(Topic ID: 120381)

ColordDMD vs PMD SmartDMD comparison


By Aurich

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Jodester
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There are 414 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 9.
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#151 4 years ago

Just an update everyone, I think both platforms will continually update. I know for a fact that the AC/DC shown from SmartDMD is being tweaked as we speak. I have said it a few times, there are pros and cons to both systems but what it really comes down to is preference on the artists work. One thing that Smart DMD has as an advantage is that if you buy one and decide that you want to make small changes is relatively easy.

And for what its worth the upscaling on both platforms looks like crap. The art was drawn as a dot, turning it into a blob is not an upgrade IMO

As always YMMV

#152 4 years ago
Quoted from jamieflowers:

One thing that Smart DMD has as an advantage is that if you buy one and decide that you want to make small changes is relatively easy.

To be clear, you cannot edit the way things are colored on the PMD SmartDMD, you can only change the colors someone else added to the dots.

So you can shift red to blue, but you can't go in and change the way one particular dot is colored without changing the rest. In other words you can edit palettes, but not frames.

#153 4 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Just found this thread and so much to take in...
I've been a Color DMD fan since the beginning.. hard to consider something else at this point.
My ACDC Color DMD is shipped and on the way..
Tonight I upgraded my MM Color DMD to 3.0 and LOVE the choice of display options now. I put it on the HIRES and love it! If ACDC is looking this good, I'm gonna' be blown away.
My camera can't capture how it truly looks.
DSC_0072.JPG (Click image to enlarge)

I have six videos posted on Youtube of my ColorDMD in the HighRes format if you want to take a look at those. I have them titled as Color DMD 3.0 HighRes . I really like the look of them. For me it took some time of getting used to.

https://www.youtube.com/user/pinballsupernova/feed?view_as=public

3.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
6.jpg
7.jpg
2.jpg

#154 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

To be clear, you cannot edit the way things are colored on the PMD SmartDMD, you can only change the colors someone else added to the dots.
So you can shift red to blue, but you can't go in and change the way one particular dot is colored without changing the rest. In other words you can edit palettes, but not frames.

Still better then not being able to edit anything at all IMO. If ColorDMD gave the option to change the colours, it would be the clear winner hands down. But I'm leaning more towards SmartDMD because of this colour changing feature.

#155 4 years ago
Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

Still better then not being able to edit anything at all IMO. If ColorDMD gave the option to change the colours, it would be the clear winner hands down. But I'm leaning more towards SmartDMD because of this colour changing feature.

ColorDMD looks so good there is nothing to change...

#156 4 years ago
Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

Still better then not being able to edit anything at all IMO. If ColorDMD gave the option to change the colours, it would be the clear winner hands down. But I'm leaning more towards SmartDMD because of this colour changing feature.

Sure, if you dig that then go for it. I just feel like people are confused a bit about what you can and can't edit. Mike is (understandably) locking his product down, it's not freely editable like if you just fired up Pinball Browser and started coloring yourself.

#157 4 years ago

Slightly off topic, I think that the upscaling give the displays a cool, modern, retro look like Crossy Road or Flappy Bird.

Only seen ColorDMD with dots in person - very awesome. Disappointing looking at an old DMD after.

#158 4 years ago
Quoted from jamieflowers:

The art was drawn as a dot, turning it into a blob is not an upgrade IMO
As always YMMV

4K video is still 'dots' too. But it looks pretty darn good.

#159 4 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Just found this thread and so much to take in...
I've been a Color DMD fan since the beginning.. hard to consider something else at this point.
My ACDC Color DMD is shipped and on the way..
Tonight I upgraded my MM Color DMD to 3.0 and LOVE the choice of display options now. I put it on the HIRES and love it! If ACDC is looking this good, I'm gonna' be blown away.
My camera can't capture how it truly looks.
DSC_0072.JPG (Click image to enlarge)

How do I get v3.0 on my MM color DMD?

