(Topic ID: 151676)

Colorizing RGB.DMD using Pin2DMD editor


By agodfrey

4 years ago



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  • 39 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by fattdirk
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#1 4 years ago

****As of now pin2dmd isn't compatible with RGB.DMD. Mostly documenting the process. Hopefully it'll evolve and be compatible or something else will come along****

Doesn't look like there is a thread specifically about using the Pin2DMD software to colorize files for use on the rgbDMD project. Figured I would start one!

I am sure there will be a lot of questions and it would be cool to share some data dumps off PinMame......for us on Macs it's tough and then the only PC I have will run PinMame but not visual pinball so I have to play the game in simulation which......is not a lot of fun.

SO colorizing techniques, data dumps, whatever!

First thing first. You need to get the Pin2DMD editor:

http://go-dmd.de/

In german BUT google will translate it for you if you ask nicely.

Secondly, and this is a little over my head you need a data dump from Pinmame (or I think there is talk of being able to get the feed directly from the rgbDMD board down the road once a host client can be setup)

To do this you need to replace your old boring .dll file with a special .dll file in your PinMame folder:

http://go-dmd.de/VPinMAME.zip

Another German tutorial that Google will translate. This reviews the process of outputting the DMD animation data:
http://go-dmd.de/2015/03/17/go-dmd-animationen-aufnehmen-mit-visualpinball/

MAKE SURE to create the tmp directory on your system drive (C: or whatever the root of your Windows drive is). Then zip up the text file in a 7z archive using 7-Zip and load the 7z file into the goDMD animation editor.

Once you have the data you need to bring it into Pin2DMD editor. Here is a video about that process.

Ok. Now that should get you started. Now let's play!

#2 4 years ago

What is 'rgbdmd'? I thought it was just called 'pin2dmd'?

#3 4 years ago

So I started the process of learning how to use the software. At this point (Feb 2016) I don't think you can use the exports from this app in rgbDMD BUT the two teams are working to fix that.

AT first I was a little daunted. I am a video producer and do a lot of animation and motion graphics. So I am used to SOME of the concepts used in this application. Still on the learning curve BUT one thing I realized is that in a given animation, especially one that stays on screen for a period of time, there are only a few frames that repeat. To figure out which ones you need to concern yourself with you refer to the checksum address in the left hand corner.

It was then that I realized that out of 23 frames there were really only 11 unique frames (red highlighted frames). And then they repeat. Not sure the best way to go out about it. But my plan is to colorize a frame, then look for where it repeats. Once you are on a repeating frame you can hit the "Redo" button and it'll do the same thing you did last to that frame. Once I get to the point they start repeating more regularly (in this instance you can see it takes about 23 frames before they start going into a more regular pattern) I'll cut the scene, then go back and do another one of the 11 frames.

Again, just an idea of an interpretation of a guess so I could be wrong.....but I have some time to mess around.

Ok kids. Share your thoughts, data dumps, coloring ideas, etc!

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#4 4 years ago

rgbDMD is the name of the board Eli is building. Pin2DMD is the name of the board lucky1 is building. Also the name of the editing software.

Quoted from Coyote:

What is 'rgbdmd'? I thought it was just called 'pin2dmd'?

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#5 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

Secondly, and this is a little over my head you need a data dump from Pinmame (or I think there is talk of being able to get the feed directly from the rgbDMD board down the road once a host client can be setup)
To do this you need to replace your old boring .dll file with a special .dll file in your PinMame folder:
http://go-dmd.de/VPinMAME.zip

The current version on go-dmd.de allows you to play back recordings using the custom vpinmame.dll file for PinMAME. You need to make a folder named tmp in the root of your Windows drive or it won't work. Then zip up the text file in a 7z archive using 7-Zip and load the 7z file into the goDMD animation editor.

#6 4 years ago

I hope this isn't the case, but based on my understanding of the tutorial video, you're stuck with a palette limited to the colors available from the pinball hardware (i.e. 4 colors for anything older than SAM). If that's the case, I wouldn't consider it colorization and just palette swapping.

