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  1. #881  
    Quote Originally Posted by duke duke View Post
    Well thank you, but all I did was convert a bunch of png files to gif.
    No, trust me when I say that this is the most time-consuming part, at least foir me. Most graphics programs make you manually retype the format ending (or go through a complicated menu) and then question whether you really want to convert to a lower-quality format (and how you want to convert!).

    I noticed there were some differences in your converted .gifs to those I made using the Gimp. I'm curious what you used to convert them and whether it was manual - I've been calling it "Program X" in my own head. At this point, Program X did some things I like better than The Gimp. I've done a pseudo-technical analysis below comparing the two and am curious to hear your thoughts!


    Topics of Analysis

    Okay, I took a look at your conversions and, first of all, wow! Did you do these all by hand, or use a more efficient process?

    Secondly, I compared one of the images you converted to a fresh convert via The Gimp. I'll be referring to the five files below:
    • info.png -- The original, pure, and completely unaltered image from the Crystal Clear Pack.
    • info-Gconvert.gif -- The .png manually converted to gif format using The Gimp (Portable) as the graphics program.
    • info-Xconvert.gif -- The .png converted to gif format by duke duke in his previous post. I do not know whether these were converted manually and what graphic editing program was used (hence 'X').
    • info-Gconvert-Gbgcolor.gif -- The above info-Gconvert.gif re-opened in The Gimp subsequently had its background colored red using Paint Bucket/BG color fill.
    • info-Xconvert-Gbgcolor.gif -- The above info-Xconvert.gif opened in The Gimp subsequently had its background colored red using Paint Bucket/BG color fill.


    What is interesting - to me - is that each of these are different in multiple ways. Now, for the record (a) I am not a graphic artist by trade or training and (b) the following discuss really might not matter once these images are actually running on the Palm. But for the time being, try opening these in a graphic editing program and blowing them up 800% (I kid you not) so you can get a better look.


    Differences in Transparency

    I believe it is the case that .bmp has no capability for transparency, .gif has transparency as an alternative color option (meaning a pixel is 100% transparent and only transparent, or not transparent at all), and .png can have a pixel be a combination of both color and a variable percent of transparency. In The Gimp you can use the Color Picker to select individual pixels and display the used Pixel Values. I've noticed that it uses four colors:
    Red -- Standard part of the RGB spectrum, taking on values between 0 (no red) and 255 (bright red) and combined with Green and Blue used to make a full spectrum of colors.
    Green -- Similar to Red.
    Blue -- Similar to Red.
    Alpha -- This is not something I'm used to. Apparently "Alpha" is a fourth "color" that more or less stands for solid-ness. A value of 0 (0%) means that pixel is completely transparent, while a value of 255 (100%) indicates no transparency. ie, an image whose pixels all have Alpha at 100% may as well not have transparency at all.

    In the info.png - which, as mentioned above, allows each pixel to have varying degrees of solidness - the pixels used for the background have Red, Green, and Blue set at 0, combining to form black. It also has Alpha set at 0, combining to form total transparency. The edge of the image has varying degrees of color (to be expected) as well as varying degrees of Alpha. At the very top-center of the image we have three pixels that have the same Red/Green/Blue color but Alpha values of 57%, 60%, and 54%.

    In other words, the .png is complicated and converting to any format that doesn't allow a full spectrum of transparency will result in some "information loss". In .bmp each of these trans-solid pixels would be force to go 100% solid, or - at the converting programs discretion - be set to some other color (such as white, a frequent background color). For .gif we'd see the same thing, except the pixel could could be set to completely transparent (often corresponding to what would be white in .bmp).

    Okay, now that the long discussion is over, let's compare the five images above:
    • info.png -- Already covered - each pixel is allowed to have varying degrees of transparency.
    • info-Gconvert.gif -- The far outside parts of the image all are completely transparent (ie, Alpha at 0%). Border pixels were sometimes converted to transparent, or sometimes to plain solid colors. In the case of the three top-center pixels, they all went 100% solid but kept their Red/Green/Blue values the same.
    • info-Xconvert.gif -- The far outside parts of the images have been converted to white. The three top-center pixels had their colors adjused in order to create a smooth blend.
    • info-Gconvert-Gbgcolor.gif -- all transparent parts of the images (ie, the outlying pixels) were colored red. Only took one click, worked very well.
    • info-Xconvert-Gbgcolor.gif -- all of the white outlying pixels were colored red. Because of the way Program X converted the border pixels, there is a wide swatch of grayish colors that didn't get hit with this single paintbrush.


