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Pin2DMD Basic Colouring

astyy

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A few people have expressed interest in a step by step tutorial for changing the default palette supplied with Pin2DMD. This is useful if no colourisation has been done for your machine (yet) and the Pin2DMD default palettes (selectable through the onscreen menu) aren't suitable.

IF colour is available for your machine, bung the artist a few beer tokens and go that route! Check these sites;
- Audiofreaks site https://pin-display.ch/files/
- Dzorbas site https://sites.google.com/view/pin2dmd/colour-files
- VPUniverse downloads http://vpuniverse.com/forums/files/category/102-pin2dmd-colorizations-real-pinball/
- VPUniverse Works-in-Progress http://vpuniverse.com/forums/forum/138-pin2dmd-dmd-colorization-works-in-progress/

If you're still here we need to do some colouring then. I'll describe 2 methods using the Pin2DMD Editer to export a Palette, firstly in as few clicks as possible and second slightly more detailed working with a proper project.

As background, most DMD machines support up to 4 brightness shades and Stern SAM/Spike 16, these shades can be simply replaced with colours by applying a palette. In both cases we'd typically reserve colour 1 as Black used for backgrounds. I'll focus mainly on the 4 colour case as that is what I have experience of. NOTE with advance full colouring all machines can support 16 colours per frame:thumbs:

I'm fairly new to this too, so hollah if anything is wrong.

Next step Install and Register Pin2DMD Editor
 
Last edited:
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astyy

astyy

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Install the Pin2DMD Editor

Download the appropriate Pin2DMD Editor from Luckys Google Drive share https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/18wNl_JbPW4XbvLkJQbT_s_DhHZqwq9CI
pin2dmd-editor.exe for Windows 32 bit/x86
pin2dmd-editor64.exe for Windows 64 bit
pin2dmd-editor64_OSX.zip for Mac

For the Windows versions once downloaded copy the .exe to a new folder something like C:\Pin2DMD Editor

Double click the .exe file to run.

The Pin2DMD Editor requires a Java runtime, if this isn't found it should prompt to install, if not it can be installed from here
https://www.java.com/en/download/

All going well by this point you have the Pin2DMD Editor open as below :thumbs:
1593433559979.png

Next step Register the Pin2DMD Editor
 
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astyy

astyy

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Register the Pin2DMD Editor

To work with "real pins" the Pin2DMD Editor must be registered. This uses the same xxxxxxxxx.key license file that activated your Pin2DMD, where xxxxxxxxxxx is the Pin2DMD serial number.

The .key file may be stored on the Pin2DMD MicroSD card.

Alternatively, in the case of the Pinballinfo group buy @MadNat has a copy of these and he's published a video showing how to read the key from the DMD using the "Pin2DMD Tool"

Once you have a copy of your .key file simply select it through the editor Help -> Register option
1593434488526.png

Click Choose and select the .key file from where stored on the PC
1593434635506.png

Upon successful Registration should look like this
1593436289829.png

Next step Edit the Default Palette
 
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astyy

astyy

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Edit the Default Palette "Quick & Dirty" Method :eek:

This is the simplest method to edit and apply the default Palette in minimum clicks. The disadvantage is that you can't see your changes applied to frames before testing it, I'll get to that in the next method, however you're likely only setting black + 3 new colours for most machines, so keep setting, testing and playing until you're happy with your changes.

When the Pin2DMD Editor is opened the Default Palette of 16 colours is displayed in the Palettes panel at the top right hand side
1593439898891.png
The default 16 colours visilble may be reminiscent of what you see on the Pin2DMD splash. This is what we're going to change.
1593438327927.png

IMPORTANT FOR 4 COLOUR MACHINES THESE ARE THE COLOURS TO CHANGE (It is recommended to leave the first colour as Black used for the background)
1593440281489.png

Change a Colour by Control/Clicking the colour box in the Palette and then select a new Colour from the "Color Picker" below then click OK
1593440392668.png

For example Dr Who uses 4 Colours and with the Default Palette looks like this
1593440701240.png
I can leave Black and change the 3 colours to be something more vibrant like this
1593440826174.png

Apply your new Palette by clicking File -> Export Project (Real Pin)
1593441299554.png

Save the File to a MicroSD card named pin2dmd.pal
1593441427748.png

Power off the machine, Insert the MicroSD card into the Pin2DMD and when it boots it should pickup and use the modified palette:thumbs:

This is a very basic modification and the new palette will apply right across the game, some colours that suit some scenes may not suit others.