I'm really hoping for full colorization where more than 4 colors can be used.

#7 4 years ago

Actually that palette has been boosted to 16 custom-defined colors. There's also an "upload frame" button which may allow inserting of full RGB bitmap images, but I haven't tried the new software.

#8 4 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

The current version on go-dmd.de allows you to play back recordings using the custom vpinmame.dll file for PinMAME. You need to make a folder named tmp in the root of your Windows drive or it won't work. Then zip up the text file in a 7z archive using 7-Zip and load the 7z file into the goDMD animation editor.

Thanks for that. I was pushing people to the tutorial for that stuff but I think it's worth it to mention here. Edited my post.

Quoted from winteriscoming:

I hope this isn't the case, but based on my understanding of the tutorial video, you're stuck with a palette limited to the colors available from the pinball hardware (i.e. 4 colors for anything older than SAM). If that's the case, I wouldn't consider it colorization and just palette swapping.
I'm really hoping for full colorization where more than 4 colors can be used.

Quoted from Crash:

Actually that palette has been boosted to 16 custom-defined colors. There's also an "upload frame" button which may allow inserting of full RGB bitmap images, but I haven't tried the new software.

I think things are up in the air. I THINK Eli's board will be just 4 colors and Lucky1's is 16. That said.....with this new alliance (I think) with the Pin2DMD editor guys we might see 16 colors on RGB.DMD as well as Pin2DMD board. As of now you are right it's just palette swapping BUT this is all VERY new so I'm not too concerned with that yet. From what I have experienced it's still pretty cool.

I'm very interested to see how the upload feature works as I normally work in PS, AE, and AI and would prefer to do my editing there then upload an image. I'm sure we'll get people chiming in. I am going to refrain as much as I can from hear/say and let the developers talk about their products and the capabilities. AGAIN, my plan is to sit tight and see where the ball falls.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from Crash:

Actually that palette has been boosted to 16 custom-defined colors.

That's not the way I'm understanding it. I'm only seeing that you'd get 16 colors if you have 4 planes (SAM). Everything else is just going to have 2 planes. If that's not the case, I don't get why there's even a distinction in the software.

agodfrey, can you confirm in your editing whether or not it would let you draw more than the 4 colors you're showing?

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

That's not the way I'm understanding it. I'm only seeing that you'd get 16 colors if you have 4 planes (SAM). Everything else is just going to have 2 planes. If that's not the case, I don't get why there's even a distinction in the software.

After recording, like Crash mentioned, you can manually set the plane to '4' instead of '2'. Then, you can edit the palette and add colors to your animation. The down side is, that you'd have to *manually* color anything other than the 4 base colors. (i.e. You'd get 16 shades of grey - of which, only 4 are in use. You'd have to paint where you would want shade #5, 6, 7, etc manually..)

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

After recording, like Crash mentioned, you can manually set the plane to '4' instead of '2'. Then, you can edit the palette and add colors to your animation. The down side is, that you'd have to *manually* color anything other than the 4 base colors. (i.e. You'd get 16 shades of grey - of which, only 4 are in use. You'd have to paint where you would want shade #5, 6, 7, etc manually..)

I can see that the software allows you to color that way. I guess I'll be curious to see if it actually ends up working on the hardware in a real pin setting that way. If so, that's awesome. Even limited to 16 colors within a frame would allow for a lot to be done.

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

agodfrey, can you confirm in your editing whether or not it would let you draw more than the 4 colors you're showing?

It will let me use more than 4 colors, yes. BUT......will they upload the the RGB.DMD board.... I have no idea. That's all still in development. I believe you get 16 with the Pin2DMD board. There was a lot swirling around about porting that over to RGB.DMD boards AND also some talk about compatibility and not want to cross any copyright lines or step on any toes.

