After you made your first steps in the 'B2S Backglass Designer' here are some very useful tips for cool designing:
- You're able to open two or more backglasses projects simultaneously
For a perfect comparison between two or more backglass projects you can open two or more projects simultaneously. Just open a project and then open a second project and you get two tabs at the designer's bottom.
- Use the 'Lamp filter'
Import or open a backglass file or project and show the illumination frames. What you see are so much white frames laying over another. Looks like a bit too much stuff. Use the lamp filter and select just a subset of all these frames.
- Use the CTRL plus SHIFT key
Although you are using the lamp filter sometimes two frames are laying over another or are overlapping each other. If you want to activate the currently not clickable frame just press and hold the CTRL and SHIFT keys. When holding this keys you're selecting the second frame in the layer order.
- Use the right mouse button
Although you are using the lamp filter and the CTRL plus SHIFT key a lot frames are laying over another or are overlapping each other. Click with the right mouse button on the frame and you will get a wonderful context menu to select a single frame.
- Use keys '1' to '5' to set the intensity
Normally you change the intensity with the 'Intensity slider' of the 'Illumination tool window'. With the keys '1' to '5' you are able to change the intensity with only one keystroke.
- Use keys 'O', 'R', 'G', 'B', 'Y', 'M', 'P' or 'W' to set the dodge color
The dodge color is a sometimes pretty heavy light effect beside the intensity. Normally you choose it with a combo box. To do some very fast effect testing use the 'first letter color keys' to switch it on or off.
- Name some lamps with the same name
In an animation involved lamps need a name. This name doesn't need to be unique. The idea is lamps with the same name act like a group. You are able to switch a complete group on or off with just one command.
- Lamps or scores apply some values of last selected
The lamps and scores are applying some of the values of the currently or last selected one. In combination with a set lamp filter it's very easy to add a lot bulbs without too much keyboard hits.
- Don't forget the history window
Yes, I know, the UNDO and REDO functionality is not complete. But already now it is a great help because a lot UNDO functionality is already included. Especially the sizing and moving of score or illumination frames can be perfectly undone.
- Cashed images at the server
This is a bit technically but not too difficult to understand. During the startup of the backglass the B2S.Server is generating some cached images. Up to two images of a type are pre-rendered and cached and are pretty fast accessible therefore. The server is doing this for the two images with the most illumination and with minimum 300,000 pixels square illuminated.
I have done this at 'SORCERER' and added some nice frame illumination to the main type. It doesn't matter since always the whole image will be pre-rendered and cached.
- Use the log files of the running backglass
Use the backglass server log functionality to examine the output of the ROM. Enter a log path and activate the desired log file. To log with a perfect start at zero: Save your logfile settings, stop the table, delete the already written logfile(s) and restart the table. At this backglass start the logfile(s) are still switched on and are logging. Let the logfile(s) be written, stop the table once again. The logging is switched off automatically at the next start to prevent the writing of endless logs.
- Use the VP table script code for a deeper dive into the table
Have a look into the VP table script code. Look for 'SolCallback' and the lamps code. 'SolCallback' joins solenoids to some methods of the script code and very often you can understand just a bit of the code. Sometimes there are some table author's comments at the lamp code.
- Don't add too much stuff
Really important to me: Don't add too much stuff in one backglass. Very often a bit less is more, more for the cab running the backglass to get no performance issues and more for the viewer of the backglass.
I.e.: Resize your background image in the designer to a resolution between 1024 x 768 and 1920 x 1080. Do no use 900 illumination frames. And so on.
... to be continued ...
Edited by Herweh, 02 March 2013 - 11:49 PM.