SmartDmd : DMD interface with colors, upscaling, network and more !

(Topic ID: 72365)

SmartDmd : DMD interface with colors, upscaling, network and more !


By oga83

5 years ago



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  • 599 posts
  • 118 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 17 days ago by oga83
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There are 599 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 12.
#251 3 years ago
Quoted from Erik:

Data East/Sega Version 3 support?

Only downside to colorizing those is you're limited to a 4 color palette (across all frames, not per frame). Still, I think it would still be cool to colorize apollo 13.

#252 3 years ago

Here's a better example of what the upscaling looks like:

#253 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

Here's a better example of what the upscaling looks like:
» YouTube video

Looks almost exactly how PinMame handles 'upscaling'.

#254 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Only downside to colorizing those is you're limited to a 4 color palette (across all frames, not per frame). Still, I think it would still be cool to colorize Apollo 13.

I thought the palette swapping was performed frame by frame when using an interface like PinballMikeD sells. Maybe I misunderstood the product

#255 3 years ago
Quoted from Erik:

I thought the palette swapping was performed frame by frame when using an interface like PinballMikeD sells. Maybe I misunderstood the product

According to the creator, Pinball browser cannot modify Whitestar firmware, which means a global pallette

#256 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

According to the creator, Pinball browser cannot modify Whitestar firmware, which means a global pallette

This is correct, for now anyway

#257 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballMikeD:

This is correct, for now anyway

Real-Time-Marketing1[1].jpg

#258 3 years ago

I've recently received quite a few email inquiries regarding upscaling and how it relates to SmartDmd.
To clarify, Pinball Browser is already equipped with ability to replace each dot with up to 64 individual pixels, so upscaling isn't an issue. We chose to offer upscaling at 2x because we thought it looked better, as it’s less cartoony. I didn't really think people would like the look of 16x upscaling, but I guess I was wrong

Anyway, as SmartDMD is highly configurable (especially for dot shape configuration and upscaling in particular), I’ll add 16x upscaling in the next release. The programming for this is already done, as it’s essentially the same as 2x upscaling. I just need to unlock the feature in the next release or Pinball Browser, which should be available in a few days.

Here is what it looks like with AC/DC (PinballMikeD colorization) :

acdc_up16x-7.png
#259 3 years ago

Upscaling wars!

I dunno man, I'm down to try any kind of upscaling or tweaking or whatever, see what I think after giving it a try myself. But at the end of the day I think I mostly just dig the original dots, just with color.

That top image looks like a muppet.

Dr-Teeth-in-The-Muppets-Bohemian-Rhapsody.png

#260 3 years ago

For the record, I'm digging what I see with the 2x; and not so much the 14x. It is easy to parse the 2x as "pixels" with antialiasing, but the smooth-ish irregularly shaped lines with the diagonals just doesn't look good and tends (in my mind) to simply be "drawn wrong" (versus low res).

All that said, experimentation is good.

#261 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That top image looks like a muppet.

Muppet mode is an additional feature we're working on

Here's what the actual image looks like:

16x Upscaling

Screenshot (514).png

2x Upscaling
Screenshot (515).png

Standard Dots (My personal favorite for this particular game)
Screenshot (516).png

Here's a grid look for fun
Screenshot (517).png

#262 3 years ago

Has anyone tried using a pi A+ board for this? I see someone tried a B+ any reason there would be an issue?

Anyone tried getting power from a DE system 3 board like they do with the dmd extender?

Looking to order 2 of these and trying to decide between waiting for the dmd extender to get back in stock or go with this.

#263 3 years ago
Quoted from dung:

Has anyone tried using a pi A+ board for this? I see someone tried a B+ any reason there would be an issue?
Anyone tried getting power from a DE system 3 board like they do with the dmd extender?
Looking to order 2 of these and trying to decide between waiting for the dmd extender to get back in stock or go with this.

I have tested it on the A, B and B+.
As the B+ is a replacement for the B, it should alwso work on the A+ that replaced the A.

#264 3 years ago

Thought as much, but it was worth asking. The dmd extender has been out of stock due to it not being compatible with the + boards.

#265 3 years ago

Has anyone done any sort of tutorial on how to use Pinball Browser / SmartDMD properly?
I have been playing with it for BDK but I cant quite get my head around how to do it easily.
eg one set of transitions may have 50 frames, Is there any way to copy sections of frame 1 into frame2, into frame 3 etc.
Also after I get through a couple of test frames then it no longer seems to save the new colour info.
I am sure I may eventually work it out, or keep emailing Oga but would love to see some short tutorial videos by some people that have already done the hard yards.
The above example is not the only thing I am struggling with, and I think its a great tool for doing something special to those titles that are not necessarily going to be colourized anytime soon.