Next up, if there is interest I will describe how to achieve the same in a Project that can be used as the basis for more advanced editing
 

MadNat

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How did you get the Dr Who scene in the editor, so you can test the palette settings? Any help there would be great.
 
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astyy

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See your colours in the Editor screen/capturing a Recording 🌈

The previous procedure described how to set and apply a new Default Palette in a few clicks but it's more convenient to see your colours in the Editor applied to the game scenes as you change them. To do this you need "Recordings" for your game which are captures of the frames that appear on the real DMD. Comprehensive recordings form the basis of advanced colouring.

Recording files can be sourced using various techniques, typically the method records whatever is displayed on the DMD whilst using it, methods include;
- Files shared online, these tend to be from the community artists so the game is very likely coloured anyway!
- Real Pinball machine, a PC running Pin2DMD Tool is connected to the Pin2DMD USB, play game and displayed DMD screens are recorded to a PC file
- Virtual Pinball, play game, option in VPX software to record displayed DMD screens to file
- WPC Emu Debug View at https://playfield.dev/ an online emulator for WPC games, simple method for capturing simple recordings

For WPC games the Emu Debug view is a convenient option to record some content including the attract animations as follows.

1. Open playfield.dev in Internet Browser, I use Windows Chrome, mine opens to Hurricane, you should see immediately the DMD and playfield lighting animation
1593510591358.png

2. Select the required Game in the ROM drop down list (top left) e.g. "WPC Fliptronics: Dr Who". The emulator immediately resets and starts running the selected game.
1593510711265.png

3. Record some content, by clicking the "DMD Dump" button, if you then click immediately click "Reset" it will record from machine boot
1593511110574.png

4. Let the emulation run to capture some DMD content as seen on the screen. You can start a game by clicking COIN+1 to credit then START BUTTON. then click some playfield Switches to activate in-game content (imo this is a bit hit and miss and not the best method to get full recordings). When you have enough content click the "DUMPING" button and the Recording file named wpc-emu-dump.raw will automatically be downloaded.
1593511673846.png

5. Copy the Recording file from the browser download folder to working Pin2DMD folder, I like to create a subfolder for each machine under the "Pin2DMD Editor" folder.
So for Chrome I copy C:\Users\Astyy\Downloads\wpc-emu-dump.raw to C:\Pin2DMD Editor\Dr Who\wpc-emu-dump.raw
1593512327780.png

Next step working with a Recording in the Pin2DMD Editor :thumbs:
 
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astyy

astyy

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Thank gawd we're finally seeing some DMD frames in the Editor :rolleyes:

By this point those who are still awake should have a wpc-emu-dump.raw DMD recording file, captured with the WPC Emu Debug View ready to go in a nice & tidy "Pin2DMD Editor" machine named subfolder :thumbs:

1. Start the Pin2DMD Editor

2. Click "Scene/Recording" => "Load Recording(s)" Menu Option
1593513450672.png

3. Use the File Chooser to Open the .raw Recording file captured earlier e.g. C:\Pin2DMD Editor\Dr Who\wpc-emu-dump.raw
1593513618761.png

4. If successful you should now see your Recording listed in the Recordings Panel and once selected the recorded Frames can be seen and scrolled through below.
1593514159248.png

5. You can now Ctl/Click to modify the default palette, note only the 4 Colours in use are selectable. Yuk, but you get the idea.
1593514511564.png

6. At this point the Palette can be set "Default" again and the project exported to Pin2dmd.pal per post #4 above

7. We're serious Pin2DMD Artists now so let's save our progress as a Project. Click "File" => "Save Project As". I store in the same game subfolder as the Recording
1593514644392.png
 

cr5000462

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Excellent guide, thank you for taking the time to put this together! I will be giving it a shot soon, Never know, if a few of us took this on we could cater for ourselves instead of the VP guys
 

MadNat

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Any chance we could find members on here who are not colourblind, and have the patience to help iron out a few wrinkles with HS2 colour files?