#160 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

How do I get v3.0 on my MM color DMD?

download it to a USB stick.

directions are on the ColorDMD website.

#162 4 years ago

Concrete, I had to get a key before doing the upgrade for my MM. I bought the DMD when it first came out so maybe you won't have to, but my DMD installed in the MM was one of the first versions that ColorDMD issued. The older DMDs needs a key to upgrade. I believe the other DMDs that needed a key in my collection was AFM and TAF. Good luck with the upgrade.

This was taken from the ColorDMD website about upgrading the older ColorDMD.

Displays purchased prior to May 2013 were locked using a game-specific unique 16-bit product key. This key has been replaced with a non game-specific unique 32-bit product key that allows customers to reconfigure displays using the supported library of SIGMA and multicolor ROM files. To use these files, you must first obtain a new 32-bit product key by sending an email with a photo of the display's COLORDMD INFO screen to
sigma-key@colordmd.com.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Website: www.PinballSupernova.com

Blog: http://pinballsupernova.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pbsupernova?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PinbalSupernova

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYkP5URZoS8NApETWc7uBmA/feed?view_as=public

#163 4 years ago

Aurich, thanks for this excellent post and deep discussion as I'm in the market for a color DMD for my AC/DC Premium.

At this point in the post and based on what I've read, I would be inclined to purchase the colorDMD product. Points made: more experience and established, better shading, code updating process, plug and play, to name a few. Certainly, garnering more votes, but who's counting?

However, based on what I see and what my eyes prefer, I'm leaning towards the smartDMD product. Why? Although they have less experience, their product is less expensive (a difference maker maybe?), slightly brighter, more contrast or detailed, and customizable.

#164 4 years ago
Quoted from DevilsTuner:

Smoothing is a hype train. It looks like shit. But if you want your dmd to look like a blob of crap at 20fps more power to you lol. It looks terrible on classic video game remakes and it looks terrible now on pinball. But options are options.

There's a fantastic white paper titled "Depixelizing Pixel Art" from 2011 published here:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/kopf/pixelart/

teaser_nearest_small.pngteaser_ours_small.png

A lot of the capabilities come down to the algorithm used and the processing power available at run-time to the up-scaling code.

#165 4 years ago

This choice may be best summarized by the old joke about the two Bulls on a hill, my best advice would be to wait a bit and see them both in action, but man, it's tempting to get one now (I'm sort of leaning towards smartdmd) if metallica is done by PAGG I'm hoping they'll have one on display there.

#166 4 years ago

Now, at the risk of sounding like a teenager, there is going to be a market for whichever product will allow for and/or offer 'adult' colorization files/roms/firmware.

Panties, bras, bikinis, skirts... can be 'removed' by the artist when coloring the title. Changes during coloring could also add them to make a title less 'adult.'

Makes me wonder how much NVRAM is onboard the ColorDMD board. Enough for two colorization ROMs to be uploaded with a menu option to be able to toggle between them? 'Regular' and 'adult'? We used to do this back in the 8-bit days by doubling the size of the EPROM and then bank-selecting between the two code-sets by grounding/un-grounding the high address line of the EPROM with a toggle switch

-Brian

#167 4 years ago
Quoted from bstyles:

There's a fantastic white paper titled "Depixelizing Pixel Art" from 2011 published here:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/kopf/pixelart/
teaser_nearest_small.pngteaser_ours_small.png
A lot of the capabilities come down to the algorithm used and the processing power available at run-time to the up-scaling code.

If someone pulls this off that would be awesome

#168 4 years ago

Here's a dumb question: is it impossible for these companies to say, "hey potential customers, we have X amount of artists on our team and here are the tentative dates for these titles to be released". Is that crazy of me to want that information?

#169 4 years ago

I'm sure everyone would like that but then there's a two edge sword, of for some reason they can't be done with something by the advertised date people will complain.

