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Welcome To Our New Table Development Workshop

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
The idea for this forum isn’t new, shiva had such a forum for years on his site, and I’m simply borrowing the idea from him. If he were still around, I would ask if he was OK with it, but he isn’t. Since I was Caretaker of shivaSite during his 18-month absence back in 2003-04, and we became good friends; I like to think he’d approve of me doing this in his name.

While shiva rubbed some people the wrong way, which we all do at times, I do feel that he always tried to do what he felt was best for the VP community. I do know that he was always willing to share any resources he had, as well as his knowledge, thus his Table Developer’s Forum. He felt that by helping authors, especially newer ones, we would possibly encourage more people to try their hands at that first table. And that hopefully those first efforts might be better than just run-of-the-mill.

I don’t have the knowledge or skill of many other authors, but I’ve always tried to help when I can, and to share my resources. In fact, there are very few authors who have the knowledge and ability to make tables that really dazzle us. But by combining our individual strong points, I feel we can offer newer and established authors the advice and the encouragement that we all can benefit from at times.

Table Submission Guidelines

1 Any table can be submitted, although the emphasis is on original tables. The earlier you submit a table the better, since there will be less likelihood you’ll need to start over from scratch. Tables can be WIPs or released tables you hope to redo and improve. All that’s expected is that you consider the advice that you receive. You alone make the final decisions. Be sure to tell us which version of VP you’re using to make your table.

2 Expect honest advice and suggestions, and not simply a few words saying how nice your table looks. You’ll need to be able to accept constructive criticism, as well as blunt discussions of your tables good and not so good features. Be prepared, if requested, to post a blueprint of your table, since a blueprint often can help us help you improve ball flow and the placement of objects such as targets and bumpers.

3 Don’t get defensive or argumentative about any advice you are offered. If what you want is just Faint Praise, use the regular WIP forum. Only submit your table here if you want real help and advice. Be ready to discuss all facets of your table, from the theme, the layout, ball flow, and know that we’re willing to help in any way we can, short of doing all the work for you. This isn’t the place to suggest new table for authors to make, but a place to receive help making your own tables. Remember, the more willing you are to listen to advice and suggestions, the more willing we’ll be to help you any way we can.

4 Don’t attach your actual table here, just a screenshot to begin with. If anyone wants a copy of your table, that can be done either by e-mail or PM. While it’s not required that you upload your finished table to Pinball Nirvana, it would be a nice gesture, and a way of repaying everyone for helping you out. And don’t worry about anyone stealing your idea. Most active authors have more than enough projects of their own. I’m sure some of you will remember shiva’s Table Developer’s Forum, and I hope that together, we can help as many new authors here as we did there. Just ask yourself, What would shiva do?
 

Shockman

appropriate at this time
This sounds good. I will consider building my Dante's Inferno here, but it is an ambitious project with basically 9 different layouts thanks to dropping walls and targets. It might be a better environment to do the Alice in Wonderland standard style I also have on the drawing board. Though these to have had the most thought, I have not gathered source material for either.

I think releasing here should be a requirement though.
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
This sounds good. I will consider building my Dante's Inferno here, but it is an ambitious project with basically 9 different layouts thanks to dropping walls and targets. It might be a better environment to do the Alice in Wonderland standard style I also have on the drawing board. Though these to have had the most thought, I have not gathered source material for either.

I think releasing here should be a requirement though.
I hope this works as well as it did when shiva did it. Your projects will be a welcome addition Phil, since you seem to always figure ways of doing difficult things. I thought about requiring that any tables submitted here also be released here, but didn't want to discourage anyone from getting involved. I can't imagine that anyone wouldn't be willing to let PN host their table if we had helped them along the way.
 

Shockman

appropriate at this time
I'll look for some source material for a project. If others submit, I may just act as a helper/critic.
 

faralos

Faralos
A Parts table!!

I have this parts table that Itchigo sent me. it has colored rubbers (mine) and asst. other things. the wire ball lane and the lower ball guides and the colored flippers I did today to add some more stuff to it!
So, where do ya' want it?
 

Attachments

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
I have this parts table that Itchigo sent me. it has colored rubbers (mine) and asst. other things. the wire ball lane and the lower ball guides and the colored flippers I did today to add some more stuff to it!
So, where do ya' want it?
Thanks, I don't see any problem with them being here, but I'll copy your post to Tutorials and Resources too.
 

druadic

Scotland 2021!!!
John,

I've just started to use PhotoBrush once again and can help with "skewed" or off center playfields or backglasses. I can usually fix any playfield or backglass quite easily with the "perspective" fix in PhotoBrush.

