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How to change a texture on a ball?


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#1 Ezepov

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 02:27 PM

How to change a texture on a ball?
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#2 Steve Paradis

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 03:04 PM

QUOTE (Shockman @ Apr 1 2010, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Ezepov @ Apr 1 2010, 09:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How to change a texture on a ball?


Load a new ball image into the image manager and select that in the editor. That's the simple way.

CreateBall.Image="xxxx" is the scripting method for the same thing.



you cannot change texture on a ball. Shockman, this is the FP section.
Only the color can be changed. In FP press F1 for the help menu and follow the procedure.

Steve


Edited by Steve Paradis, 01 April 2010 - 03:06 PM.

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#3 Shockman

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 03:23 PM

QUOTE (Steve Paradis @ Apr 1 2010, 10:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Shockman @ Apr 1 2010, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Ezepov @ Apr 1 2010, 09:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How to change a texture on a ball?


Load a new ball image into the image manager and select that in the editor. That's the simple way.

CreateBall.Image="xxxx" is the scripting method for the same thing.



you cannot change texture on a ball. Shockman, this is the FP section.
Only the color can be changed. In FP press F1 for the help menu and follow the procedure.

Steve


Sorry. It's a bit confusing, maybe the recent posts section on the front page should be broken down into two sections, or maybe I should just slow down and be more aware. The first would be the easiest to achieve though. I can understand a standard ball, and FP has a good one. The advanced rendering on the ball could be problematic with a different ball image.

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#4 Noah Fentz

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 03:56 PM

I agree. I've gotten 'lost' at times, too, so I am going to create a different color skin for the FP section. Something brown comes to mind.

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#5 Bob5453

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 04:06 PM

QUOTE (Noah Fentz @ Apr 1 2010, 11:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree. I've gotten 'lost' at times, too, so I am going to create a different color skin for the FP section. Something brown comes to mind.

smile.gif


Something brown comes to mind?

smile.gif

Great idea on a different color, I use the Active Topics button, can you force a different color for that too?

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#6 Noah Fentz

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 04:09 PM

Yes, I should be able to, but first I'll skin the FP section.

I already have a skin started for the BBB. I figured it would be easier to know if you can 'cut loose' on the verbage if the skin was different.

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#7 Steve Paradis

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 06:29 PM

Why not use something "black" tongue.gif
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#8 TheNalex

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:14 PM

QUOTE (Steve Paradis @ Apr 1 2010, 07:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why not use something "black" tongue.gif


Haha nice one wink.gif
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#9 Comicalman

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 07:13 PM

Couldnt find anything in online help / manual. I Did find by browsing code that color can be set in a script via:

.createball r, g, b

Would that be correct? Is there a way to get the ball to a 'default' color? ie without scripts or .createball?



#10 Mystman

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 07:36 AM

QUOTE (cujopb @ May 26 2010, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Couldnt find anything in online help / manual. I Did find by browsing code that color can be set in a script via:

.createball r, g, b

Would that be correct? Is there a way to get the ball to a 'default' color? ie without scripts or .createball?


You mean a way to automatically change the color of the ball on every table? As far as I know, that isn't possible.

#11 PixelOz

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 09:44 PM

So if the ball texture can't be changed why does FP comes with a library with many different ball textures? What is that for? I mean the one in the Libraries folder called fpSphereMaps.fpl which contains several different textures for different balls. Do you mean to tell me that that is totally useless? What the heck???? Cause if that is totally useless why are we downloading it together with FP? Shouldn't that be taken out of the FP package then so we don't download unnecessary garbage?

I tried for example to modify some of the libraries that come with some tables and changed the [chrome-silver] ball texture and the respective association in the texture manager to no avail. Then I modified that other library and changed the default [chrome-silver] texture to something else thinking that FP was using that as a default instead but no, the tables still load the same default ball texture so I guess that that default [chrome-silver] texture is embedded in the Future Pinball.exe file or in one of the program's .dlls but I'm guessing here and if that is the case what is that fpSphereMaps.fpl library for???????? dry.gif

Yes I found out. The image is embedded in the Future Pinball.exe file, actually there are two of them in it, one is the regular [chrome-silver] image and there is a second one that is the same image but upside down. That is where FP gets the same darned image from. Arrrrrgg! This should be customizable with every table! Boo Hoo sad.gif

I changed it!