Oh and quick, someone get the guy that published that white paper into helping organize a colorization crew

#171 4 years ago

Sorry but that's not the case. I asked mike directly about this and he said the pallete could be customized but the frame could not. He mentioned that his code was locked. Aurich is correct. Ask mike

#172 4 years ago
Quoted from bstyles:

There's a fantastic white paper titled "Depixelizing Pixel Art" from 2011 published here:
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/kopf/pixelart/
teaser_nearest_small.pngteaser_ours_small.png
A lot of the capabilities come down to the algorithm used and the processing power available at run-time to the up-scaling code.

Hey Brian,

Since the images aren't dynamic, why would the up-scaling need to be done at run-time? Seems like they could be computed/compiled/stored prior to gameplay (assuming you have enough memory to hold the higher res images). I have no idea what processors are available @ runtime on a pinball machine, but assume they are more modest than the processors on our desktops/servers.

snaroff

#173 4 years ago
Quoted from anubis2night:

I'm sure everyone would like that but then there's a two edge sword, of for some reason they can't be done with something by the advertised date people will complain.
Oh and quick, someone get the guy that published that white paper into helping organize a colorization crew

Well throwing out that tentative word as a disclaimer would prevent me from being upset if they were delayed and if they finish before the date well then Merry Christmas.

#174 4 years ago

Agreed, and personally always fine with delays in ventures like this as it usually means a better product but I can see how it could keep people from wanting to lock themselves into a written date.

For metallica it sound alike Mike wants to be done soon, colordmd may be longer out there. Not sure of other upcoming titles where the two companies have an overlap

#175 4 years ago
Quoted from snaroff:

Hey Brian,
Since the images aren't dynamic, why would the up-scaling need to be done at run-time? Seems like they could be computed/compiled/stored prior to gameplay (assuming you have enough memory to hold the higher res images). I have no idea what processors are available @ runtime on a pinball machine, but assume they are more modest than the processors on our desktops/servers.
snaroff

Hi Steve,

I suggested the concept of pre-upscaling to Randy a while back. Beforehand, I confirmed that Rick (PPS) has the source code to the games and would license it for this purpose). When I spoke to Randy about this concept he informed me that not all frames are simply static. There are, for lack of a more appropriate term, 'sprites' which move across static frames (this was short conversation and I am sure the colorization guys could elaborate better).

Even with sprites, there could be a means to achieve this ultimate upscaling approach. It would make sense to see this first attempted with a P-ROC where you have all the assets at your disposal. Perhaps once a proof of concept is achieved by pre-upscaling all the static frames and storing that to ROM and then still upscaling the sprites at runtime, we might see even better results.

Hey, you know as well as I do that you need to save something for "version.next"

#176 4 years ago
Quoted from anubis2night:

I'm sure everyone would like that but then there's a two edge sword, of for some reason they can't be done with something by the advertised date people will complain.

Pro-tip: Under-promise and over-deliver.

#177 4 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

Here's a dumb question: is it impossible for these companies to say, "hey potential customers, we have X amount of artists on our team and here are the tentative dates for these titles to be released". Is that crazy of me to want that information?

IMO, what would be even better would be to offer an interactive web-based voting and pre-order system on the company website.

Stage 1 - allow visitors to vote for which titles they'd like to see colorized.

Stage 2 - for the titles that reach a certain threshold of votes from stage 1, the system would move those titles into a finalist group and allow visitors to place pre-orders with a minimal down-payment, say $50-$100? (only refundable if title doesn't get released for some reason). If I were at the helm, I'd even offer a discount to all those that pre-order a title since I'd be able to plan my inventory and purchasing better.

Stage 3 - Have a 'bounty board' where enthusiastic visitors could post a bounty, which would be payable to the colorization person/team once title released. Think of it as an incentive, donation or tip. This could be an optional +add during the pre-order part of stage 2. Using bounties, perhaps we'll have a better shot at getting low production quantity games like Champion Pub, Cactus Canyon, Playboy 2002, and others colorized.