I'll be glad to help anyone I can if I can.

d
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
John,

I've just started to use PhotoBrush once again and can help with "skewed" or off center playfields or backglasses. I can usually fix any playfield or backglass quite easily with the "perspective" fix in PhotoBrush.

I'll be glad to help anyone I can if I can.

d
Could you explain how to do that? I'd like to try doing it myself, instead of always having to ask someone.
 

druadic

Scotland 2021!!!
Could you explain how to do that? I'd like to try doing it myself, instead of always having to ask someone.
It's not easy to explain, just pretty much trial and error but here it goes.

In PhotoBrush 5, load a new image onto the screen.

If an image is too small to see how to work with it, go to "view" and then select "zoom to fill". This fills the screen with the image as big as it can get.

Now comes the fun part. Go to "adjust" and select "perspective correction" and click it.

Depending on how the image is, move each corner in or out or up and down until you get the perspective right.
This is the area on the LEFT SIDE of the screen. This is where you'll correct the image using the perspective tool. On the right is the image as you use the tool. As you use the left side to fix your image, the right side shows you how it will look.

The best way to figure how to use this tool is quite simple. If the top of a playfield is skewed or pulled back to look smaller at the top than the bottom, you need to work on the bottom section to fix the image. Opposite for the other end.

Best way to work with this tool is trial and error. Once you think you got the image as straight or correct as you can get it you'll realize it's never exactly perfect BUT - you can always UNDO what you did OR exit PhotoBrush without saving. Start over.

If I find ANY examples of what I am talking about, I'll be glad to make a tutorial for everyone. Give me some time and I'll find the PERFECT image to fix and make it easy to follow and understand.

Will

A trapezoid shape is the perfect example. Imagine the trapezoid is on the screen and you follow the rules above. Now, since the TOP of the trapezoid is smaller than the lower part, you'll need to pull BACK the lower part of the trapezoid BACK. Do this with the two "dots" in the lower corners of the image. Using the left side dot, move it in to the right and upwards. Using the right side dot, move it in to the left and upwards. If this is done correctly, you'll have a perfect square! In all actuality, you're just "counteracting" the image with this tool.

When it comes to full graphical images though, it can "skew" everything inside of the image. So, you have to work with the top or bottom depending on the image itself. No matter what you do, you find yourself having to redraw "stretched" areas within the image. This is unavoidable unfortunately. Sometimes it doesn't happen, but rarely. Depends on if something within the image itself is "off" or "skewed". That's when some redrawing is in order.

Hope this helps John! If not, I can still make a small tutorial this week :)

WARNING: You'll need A LOT OF PATIENCE to use this tool. It can be nerve wracking and eye straining!!!
 
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tiltjlp

PN co-founder
Yes, that does help quite a bit. I would have tried doing it just the opposite of what you explained. I have a few images I'll have to try it out with.
 

druadic

Scotland 2021!!!
Yes, that does help quite a bit. I would have tried doing it just the opposite of what you explained. I have a few images I'll have to try it out with.
John,

More than happy to help out. Glad the info was helpful. Just remember that when using that tool, go the OPPOSITE direction (in twords) the image that more or less is "sticking out" too far ;)

Like corners and such. You'll be amazed how fast it is to learn how to use that tool!

Cheers pal;
will

Also, the reason I always work with the "bigger end" that sticks out or is more skewed is because it has less a tendency to "skew" the image in it's entirety OR "stretch" the inner part of the image. Also, you'll get a better and cleaner image when it's saved.
 
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tiltjlp

PN co-founder
For some reason, my logic, which isn't very logical, told me to pull out the part that was in too far. But pushing the other way makes more sense.
 

druadic

Scotland 2021!!!
For some reason, my logic, which isn't very logical, told me to pull out the part that was in too far. But pushing the other way makes more sense.
You got it! You're "pushing" the edges of the image in. But also be aware that when you do this, you're "squishing" the inner part of the graphic as well. So sometimes those images will either "pull out and stretch" or "skew" inside of the graphic you're working with.