2 weeks later
#266 3 years ago

So no dice here. I am trying to set this up for two different machines. Both machines I am getting the same issue. LCD turns on and displays the raspberry pi logo in the upper corner. That's it. Anyone have any suggestions?

#267 3 years ago
Quoted from raysco:

Has anyone done any sort of tutorial on how to use Pinball Browser / SmartDMD properly?
I have been playing with it for BDK but I cant quite get my head around how to do it easily.
eg one set of transitions may have 50 frames, Is there any way to copy sections of frame 1 into frame2, into frame 3 etc.
Also after I get through a couple of test frames then it no longer seems to save the new colour info.
I am sure I may eventually work it out, or keep emailing Oga but would love to see some short tutorial videos by some people that have already done the hard yards.
The above example is not the only thing I am struggling with, and I think its a great tool for doing something special to those titles that are not necessarily going to be colourized anytime soon.

There is a fill all button. It replaces one set color you chose with another color you chose across the frame. Then there is a fill just like in ms paint deluxe paint or what have you. Once you understand how it works its just tedious work after that

#268 3 years ago
Quoted from dung:

So no dice here. I am trying to set this up for two different machines. Both machines I am getting the same issue. LCD turns on and displays the raspberry pi logo in the upper corner. That's it. Anyone have any suggestions?

Are you trying to set up a smartdmd in a acdc? more details please.

#269 3 years ago

I had an issue with certain SD cards. I had a couple laying around and neither would boot properly. I bought a new Lexar 8GB and those worked fine

Quoted from dung:

So no dice here. I am trying to set this up for two different machines. Both machines I am getting the same issue. LCD turns on and displays the raspberry pi logo in the upper corner. That's it. Anyone have any suggestions?

#270 3 years ago

Is anybody selling an extra dmd extender? Really need one to finish up a restore before TPF.

#271 3 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

I had an issue with certain SD cards. I had a couple laying around and neither would boot properly. I bought a new Lexar 8GB and those worked fine

Tried the earlier image and switched usb cables. I was not getting a green led meaning it wasn't booting. Currently putting the latest back on to see if it is the issue.

*Confirmed the latest image does not work on either of my raspberry pi a+ boards*

Also I did not get a license with either of my smart dmds? Do I also have to pay for the license on top of the cost of the boards?

#272 3 years ago
Quoted from dung:

Tried the earlier image and switched usb cables. I was not getting a green led meaning it wasn't booting. Currently putting the latest back on to see if it is the issue.
*Confirmed the latest image does not work on either of my raspberry pi a+ boards*

Raspberry models A and B were very sensitive to the SD card (especially when a micro-SD adaptor was used), but AFAIK, it's not the case anymore with A+/B+ that use a micro-SD card.
I know some old Raspberry won't boot with the new image (that was made for the B+) and that's why the previous one is still available.
I have to get an A+ to see why you can't boot.

Quoted from dung:

Also I did not get a license with either of my smart dmds? Do I also have to pay for the license on top of the cost of the boards?

Of course not ! You just have to send me your Raspbery serial number (that is displayed when SmartDmd starts).

#273 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Looks almost exactly how PinMame handles 'upscaling'.

Looks alot like super eagle filter on mame

#274 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That top image looks like a muppet

Muppets pinball!!!

#275 3 years ago
Quoted from raysco:

Has anyone done any sort of tutorial on how to use Pinball Browser / SmartDMD properly?

I'm currently putting together a tips guide (in ms word format) in my spare time.

if anyone wants a copy of what I've got complete (so far), just shoot me a pm with your email address

#276 3 years ago

Please update the FAQ. It says use a 4GB sd card so I bought two. Problem is that they come out to 3.68GB and the image is 3.7GB...

#277 3 years ago
Quoted from dung:

Please update the FAQ. It says use a 4GB sd card so I bought two. Problem is that they come out to 3.68GB and the image is 3.7GB...

It depends on the SD card : some are slightly smaller than others.

I'll try to shrinken the next images before uploading them.
(in the meantime, if you're familiar with linux, you can bypass this issue : use dd instead of diskimager, but it's more tricky).

-1
#278 3 years ago
Quoted from oga83:

It depends on the SD card : some are slightly smaller than others.
I'll try to shrinken the next images before uploading them.
(in the meantime, if you're familiar with linux, you can bypass this issue : use dd instead of diskimager, but it's more tricky).

I figure why deal with the hassle? The cost difference is very minor and chances are the images could get bigger in future releases. Makes more sense to just set the faq to say 8GB and cover all the bases imo.

