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Gilrock

Learning To Build A Table

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I'm really interested in learning to create a table in VP.  Looks like there was a lot of talk in this forum section earlier in the year about doing tutorials and it kinda fizzled out.  I'm a software developer by day and really good at photoshop so I just need to learn how to tie everything together when building a table and scripts in VP.  Any advise on where to start would be appreciated.  I'd like to create a VP9 cabinet version of Time Warp because I own the machine and have the schematics so it would be easiest for me to try that one since I can take my own photos if needed and play the real thing if I need to check how something looks/works.  The only other version of that table I found was a 4:3 version for VP8.

 

Thanks,

Gil

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My best advice is tearing apart other tables.  That plus trial and error is how I figured out how to make tables.  There are plenty of people around to answer questions also.  It sounds like you'll do alright with your background.

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I wish you lots of luck Gilrock, as Time Warp was my favourite table as a teenager.

 

I've rotated the desktop version and have it running as full screen, but the graphics need updating. There are issues with getting the banana flippers to work as well.

 

Let us know if I can be any help.

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Go to VPForums.org and download the Timewarp by Destruk and then just jump in and try to improve it.  You have to learn one thing at a time and tutorials would become outdated about as quick as someone would create one and it would be a monumental task to try to write a complete table building tutorial. Here is a thread where someone tried to do the whole process in a tutorial....

 

http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=2006

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Here you go. Definitely take tables apart. I don't know vpm, but you can use my templates, they give you a head start.

Time Warp VP8.zip

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So I started creating my version of Time Warp but I'm doing it in Future Pinball first.  I figure I'll be able to re-use all the graphics and sounds I create and use them to create a Visual Pinball version.  I'm really happy with how the graphics have turned out.  I've only been at it about 10 days so far and I have a real job that gets in the way...lol.  Here's a one minute video of my current progress:

http://www.mediafire.com/watch/vlpdqtedetb458a/TimeWarpPreview.mp4

 

I plan to create a 3D model for the flippers but I'll save that for later since I haven't learned 3D tools yet.  I also want to find a good way to record the sounds off my machine.

 

Here's a screenshot:

TimeWarpPreview.jpg

 

 

Thanks,

Gil

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It looks a bit deep in the cabinet, towards the back, but other than that it looks awesome!

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Yeah I hadn't really noticed that.  I was using the default front and rear glass heights from when you create a New Table in FP.  I just tried changing the rear glass height value and it does fix that.

 

Thanks,

Gil

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So now you made me pull the calipers back out....lol.  That table is the same height front to back....about 58 millimeters from the playfield surface to the top of the glass.

 

Gil

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read this for help with vp building

and and for fp builds well yer on yer own there sorry but I only build in vp

which to me is a far easier program to get into then fp

http://www.armuco.ch/bubble/VisualGuidehtml/indexGB.htm

also to go from fp to vp the sounds are saved as OGG files in fp

 while in vp they are usually either wav or mp3's

so you need a decent sound program to convert them (Wavepad is freeware and handles both file types)

good luck on your build and any problems just post and some one will help ya'

post-41-0-89919900-1378729169_thumb.jpg

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Well I've started trying to learn to build my table in VP.  It was a lot easier in FP to be honest.  That link above seems out of date.  The first thing I'm trying to figure out is how to get good lights and the page describing lights doesn't even have the Off Image and On Image fields.  I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the darn images to show up.  Do I seriously have to draw my own custom circle to show the image?  If I select ShapeCircle I don't get my images.  And looking at other tables they seem to have these crazy schemes with layers A, B, On, and Off just to get decent lights.  I don't see how people think VP is so much easier...maybe the scripting is easier because you have the roms driving everything.  In FP I just plopped down all the playfield light bulbs and posts in like 10 minutes and had cool lighting and shadows.  Gorgar is one table I'm inspecting.  It uses 10 wall objects to draw one post, 6 wall objects for a slingshot rubber, and the light bulbs and shadowing are drawn onto the textures.  Any idea how the shadows and lighting were added to the playfield textures?   I hope that wasn't all drawn manually.  There also seems to be quite a performance difference in the editor.  I barely have anything on the table yet and if I select Display Image in Editor to drag shapepoints around for creating a plastic I had it taking 3 to 5 seconds to respond to me dragging a point.  I think I'll go crazy trying to put up with the lag.

