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After working on the very, very complicated Shadow (see here: The Shadow Colorization - COMPLETE (sorry for the delay) - Pin2DMD DMD Colorization Works in Progress - Virtual Pinball Universe (vpuniverse.com)), I've turned my attention to another game needing some love.   I recently picked up a Williams Hurricane that was in rough shape; but, with some TLC (don't go chasing waterfalls) cleaned up nicely with one major item needing some fixing.  The game's DMD panel was dead.  While I had it briefly working with a transplanted Pin2DMD board on the original DMD driver, it failed working at all after a few days.   So, with the prospect of needing both a new driver and confirmed bad plasma panel - I decided to ante up for round 2 at the content creation bar.


I've got the game mostly playable and I'm at the phase of finalizing coloring a few long running animation sequences (currently working on a clown on a tricycle).   The game is so much less complex than Shadow that I'm thankfully able to work quickly.   


I took a break today to track down a few hard to to get frames that occur randomly - a cow screen and an eyeball animation.  Thankfully WPC Editor was able to get the frames and they appear usable.    It also uncovered a very unexepected animation frame that I'm assuming is burried in the memory and had no intention of ever being used - a crucified clown on a cross.   I guess he honked for our sins.


In addition to the afore mentioned cross and clowns in general, I've decided the game is actualy an eldritch horror masked in grease paint.  Check out the poor soul that undergoes the body horror of morphing from an average Joe into a inanmiate golden zero.   Terrifying.  


After dealing with the dark and brooding Shadow and it's art deco color pallete, I wanted to make this more cheerful.  I'm pulling the colors directly from the playfield and I'm reusing the bright color patterns of the stripes on the clown's pants near the flippers.   I know pinheads love clown puke on their games, so I decided to take this to the next level.  


While I am close to the finish line, it may still take me a while as we are getting near a long needed vacation.   Once I get it done, I'll have it posted.






















Edited by jedimastermatt
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That is some bizarre stuff indeed! Curious what the story is behind the freaky clown stuff. Oursler and Youssi were prolific but not so dark (that I know of) but Python Anghelo was damn near certifiable, in mostly a good way- I'm betting its his influence. Already you've made some amazing progress jedimastermatt- fantastic

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Small update - back from vacation and while the Mrs. and I never tested positive for Covid, our niece who was with us did get it and we both got “something”.  Mine has been a bad sinus infection that continues to linger.  Our docs think that because the 2 of us got our boosters just before leaving - it kept us from a positive test and the worst symptoms but we still had a some infection.   

I have started work on this but it’s going slowly; but, there is some good news.  Other than the skill shot awards and the roulette wheel dropping some frames, the only thing left is the very long match sequence.   The bad news on this is that this animation is north of 500 frames and even worse - it’s a flickering mess of half frames, overlapping frames, and some frames that the show animations on the screen but when you look at the hash it’s empty.  In short, it’s a mess that I have to brute force my way through.  

I did take the latest build out to the real pin and other than these issues; it is working great.  

Finish line in sight. 

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I've been tied up with work the last couple of weeks; but, a bit of an update - thanks to my niece who chipped in, we now have all the frames in the match sequence colorized.  That's the good news.   


The bad news is that it's dropping frames like crazy.   


I hope to spend some time with this over the holiday weekend and get it sorted out.   

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Happy New Year all!  I haven't forgotten about this and I forced myself to spend some time over the holidays to try to make some progress on getting the bugs worked out of the match sequence.  Every time I make progress, I turn up another issue with it; but, I think I've found the root cause and am turning to the community for suggestions on how best to mitigate this as it is really testing my patience.  