    Quality

    This is subjected! Let's heard feedback on info-Gconvert.gif versus info-Xconvert.gif, and ditto for info-Gconvert-Gbgcolor.gif versus info-Xconvert-Gbgcolor.gif.

    I'd appreciate people trying both the high-zoom view as well as maybe testing in on their palms. I will say this about my own opinion: When zoomed in on, I personally feel the winner of info-Gconvert.gif versus info-Xconvert.gif becomes the loser in info-Gconvert-Gbgcolor.gif versus info-Xconvert-Gbgcolor.gif.

    Sorry I had to go and make things so complicated!


    And once again, thanks for the great work Duke Duke! Whatever method you used exposed a few of The Gimp's weaknesses that had escaped my notice previously.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  2. #882  
    Any ideas on how to replace icons for apps moved by PowerRun? I get an error trying to name a .gif with asterisk... TIA!
  3. #883  
    Quote Originally Posted by j0yk View Post
    Any ideas on how to replace icons for apps moved by PowerRun? I get an error trying to name a .gif with asterisk... TIA!
    A bug. Got to fix it in next release.
  4. #884  
    :-)
  5. #885  
    Ok, here is my first attempt. I've posted the same screenshot as before, except this time I've added transparency to the pTunes icon. A big difference! Still not quite as sharp as Abecedarian's other icons, but I'll keep practicing as time permits.

    d-
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    #886  
    Duke:

    The difference in the guitar icons is very clear. Is it possible to do this to the other icons you posted?
    Last edited by TreoEsquire; 02/13/2007 at 10:09 PM.
  7. #887  
    To TreoEsquire: Yes it is possible and that is the eventual goal, but adding transparency to each icon is quite time consuming. Read on for why.

    To Abecedarian: Thank you for the detailed assessment. And I must agree with your final opinion. I actually used Directory Opus 8. It is a Windows explorer replacement with what seems to be an infinite number of enhancements, one of which is batch converting images .

    Adding transparency, on the other hand, was not quite as simple for the reason you referenced in your previous post. Namely, in using Directory Opus 8, "all of the white outlying pixels were colored red. Because of the way Directory Opus 8 converted the border pixels, there is a wide swatch of grayish colors that didn't get hit with this single paintbrush." Therefore, I had to individually hit each grayish/white color to obtain a decent transparency effect. This is time consuming.

    So while I Directory Opus 8 can quickly convert images...adding transparency to those images is a detailed process. Conversely, the Gimp only allows images to be converted individually and adding a transparency to these images is a few click away.

    Abecedarian, thanks again for such a detailed synopsis. Hopefully others will chime in. And you're right in that all of them seem to be showing in Treo Launcher just fine. So, we are definitely on our way!

    d-

    Oh, attached is the transparent icon I used for pTunes if anyone is interested. Don't forget to change the name if you want to use it to launch a different app.
    Attached Images Attached Images
  8. #888  
    Thanks for the great icons in right size.. here is what I tried this morning:

    http://palmgadget.com/image/Lnchr_icon_abc.gif

    [ABC] mode, 4 columns
  9. #889  
    Lookin' good, Horace. I was just working on the icons you used for Aeroplayer and Email. But since you've already done them, hook us up! They look fanstic!

    d-
  10. #890  
    See how it works in [123] mode ...

    http://palmgadget.com/image/Lnchr_icon_123.gif

    I also update the FAQ about customized icons.
    Last edited by horace; 02/14/2007 at 12:38 AM. Reason: FAQ update
  11. #891  
    Quote Originally Posted by duke duke View Post
    Lookin' good, Horace. I was just working on the icons you used for Aeroplayer and Email. But since you've already done them, hook us up! They look fanstic!

    d-
    I prefer fancy icons on a white background so I just rename the .gif files and have not done anything on transparency.
  12. #892  
    Last edited by R1_Rydah; 02/14/2007 at 01:42 AM.
  13. #893  
    Quote Originally Posted by duke duke View Post
    To TreoEsquire: Yes it is possible and that is the eventual goal, but adding transparency to each icon is quite time consuming. Read on for why.

    To Abecedarian: Thank you for the detailed assessment. And I must agree with your final opinion. I actually used Directory Opus 8. It is a Windows explorer replacement with what seems to be an infinite number of enhancements, one of which is batch converting images .