So as I said, I'm not an expert, I can just tell you what I am seeing. So far all I have been able to do on the ACTUAL board in practice is set one 4 color palette. MAINLY because the way the checksums come out of this it's only compatible with the PIn2DMD board.....as of now.

BUT there are wheels turning.

SO simple answer is.... wait and see hahah

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

Even limited to 16 colors within a frame would allow for a lot to be done.

Interestingly in practice I have found that just having 5 colors does a lot to WPC games. They are very simple graphics and honestly for this era I don't know how much beyond......10 colors is really going to do for you.

I guess we could look to the new colorized DMD on MMr. SO there is that, but those were all totally re-done......if I invested that much time into a game I might be inclined to sell the files, hahah. By which I mean... I'm prob not that motivated, ha.

I'll be messing with files most of today but I don't want to get tooooooo involved until RGB.DMD are supported so I can do a scene and test some concepts.

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

Interestingly in practice I have found that just having 5 colors does a lot to WPC games. They are very simple graphics and honestly for this era I don't know how much beyond......10 colors is really going to do for you.
I guess we could look to the new colorized DMD on MMr. SO there is that, but those were all totally re-done......if I invested that much time into a game I might be inclined to sell the files, hahah. By which I mean... I'm prob not that motivated, ha.

Granted, they had a much higher resolution to work with. We're limited to the comparably basic 128x32 pixel grid on these.

It'll be a lot of work, but I'm hoping to be able to do some fun colorization of Super Mario Bros. and get it to look more like NES graphics (maybe SNES if the pixels work out, since the game is more themed as Super Mario World).

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

I guess we could look to the new colorized DMD on MMr. SO there is that, but those were all totally re-done......

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/mmr-under-the-microscope#post-2954053

MMR uses 256x64 images with 16-bit color which translates to 65,536 colors or 64 shades of 1,024 colors.

#16 4 years ago

For some reason I am having trouble using my mac on this program. It works, but little bugs keep popping up. But that said I think a newer version is coming out....maybe so....

Anyone else working on a Mac?

UPDATE. Just tried it on a PC and I am having the same issue so i am sure I am just doing something wrong. When I define a pallete and then cut a scene the scene defaults to a different pallet, coloring everything differently and I can't get it to switch to the one I just created so all the colors default to the ones I want. SO I basically have to go in and re-color by hand.

This version APPEARS to be different than the one in the YouTube video.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

It was then that I realized that out of 23 frames there were really only 11 unique frames (red highlighted frames).

WPC does shades by repeating one frame and having a third unique frame in every 3 frame block. On Whitestar this same effect would occur by only sending 2 "frames" (although they are done row by row rather than fully separated like in WPC) one of which is displayed for twice as much time. Visually they are the same, but they are generated differently. Even if you were running an animation where every image was unique in WPC 1/3 of the frames would still be duplicates.

Quoted from winteriscoming:

I hope this isn't the case, but based on my understanding of the tutorial video, you're stuck with a palette limited to the colors available from the pinball hardware (i.e. 4 colors for anything older than SAM). If that's the case, I wouldn't consider it colorization and just palette swapping.

Anything beyond setting the palette of the original image is adding data, and you can only do this is you can uniquely identify the frame. In the test image agodfrey posted it will happily calculate a CRC, but that frame is dynamic, so that CRC is only valid for a score of 0 and 0 credits. If you were going to identify that frame you'd need to be calculating a CRC for only a portion of the screen.

#18 4 years ago

Yeah. Like I said, I am going to site back and allow this to progress a little. I have no idea at all what I am doing......hahaha. CRC....calculate....right now I am happy to dream, test, and have one 4 color pallet. It REALLY does look cool!

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

Yeah. Like I said, I am going to site back and allow this to progress a little. I have no idea at all what I am doing......hahaha.

You've already set up a custom palette for a game, so you're off to a good start.