The project started by Malenko is public and available here:https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ezyqZ6VAHwOCeZzqoOF-npTQoozmL1lf

The attract mode has an annoying flashing screen and the Map scenes need to be tidied up if that is possible. Happy to provide actual footage of the problems. Quite a few on here use PIN2DMD on HS2 - so would be a big help.

@slippifishi @astyy any thoughts on how much work that would be?

Thank you.
 

slippifishi

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The HS2 map is notoriously difficult :) I think Malenko (and maybe some others) made a few attempts at covering this, but there is just too much variety if I remember correctly; anything is possible with enough dumps, but the randomness and variety in that scene could make that a particularly mammoth task. Pretty sure there are some posts covering this in the main VPU thread: http://vpuniverse.com/forums/topic/3984-the-getaway-high-speed-ii-malenko-edition/

I'm not sure about the flashing in the attract sequence - if you can capture a video then I would be happy to have a look/point you in the right direction.
 

slippifishi

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The flashing during the "free play / press start" looks like an easy fix - I guess "press start" flashes and the trigger is based on that text being visible, so every other frame is uncoloured when the text has flashed off, or else the wrong scene is being triggered.
There is also a brief white flash as each high score is displayed, which I suspect is a relic of how they are being triggered and a consequence of the chequered flag style rollover, I will have to look at the project to be sure; I suspect it could be done differently, but it might be a lot of work for relatively little reward.
I do agree the map really doesn't look great - it tries to trigger at the start but then loses track and ends up uncoloured - i'm not sure that's intentional, it looks unfinished, but it could also be what I was describing where that particular path taken hasn't been captured and triggered. I'd be tempted to accept defeat there and just find a 4 colour palette that works and find a trigger that always fires regardless of the start/end point.

I will add that malenko is really good at this - I learned from his example(!) - so some of these scenes may be as good as they can get given the limitations of the editor at the time. HS2 has a lot of transitions/scrolling too and they are always difficult to handle gracefully in every situation.
 

Pinoffski

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just asking if you have a file with a game you don't have how can you test it ?
i powered up up a display external from a pinball ..
was trying to work out on how i could view it ..
is it possible using pin2dmd software ?
 

MadNat

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Probably the best for that kind of thing is Virtual Pinball. That way you could see how the display works with any table.

Checkout VP Universe forum for everything you need to get going.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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astyy

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just asking if you have a file with a game you don't have how can you test it ?
If you have the "project" files (some colouring artists share them with the export files) then you can view the colouring applied to DMD recording playbacks within the Pin2DMD Editor.
 

Pinoffski

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If you have the "project" files (some colouring artists share them with the export files) then you can view the colouring applied to DMD recording playbacks within the Pin2DMD Editor.
ok thanks i am still trying to learn on how to do get the best out of these pin2dmd

i joined VP Universe forum but unfortunately it was putting a dot on the end of the email address
and i cannot excess the site
and it send i don't need to activate the account
cannot vue the site
 

slippifishi

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Thanks @slippifishi - video is here:

Here is an updated version for HS2 real pin that will stop the flashing during free play attract - that's the only change! I believe this is based on the latest sources but it is hard to tell; I have told Malenko about the fix so hopefully it will also be incorporated in any next official update.
If anyone cares/is looking at the sources, all I did was delete the triggers called "KeyFrame FreePlay" and "KeyFrame FreePlay 1" - there is another trigger called "KeyFrame PushStart" that will kick in instead, and I bumped the delay on that color mask scene to 300ms to make sure it lasts long enough to cover any flashing.

ok thanks i am still trying to learn on how to do get the best out of these pin2dmd

i joined VP Universe forum but unfortunately it was putting a dot on the end of the email address
and i cannot excess the site
and it send i don't need to activate the account
cannot vue the site

You can get a copy of Malenko's publicly available HS2 sources (and bypass VPU) here:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ezyqZ6VAHwOCeZzqoOF-npTQoozmL1lf?usp=sharing

There are also a couple of links to other projects on the pinside main PIN2DMD thread I think.
 