Of course this is just an experiment and its a bit cumbersome but here is a screenshot with a black texture I created:

http://img534.images...screenshot1.jpg

(Well that is definitely something black or not?, ummmm ja,ja,ja)

Now every table has that black ball with my own texture. But this of course will cause problems with those tables that color the ball cause you can just color the ball with the script but here I used my own custom texture. Now it doesn't mean that it doesn't work cause in the Superman II table for example which uses balls of different colors it will just colorize the ball anyway, it will just look darker.

As for it affecting the advanced reflections system, I don't think so. The ball just reflects OK. I have a pretty high end system so I can use all of the good graphic tricks and I use the reflecting ball and it worked just fine and I could also see that the scuff marks that rotate to give a more realistic sense of motion look alright too. It just happens that a grayish ball is best when it comes to colorize the ball as the program does.

I also created another Future Pinball.exe file with a higher resolution texture for the ball (128 x 128 pixels) as a test and it worked fine but I don't think that that is really necessary cause the 64 x 64 pixel ball looks OK even at 1920 x 1080 high definition so for the moment 64 x 64 is fine and I also don't know if the program is shrinking those 128 x 128 pixels textures to 64 x 64 pixels automatically at the moment of running which is a possibility.

What I did was to use a resource editor and changed the embeded .bmp files (the two ball images the regular one and the one that is upside down) in the Future Pinball.exe file and saved the new Future Pinball.exe file. Of course I did a backup of the Future Pinball.exe file before attempting this just in case something went wrong and I created a folder right there in the Future Pinball program folder called ProgramBackup where I put the original file and I can use that to switch back and forth between the two .exe files by exchanging them but like I said this is just an experiment.

Now I think that the program should allow the customization of the ball texture for those that want it but to be honest as the program is now if you changed the texture to something like let's say a world map texture for example it would look kinda bad cause that texture wouldn't rotate so it would break the illusion of the motion of rotation a lot. I've seen this done in Visual Pinball and it looks pretty bad.

This doesn't mean that a different texture cannot be used for a 3D game, it can be used but for a texture with a pattern (let's say as an example a toy children's ball with a few stars around it's surface) this texture should be mapped to the surface of a polygonal sphere and it should rotate to convey a good sensation of motion. You can see how good this looks in games such as Never Putt or Never Ball (open source mini golf and balancing a ball games respectively which are pretty good and come together in a single package - http://neverball.org/). You can see with that game how nice this would look. Actually in Never Ball you have several balls with different effects that go beyond a mere simple surface texture. You have a few balls and some of them have transparencies with animated effects inside (The ball has to be selected in Never Ball and when you change it in Never Ball it changes in Never Putt too) but the various balls are pretty nice.

What happens is that in a simulated chrome ball as it is used in Visual Pinball and Future Pinball the main texture is not rotated cause it really looks better and more realistic that way. If the main texture of the chrome ball was rotated it would look awful. Future Pinball for example conveys the illusion of motion in a convincing way by using a rotating texture of scuff marks that is mapped around a real polygonal ball (and you can see that it has a polygonal ball when you see the table in wireframe mode). That scuff marks texture does rotate creating a convincing illusion of motion, this when couple together with the reflection system (unfortunately only for those that have a faster computer) creates a very convincing sense of motion despite the main chrome ball texture being static. The rotating scuff marks texture is somehow overlaid over the main static texture.

Ideally programs like Visual Pinball or Future Pinball should have an alternate method of rotating the main texture as an option and allow the customization of that texture so one could create any ball that one one wanted such as a pool table ball if one so desired for a table. So ideally the programs should allow customization of the ball textures and the ability to use both a static main texture for reflective balls and a rotation (mapped to the polygonal ball perhaps as one of two layers of materials under the scuff marks layer which is semi transparent) texture for patterned materials such as those used in Never Putt and Never Ball and other programs like Marble Arena. This would give a lot more flexibility and creativity for the table creator.