An incomplete list of "colorization" techniques from simplest to most complex:
Set a global palette for a game.
Identify fullscreen images and switch the global palette when they appear.
Identify fullscreen images and replace them with new data.
Identify fullscreen images and incorporate additional color data.
Identify partial screen images and switch the global palette. (SmartDMD)
Identify partial screen images and incorporate additional color data. (ColorDMD)
Completely replace the graphics. (MMR)

#20 4 years ago

I see what you mean Eli. On the PC version (which is just Java I believe) I THINK I see where it just selects part of the frame.....think. But I think that's one of those 1 frame, then 2 frames, etc......I don't know. Anyway, seems that option is not in the Mac version. Not saying thats what we are looking for....hoping there is a way to select just that section.

I'll dig into pure animations rather than ones that are part of the dynamic score or whatever. And be on the look out when they switch to 4 bytes on the CRC.......

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#21 4 years ago

Regarding pin2dmd editor: additionally to the normal Palette switching there is currently a new feature developed that allows to replace sequences of frames with a higher color depth e.g. 16 colors for wpc games or up to 12 bit color depth for arbitrary games. Frame source could be a simple movie file or image sequence. There is a proof of concept video made with the latested beta of the editor (not yet released) that shows a full colored "Birds" sequence inserted in a Dr. Who as logo replacement. See


Suggestions on how to improve the editor are always welcome
Cheers Steve

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from steve45:

Regarding pin2dmd editor: additionally to the normal Palette switching there is currently a new feature developed that allows to replace sequences of frames with a higher color depth e.g. 16 colors for wpc games or up to 12 bit color depth for arbitrary games. Frame source could be a simple movie file or image sequence. There is a proof of concept video made with the latested beta of the editor (not yet released) that shows a full colored "Birds" sequence inserted in a Dr. Who as logo replacement. See » YouTube video
Suggestions on how to improve the editor are always welcome
Cheers Steve

That's awesome!

Are there plans for detecting only part of the screen so that screens with dynamic elements, like scores and credits, could be colored or redrawn?

#23 4 years ago

Ahh, I was just getting on to ask that!!! Thanks!

Steve, sooo many questions for you. Like thoughts on your work, maybe direction, to becoming compatible with RGB.DMD, dynamic elements, maybe an updated tutorial as it seems like there are new features not covered like uploading frames, palettes, how to switch palettes, etc.

I know there was discussion of doing the same CRC detection. Where are you with that.

And above all how can we help?

#24 4 years ago
Quoted from winteriscoming:

That's awesome!
Are there plans for detecting only part of the screen so that screens with dynamic elements, like scores and credits, could be colored or redrawn?

Yes, there will be different methods to detect and handle dynamic scenes, not only by parts of the screen.

#25 4 years ago

Great. And this will be available for RGB.DMD?

Quoted from lucky1:

Yes, there will be different methods to detect and handle dynamic scenes, not only by parts of the screen.

#26 4 years ago

The upload frame button does nothing so it's under construction.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

Great. And this will be available for RGB.DMD?

I can´t speak for Eli about that, so I don´t know if he will implement this in the future
and if yes if his implemetation will be supported by the pin2dmd editor.
The only thing I can say is that afaik the current hardware design from RGBDMD
is missing a external storage for custom data because onboard memory is limited.
Pin2DMD has a microSD card reader. Focus is to first implement all ideas Steve and I have into
Pin2DMD and Editor and make it a stable solution for all usecases we have.
For me that´s WPC and Virtual Pinball and for him WPC, Gottlieb, DataEast and Stern.

#28 4 years ago

Ok that's understandable. That said if we could keep discussion here to just RGB.DMD that would be useful.

I want this thread to be about what RGB.DMD can and can't do.

Perhaps it will end up that it needs its own software. We'll see.

I have sent a pm to unclesash and I hope to get a pin2dmd when they are back in stock. When I get one I'll start a thread about pin2DMD and pin2dmd editor. Or if someone else wants to start one that would be cool.