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Gil, don't get frustrated.  Yes, VP is a pain in the ass but you'll quickly get a hang of it.  As Itchigo said find a table with a circular custom light shape and copy and paste it over and scale it to fit all you're lights.  The off, a, b, on stuff is for the fading lights routine.  You don't have to use that but it does look best and once you get the hang, it's pretty easy.  OK, now for the good/bad news.  Yes, the general illumination and shadowing on the playfield needs to be drawn onto the playfield textures.  In Photoshop, draw in the light areas with a soft edge brush on a new layer set to overlay or soft light mode.  Then use a mask to "erase" the shadows.  I know this all sounds like a PITA and way too much work, it's fun and it'll be your art.  If you and I both built the same table with the same textures and objects in FP, our tables would look almost identical.  But in VP our lighting would look completely different.  Think of it as an expression of yourself.  OK, so I just sugar coated the short comings of VP.  Just accept the challenge.  It's why table making is fun.

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Well one thing I'm trying to do is use the new addon that can import my FP table into Blender and then render it and see if I can burn the lighting and shadows into my playfield image.  I just suck at Blender right now so one more thing to learn.

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gimp2 is a freeware art program and it is the one I mainly use for my vp creations

it has almost the same things as photoshop but it is free

vp is IMO easier to get into since it offers far more creativity in the play field

fp uses premade toys and while good they restrict my imagination

look at any of my pins over at vpf I don't use fading lights or anything that involved

 but the pins look and play decently and are great for learning off of

 my Klingon vs Romulan pin was made with Itchigos template

 and is relatively simple as far as coding goes and is a good start for learning from

good luck and should you get stuck post again and we'll help ya' best we can

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Well Faralos you and I are just going to disagree.  So far I haven't found anything you can do in VP that can't be done in FP other than the vpmame stuff.  The interface actually looks like it was written by the same person.  You can create and import any model you want in FP so it does not restrict your imagination.  I plan to learn both programs.  So far I'm not able to make things look as nice in VP.  Take a kicker hole or a wire trigger.  In FP it was easy to drop the models on the table and it looked a lot nicer than toggling between two bitmaps.  In FP as I designed I was able to load the table hit F11 and drive around and look at my elements from all angles.  I've been trying to import primitives in VP and so far its been a pain in the butt with lackluster results.  I brought in a peg and it was big enough to cover half the table.  I was able to scale it down before export and got it smaller but it comes out all white.  I'm not a 3D model expert yet so its taking time to figure out this mess.  The peg model object did not have a texture.  When I exported it I got a material file but it doesn't look like VP imports materials with the mesh.

 

I'm a Photoshop user and I've already got 4 versions of my playfield image and I have the fading lights working on my table in attract mode.  Whoever did the 2.4 version of TimeWarp in VP messed up the bonus lights.  Even though I'm creating everything from scratch I was inspecting that table to know what light numbers went where on the table and noticed the pattern of their lights in attract mode is wrong.  Bonus light 1 should be the first light on the right from the top of the triangle not the first light up on the lower left of the triangle.  I also noticed they used the system 4 VBS file but Time Warp was a system 6 machine.  That's why I thought Gorgar would be a good example to follow since it was produced just 3 months after Time Warp from the same company with the same core system.  In fact the aprons are almost exactly the same except the blue was changed to black.  I would have just started with the Gorgar table for element placement but my graphics didn't line up so its easier to just start a new table and copy a few of the elements that can be reused.

 

I'm actually interested in trying to get involved with the VP program development.  After doing software development for over 25 years when I see stuff I don't like I want to get in there and fix it. :)

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 Whoever did the 2.4 version of TimeWarp in VP messed up the bonus lights.

 

 A lot of the older tables have errors and inaccuracies.  You have to remember, most of them were made without access to a real machine and were made prior to the current flood of youtube vids and internet pinball info.  Some were done with a low res pic of the flyer and a manual and some were made with no manual, just the rom to figure out the lights/solenoids.

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 A lot of the older tables have errors and inaccuracies.  You have to remember, most of them were made without access to a real machine and were made prior to the current flood of youtube vids and internet pinball info.  Some were done with a low res pic of the flyer and a manual and some were made with no manual, just the rom to figure out the lights/solenoids.

 

Yep I can understand that.  As I was building my table I was commenting to myself that I don't know how I would have done all that without having the table in my house.  I'm an engineer so I was running into the other room with calipers to get things right.....lol.  Which brings me to my one major VP complaint.  The coordinate system.  I'm a little tired of using a calculator every time I want to enter a distance.

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By the way you can also use walls for lights too. Give the wall a light image, and raise it when the light is on.

 

And yeah, much of it is Youtube.

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