-3
#178 4 years ago
Quoted from bstyles:

IMO, what would be even better would be to offer an interactive web-based voting and pre-order system on the company website.
Stage 1 - allow visitors to vote for which titles they'd like to see colorized.
Stage 2 - for the titles that reach a certain threshold of votes from stage 1, the system would move those titles into a finalist group and allow visitors to place pre-orders with a minimal down-payment, say $50-$100? (only refundable if title doesn't get released for some reason). If I were at the helm, I'd even offer a discount to all those that pre-order a title since I'd be able to plan my inventory and purchasing better.
Stage 3 - Have a 'bounty board' where enthusiastic visitors could post a bounty, which would be payable to the colorization person/team once title released. Think of it as an incentive, donation or tip. This could be an optional +add during the pre-order part of stage 2. Using bounties, perhaps we'll have a better shot at getting low production quantity games like Champion Pub, Cactus Canyon, Playboy 2002, and others colorized.

how about if you don't like which ones are being dome you come up with your own platform and make your own system and color the ones you want.

#179 4 years ago

Randy has said it before, if people want a game colorized, contact him and join the dev team. Note: coloring isn't for everyone. The time involved makes the word extensive sound, understated.

As for tentative dates, things come up, sometimes personal, but mostly technical. With SDMD it might be easier to give estimates if you looked at coloring because you could judge based on the roms what have to be colored. In this way I imagine coloring for SDMD would be loads easier and I could probably color a game in a fraction of the time it takes to do CDMD coloring, now that I have experience. This is only, however, because the actual game rom is being patched to send color data. Since you can actually change the original information to add color, you never have to deal with special 'sprite' issues or worrying about what 'might' show up on the screen.

Of course, changing the source would be much easier in this way. It's quite like the difference between doing a remix from a final recording or having access to the source tracks. Because CDMD does not alter the original game roms in any way the process is more complex, requires more planning, and problem solving for the colorist. Considering this it is more impressive to me what CDMD has been able to achieve. It also prevents potential issues of copyright/license violation as the original roms are never altered.

As this thread is about comparisons, this is a comparison from the point of view of coloring the games, not the final product. It's also why I love coloring, I love problem solving.

#180 4 years ago
Quoted from anubis2night:

For Metallica it sound alike Mike wants to be done soon, colordmd may be longer out there. Not sure of other upcoming titles where the two companies have an overlap

Since it's not a secret that ColorDMD is doing Metallica I can say that it's far along, and looking awesome, I've seen sneak peeks. This is one title where I'm not trying to remain unbiased, I'm definitely getting the ColorDMD version. The same artist who did the reference frames for IJ is doing Metallica (I play in league with him, he's a digital artist with a game company, does great work) and he's putting a ton of detail into the art and really has a great eye for color and shading etc.

More than just the technology there's the choices the artist makes during coloring, and Metallica's super detailed dots have me drooling for what he's done.

#181 4 years ago

Sounds amazing, might have to pm you for more details

#182 4 years ago
Quoted from BestShot31:

However, based on what I see and what my eyes prefer, I'm leaning towards the smartDMD product. Why? Although they have less experience, their product is less expensive (a difference maker maybe?), slightly brighter, more contrast or detailed, and customizable.

SmartDMD is definitely a little less expensive, and has more customization options.

It's not brighter, it's not higher contrast, and since they have less colors (16 vs 193) and drop the shading from frames it's definitely not more detailed.

I think you're hitting the key points actually. If I was to try and summarize the two products strengths:

PMD SmartDMD - Cheaper, more customizable

ColorDMD - More colors and detail, more plug and play

That's what I would personally look at when making a choice, which of those two is more appealing to you.