The reflection system could be combined with such a system to make the balls more realistic and/or also the static layer could be combined with this too (with the rotating main texture as yet another texture) so the static layer could be used as a shiny material layer overlaid as it is (a static) on top of the rotating texture to help create some highlights that could give the ball a shinier appearance as it would be needed in a semi reflective material such as that used in the mentioned pool table ball. For this the material used would need alpha so you could see the static highlights but also most of the rotating texture showing through. I think that the reflection system in such a case would need to be adjustable so one could set the amount of reflection to a higher or lower degree (I guess by adjusting its alpha value). Or there could be other things such as those effects in Never Ball. Maybe the ability to give the ball a partially transparent texture so one could model things in the inside of the ball as well which could be seen through the alpha, it could also have animated textures, etc.

That would be a much better and much more flexible ball material for these games, too bad it is not that good yet in them if it will ever be.

Edited by PixelOz, 14 June 2010 - 05:12 AM.


#12 PixelOz

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:47 AM

One additional thing that I wanted to specify about being able to make a rotating texture, one that rotates together with the scuff marks is that I don't think that that is that complex to do.

Is not that the program has to create a new way to do a triple multilayered texture, right now it does double, it has the static chrome texture and the rotating scuff marks texture and the reflections on top of that (but that third is a separate effect created in a different way) so it really is still a double layer texture system plus the reflections effect.

I think that one possible way to do what I mentioned (about the rotating patterned texture like the pool table ball for example) in relatively simple way without having to do too much program code change would be that the program took the texture that it uses as scuff marks which is semi transparent (using some sort of alpha) and then maybe the program could load your custom rotating texture and mix it with the rotating scuff marks texture and then save the result of that as a temporary texture that is a result of those two (the scuff marks semi-transparent texture and your patterned texture) and then using that resulting temporary texture as the single texture to be rotated.

The percent of mix between the scuff-marks texture and your rotating texture could be configurable through an interface box or control of one type or the other or pre-selected by the programmer. Do you see? The program would still be rotating only one layer of texture, the apparent dual layer (the scuff marks texture plus your rotating pattern which is your texture) would only be an illusion created by the program by pre-mixing these two textures and storing the result in a temporary place either in memory or in a directory where it would be read from to be used in the real-time simulator.

The other thing that would require modification would be one or a few highlights (specular) textures that could be used as a substitute of the static chrome ball texture. So that would use the second texture (the static one) as a highlights system that would be overlayed over the temporary texture (the scuff marks + your pattern result). When a chrome ball would be desired the chrome ball basic texture would be used and when one wanted to use a rotating custom pattern the transparent alpha highlights would be used (one or several to choose from) instead.

The difference here is that the alphas would have be switched about (inverted). Originally you had the static chrome texture that is fully opaque (no alpha transparency) with the rotating alpha transparent scuff marks texture added on top of that one (plus the optional reflection system on top I believe).

In the idea that I mentioned you would have a temporary texture that would be fully opaque because it would be your custom rotating pattern with the alpha scuff marks added on top of it by pre-mixing them therefore creating as a final result a fully opaque temporary texture anyway and then the texture that was fully opaque (the chrome static texture) would be used as an alpha highlights texture (a pattern different from the static chrome pattern but still static) and that would need the alphas switched about or the temporary opaque texture would have to be a added or mixed one way or the other with the static highlight texture but of course this happens in real-time.

Maybe the program engine can inherently already support this switch if it supports alpha on both textures (the rotating pattern and the static texture, already) but I don't know that. If it can display both with alphas already then it is much simpler to modify the program to do what I mentioned cause it is just a matter of using the alphas on the textures differently but if the game engine that Future Pinball uses does not support alphas already on both of these texturer it would have to be modified to be able to do so.

So in that way the ball texture could have a much more flexible and customizable system that would still look very professional. Are you Visual Pinball guys listening? Maybe you could use this idea for Visual Pinball to make it overcome the fixed texture problem in the future, who knows, perhaps. I wish that either or both programs were able to do this and I bet that a lot of people out there would like it too.

Edited by PixelOz, 14 January 2011 - 05:56 AM.