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Tutorial DMDExt (freezy) and Future Pinball (real and virtual DMD support)

TerryRed

Pinball Master
Future Pinball doesn't natively support displaying it's DMD on a separate window or on a real DMD for cabinet users.

Until now, the solution to this was to use FP-Intercept (for real DMD only), or to use FutureDMD to display on a virtual DMD. While both solutions did work, there were limitations and quirks with each. For years, Visual Pinball, Pinball FX3/2 and The Pinball Arcade have been using DMDext (freezy) to display their DMD to a real DMD or a virtual DMD.

Now thanks to the work of MrMoose74 and freezy, Future Pinball can now join the fun with DMDExt!


DRxjPjz.png



4hrSBXG.png



Video demo:





What can DMDExt do for Future Pinball tables?
  • it can mirror the backglass DMD from a FP table and display it on a real DMD or a virtual DMD on a monitor

What are the benefits over other solutions?
  • supports both real and virtual DMD in one application
  • works with all types of DMD hardware
  • can be used only when you want to use it, not just forced to autorun on all tables (this is handy if you don't want to use this while playing PinEvent tables)
  • it's up to date
  • allows for all the benefits and features of DMDext

What are some of the extra features of DMDExt?
  • new DMDExt "styles" that allow for "glow" effects, dots or square pixels, size of pixels, and more (virtual DMD only)
  • change colour of the DMD for virtual or real DMDs
  • settings can be changed on a "per table" basis (size / position / colour / effects, etc)

What can't it do?
  • you can only mirror and display the "DMD" from the table's "backglass" (not the HUD DMD used for desktop view)
  • you cannot mirror any Gas Segment (alphanumeric) displays or EM Reels

Future Pinball support is only available with DMDExt 1.9 or higher!




******** Download DMDExt 1.9 (release) ********


- download the x86 (32 bit) version at the DMDExt site (DO NOT use the 64 bit version)





Where do the DMDExt files go?
  • you can use either the installer, or extract files from the zip file
  • if using the installer, it "should" know where you have everything installed (but you can make changes if needed)
  • if you already have Visual Pinball installed with VPinMAME, most people will have DMDExt files installed in the VPinMAME folder
  • if you don't use Visual Pinball, then you can install DMDExt wherever you want
  • the OpenGL.dll file goes where the Future Pinball.exe is located (main Future Pinball folder)

What do we use to make it work?
  • you are using dmdext.exe (used for Future Pinball, Pinball FX3/2, TPA)
  • we do not use dmddevice.dll (that is only used with Visual Pinball and TerryRed's PinEvent tables (when using real dmd option))
  • we will launch dmdext.exe from a front-end

For information about the command line parameters of DMDExt goto this page:

https://github.com/freezy/dmd-extensions/blob/2fd9f3c61acbaf1bcceed2e61038ab3bbb883a3b/README.md#future-pinball (freezy/dmd-extensions)


How to use DMDExt with Future Pinball
  • the following examples are used in Pinup Popper front-end
  • you will need to change [GAMENAME] to [TABLEFILE] for Pinball X or Pinball Y (and add in launch paramters, etc correctly for those apps)
  • *** IMPORTANT *** you may need to change the drive letter and path and folders to point to where dmdext.exe and dmddevice.ini files are located!!!


Virtual DMD example:
  • display to a virtual DMD window
  • enable advanced DMDExt options menu (right-click on the DMD window) by using dmddevice.ini
  • use the table's [GAMENAME] to save "per table" settings (for style, colour, size position, etc)
  • update the DMD window at 60 fps
  • close dmdext when exiting the table and closing Future Pinball
Code:
c:
cd "C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME"
start /min "" "dmdext.exe" mirror --source=futurepinball -q --virtual-stay-on-top --fps 60 -g "[GAMENAME]" --use-ini="C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME\DmdDevice.ini"


Pin2DMD example:
  • display to a Pin2DMD
  • use the table's [GAMENAME] to save "per table" settings
  • update the DMD at 60 fps
  • close dmdext when exiting the table and closing Future Pinball
Code:
c:
cd "C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME"
start /min "" "dmdext.exe" mirror --source=futurepinball -q --fps 60 -d pin2dmd -g "[GAMENAME]" --use-ini="C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME\DmdDevice.ini"


PinDMD2 example:
  • display to a PinDMD2
  • use the table's [GAMENAME] to save "per table" settings
  • update the DMD at 60 fps
  • close dmdext when exiting the table and closing Future Pinball
Code:
c:
cd "C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME"
start /min "" "dmdext.exe" mirror --source=futurepinball -q --fps 60 -d pindmd2 -g "[GAMENAME]" --use-ini="C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME\DmdDevice.ini"


PinDMD3 example:
  • display to a PinDMD3
  • use the table's [GAMENAME] to save "per table" settings (colour)
  • update the DMD at 60 fps
  • close dmdext when exiting the table and closing Future Pinball
Code:
c:
cd "C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME"
start /min "" "dmdext.exe" mirror --source=futurepinball -q --fps 60 -d pindmd3 --port com3 -g "[GAMENAME]" --use-ini="C:\vPinball\VisualPinball\VPinMAME\DmdDevice.ini"


On your Close script in your front-end, you may need to close out dmdext forcefully if for whatever reason it won't close out on it's own.