Like I said, sometimes a partial or full redraw seems the only course. :(

w

What sometimes can be done (as I have done with some PFs) is if the inner graphic looks decent is to cut it out and save it in another image. Then, redo the outer image area. That works too. I use not only PhotoBrush 5 but MicroSoft paint to fix up any problems. Sometimes, keep the inner graphic and save it. Then remove the outer part of it. You never know till you try! :)

ALSO: You can't go opposite of the image; the "dots" at all four corners of the tool are as far out as they'll go! You have to move the "dots" inward to use the tool correctly :) Not unless you allow the perspective tool to "move outside of the image" which can be checked. Sometimes this helps too, but unless you're willing to pull your hair out and curse at PhotoBrush, this is NOT a wise idea.

ALSO ALSO: Go VERY VERY SLOW with the tool or otherwise you can literally "flip" the image inside out. Take it slow and easy with a lot of care.
 
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faralos

Faralos
Doing graphics

I am also getting adept with Gimp2 and can do plastics and updates and such, see what I did in just 15 hours. This table belongs to someone else, i just redid the graphics and stuff for him! all the differences you see were all done by me from yesterday afternoon through early this morning! That is how quickly i can redo' a table! 1 hour of that was spent finding the pics for the lower sling plastics and remaking them (in MS paint and Gimp) as they were originally squares and Jpegs, making them using Gimp2!
 

Attachments

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
I wish I could do work like that, but my eyes aren't good enough and my hands aren't steady enough. The best feature in any paint program for me is the Undo button.
 

faralos

Faralos
um... I didn't do the actual playfield artwork! That he found! what I put in is the lower ball guides, the sling posts, rubbers, and made the plastics for them, the upper ball lane guides at the very top, the posts with rubbers behind each set of drop targets. new outer wall coloring, stuff like that! So no actual artwork was performed by me. just objects and making things look nicer like the outside rails also are mine.
 

faralos

Faralos
My Parts Table

This table has parts from me, Itchigo and a couple of others. the colored rubbers and slings they are on are mine as are the plastics that site on top of them. Also the wire ball guide is mine. All else on the table came from him goodness knows where he got it. But, this table is now available for anyone to use anything they want off of it.
Enjoy, people!!
consider this an early:

:santa2:GIFT!!
 

Attachments

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
um... I didn't do the actual playfield artwork! That he found! what I put in is the lower ball guides, the sling posts, rubbers, and made the plastics for them, the upper ball lane guides at the very top, the posts with rubbers behind each set of drop targets. new outer wall coloring, stuff like that! So no actual artwork was performed by me. just objects and making things look nicer like the outside rails also are mine.
Yeah, I realize that, but even some of that kind of stuff is more than I'm capable of doing. My hands simply aren't steady enough most of the time and I get frustrated. Some days I can, but usually not.
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
It's not easy to explain, just pretty much trial and error but here it goes.

In PhotoBrush 5, load a new image onto the screen.

If an image is too small to see how to work with it, go to "view" and then select "zoom to fill". This fills the screen with the image as big as it can get.

Now comes the fun part. Go to "adjust" and select "perspective correction" and click it.

Depending on how the image is, move each corner in or out or up and down until you get the perspective right.
This is the area on the LEFT SIDE of the screen. This is where you'll correct the image using the perspective tool. On the right is the image as you use the tool. As you use the left side to fix your image, the right side shows you how it will look.

The best way to figure how to use this tool is quite simple. If the top of a playfield is skewed or pulled back to look smaller at the top than the bottom, you need to work on the bottom section to fix the image. Opposite for the other end.

Best way to work with this tool is trial and error. Once you think you got the image as straight or correct as you can get it you'll realize it's never exactly perfect BUT - you can always UNDO what you did OR exit PhotoBrush without saving. Start over.

If I find ANY examples of what I am talking about, I'll be glad to make a tutorial for everyone. Give me some time and I'll find the PERFECT image to fix and make it easy to follow and understand.

Will

A trapezoid shape is the perfect example. Imagine the trapezoid is on the screen and you follow the rules above. Now, since the TOP of the trapezoid is smaller than the lower part, you'll need to pull BACK the lower part of the trapezoid BACK. Do this with the two "dots" in the lower corners of the image. Using the left side dot, move it in to the right and upwards. Using the right side dot, move it in to the left and upwards. If this is done correctly, you'll have a perfect square! In all actuality, you're just "counteracting" the image with this tool.

