Why is Konfabulator "Pretty?"

Bill Marriott wjm at wjm.org
Sun Dec 4 18:34:43 CST 2005


These are excellent recommendations.

Of course, there is no audience out there waiting for a Revolution-based 
desktop clock. This whole exercise was to honestly answer the question posed 
originally (by Richard Gaskin I believe) related to why I thought it was 
hard to do stuff like this in Rev, and what does K. do to make it easy. I 
hope the question is answered.

While I will look at the archive for some other clock examples in Rev, I 
don't know if I'm going to take this experiment much further. It's clear 
that Rev isn't designed for this kind of thing (to put it charitably).

I have to say that Rev is awesome for the things I use it for -- processing 
data that doesn't lend itself to spreadsheets or databases, creating 
utilities I can distribute as EXEs, and applications that need to look like 
Windows. Your gallery also proves that impressive visual feats can 
DEFINITELY be accomplished with Rev.

But I do sincerely hope that Rev substantially advances the capabilities 
regarding graphics handling (and other areas) so there is no question that 
Rev is the ultimate multimedia authoring tool.

Bill


"Scott Rossi" <scott at tactilemedia.com> wrote in 
message news:BFB8C051.29016%scott at tactilemedia.com...
> Recently, Bill Marriott wrote:
>
>>> As far as your clock app goes, I would look at creating the various
>>> positions of the hands as antialiased bitmaps outside of Rev since, as 
>>> you
>>> discovered, image rotation is not as good as it should be.  The import 
>>> the
>>> images, and use a button to serve as a "display" for the images, but
>>> setting
>>> the icon of the button to appropriate image at the right time:
>>
>> The "frames" method of animating the hands did occur to me, but I wasn't 
>> yet
>> up to the task of creating 180 images (60 each for hours, minutes, and
>> seconds). Plus this would result is a huge distro -- like 500K or more 
>> just
>> for those pictures.
>
> Admittedly, it is more work than rotating a bitmap.  But along the lines 
> of
> a well known computer company that once encouraged people to think
> different, I would suggest you "think real world".  Nobody is going to sit
> in front of your cock for a solid hour to determine whether or not your
> minute/hour hands move precisely 1 degree for every segment of time the
> elapses.  For smooth motion, it's probably worth creating 59 frames for 
> the
> second hand, but the other hands will not require 60 frames each for real
> world use (unless maybe your app is going to run at 800 x 800 resolution).
> Go with a smaller number of frames for the minutes, and especially hours,
> and I think you'll be able to achieve a decent appearance.
>
>
>> Also, I think a really nice aspect of the K. clock is that you can set 
>> the
>> color of the face and the rim to anything you like. Even sexier, the rest 
>> of
>> the UI elements adapt. If you pick a "dark" background, the hands and 
>> date
>> display switch to complementary tints.
>>
>> Poking through the JavaScript supplied with the K. clock, I see the 
>> author
>> accomplishes this with a "colorize" command applied to the PNG image. I
>> think I can colorize in Rev, but this is only possible by using a 
>> blending
>> mode in combination with another object. In other words, if I have a 50%
>> grey PNG of the hands, to make them green I have to put a green object
>> "behind" the hands and set the appropriate blend style.
>>
>> Am I right about this, or is there a way of colorizing an object 
>> directly?
>
> Two answers:
>
> 1) You can colorize images programmatically by script, manipulating
> imageData and alphaData properties.  Ken Ray has the technical details of
> image/alphaData on his site <http://www.sonsothunder.com/>.  You could
> create a square solid colored image object with a "virtual" minute hand, 
> for
> example, that is created by applying alphaData transparency to the image.
> So instead of updating the image itself every minute or so, you update the
> image's alphaData.
>
> 2) Somewhat like what you surmise above, another way to colorize the clock
> face is to separate out the "effects" of your face art (hilites, bevels,
> shadows, etc) as overlay/s, in translucent PNG format.  Then in Rev, use 
> an
> oval graphic as the base of the clock face and overlay the separate effect
> image/s on top of the graphic.  You can then adjust the backCcolor of the
> graphic by script.  You will wind up with a clock face that can be
> quickly/simply colorized to any color while keeping your effects intact.
>
> Hope this helps.
>
> Regards,
>
> Scott Rossi
> Creative Director
> Tactile Media, Multimedia & Design
> -----
> E: scott at tactilemedia.com
> W: http://www.tactilemedia.com
>
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