#279 3 years ago

SmartDmd supports 2 different colorization modes :
- "In-Frame" mode : the color information is embedded into the frame. For some frames, this can lead to 8 missing pixels in the upper-left corner (but there are ways to minimize this)
- "Side-Channel" mode : the color information is transmitted from the pinball machine to SmartDmd in a separate cable.
There are 2 possibilities for this mode : a GPIO cable (15 palettes max) or a Serial cable (255 palettes max).
(More info about these modes here)

For the ones who want to build a "side-channel" cable, make sure that your game is compatible with the Pinball Browser Communication Patch (try to load the comm117.hex patch), and choose either the GPIO or the Serial one (only one is needed, not both !)
Once the cable is made, use Pinball Browser to colorize your game
Don't forget to select "side-channel" in the SmartDmd tab (before assigning palettes to your frames) and to configure SmartDmd accordingly (select "side-channel" in the SmartDmd configurator).


Side-Channel (GPIO) :

With this cable, you can have 15 palettes.
You need 4 wires between the Sam-Cpu-Board-J1 connector and the Raspberry B+ J8 connector :

Pinball -> Raspberry
J1-6 -> J8-37
J1-7 -> J8-35
J1-8 -> J8-33
J1-9 -> J8-31

Here is a photo of the connections :
The Raspberry B+ is on the left (with a SmartDmd adaptor installed) and the pinball machine is on the right.
Side-Channel.png

On the cpu-board, I have crimped the wires directly on the connector
On the Raspberry, I have used the following connectors :
http://fr.rs-online.com/web/p/connecteurs-idc/5067036/?searchTerm=506-7036
but any similar connector will work.


Side-Channel (Serial) :

With this cable, you can have 255 palettes.
You need to connect the Raspberry to a TTL-RS232 adaptor, like this one : amazon.com link »
The TTL-RS232 is then connected to the Sam-Cpu-Board-J4 DB9 connector with a straight DB9 cable.

Raspberry -> TTL-RS232 adaptor
Rpi-4: TTL-RS232-VCC
Rpi-6: TTL-RS232-GND
Rpi-8: TTL-RS232-TXD
Rpi-10: TTL-RS232-RXD

Here is a photo of the connections between the Raspberry and the TTL-RS232 adaptor. I have taken the Raspberry signals on the SmartDmd adaptor :

serial.png

#280 3 years ago

The last version of SmartDmd has several display modes.

Each of these modes can be used for the whole game or for a single color palette.
If you want to use "Anti-Aliasing" for videos and "Upscaling 16x" everywhere else, you can

Standard mode :
PlainDots.png

You can adjust the shape and size of your dots :
Dots.png
These are just examples and you can define each pixel of the dot
Dots2.png

For example, with "Cross 8x8" dots, the result will look like :
CustomDots.png

You can also use one of the upscaling modes :
2x :
Upscaling2x.png
16x :
Upscaling16x.png
Or the anti-aliasing mode :
AntiAliasing.png
IMO, the anti-aliasing mode is the best one for videos like the ones in AC/DC :
AntiAliasing2.png

#281 3 years ago

I know some people like it and I'm glad you have it for them but I do not like 16x. The graphics were designed to display on large dots with gaps between them. Some things just don't tranlate well when filling in those gaps. I'm very glad you give the option to display how your like it. It should keep everyone happy.

3 weeks later
#282 3 years ago

Scrolled through this post a few times and I se there is support for Data East but........was someone able to figure out how to make it run for the 128x16 DE displays?? I searched a few times and couldn't find it mentioned one way or the other......fingers crossed...

#283 3 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

how to make it run for the 128x16 DE displays??

Try to modify the following lines in smartdmd.txt (do not use notepad.exe; use wordpad.exe instead) :
dmd_type=1
dmd_width=128
dmd_height=16

#284 3 years ago

FYI - for people that are interested, I've started an additional thread to discuss SmartDMD and how it works. As promised, I'll provide detailed tutorials on how PB and SmartDMD can be used to colorize Stern SAM machines. I'll also cover how to build a SDMD kit for those that want to build their own. I'll coordinate with Oga to ensure I present information correctly and keep track of new features as they are implemented. Here's the link:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/smartdmd-everything-you-need-to-know

I know we have several SmartDMD threads already, but I hope to provide a step-by-step users guide that will unveil the mystery behind how the software works and give people the tools they need to start colorizing their own games.

1 week later
#285 3 years ago

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using the SmartDMD board over the DMD extender? If it has already been covered can you point me in the right direction. SmartDMD/DMD extender is the way I want to go, just seeing which is best.

#286 3 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using the SmartDMD board over the DMD extender? If it has already been covered can you point me in the right direction. SmartDMD/DMD extender is the way I want to go, just seeing which is best.