#183 4 years ago
Quoted from shimoda:

Of course, changing the source would be much easier in this way. It's quite like the difference between doing a remix from a final recording or having access to the source tracks. Because CDMD does not alter the original game roms in any way the process is more complex, requires more planning, and problem solving for the colorist. Considering this it is more impressive to me what CDMD has been able to achieve. It also prevents potential issues of copyright/license violation as the original roms are never altered.

As a system software guy, I have a negative knee jerk reaction to changing the original ROMS. Architecturally, it's not optimal. Nevertheless, it's a pinball machine (and not a compute server running mission critical software), so if it doesn't fly for some reason, it's always easy to re-install the original ROMS.

-2
#184 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I edited the thread title to say PMD SmartDMD, since I guess SmartDMD is already a totally different product idea. Too confusing. And I guess you can buy a SmartDMD from Mike, but then not use his color files. I dunno, this is supposed to be about off the shelf color for ACDC, and further games in the future that are SAM, and that's it, hopefully that's clear. Because now I have a headache.

The title should really just leave SmartDMD out of this. This isn't a comparison of its features at all. You are comparing ACDC ColorDMD to ACDC with PMD.

#185 4 years ago

Or we could just leave it as it and not nitpick

#186 4 years ago
Quoted from dung:

The title should really just leave SmartDMD out of this. This isn't a comparison of its features at all. You are comparing ACDC ColorDMD to ACDC with PMD.

Don't agree...PMD has many products (http://pinballmiked.com/?post_type=product).

#187 4 years ago
Quoted from dung:

The title should really just leave SmartDMD out of this. This isn't a comparison of its features at all. You are comparing ACDC ColorDMD to ACDC with PMD.

???

They both have ACDC, it's the obvious (and only) way to directly compare them right now. This is about Mike's PMD SmartDMD and ColorDMD. Yes, SmartDMD is a different product also, but that's a different topic for more DIY people. Not my fault the branding is confusing.

#188 4 years ago
Quoted from bstyles:

IMO, what would be even better would be to offer an interactive web-based voting and pre-order system on the company website.
Stage 1 - allow visitors to vote for which titles they'd like to see colorized.
Stage 2 - for the titles that reach a certain threshold of votes from stage 1, the system would move those titles into a finalist group and allow visitors to place pre-orders with a minimal down-payment, say $50-$100? (only refundable if title doesn't get released for some reason). If I were at the helm, I'd even offer a discount to all those that pre-order a title since I'd be able to plan my inventory and purchasing better.
Stage 3 - Have a 'bounty board' where enthusiastic visitors could post a bounty, which would be payable to the colorization person/team once title released. Think of it as an incentive, donation or tip. This could be an optional +add during the pre-order part of stage 2. Using bounties, perhaps we'll have a better shot at getting low production quantity games like Champion Pub, Cactus Canyon, Playboy 2002, and others colorized.

I love it. Very out of the box ideas with a heavy emphasis towards customer involvement. Would be awesome to see a poll showing which games customers want done. I'd def be down for the bounty idea as well to incentivize artists to do less popular titles.

#189 4 years ago
Quoted from calvin12:

how about if you don't like which ones are being dome you come up with your own platform and make your own system and color the ones you want.

How about you leave your negative feedback out of this topic? After all, I was merely trying to offer suggestions that I honestly felt would better the products, market strategy and ultimately the hobby.... jeeze.

Here... allow me to send some sunshine up there to Downer's Grove,IL. Maybe you'll be less of a downer with some vitamin D warming your bones, even if just virtual sunshine....

delray_beach.jpg

#190 4 years ago

I would lean towards Color DMD.

The artwork dots are more detailed. Smart DMD dot colors look washed out.

However, the upscaling feature in both products looks like crap, in my opinion.

