ij, the same image in a newtable has the shadow....
Have you found a solution George.?

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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:36 pm
Posts: 2810
Location: Ontario, Canada
You have to delete all fake PFs as they block shadows and use Bam swap playfield texture code instead if you wish differently shaded images

Remove all overlays that are being used as fake pfs


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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 2476
Location: Arkansas, USA
I don't think Monster Bash has any fake playfields. I asked Rav about it and he said Monster Bash has too much contrast on the playfield texture for shadows to work. The shadows are there but you just can't see them. You can see them if you replace the playfield with a solid white playfield. Rav said there are some tables where shadows just don't work. I reworked the playfield on MB with one that has less contrast. I found that a few shadows do appear now but they are still not as good as what I would like. I will be done with the changes I am making to MB tomorrow. I have decided I am not going to add any more shadow maps to MB. I will send it to both of you so you can experiment with it. I don't think reducing contrast of the playfield texture just to get better shadows is a very good option myself. I think the original MB playfield had too much contrast on it to begin with.

On IJ, the light must be attached to the playfield or you don't see any shadows at all. The surfaces that are added are usually only 0.1 above the playfield but that is enough for the shadows to not work. Gimli managed to get IJ to produce some nice shadows but going through all he did to make it work is pretty formidable. For the bulbs that you want shadows, you might try stacking bulbs on top of each other so that you have a bulb attached to each surface that is used as a playfield. Then set up shadow maps for each bulb that you saved to the different layers. You would have to generate a lot of shadow maps but it might work. It is an idea I had while writing this and haven't tried it yet.

George


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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 4:48 am 
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GeorgeH wrote:

On IJ, the light must be attached to the playfield or you don't see any shadows at all. The surfaces that are added are usually only 0.1 above the playfield but that is enough for the shadows to not work. Gimli managed to get IJ to produce some nice shadows but going through all he did to make it work is pretty formidable....

George


What do you mean with "light attachet to the playfield"?
as all other tables flasher and bulbs are attached to the playfield, but I want to put even the ambient light shadow


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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 8:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:36 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
I removed the fake PFs on MB a while back


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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 7:28 pm 
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There's no fake pf on Indiana Jones

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 Post subject: Re: Shadows on playfield.
 Post Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 2476
Location: Arkansas, USA
monnezzas wrote:
GeorgeH wrote:

On IJ, the light must be attached to the playfield or you don't see any shadows at all. The surfaces that are added are usually only 0.1 above the playfield but that is enough for the shadows to not work. Gimli managed to get IJ to produce some nice shadows but going through all he did to make it work is pretty formidable....

George


What do you mean with "light attachet to the playfield"?
as all other tables flasher and bulbs are attached to the playfield, but I want to put even the ambient light shadow


You can attach a light to any surface. My idea was to attach a light to each of the surfaces that is being used like a playfield. That way a shadow should be produces for what surface is being used as a playfield.

Another way would be to use BAM's texture swapping and delete all the extra surfaces being used as playfields. I have never done it but my understanding you can swap different playfield textures which would make adding the extra lights unnecessary.


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