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Re: FYI: Head's up re: .lay format change
07/18/19 02:51 PM

Somewhat apprehensive when reading that update a couple weeks ago. It somewhat reminds me of back in 2011 when the proposed 'hash list' concept was just underway when discussed on Bannister's forum at the time.

True that the artwork rendering update part was a great addition to when Aaron Giles did the summer 2006 MAME video output overhaul. It makes sense of why doing an update to artwork video rendering output again to help cover support for devices that were not envisioned of ever being supported way back in 2006 (seems just like only 5 years ago imo)

The user options of which the user to choose what to view would still be ideal and needed for some of the upright cabs games....especially video screen + artwork backdrop or video screen + bezel (needed for backlit lamps used with Ramtek's Clean Sweep) or video screen + control panel (led start button used for coin credit status for Atari Breakout or other Atari games). I hope the upright cabs aspect doesn't suffer even though Aaron's artwork concept was based on using an upright Space Invaders cab or some other upright cab.

I look forward to seeing how this update is worked out and hope the flexibility does work out because I can see this update also doing favors for mounted wall games as well such as Gremlin's Trapshoot or even some of the elctromechanical games such as Nintendo's Shooting Trainer.

Make layout format more flexible:

* There is no longer a concept of "layers" - there are only screens and elements.
* Elements are now instantiated with
* Screens and elements can have explicit blending mode specified with blend="..."
* Default blending mode for screens is "add" and default for other elements is "alpha"
* Other supported modes are "none" and "multiply"
* This removes the options to enable/disable layers individually - use views instead
* Legacy layouts can still be loaded, and support won't be removed for at least a year

The current artwork model is over-stretched. It's based on a Space
Invaders cabinet model, and isn't applicable to a lot of the systems
MAME emulates now. The fact that MAME has to switch to an "alternate"
mode to deal with games like Golly! Ghost! without requiring pre-matted
bitmaps shows that the Space Invaders model wasn't even adequate for
general arcade use. It shows in that for a lot of the systems that
heavily depend on artwork, people just seem to randomly choose layers
for elements until they get something that works. Also, the fact that
MAME will switch to an alternate (Golly! Ghost!) mode depending on the
combination of elements is a trap for people learning to make artwork.

There are cases that the current approach of implying the blending mode
from the layer doesn't work with. Examples include LEDs behind
diffusers (requires additive blending for layout elements), and mutliple
stacked LCD panels (requires RGB multiplication for screens).

For configurability, it's now a lot easier to make multiple views using
groups. For example, if you want to make it possible to hide the
control panel section of your layout, you can put the control panel
elements in a group and create views with and without it.

I will gradually migrate the internal artwork to use the new approach.
I have an XSLT stylesheet that helps with this, but I'm not comfortable
adding it because it isn't a complete solution and it still requires
manul steps.

I wanted to get the re-worked pointer handling done sooner so I could
push them both at the same time, but unfortunately various things have
prevented me from progressing as quickly as I wanted to. Sorry guys,
that stuff's going to have to wait.

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* FYI: Head's up re: .lay format change StilettoAdministrator 07/17/19 02:36 PM
. * Re: FYI: Head's up re: .lay format change gregf  07/18/19 02:51 PM

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