When it comes to full graphical images though, it can "skew" everything inside of the image. So, you have to work with the top or bottom depending on the image itself. No matter what you do, you find yourself having to redraw "stretched" areas within the image. This is unavoidable unfortunately. Sometimes it doesn't happen, but rarely. Depends on if something within the image itself is "off" or "skewed". That's when some redrawing is in order.

Hope this helps John! If not, I can still make a small tutorial this week :)

WARNING: You'll need A LOT OF PATIENCE to use this tool. It can be nerve wracking and eye straining!!!
I was stunned how easy this ended up being for me to figure out. The images below are the original and the fixed one, but it took two tries. The first time I worked only from the bottom, and lost the lower part of the image. The second time I worked from both the top and bottom, and ended up with an image that isn't perfect, but which I can use. I never tried this before, because I didn't know it was available, since until i got my new glasses, I couldn't read the menu clearly enough, Now I can go searching for all those images I've been rejecting because they weren't flat enough. And it's fast enough that it's actually fun.
 

Attachments

druadic

Scotland 2021!!!
Way to go John!

See? It's not so bad, just takes time. Of course that image can STILL be fixed even more. Just reuse the "old" image and retry. Try, try again I always say! I had the same problem with Genco's Good Luck, 1932. The top was small and the bottom was massive. Fixed it in one shot.

Again, it takes time but for sure it seems like you got the hang of it! Way to go!!!

W

Pretty amazing to see what you can accomplish isn't it? You're now getting into the "fixer" mode :) Next is redrawing the PF. This really takes patience, but in the long run it's worth every second to redraw a over glossy or underlit image. Trust me, you'll get the hang of it much easier over time.

As for that one left side is "skewed" it can be fixed but use the old image. Use the same items I told you about above but this time DO NOT push the left side "dot" inwards. Lift it up against the left side, little by little. Voila! You should have it then. THEN do what I told you above. You then should be able to make that playfield totally flat! :) Try FIRST the left side and if it doesn't work, try the right side next. You never know until you move the grid to a certain area on the image. Sometimes, use the BOTTOM EDGE of the grid and move it slowly to the bottom of the playfield image. That SHOULD help you and then try everything else to fix the rest. ;)
 
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tiltjlp

PN co-founder
Yeah, I actually enjoy playing around to flatten the images. But redrawing isn't in the cards for me, I don't think. I've got an unsteady hand, what once was called the shakes. I did redraw the image for Bronco Busters back in 2002 or so, but my tremors have gotten a lot worse since then. Luckily, there is a friend who is willing to do redraws for me, and he's much better than I could ever hope to be. I spent the last two hours finding all sorts of images that will make great tables one I flatten them. Thanks again for showing me how to do that.
 

druadic

Scotland 2021!!!
Yeah, I actually enjoy playing around to flatten the images. But redrawing isn't in the cards for me, I don't think. I've got an unsteady hand, what once was called the shakes. I did redraw the image for Bronco Busters back in 2002 or so, but my tremors have gotten a lot worse since then. Luckily, there is a friend who is willing to do redraws for me, and he's much better than I could ever hope to be. I spent the last two hours finding all sorts of images that will make great tables one I flatten them. Thanks again for showing me how to do that.
;)

If you EVER need help with ANYTHING, you know how to get a hold of me!

;)

W

Just glad I can help a friend too.
 

faralos

Faralos
Yeah, I realize that, but even some of that kind of stuff is more than I'm capable of doing. My hands simply aren't steady enough most of the time and I get frustrated. Some days I can, but usually not.
that is why they are all on this table! I just copy what I need and resize or rotate it as I need it! so if you get that table all those things are in it. just copy and paste 'em!
 

tiltjlp

PN co-founder
that is why they are all on this table! I just copy what I need and resize or rotate it as I need it! so if you get that table all those things are in it. just copy and paste 'em!
I have your table. I don't have much use for those objects on my bagatelle, but I could be using some of them for a few coin-ops I might eventually make.
 

druadic

Scotland 2021!!!
This table has parts from me, Itchigo and a couple of others. the colored rubbers and slings they are on are mine as are the plastics that site on top of them. Also the wire ball guide is mine. All else on the table came from him goodness knows where he got it. But, this table is now available for anyone to use anything they want off of it.
Enjoy, people!!
consider this an early:

:santa2:GIFT!!
VERY useful Faralos! Thanks so much! I'm sure I'll find a WIP to use these on! Bravo for the excellent work ;)

d
 
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