I’ve been doing more with this application recently. The main aims here are to make the inspector panel (on the right) reflect more of what the user is doing, and to allow the user to import simple decorations and manipulate them on the card level.
As the user clicks on an element in the design area, the panel to the right will change accordingly. So if you click on the photos, the panel will show information and controls for it, and so on. At the moment, there are tabs on display (this is to help me debug stuff), but they will eventually go.
I have also introduced the option to add decorations to the card layer. I’ve been thinking about how I can organise this for a while (given my limited knowledge on writing stuff like this), and I remembered that in real life, stereo cards comprised of the photos being glued onto pre-cut cards. These cards would have some limited decoration on them (possibly the logo of the company that made them, and a caption, maybe a framing element), the photos themselves would be entirely separate. So, the application mimics this. The photos are always above the decorations. There may still be the need to change the order of layered elements, but fo now, this will do. I honestly don”t think that you would want to put hundreds of elements on a card anyway, it’s likely that three or four may be ore than plenty. The main focus is always the photo. Too much fuss and palava around the edges can distract, especially when looking through a viewer.
The video shows the MPO being imported into the document, a card texture applied, and a frame added. It also shows the frame being coloured, so even though it’s black to start with, that can be changed. Also, a decorative element is imported, scaled, and, again, coloured.
The resulting image is then exported as a PNG file for opening in another application.
This application is moving on nicely, I think. Lots still to do, but also lots done.
Progress has been slow.Partly because I’ve been moving code around so it makes more sense – more for my own piece of mind rather than anything else. However, I also have been aware that sizing images using the slider was painfully slow. This is because I was processing and cropping with every step. Now, the image is cropped and scaled live by nesting elements inside each other and scaling those. This gives a much faster result than before.
The other thing that has been bugging me with this was the UI for positioning images. Before, I was using sliders controlling the size of the images, and the gap between them. It seemed to me that, really, that should be a mouse drag operation, so I spent a fair amount of time finding out what was needed to make that happen, and get that working.
And, finally, yes, there are undos. Not for everything yet, but I’ve started adding that in. An undo requires you to give the application a route forward (ie the change the user is making), and a route back to the previous state. It sounds more complicated than it actually seems to be, but everything needs coding for, and it’s a bit of a faff to do. Maybe I’ll find that I can bunch a few of these operations into one in the future, but for now, it seems to be working well as it is.
It has been a while since I looked at this, because I get distracted, and there are also times when other things need my attention. However, this has been in the back of my mind for a while, so I took another look at it. This is where I am right now. The application will take an MPO file, split it up, and create a Holmes Card type image from it. It will also take an image with both left and right images side by side, and split that in two as well, so images from real film cameras can be brought in.
But It’s All Wrong!
Actually, what brought me back to this was the niggle that really this should be working at the document level. Making it work on documents would allow me to (eventually) get it to save the file for future loading and editing. So I’ve started on that. I realised that I had made some fundamental mistakes which need sorting out too, so more time has been spent on getting that fixed than anything else.
Right now, I have something that is part way to what you see in the video. This time, you can create a new document in a new tab and work on that. It’s now possible to have more than one card being worked on at once. I have a few more things to add in – the selectors at the bottom for cards, shapes and filters aren’t there yet, as well as finish up the existing image controls to the right. Once that’s done, I can think about saving and loading, which I expect will be a Google-busting marathon of searching and reading.