    Adding transparency, on the other hand, was not quite as simple for the reason you referenced in your previous post. Namely, in using Directory Opus 8, "all of the white outlying pixels were colored red. Because of the way Directory Opus 8 converted the border pixels, there is a wide swatch of grayish colors that didn't get hit with this single paintbrush." Therefore, I had to individually hit each grayish/white color to obtain a decent transparency effect. This is time consuming.

    So while I Directory Opus 8 can quickly convert images...adding transparency to those images is a detailed process. Conversely, the Gimp only allows images to be converted individually and adding a transparency to these images is a few click away.

    Abecedarian, thanks again for such a detailed synopsis. Hopefully others will chime in. And you're right in that all of them seem to be showing in Treo Launcher just fine. So, we are definitely on our way!
    Yours are looking great! I really have come to feel that each program has its own strength and weaknesses. In particular, Directory Opus 8 assumes the background will be white, allowing it to create smoother transitions but making it difficult to change the background color at a later time. Meanwhile, I'm coming under the impression that The Gimp basically forces each partially-transparent pixel to go to 0% solid (ie, fully transparent) or 100% solid (the Red-Green-Blue part of the pixel). Let's say we have a pixel that has Red-Green-Blue of black, and is 50% transparent:
    1. Directory Opus 8 - assuming I'm right in this theory - would literally treat it as being 50% of the way between its color - black - and pure white. That is, a nice transitional gray.
    2. The Gimp - again, only if I'm correct - has a 50% chance of making it black, and a 50% chance of making it white (I'm sure it has a system that always chooses the same, I just don't know what it is).


    If the above is true, then Directory Opus 8 would have a more pure image when using a white background, but probably is more awkward in other conditions; having the icon gradually fade to white on the edges looks mighty strange on a red background!

    I've attached a copy of your red guitar, renamed "kguitar-DirectoryOpus-(DukeDuke).gif" as well as one I created using The Gimp, named kguitar-TheGimp-(Abecedarian).gif. I much prefer the handle on yours!

    Regarding coloring in transparency... I'm not sure there really is a good reason to change pixels to being transparent. My understanding is that the program - I'm guessing something native to the palm - takes the upper left pixel and renders it and all pixels sharing its color as invisible. In this case, then, the goal is to color everything you want transparent in a color that appears nowhere else in the image. So either way, the end product doesn't have any transparency period.

    To demonstrate this I've attached an image I converted. easymoblog.png is the original, easymoblog.gif is it converted and colored. As you can see - especially if you zoom in - this has little islands of transparency that are a pain to color in. However this is a worst-case scenario - I've generally found most images to take at most two fill-ins.

    In conclusion:
    • Not all programs will produce the same results, period - each has its own algorithms.
    • If planning to make a gif that is transparency-friendly, using a program that equates transparency percent as being "percent-whiteness" comes with a headache later down the road.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Abecedarian; 02/14/2007 at 01:24 PM. Reason: In the heat of the night images never got fully attached. I had working links, so I choose to blame the voiceless code behind the forums!
  14. #894  
    More about GIF transparency ...

    Transparency with GIFs

    When we were working with our graphic in Photoshop, we were doing so over a white background. Because we were antialiasing, the image was created with black foreground pixels, white background pixels, and many levels of gray in between. Remember that the GIF format allows for only one color to be specified as transparent. This has no effect on any of the intermediate gray pixels, which all show up as a halo.

    To correctly handle transparency, you need to make sure that the intermediate colors created when antialiasing blend into your background color. When using Photoshop's "Save For Web" feature, you can achieve this by setting the Matte color to match the background color of your page. In this example, we've done just that:

    Switching the Matte color to match the background color dramatically improves results.

    This does mean that graphics created using the GIF format for transparency aren't very portable. The image produced for a blue background will look terrible on a white background, and vice versa. This is an unfortunate limitation of the format.

    from http://lunaloca.com/tutorials/antialiasing/
  15. #895  
    Quote Originally Posted by horace View Post
    More about GIF transparency ...
    To correctly handle transparency, you need to make sure that the intermediate colors created when antialiasing blend into your background color. When using Photoshop's "Save For Web" feature, you can achieve this by setting the Matte color to match the background color of your page. In this example, we've done just that:
    Good info!

