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Thread: LaserBoy drawing and coloring

  1. #1
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    Talking LaserBoy drawing and coloring

    WOW.

    First get LaserBoy!

    http://hacylon.case.edu/laser/LaserBoy/LaserBoy_11_01_2008.zip

    Know that it is a work in progress and that your observations and comments are appreciated.

    This is going to be a challenge to describe. There are SO MANY sets of "things" we need to know by name. It will take some understanding of the stuff of which we are working.

    Probably the first set of things is the pixels in the display window when you open LaserBoy. That is a 24 bit bitmap. If you look at LaserBoy.bat in a text editor, you will see, and can change, the width and height, in pixels of this bitmap.

    It is recommended that you set these to a (>=1.333):1 aspect ratio. The height you enter here will determine the size of the square that is your laser vector art view. So, if you make it

    LaserBoy.exe 800 600

    Your view will be a 600 pixel square.

    You can open a bitmap file into the LaserBoy memory bitmap, as its background. When you open a bitmap it is shown at actual size. There is no size compensation, so a bitmap of 600 pixels square will fill the entire background of the vector view. A smaller bitmap will be aligned with the upper left corner of the screen and a larger bitmap will simply be cut off.

    So, figure out a size for LaserBoy that looks good on your monitor. Something to be aware of is BOTH your screen's aspect ratio and your display resolution's aspect ratio. If these ratios are not the same, you do not have square pixels! Circles will be ellipses, cats and dogs will start living together. All hell will break loose.

    Once you get LaserBoy sized to your display, then you know the size to make the bitmaps you are going to trace.

    To open a bitmap into the background of the LaserBoy vector view...

    From the main menu, choose 'i' to input a file. Choose option '5' bitmap.

    Choose option '2' open into frame background.

    OH! I probably should have already told you to save your bitmap in the folder called bmp inside the folder you got when you unzipped LaserBoy!

    Now that you have a bitmap for a background, check out the ';' key! It makes it disappear and reappear.

    Now from the main menu, tap the '9' key to make sure that you are on the first frame in the currently loaded set.

    Now check out option 'j'.

    In frame set transforms, you can '8' add empty frame to beginning.

    Now, if you want to, you can hit the [Space] bar and select this frame. Now that this frame is selected, you can trim the loaded frame set to just this selected frame by hitting the '2' key. Now all you have loaded in the memory is the contents of this one frame! It looks like it's empty, but it's not.

    James.
    Last edited by James Lehman; 11-06-2008 at 19:34.

  2. #2
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    This looks like the beginning of a wonderful tutorial!
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  3. #3
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    I'm betting you're going to see a lot of positive traffic on this thread!
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  4. #4
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    OK. I should go back a step or two and clarify that it is up to you to find a nice raster image, save it to your hard drive, convert it to be the right size to fit your LaserBoy display square and save it as a bitmap in the bmp folder inside the LaserBoy folder.

    Now... Once you have it loaded as the background of LaserBoy and you have already made an empty frame, selected it and trimmed the contents of memory to that one frame...

    [Esc] out of frame set transforms, back to the main menu.

    Go into menu 'k' draw, color blank mode.

    You should see a new menu and a little square with an eight way cross in it.

    This is the least amount of data you can have in a frame without having nothing at all.

    Think of it like this. A point in ILDA space means nothing. The distance (time) between two points is everything. So the smallest element of a laser drawing is the space between two points; a VECTOR!

    A vector is a line segment that exists between an anchor and a destination. A point takes no time at all. To get from one point to the next is what takes time. A vector can have direction and magnitude.

    This frame has one vector. It is at the origin. It has no magnitude (length or displacement) or direction. The anchor and the destination are the same location in space. It is blank. It is also black.



    You can't see it, but there are actually two points in this frame. There are also two point marker or cursors. I like to call them the egg and the spider. The egg is the open square and the spider is the eight legged thing. You can see them separately, as icons on the right side with the numbers after them.

    If you tap the [Enter] key, the menu for drawing will appear and disappear. You can see there is a symbol for each of these cursors in the text of the menu. Sometimes, it's just about the egg. Other times it's about the span of points between the egg and the spider!