#191 4 years ago

smartdmd looks not washed out

the colors are bright have a lot of details

i own already one, its a great product.

but some posted animations from colordmd are looking more detailed.

i think pmd will have also more detailed animation when it will be released this month.

i would like also to change the dots in smartdmd also, but this is not possible
but you can do a lot of other style changes

#192 4 years ago
Quoted from bstyles:

How about you leave your negative feedback out of this topic? After all, I was merely trying to offer suggestions that I honestly felt would better the products, market strategy and ultimately the hobby.... jeeze.
Here... allow me to send some sunshine up there to Downer's Grove,IL. Maybe you'll be less of a downer with some vitamin D warming your bones, even if just virtual sunshine....
delray_beach.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

It's a balmy and sunny 32 here, I have all the sun I need. Let them do their thing, they are pumping out products fast as it is.it you want a particular one and they are not doing it, do it yourself. They are letting people do that now.

#193 4 years ago
Quoted from Grinder901:

Here's a dumb question: is it impossible for these companies to say, "hey potential customers, we have X amount of artists on our team and here are the tentative dates for these titles to be released". Is that crazy of me to want that information?

IMO the reason companies don't do that is because the public will hold them to EXACTLY the date they said it would be released. If it is released a month after deadline the pitchforks will come out and the public outrage will be loud. Look what happened to PPS and missing the deadline on MMR. I bet they'll NEVER give an anticipated release date again.

#194 4 years ago
Quoted from Magic_Mike:

I would lean towards Color DMD.
The artwork dots are more detailed. Smart DMD dot colors look washed out.
However, the upscaling feature in both products looks like crap, in my opinion.

Have you seen "tile" mode? It's like dots but brighter and better! I agree that the other up scaling looks worse than dots, but check out tile.

#195 4 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Have you seen "tile" mode? It's like dots but brighter and better! I agree that the other up scaling looks worse than dots, but check out tile.

Are there any posted pictures of this "tile" feature?

#196 4 years ago
Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

IMO the reason companies don't do that is because the public will hold them to EXACTLY the date they said it would be released. If it is released a month after deadline the pitchforks will come out and the public outrage will be loud. Look what happened to PPS and missing the deadline on MMR. I bet they'll NEVER give an anticipated release date again.

Come on, you are comparing a $300-$400 dollar mod to a $8,000 dollar game?

If I were told we plan on releasing these titles on these dates but that could change for any reason and then if I was told when those reasons had occurred to delay titles, Id understand. Why does this business have such a hard time with communication with its customers? The more communication, the more loyalty and the more open wallets stay open.

#197 4 years ago

Mike has already announced several games, and indicated he wants to do a lot more. I think he said his plan is to do all SAM games.

ColorDMD has pre-announced several titles too. Metallica, Tron, and Twilight Zone at least.

Thing is, these colorizations take time. You can run into obstacles. Some games are done by volunteers, with day jobs, just volunteering their time. It's hard to target dates.

It's no really reasonable to expect more than what we are getting. Both companies are happy to accept your volunteer time if you want to colorize a game yourself.

#198 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

???
They both have ACDC, it's the obvious (and only) way to directly compare them right now. This is about Mike's PMD SmartDMD and ColorDMD. Yes, SmartDMD is a different product also, but that's a different topic for more DIY people. Not my fault the branding is confusing.

You are comparing PMD's coloring of ACDC to ColorDMD. Yes you can compare the technical aspects of it, but read through the amount of disinformation in this thread. Worse yet you post in other threads with half baked information. In short, you do more harm than good.

#199 4 years ago
Quoted from Magic_Mike:

Are there any posted pictures of this "tile" feature?

Could only find this one...not the best example, but you get the idea.

image.jpg

#200 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

Yes, but saying 193 colors straight up gives the wrong impression, IMHO. The artist doing the color work only has control over 16 points of color - the rest are determined by the brightness level. I know it's picky semantics, I just think saying 193 colors period would lead to a false expectation of capabilities.

It obvious by looking at the demonstration .gif above. If they looked exactly the same you'd have a point, there is much more 'color' in ColorDMD. Shades of a color has specified names in paints etc, this is no different.

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