Still making virtual pinball tables with TS....

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Still making virtual pinball tables with TS.... // TS6 and Older

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Post by scapino // Jan 28, 2006, 8:41am

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As some of you might know, I've been using TS (since version 2), to make Visual Pinball tables. I'm pretty much the only one in the VP scene who models and renders the graphics I use to create the playable Visual Pinball table.


The one of the latest tables I made was Xenon, in TS 6.6.


Here is a picture showing one of the many renders on the left, and how I combine it with backglass elements in Photoshop, to make the final background image, on the right, on top of which I place the animated sprite like images of individual playfiled lights, and animations of flipper and pop bumpers.


http://www.scapinosvpins.com/myXenonTableTS6.jpg


I have purchased TS7, and will be using it to do my next table, which I have not yet decided what it will be.


Kurt

Post by mrbones // Jan 28, 2006, 8:44am

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Wow thats cool, I will be watching this one! Cheers

Post by scapino // Jan 28, 2006, 10:17am

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Thanks, mrbones!


That table is already done, and is on my site as well as most other Visual Pinball sites.


The last table I made was Twilight Zone, also with TS6.6.


Heres what it looks like...


http://www.scapinosvpins.com/myTZTableTS6.jpg


This table also is done.


Kurt

Post by mrbones // Jan 28, 2006, 10:26am

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Oh Sweet, Heres a question. Can character animation be incorporated into your pinball games? Like if you hit one of the bumpers or make it up a bonus slot could you have characters come running out and around, then get bonuses if they get knocked down?

Post by Mike // Jan 28, 2006, 11:05am

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And they still look fantastic! Would love to see some wireframes too.

Post by splinters // Jan 28, 2006, 11:15am

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Have you also got Vray? I imagine that the 'glow' effects possible in Vray would look great on these.:banana:

Post by splinters // Jan 28, 2006, 11:35am

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Bit like these.

Post by Délé // Jan 28, 2006, 11:35am

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Interesting use of TS scapino. They look great! Nice work! I look forward to seeing your TS7 creations as well. :)

Post by scapino // Jan 28, 2006, 11:37am

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mrbones....


Unfortunatly, Visual Pinball is a bit limited in what you can do. You cant have animated things, on top of other animated things. :( But if the character was running around in a area with no other animation, then, yes, it can be done.


splinters....


No, I dont have VRay, but I may get it in the future. In any case, I try to keep the glows down to a minimum, for the above mentioned reason.


Mike....


Thanks! Heres a wireframe for ya. I can do it from another angle if you wish!



Kurt

Post by scapino // Jan 28, 2006, 11:39am

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For some reason the attachment thing didnt work, so heres the wireframe linked from my site.


http://www.scapinosvpins.com/tzwireframe.jpg


Kurt

Post by scapino // Jan 28, 2006, 11:51am

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In case you wonder what it looks like in action, heres a link to a video of one of my earlier games. The resolution and frame rate is crappy, but it looks great in real life when you play it.


The table is Eight Ball Champ, and the graphics were modeled and rendered in TS 5 (it was a while ago.... :) )


http://www.scapinosvpins.com/Movies/EBCVideo.WMV


Kurt

Post by mrbones // Jan 28, 2006, 11:56am

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Sweet, that gave me an Idea too. What if the ball itself turned into a character that started running around getting paddled and such. ..


Thats looks cool, great going

Post by scapino // Jan 28, 2006, 12:13pm

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I did something like that in an original table. Its called Afterburner. Heres a pic.


http://www.scapinosvpins.com/afterburner.jpg


I drew the red arrows to show, if you shoot a ball into the aircraft carrier, the ball turns into a F-14, and takes off from the deck, and flys down to the left flipper lane, where it turns back into a ball. Its quite fun. :)


Kurt

Post by Mike // Jan 28, 2006, 3:28pm

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Love the wireframe! Thanks.

Post by Johny // Jan 28, 2006, 4:02pm

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Nice pinball table :)

Post by mrbones // Jan 28, 2006, 9:14pm

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Wow , thats cool, flying pinball. I like splinters idea too. Also there must be some way to use alpha masks to layer animations, sort of like macromedia flash. how do you compile these, I am imagining in Shockwave or something.:cool:

Post by scapino // Jan 29, 2006, 6:21am

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VP is an older program that hasnt been updated in a long time. It has internal problems with transparencies. Someday it may be fixed.


Anyway, the tables are made with Visual Pinball. Its like the old Pinball Construction Set program.


You make a playfield, and put flippers and walls and switches, and you script the behaviour in the script editor, in Visual Basic.


Most of the VP table makers use the standard table tools. They put textures on the actual models that they put on the table, and let VP render the images.


Heres what I'm talking about....


image removed because of size


I make use of the "backglass" of the VP table, to actually cover up the whole table with my own TS modeled and rendered images. In the attached image, that would be the top right image. See all those white squares? The represent individual "EMReel" objects, which contain a multi frame image, which can be animated through the script.