Here's what I've learned about this particular sequence in the game:


- there is an option in the menus for the game to run a short match sequence or long

- the difference is how many balloon bounces the clown does

- a single run through of long version close to 500 frames


This is where I focused my early efforts and was still getting dropped colorized frames.  Over the holidays, I used the slo-mo feature of my phone and compared the drops to the sequence I've colored and learned the puzzle gets much deeper:


- there are 3 balloon locations

- each hop between the balloons have at least 3 combinations of tumbles (I say at least because of what I discovered at the end that multiplies this by both forward and backward direction combinations).   

- a single flip

- a double flip

- a triple flip


After I discovered this, back to the capture process and grabbed what I think are all the flip combos.  This is where I'm hitting what I think is the last hurdle and I'm not sure what way to deal with it is.


Even with all of the individual frames colorized, I was still getting "partial" drops.  Again using slo-mo on my phone, I discovered the cause.  The game has multiple planes of animation for this sequence.  When playing them back, it displays BOTH planes of animation at the same time and they combine together to form the final image.  When I did the Shadow, this wasn't a problem as the frames never combined together to overlap (of if they did, you couldn't see it).  This game however DOES make it very noticeable when the tumbles are occuring.  


The issue is that the tumbles go left>right and right<left.   I have captured and keyframed each of the frames; but, the problem is that even though I colorized frames that overlap - the problem is that a given frame in the spin sequence uses a frame that depending on if it is going left or right actually has a different plane under it.   For example if the animation sequence was frame 5,6,7 - the way the game displays them is for frame 6 if it is spinning to the left you get frame 5 as the different plane and if it is going to the right you get plane 7.   So, in essence - I really need to colorize 3 different planes for each frame.  


I'm not sure how to combat this.   I even tried grabbing every possible partial hash that the dumps would spit out and while I've got the non-tumbling parts working perfectly the spins still suffer from having 1 hash that is colorized with 2 planes that actually needs the color for a 3rd plane to make it work.


If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  Maybe if I take each plane and "black out" everything minus the actual keyframe, it would work; but, it's hard to tell what plane is what as they are shown in the editor  (unless I'm missing something).


The good news is that most everything else is working or simply needs me to add a keyframe in as I've got everything colorized.  I've seen a few times where the game jumps out of an LCM and needs to jump back in to later frame that just need another keyframe.   


Here's all 650+ frames of the match.   I added a long delay in the hopes it would smooth out the drops; but, it didn't help.  




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  • 2 weeks later...

Light at the end of the tunnel.   I "think" I've got this finished enough to be a very solid version 1.0.   I've got some travel coming up and want to still play the game in the current state to confirm it is all working properly; but, if everything goes according to plan - I plan on launching this in early February!


Thanks to the help of several people smarter than me in the community, I sorted out the main source of the completely dropped frames happening in the match sequence that has been the bane of my existence for months.  I did confirm that it is the multiple flips per balloon combined with the motion of the flip going left or right (which changes the underlying planes in each direction) that are the real source of the problem; but, the issue causing the really bad coloring was simply a color pallete swap I did trying to fix the problem and I didn't catch a lower priority color in the pallete was at conflict.  Once I changed that to all black, it masked the main issue.   


If you look at the match sequence in the video I've attached, it does show the issue with the left/right motion and coloring in that you will see some layers of the color not aliging properly.  The good news is that I've worked out a fix for this in my head... the bad news is it means splitting the animations into two separate LCMs.  One for left and one for right.  That means grabbing all of the flip combinations (1, 2, & 3) going left and the same going right at both balloon locations.  I then need to color them and then add all the keyframes. I can use a single frame on the change of direction motion to leap out of one LCM to the other and back and forth.   In short... this means a TON of work for what is likely a little bit of improvement.   I can't guarantee when I'll get to it; but, if I do - I'll share the results.  


So, for now - sit tight and pull up some peanuts and poporn and stay warm in the big top as the circus is finally coming to town in early Feburary in full color.  





Edited by jedimastermatt
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  • jedimastermatt changed the title to Hurricane - This way to the Ingress (the CIRCUS comes to town in early Feb 2023! Video attached)
  • 2 weeks later...

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