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stevefrith

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Register the Pin2DMD Editor

To work with "real pins" the Pin2DMD Editor must be registered. This uses the same xxxxxxxxx.key license file that activated your Pin2DMD, where xxxxxxxxxxx is the Pin2DMD serial number.

The .key file may be stored on the Pin2DMD MicroSD card.

Alternatively, in the case of the Pinballinfo group buy @MadNat has a copy of these and he's published a video showing how to read the key from the DMD using the "Pin2DMD Tool"

Once you have a copy of your .key file simply select it through the editor Help -> Register option
View attachment 112010

Click Choose and select the .key file from where stored on the PC
View attachment 112012

Upon successful Registration should look like this
View attachment 112019

Next step Edit the Default Palette
I've just tried to get the backup key using Mike's video tutorial and when I get to the below screen it just throws up an error message "Device not activated". HELP!!

1602181798853.png
 

Fifty

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Christ, I wish I had found this tutorial a few weeks ago. It would have saved me a massive headache. I have been fighting with the lack of documentation, or incorrect documentation for at least 3 weeks. Even now, I can't get a straight up answer on whether I should be loading a RAW file, or TXT file, or whether either of these files needs to be gzipped before loading.

With regards to creating a dump file, I have also been having issues. My dump files are corrupted, but I don't have an explanation as to why. I click on the Create Dump checkbox and it starts recording the DMD images, but I can't uncheck the box and it seems like I'm the only one that isn't able to uncheck it.

I was talking to lucky1 on VPU and he suggested using the 32bit version of PIN2DMD.exe, but I'm on a Windows 10 64-bit so I'm already anticipating it erroring out when I try to install it. My pins are inaccessible for a few weeks so I'm unable to try.
 

stevefrith

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Christ, I wish I had found this tutorial a few weeks ago. It would have saved me a massive headache. I have been fighting with the lack of documentation, or incorrect documentation for at least 3 weeks. Even now, I can't get a straight up answer on whether I should be loading a RAW file, or TXT file, or whether either of these files needs to be gzipped before loading.

With regards to creating a dump file, I have also been having issues. My dump files are corrupted, but I don't have an explanation as to why. I click on the Create Dump checkbox and it starts recording the DMD images, but I can't uncheck the box and it seems like I'm the only one that isn't able to uncheck it.

I was talking to lucky1 on VPU and he suggested using the 32bit version of PIN2DMD.exe, but I'm on a Windows 10 64-bit so I'm already anticipating it erroring out when I try to install it. My pins are inaccessible for a few weeks so I'm unable to try.
Tim, I share your pain, these things are not easy to set up, especially for a non techy person like me. The easiest route is to get a pre-written file via VPUniverse but when nobody has written one for your machine that's when the fun starts. I've just got one sorted for a Stern machine, but only with the most basic of colours, but it's a start. However overall I'm glad I've persevered as these diaplays are still better than the single colour versions. Steve
 

stevefrith

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Tim, I share your pain, these things are not easy to set up, especially for a non techy person like me. The easiest route is to get a pre-written file via VPUniverse but when nobody has written one for your machine that's when the fun starts. I've just got one sorted for a Stern machine, but only with the most basic of colours, but it's a start. However overall I'm glad I've persevered as these diaplays are still better than the single colour versions. Steve
ps... I'd add that when you are stuck there are so many helpful guys on this forum who are willing to help you, that it's worth reaching out when things get desperate!
 

Fifty

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Tim, I share your pain, these things are not easy to set up, especially for a non techy person like me. The easiest route is to get a pre-written file via VPUniverse but when nobody has written one for your machine that's when the fun starts. I've just got one sorted for a Stern machine, but only with the most basic of colours, but it's a start. However overall I'm glad I've persevered as these diaplays are still better than the single colour versions. Steve
The hardware is great. The software is good. It's the documentation that is awful. Thankfully there are some videos posted, and Powerpoint slides. I am a techy person, not high level, but I'm an Electrical Technician by trade and I've been troubleshooting things since I entered the workforce.