I know you are new on this forum. Lots of people will be looking at this thread years from now (hopefully) to get info about using pin2DMD editor with the RGB.DMD board. I just want the answers to be easier to find and not mixed with discussion of other boards.

As time goes on we'll see how it shapes up. Anyone is welcome to pm me about this or if I can be of help in anyway.

Quoted from lucky1:

I can´t speak for Eli about that, so I don´t know if he will implement this in the future
and if yes if his implemetation will be supported by the pin2dmd editor.
The only thing I can say is that afaik the current hardware design from RGBDMD
is missing a external storage for custom data because onboard memory is limited.
Pin2DMD has a microSD card reader. Focus is to first implement all ideas Steve and I have into
Pin2DMD and Editor and make it a stable solution for all usecases we have.
For me that´s WPC and Virtual Pinball and for him WPC, Gottlieb, DataEast and Stern.

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

Great. And this will be available for RGB.DMD?

I do not currently plan to support replacing images or adding additional dot planes based on image checksums.

#30 4 years ago

Well that answers that! Thanks!

Quoted from ecurtz:I do not currently plan to support replacing images or adding additional dot planes based on image checksums.

#31 4 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

...
I want this thread to be about what RGB.DMD can and can't do.
Perhaps it will end up that it needs its own software. We'll see.
...

Also as long as RUN.DMD hardware uses the pin2dmd editor, which is of course designed for the pin2dmd hardware, it is a mixed topic at least regarding the editor. As you may know there are a couple of threads in the vpinuniverse forum not only about pin2dmd but also about the editor.

As soon as I have some more spare time, I will release a new version of the editor and also create a new video tutorial showing all the features around palette switching and also replacement frame sequences.

Cheers Steve

#32 4 years ago

Looking forward to it! Do you post about official releases over on the VPUniverse, I guess?

Quoted from steve45:

Also as long as RUN.DMD hardware uses the pin2dmd editor, which is of course designed for the pin2dmd hardware, it is a mixed topic at least regarding the editor. As you may know there are a couple of threads in the vpinuniverse forum not only about pin2dmd but also about the editor.
As soon as I have some more spare time, I will release a new version of the editor and also create a new video tutorial showing all the features around palette switching and also replacement frame sequences.
Cheers Steve

#33 4 years ago

This thread is about using it with rgb. I'll step away from the thread and focus on RGB untill it is supported ( which at this point there is no use or support) or I have a pin2dmd and will start a new thread.

Again, there is no use at all to talking about how to use the pin2dmd board in this thread.

There should be a separate thread.

To be honest I feel these two boards should not be mixed. They don't have a lot interchangeable.

So with that said I'll leave this thread. God speed.

Quoted from steve45:

Also as long as RUN.DMD hardware uses the pin2dmd editor, which is of course designed for the pin2dmd hardware, it is a mixed topic at least regarding the editor. As you may know there are a couple of threads in the vpinuniverse forum not only about pin2dmd but also about the editor.
As soon as I have some more spare time, I will release a new version of the editor and also create a new video tutorial showing all the features around palette switching and also replacement frame sequences.
Cheers Steve

1 month later
#34 3 years ago

Video of a test with a STTNG

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from lucky1:

Video of a test with a STTNG
» YouTube video

Not sure if it's just a product of recording the RGB DMD with a camera that doesn't sync up with the framerate or what - but that looks pretty terrible. Lots of white flashes -- not uniform color.

#36 3 years ago

This is just a test that is showing the capability to have more colors than 4 shades of red made by a happy user of pin2dmd.

#37 3 years ago

I can vouch for cameras not picking up what the eye sees with these RGB panels.

I tried recording a CFTBL I converted and the video looked terrible. In person I was very pleased. Even still frame pictures don't do justice.

#38 3 years ago

Cameras do a a terrible job at representing things like this. I'm sure the image is flicker free in person.

#39 3 years ago

I'm planning on testing this in my TSPP and Getaway tonight so I"ll report back when it's done if I get the same flicker.

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