The bottom right image shows the image I assigned to just one of the EMReels, in this case, one of the playfield lights. The animation gives the light several intensity levels, so it doesnt just blink On and Off, but has a slight fade as a real life light does. I drew a red arrow to show where that particular image lives, on the backglass.


Kurt

Post by scapino // Jan 29, 2006, 6:28am

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I forgot to add another picture. Since I cover up the actual table (the part where the ball travels and hits things), I dont bother texturing the objects on the actual table.


Heres what the Xenon table looks like "naked" ;), with no background, and emreels overlayed on it.


http://www.scapinosvpins.com/nakedtable.jpg


Kurt

Post by ADL7 // Jan 29, 2006, 9:56am

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Great work Scapino! :)


-ADL7

Post by Naes3d // Jan 29, 2006, 2:30pm

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The images are excellent, but the first thing that caught my interest was the realistic perspective. Did you just place a camera, or did you have to use precise focal settings?

Post by scapino // Jan 29, 2006, 2:42pm

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I had to go back and forth into VP to adjust the actual table, to the angle I chose for the render.


Kurt

Post by joekel4 // Feb 16, 2006, 7:55am

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Wow, is right. These images are beautiful. Very well done.

Questions - did you do all your modeling in truespace also? Or did you import any of the geometry?

Unless I am mistaken could you not make the model interactive using truespace 7. I guess what I mean by this is that you could animate the bumpers "bouncing", the flippers "flipping" and all sorts of cool things, using the scripts.

Just for the sake of asking how do you animate these things now? Just a brief overview would be interesting, nothing too detailed because you'll probably go over my head pretty quickly anyway.

I have no clue as to how that would be done.

Thanks,

Joe

Post by scapino // Feb 16, 2006, 10:44am

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Thanks, joekel4.


Basicly the animation in the playable table is sprite-like. Lots of images, that have several frames in them. The code flips between frames. My tables have a fixed perspective, for that reason. For example, each individual playfield light is a sprite, with 5 levels of intensity.


I could make a functional table in TS7, but I would have to simplify the models alot.


The table as it stands now has 37,000 verticies and 173,000 faces. It is NOT triangulated.


The table is completly modeled by myself. I do the individual parts, save them, and load them into the table model, and copy (like the posts).


This particular table is completly done in TS7. My previous ones were done in TS5 thru TS6.6 .


Kurt

Post by joekel4 // Feb 19, 2006, 12:51am

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Alright now your in for a laugh, what is a sprite? I've heard the term, but do not really have a clue as to what it means. Is that something like a web based macro, a script, or something like the smilies like this :banana: that run automatically when something triggers them?

The reason I asked about if you did your modeling in truespace is because I do the majority of my modelling in Autocad and then import. Good, bad, or indifferent I have found in the past that I have difficulty modelling in truespace. Lack of experience with truespace though mostly.

I must admit your images are so bright that they are very eye catchingly crisp. I am most impressed.

Thanks again,

Joe

Post by ProfessorKhaos // Feb 19, 2006, 4:52am

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Sprites are generally prerendered 2D images that are moved around the screen to show movement of an object within a game. They differ from true 3D objects in that they're just bitmaps (sometimes with alpha channel info and animation). Scaling of the image is often used to imply distance in psuedo 3D games.


The old Doom and Duke Nukem games have examples of sprites for characters that move around the screen. Regardless of your angle to them they (the bitmaps) always faced the camera though some of the bitmaps represented characters walking to the side or away from the camera. Going waay waay back, Pac Man and the associated ghosts were sprites that moved around the screen but scaling of the images were not used as those games were 2D to begin with.


Sprites work especially well in games that have a fixed camera perspective. They don't necessarily have to move either to be a sprite. They might used simply to draw over top of another sprite (i.e. ball goes behind a bumper so the bumper must be drawn in last). They would be well suited to the pinball table above.

Post by scapino // Feb 19, 2006, 6:42am

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One of the things I really like about TS is its modeling. Its SO easy!


Stuff like the plastics, are just a spline curve, extruded. I draw the curve over the actual image of the plastic. Takes but a few minutes each. I think I spent an hour, a long time ago, modeling the post I use on this game. Its a standard post, for Bally tables of that period, so all the other tables that use that post, I just import it and copy as many as needed. I do sometimes have to change the color, and or transparecy, but thats it. I have quite a collection of standard parts allready modeled. So that cuts the overall modeling time down.


What Proffesor K said was quite right about sprites.


Heres a image strip that is the sprite for the top left lane light of the table I'm working on. You will notice 5 frames. The first one is the table in a complete dark state, before the power kicks on. Then ther are 4 frames with the light at different intensities. I animate it so the light pops on quicker then it goes off, like lights in real life.


Kurt
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