Quoted from twenty84:
I hope the pinstadium fans don't take offense at this, but in the past Scott has been very responsive about improving this product (e.g. the new Hovers) and I think the pics above illustrate what I consider to be a major issue on some games including BK SoR.
I own a BKSoR LE and also watched some the SDTM Twitch stream of it this afternoon. I found the experience of watching the game on the stream very different from playing my stock game. One issue is that the "candy cane" effect on the right metal ramp when these lights are installed really distracting in this game - both in the Twitch stream and in the before and after pics above. No light is really needed in that area but that seems to be where most of it ends up, at least as it looks in pictures. Also since BKSoR includes some spots in the apron from the factory the effect on the lower playfield isn't as great as in some other games. In the pics above there is some nice added detail in the knight and mid playfield but it seems like there may be better ways to do this. Perhaps a set of spots might do nicely without the distracting effects on the sides?
Also the flashing effects might look good in person but they are over whelming on the stream. Periodically the whole playfield would go red and all details would be lost to the viewer. For streaming I think more subtle even lighting effects might work better. The very high dynamic range of your lighting effects don't seem to be captured by the camera or reproduced by viewer's displays.
Thanks for the input and feedback which is really what the Pin Stadiums company is all about, good input from people like you. It is welcomed and I appreciate the opportunity and discussion since I love this sort of thing. The way I look at this is that these Pin Stadium products are co-created by the customers who have them or by collectors considering them once they contain the characteristics of their desires. This is truly the VERY most important thing in this entire equation. What you guys thing and what we can do together to bring another level to this game.
To address the specific points first about the lighting on BKSOR that you mentioned. The flipper lighting is great that they added this, and this has been done before in other machines to like MET. What you are seeing is a hot spot area like the reflection from the Pin Stadium lights on the side. It's the same concept but just one large, I mean super large area. The issue is that the rest of the playfield is very very dark comparatively. The Pin Stadiums help to distribute bright hig quality lighting for much more acceptable contrast levels since without overhead lighting you will get what you see in this attached pic.
What this is doing is giving you the impression when watching the stream that all that is needed is a just a couple spotlights to resolve this. But unfortunately these are all the things you will chase your tail on (like I did during the creation of Pin Stadiums for many years prior) when doing this due to the fact that when you make the next area brighter there are about 20 or more sections that start boldly popping up darker which must be covered to even try to address the large gaps of light in between.
I have attached a pic from my pinball lighting tutorials here and the full posts starts here (grab a coffee and some snacks
Click here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-pin-stadium-lights-official-announcement/page/86#post-4964080
Specifically check out the section that covers the flipper lighting only issues. Also watch the stream and you will see two shadows coming from the lights behind the flippers. They span about 5-6 inches above the flippers all the way to the lower center ring of lights on that machine. Once you see this it is hard to unsee, however imagine it without the rest of the illumination from the Pin Stadiums or reference that idea the attached picture of BK in a dark room with only factory lighting. A few things to consider are also that benefits of heavily reducing or in most cases removing glass and playfield glare with the Pin Stadiums too. These are constant reflections that you see form the most important perspective the players view, yikes!
So many features and functions have been added as a result of comments like yours. For me it is like having the most inviting suggestion box sitting on the front office desk, and people are generating incredible ideas/suggestions that I can then craft into a final product by adding whatever creative engineering twists to it that I can to improve on those ideas too. Which is exactly why I like your post so much as it leads into what is coming down the path to address "exactly" what you mentioned. Awesome!!
The Hovers are an entry way to a factory stealth experience, coupled with ease, and convenience. But more importantly in the design of them, there is a special section built into the CAD design that let's you attached addition Pin Stadium accessories. That next accessory being the Blur (AKA: Diffuser) which takes the light source that you see on the sides and transforms it into an easy on the eye blended casting of light. The reason you see this on some games is two fold, maybe three fold.
1. On a stream the playfield cameras are directly overhead on the playfield, so in relation to the lights which are mounted in parallel on a lower lever glossy playfield that is reflecting light back into the camera (which drives me nuts too). Nobody ever plays from this view. Which leads us to the fact that once you get in the "players" perspective you don't see them nearly as much or at all, with a few exceptions when there are plastic ramps etc in that area.
2. So if that camera were to be mounted right where the player's eyes are located, it would be what customers are seeing when they are playing their game with them installed So when they see a stream and notice that, they also realize it's not how they actually look since they own them. However when streaming it is vitally important to have lighting designed specifically for the cameras view as that his how you are going to see the machine. This is the very reason that I created a new product line for PAPA at Pinburgh and for streaming called X-Stream. The first one rolled off the assembly line last week and is now in Jack Danger's hands from Dead Flip. He helped me with his suggestions (just like you) on what it would take to make them optimal for this environment. So on that set of X-Streams is the first version of the Blur which diffuse that light to spread it more evenly in those hotspot reflective areas. It solves exactly what you discussed, so you are right on.
3. Which leads me to that last point, that Pin Stadiums with Hovers is going to allow you to unlock a whole other level of improvements/add-ons that I am creating to further enhance the product. More importantly is that I try to design these add-ons so that they are compatible with existing customers systems. They are "upgradeable" which is what I would want too. With the Hovers you know will be able to install the Blurs to address that issue not only on a stream but for some of the few games or locations where you see that reflection. The general consensus is that the benefits of the tremendous GI lighting that the Pin Stadiums provide, overrides these exceptions. Also as you guys know I am always working to address things and that you know if there is something I can improve on then I will.
Off the top of my head here are the suggestions that have turned into successful products/features of the Pin Stadiums:
1. GI Module integration so that they sync with the machine's GI as the factory intended
2. Invisi-Shield that blocks the lights from the side to give you a factory appearance
3. HD Magna-Mounts are thinner to clear all machines when raising the playfield
4. Orion's Belt for those that love the UV+Glow but wanted more color options
5. Fusions for customer that loved the Orion's Belts but didn't want to fiddle with two light bars and wanted it merged into one product
6. Hovers for those of you that would like the super convenience of raising your playfield like you always used to
7. Blue to resolve the hotspots and to make the lights more stealth and to improved the over light pattern spread
Last but not least to help explain this better, since pictures are worth more than my thousands words (literally). Take a look at this pic of a BK with nothing but the factory GI and flipper lighting. I clipped this from a stream that did not have additional lighting and put it next to the SDTM BK stream from tonight with the Pin Stadium Fusions. That would have been the option today without the lights and what how pronounced the moving flipper shadows casted on the playfield would appear.
Thank you for taking the time to mention all of this and provide valuable. I know you post is for the good of the product and I don't think anyone took it the wrong way by any means. Totally cool for me as I get to drop off into my little world of pinball lights that I love to think about everyday. It's fun for me.
pinball_led_lights_bulbs_pinstadium (resized).pngstream_compare_pinball_bulbs_lights (resized).png