Questions about Rev/Transcript vs. other toolkits

Troy Rollins troy at rpsystems.net
Thu Aug 12 15:51:57 CDT 2004


On Aug 12, 2004, at 4:24 PM, Chipp Walters wrote:

> Troy, you're obviously knowledgeable about both of these platforms. 
> Based upon that knowledge, what do you think would be most difficult 
> imaging tasks if you were to port your streamlogger app to Rev? This 
> can give us valuable insight into the directions Rev might be able to 
> take to have better imaging tools.

;-)

StreamLogger is a poor example indeed. IMO, it should not have been 
written in Director in the first place. It works well, and does all the 
things it says, but it is more of an "application", and makes few 
demands on Imaging functionality - in fact, basically the same ones 
that "Fathom" does, which are easily achievable in Rev. When I release 
version 2, it will include an "engine" change.  ;-)   The Streamlogger 
example was more to show that such applications *can* be written in 
Director, as the implication had been that they couldn't.

When I say that Rev is behind in Imaging functionality, I'm talking 
more about real-time dynamic image creation. Director can composite 
(really composite, NOT overlay) many images with alpha at 30+ frames a 
second. This allows a single pixel bitmap to be transformed through 
code into a fully animated dynamic interface, with text, interactive 
buttons, rollovers, everything. Think of a dynamic animated 
hierarchical menu which is actually a one pixel bitmap that is written 
into and modified on the fly. This simply cannot be done in Revolution 
currently, yet is (relatively) commonplace in Director.

Consider this, in Director, virtually everything has an .image 
property. Text included. This means that you can generate a field of 
HTML styled text, which is never displayed, and exists only as a "cast 
member" (data resource). The .image of this field can then easily be 
obtained - with 8-bit alpha, and used within the same imaging functions 
as actual images. This allows real-time compositing of text and images 
into a single new image.

Also, all images have the ability to be real-time warped (essentially 
offsetting of individual points of their rects) before or after the 
compositing, with remarkable image smoothing. Useful in creating 
distortions, perspectives, and realtime soft semi-transparent drop 
shadows... and anything else the developer wishes to do. Are these sort 
of functions irrelevant? To some, maybe. Not to me. To me, they are a 
level of power and interface control I've yet to see in any other tool. 
Does it apply to all projects? Certainly not. StreamLogger makes NO use 
of them, and shouldn't. This is one of the reasons I anticipate moving 
it out of Director.
--
Troy
RPSystems, Ltd.
http://www.rpsystems.net



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