DMD Extender is a great product, so you can't go wrong either way. What game are you looking to install a kit in?

My advise is that you checkout the DMD Extender thread Crash created and see which one you like best.

#287 3 years ago

Cool. Yeah I am looking at putting it into a Johnny mnemonic . I just couldn't see which way to go. Both look great and just trying to see if there was a better W/B or...something....I'll investigate further.

1 week later
#288 3 years ago

If anyone is looking for one of these I have an unused one, correct lcd controller, raspberry pi a+, 8gb microsd, basically everything except the lcd screen. Accidentally broke the lcd putting it in JP and then sold the machine.

1 week later
#289 3 years ago

Can anyone recommend a place to buy raspberry pi's that overclock correctly? Want to upgrade the one in my batman. My Raspberry PI A+ has crappy ram which will not OC enough to run the newer versions.

2 weeks later
1 week later
#291 3 years ago

Here are some more MET pics:

Standard Dots:
Enter Sandman 2.png

16x Upscaling:
Enter Sandman 1.png

My favorite free color file is getting better everyday

#292 3 years ago

how much Colors are possible at WPC machines

5 like dmd extender ?

#293 3 years ago
Quoted from kapsreiter:

how much Colors are possible at WPC machines
5 like dmd extender ?

Yes

#294 3 years ago
Quoted from agodfrey:

What are the advantages/disadvantages of using the SmartDMD board over the DMD extender? If it has already been covered can you point me in the right direction. SmartDMD/DMD extender is the way I want to go, just seeing which is best.

Quoted from PinballMikeD:

DMD Extender is a great product, so you can't go wrong either way. What game are you looking to install a kit in?
My advise is that you checkout the DMD Extender thread Crash created and see which one you like best.

I've read through both threads and I still can't tell what the advantages of one over the other is.

I have a working DMD Extender in my HS2. It's limited to 2 bits / 4 colors. My only complaint is that there is tearing (where one frame is drawn at the top half of the display and the next frame on the bottom half). It's visible during animations and especially with flashing text that alternates between two colors (The Getaway *loves* flashing text .

David at Dr. Pinball said this is not possible to correct for due to the way frames have subframes and it's hard/impossible to tell which is which.

Is it possible that SmartDMD handles this better than DMD Extender?

Are there any other differences between SmartDMD and DMD Extender (that apply to early B/W DMDs)?

#295 3 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

I have a working DMD Extender in my HS2. It's limited to 2 bits / 4 colors. My only complaint is that there is tearing (where one frame is drawn at the top half of the display and the next frame on the bottom half). It's visible during animations and especially with flashing text that alternates between two colors (The Getaway *loves* flashing text .

This is a problem with The Getaway specifically. It tears like crazy, it's built into the game itself, it's not a problem specific to using an LCD based solution.

#296 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

This is a problem with The Getaway specifically. It tears like crazy, it's built into the game itself, it's not a problem specific to using an LCD based solution.

So (for The Getaway) I shouldn't expect to see any difference / improvements in colorization with SmartDMD than I have with DMD Extender? Just want to make sure I'm not missing anything...

#297 3 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

So (for The Getaway) I shouldn't expect to see any difference / improvements in colorization with SmartDMD than I have with DMD Extender? Just want to make sure I'm not missing anything...

I mean, I couldn't say, but I doubt it. The issue is with the source, not the screen. SmartDMD and DMD Extender are just acting as generic displays in this case, neither of them are doing anything custom to try and buffer frames or something, if that's even possible.

#298 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

SmartDMD and DMD Extender are just acting as generic displays in this case, neither of them are doing anything custom to try and buffer frames or something, if that's even possible.

I'm not aware of the game issue but SmartDmd stores each frame into a buffer before displaying it.
This is necessary for the upscaling and network features.

#299 3 years ago
Quoted from oga83:

I'm not aware of the game issue but SmartDmd stores each frame into a buffer before displaying it.
This is necessary for the upscaling and network features.

But you're just streaming out of the buffer at the same rate the data is coming in, right?

Basically all I'm saying is the problem is in the game itself. It's hard to see how a display could change anything short of possibly some kind of custom solution specifically for the game, and that sounds like a nightmare. It's just something you have to live with when you have a Getaway.

#300 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

But you're just streaming out of the buffer at the same rate the data is coming in, right?

Yes, but not exactly. There are some tricks about the display rate to avoid some (fast blinking) animations to flicker.

Quoted from Aurich:

Basically all I'm saying is the problem is in the game itself. It's hard to see how a display could change anything short of possibly some kind of custom solution specifically for the game, and that sounds like a nightmare. It's just something you have to live with when you have a Getaway.

I've never seen this game but I agree : it is very unlikely that SmartDmd will improve this kind of issue.

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