    You can move the point that is under the egg by pressing and holding 'x', 'X', 'y', 'Y' and even 'z', 'Z'!

    Since you only have two points, and one of them is an anchor only (the origin of the drawing) you can't see much yet in the way of walking through the vertices, but you do that by using the '[','{' and ']','}' keys. Note on the right side of the display, the cyan numbers change with the vertex number that each cursor is on.

    To add a new vertex to the drawing, hit the '.' key. One of three things will happen. You will either get another vertex right on top of one that is already there and you won't see it, or you will split the distance between where you are and the next vertex or you will pop a new vertex off the end of the drawing! It all depends on where the egg is when you hit the '.'.

    If the egg is on the last vertex in the defined drawing, then hitting the '.' will pop off another vector with exactly the same direction, color and magnitude.

    OK. I know... We still haven't gotten to color yet! We're still looking at a blanked vector! Check out the 'p' and 'P' keys. You see they move a selection in the color palette. Tapping the 'c' key will color the selected vertices with the selected color index of the palette. But you won't be able to see the color until you unblank the vectors with the 'B' key. Lower case 'b' will blank the selected vertices.

    Here is an important point about points! The information about a vector, that is the line that connects two vertices, is stored in the destination end of the vector. So, if you want to select just one vector (a line segment from one vertex to the next) You need to put BOTH the egg and the spider on THE SAME DESTINATION VERTEX! I know it looks weird at first, but it makes sense. To select just one element of the drawing, both the start and the end of your selection are the same vertex!



    In the picture, you can see http://www.akrobiz.com/laserboy/stuff/LB_demo/zippy.bmp loaded as a background image.

    You can also see the origin anchor of the drawing in the center of the view and the first destination vertex. The vector is unblanked and red. The spider (end of selection) is at the origin and the egg (start of selection) is at the destination (last) vertex. (There are only two vertices).

    Use the '[' and '{' to move the egg between the anchor and the destination and use 'x' 'X' and 'y' 'Y' to move the egg such that both the anchor point and the destination point are on a line of your bitmap.



    If your screen looks like this, then when you hit the '.' key you'll get another vector off the end of the drawing like this:




    OK. Here's the fun part! You can directly control the driection and magnitude of this selected vector (the one in the egg).

    If you press and hold 'f' or 'F', you can rotate the vector around its Z axis.

    If you press and hold 'm' or 'M' you can change the magnitude (length) of the vector.

    Of course, 'x' 'X' 'y' 'Y' (and 'z' 'Z') will move the egg in rectangular increments too.

    So you '.' pop and 'f' or 'F' rotate your way around the lines. When you run into corners and other lines, you alter the length of the line or just place the destination vertex using X and Y.



    BTW. It's OK if you goof up and need to adjust the placement of a vertex that is not the end of the drawing. Just walk to it with the '[' or '{' key (walk the egg) to that vertices and the motion keys apply much the same. If you place a vertex that you later decide you don't need, walk the egg to it and [Backspace] the mofo.

    James.
    Last edited by James Lehman; 11-07-2008 at 13:26.

  5. #5
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    Talking LaserBoy 11-07-2008 !!!

    Here!

    http://hacylon.case.edu/laser/LaserB...11_07_2008.zip

    This fixes the bug about not being able to open 1 and 4 bit bitmaps.

    James.

  6. #6
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    Ever thought about making a GUI version of LaserBoy or is that some labor that you would like to stay away from? I wouldn't blame you if that were the case!
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  7. #7
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    I can't draw using a keyboard. What about mouse? tablet?
    I hired an Italian guy to do my wires. Now they look like spaghetti!

  8. #8
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    I too enjoy the good 'ole point and click!
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  9. #9
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    I just get a real kick out of torturing people!

    And making them look at puky rainbow colors.

    It's a gay thing.

    No. Seriously... If you want to draw with a mouse use DeltaCAD.

    http://deltacad.com

    There are reasons why I use the keyboard. Once you get it, you can do WAY more with it and it can be WAY more precise.

    James.

  10. #10
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    I have no doubt that it is precise. I think I am just lazy really . Does DeltaCad let you trace over an image?
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

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