    Here's a copy of the background I've been sticking with. I'm not crazy about it as some stuff - particularly text - is difficult to read. But the Crystal Clear icons look amazing with it and the "Rain" Color Theme.

    That said, they also look quite good w/ every other background!

    On a side note, is there a way to have the Wallpaper selector start on a specific subfolder instead of "All"? Gets a bit frustrating to keep seeing it trying to use my icons as potential wallpaper!
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  16. #896  
    Quote Originally Posted by Abecedarian View Post
    On a side note, is there a way to have the Wallpaper selector start on a specific subfolder instead of "All"? Gets a bit frustrating to keep seeing it trying to use my icons as potential wallpaper!
    You may use the "Album" feature in Media (or Pics & Video). Create 2 albums (Icons and Wallpaper, for example) and put images in each, so you may filter images by album, in addition to the "All" album.
  17. #897  
    Quote Originally Posted by R1_Rydah View Post
    Looks good, Man!

    d-
  18. #898  
    Quote Originally Posted by Abecedarian View Post
    Good info!

    Here's a copy of the background I've been sticking with. I'm not crazy about it as some stuff - particularly text - is difficult to read. But the Crystal Clear icons look amazing with it and the "Rain" Color Theme.

    That said, they also look quite good w/ every other background!

    On a side note, is there a way to have the Wallpaper selector start on a specific subfolder instead of "All"? Gets a bit frustrating to keep seeing it trying to use my icons as potential wallpaper!
    Wicked!

    d-
  19. #899  
    Quote Originally Posted by Abecedarian View Post
    Yours are looking great! I really have come to feel that each program has its own strength and weaknesses. In particular, Directory Opus 8 assumes the background will be white, allowing it to create smoother transitions but making it difficult to change the background color at a later time. Meanwhile, I'm coming under the impression that The Gimp basically forces each partially-transparent pixel to go to 0% solid (ie, fully transparent) or 100% solid (the Red-Green-Blue part of the pixel). Let's say we have a pixel that has Red-Green-Blue of black, and is 50% transparent:
    1. Directory Opus 8 - assuming I'm right in this theory - would literally treat it as being 50% of the way between its color - black - and pure white. That is, a nice transitional gray.
    2. The Gimp - again, only if I'm correct - has a 50% chance of making it black, and a 50% chance of making it white (I'm sure it has a system that always chooses the same, I just don't know what it is).


    If the above is true, then Directory Opus 8 would have a more pure image when using a white background, but probably is more awkward in other conditions; having the icon gradually fade to white on the edges looks mighty strange on a red background!

    I've attached a copy of your red guitar, renamed "kguitar-DirectoryOpus-(DukeDuke).gif" as well as one I created using The Gimp, named kguitar-TheGimp-(Abecedarian).gif. I much prefer the handle on yours!

    Regarding coloring in transparency... I'm not sure there really is a good reason to change pixels to being transparent. My understanding is that the program - I'm guessing something native to the palm - takes the upper left pixel and renders it and all pixels sharing its color as invisible. In this case, then, the goal is to color everything you want transparent in a color that appears nowhere else in the image. So either way, the end product doesn't have any transparency period.

    To demonstrate this I've attached an image I converted. easymoblog.png is the original, easymoblog.gif is it converted and colored, and easymoblog-greenpink.png is it still in .png form but where I've colored in areas that normally would convert to transparent in The Gimp. The bright pink ones were part of the big transparent section, while the bright green where islands of transparency that I needed to hang-fix (pain in the arse!)! However this is a worst-case scenario - I've generally found most images to take at most two fill-ins.

    In conclusion:
    • Not all programs will produce the same results, period - each has its own algorithms.
    • If planning to make a gif that is transparency-friendly, using a program that equates transparency percent as being "percent-whiteness" comes with a headache later down the road.
    Abecedarian, the links to our kguitar icons aren't coming up. Please repost them so I can take a look at the difference between DO8's and the Gimp's transparency.

    d-
  20. #900  
    Quote Originally Posted by duke duke View Post
    False alarm. I had named the folder "Icons" on my SD card, instead of "Icon". Correcting this fixed the problem. Just a bit confusing because menu, launcher, "Icons" (with an 'S') begins the process.

    d
    Quote Originally Posted by psixichka View Post
    still nothing happens
    but thanks for clarifying
    Disregard what i said above!
    upon attempt #2 it worked!!!!!!!!
    thanks everyone!

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