Code:
taskkill /f /im "dmdext.exe"


How to make the DMDExt DMD look awesome with glow effects and slick DMDExt styles! (virtual DMD only)
  • make sure you use the --use-ini= option to point to your dmddevice.ini
  • this will enable the advanced options menu
  • now you can right-click on the DMD window
  • here you can save your settings per table, or globally
  • you can also choose Styles which brings up this window

wD0ZZ8N.png




Damn... now those are some settings!

Now you can play around with these settings to give a really cool glow effect, change the dots size, change the pixels to squares, change the colours... lots of amazing options.

....and that's about it!

Now you have some amazing DMD options for Future Pinball "DMD" tables!



Important things to know about how DMD mirroring works with Future Pinball
  • you can only mirror from "DMD" based Future Pinball tables
  • you can only mirror from the Backglass / Translite DMD, not the HUD DMD (meant for desktop only)
  • some tables only have code for the HUD DMD (desktop only) and nothing shows up on the Future Pinball backglass in game. To get these tables to work with DMDExt, you need to change the name of the Translite DMD to that of the HUD DMD (and change HUD DMD name to something else)
  • some tables use a 128x16 DMD. You "might" need to change the translite DMD to 128x32 for it to work with DMDExt
  • some tables may have background images used on the DMD that may show up corrupted in DMDExt. There is nothing that can be done to correct this (has nothing to do with DMDExt)



****** FAQ ******


Some tables like Tutenkham, Ghostbusters and others show nothing on the DMDExt DMD, and show nothing on the FP Backglass in game. How do I get them to work?

  • some table authors only added code in the script for the HUD DMD (Desktop).
  • you need to change it so that name of HUD DMD (for desktop) is used on the Backglass / Translite DMD.
  • on the Translite Editor, rename the HUD DMD to something else, and rename the DMD on the Backbox to the original name used for the HUD DMD
  • now it should work


Some tables have a slim DMD (128x16) which won't display anything on DMDExt
  • on the Translite Editor, change all DMDs to 128x32


On some tables like Robocop, the background image looks corrupted on DMDExt, or on others like Superman it isn't visible at all on DMDExt
  • this is normal and can't yet be remedied. This has nothing to do with DMDExt, but more the OpenGL.DLL used for FP with DMDExt


I can't get tables with Gas Segment (alphanumeric) displays to work on DMDext
  • for Future Pinball tables, only the "DMD" can be displayed on DMExt


I still have problems getting anything to display on DMDExt with FP
  • having FPLoader.exe (BAM) or dmdext.exe set to Run as Administrator (or not), or the wrong settings for either in this regard may prevent DMDExt from being able to access and mirror the Future Pinball DMD
  • ideally you shouldn't need to have either set to Run as Administrator for everything to work correctly. This will depend on your system's security settings
 
Last edited:

jamosb

Pinball Wizard
Nice thanks Terry for the writeup I will have to check it out. I am assuming this does not affect vpx at all.
 

TerryRed

Pinball Master
Nice thanks Terry for the writeup I will have to check it out. I am assuming this does not affect vpx at all.

This uses the dmdext.exe, not dmddevice.dll

Just be sure if you have settings in your dmddevice.ini already for VPX.... backup that file before updating to DMDExt 1.9 (don't replace it when updating).
 

TerryRed

Pinball Master
Added a FAQ



****** FAQ ******

Some tables like Tutenkham, Ghostbusters and others show nothing on the DMDExt DMD, and show nothing on the FP Backglass in game. How do I get them to work?

  • some table authors only added code in the script for the HUD DMD (Desktop).
  • you need to change it so that name of HUD DMD (for desktop) is used on the Backglass / Translite DMD.
  • on the Translite Editor, rename the HUD DMD to something else, and rename the DMD on the Backbox to the original name used for the HUD DMD
  • now it should work

Some tables have a slim DMD (128x16) which won't display anything on DMDExt
  • on the Translite Editor, change all DMDs to 128x32


On some tables like Robocop, the background image looks corrupted on DMDExt, or on others like Superman it isn't visible at all on DMDExt
  • this is normal and can't yet be remedied. This has nothing to do with DMDExt, but more the OpenGL.DLL used for FP with DMDExt


I can't get tables with Gas Segment (alphanumeric) displays to work on DMDext
  • for Future Pinball tables, only the "DMD" can be displayed on DMExt


I still have problems getting anything to display on DMDExt with FP
  • having FPLoader.exe (BAM) or dmdext.exe set to Run as Administrator (or not), or the wrong settings for either in this regard may prevent DMDExt from being able to access and mirror the Future Pinball DMD
  • ideally you shouldn't need to have either set to Run as Administrator for everything to work correctly. This will depend on your system's security settings
 

Chriss4198

Pinball Player
All Pin2DMd, PinDMD, PinDMD2, PinDMD3 owners.... please let me know if the commands above work for you!
Hey Terry, thanks again for all your work. About to try this for my pindmd3. Sort of a newbie and just making triple sure that this opening code for FP popper settings goes at the very beginning of the settings?
 
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