I have a pre-written file for my pin, and it is excellent, but I'm very detail oriented and there are some sections that I believe could be better or at least tightened up. The inconsistencies are few and far between but they bug me. I know I shouldn't sweat the small stuff, but the pre-written file is so close to being perfect it's hard not to focus on them. I'm enjoying it, but I would like to try my hand at this. If not to fix the pre-written file, then just to make an attempt at doing it differently, even if it's just for a couple static images.

Thankfully, the community for PIN2DMD is very helpful. I'm sure I'll figure it out, I'm just surprised to feel like a trail-blazer this far into the project.
 

slippifishi

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Hey Fifty, I am pretty sure the 32 bit exe will run ok, even on 64 bit windows - you may need to install 32 bit Java SE, so if it looks like it's not doing anything when you run it, try installing that.

Did you try doing a small RAW dump from neophob's website (https://playfield.dev/) and proving that it loads OK to rule out anything you are doing wrong? Just to be really obvious about this because on VPU I get the impression there is some confusion - you should NOT be gzipping or doing anything to the RAW files after they have been created, they get loaded in the editor as-is - only TXT dumps should be gzipped.

EDIT: I did look at the example raw file you uploaded to VPU myself - I can load it and see about 1100 frames at the start, but it's as if it didn't complete writing correctly so it doesn't know how many total frames are in it. Lucky is definitely the go to guy for these questions, but if you have another USB cable floating around, maybe try swapping that around as well just to rule out some kind of dodgy connection.
 

Fifty

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Hi @slippifishi I have not tried it yet. I'm getting some house reno's done this week and my house is upside down. I can't even get access to my pins because there is so much stuff in the way right now.

I will give the 32-bit EXE a try (with 32 Java) once things get back to normal here. It's also Canadian Thanksgiving weekend so we are doing dinner, albeit without family (thanks COVID).

For my example RAW file how did you manage to upload it? I was only able to load the TXT. The file most likely did not complete writing because I didn't know how to stop it. I couldn't uncheck the checkbox, I had to disconnect the USB cable. I don't believe it's the USB cable, but I will try another one.

My plan when I can get to my pins again;

Try the 64 bit version. Try to start/stop the dump. Try to load the RAW.
Try the 32 bit version. Try to start/stop the dump. Try to load the RAW.

If either fails, swap the USB and try both again.
 

slippifishi

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I am using the 64 bit editor, 2.5.0.6 build version 04.10.2020 from luckys google drive. I just go to Scene / Recording > Load Recording(s)... and select your 290920_011414_pin2dmd_dump.raw file. It is 750mb(!) which is a definite sign of something being wrong, the raw files should be pretty small, even for 30 minutes playtime it should only come in around 20mb-30mb I think, uncompressed. It takes ages to load but eventually I can browse it - frame 975 is the last frame of data, not that I think that proves or means anything.

1602339799454.png
 

Fifty

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I am using the 64 bit editor, 2.5.0.6 build version 04.10.2020 from luckys google drive. I just go to Scene / Recording > Load Recording(s)... and select your 290920_011414_pin2dmd_dump.raw file. It is 750mb(!) which is a definite sign of something being wrong, the raw files should be pretty small, even for 30 minutes playtime it should only come in around 20mb-30mb I think, uncompressed. It takes ages to load but eventually I can browse it - frame 975 is the last frame of data, not that I think that proves or means anything.

View attachment 121823
That's definitely it. Weird that you are able to load it and mine just ends up erroring out.
 

domlouis

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Anyone looked at playfield/dev recently? The emulator doesn't seem to be working properly for me... Anyone else with the same problem?
 
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astyy

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Anyone looked at playfield/dev recently? The emulator doesn't seem to be working properly for me... Anyone else with the same problem?
It's working for me at the mo, I last used it a few weeks back to grab some Judge Dredd scenes.
 
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