What is Picture to People ?

"Picture to People" (P2P) is a huge Computer Graphics project. It was started to create new softwares able to make 2D drawing, 3D rendering, vexel drawing, text effects, photo effects, image filtering and other complex Computer Graphics operations. It has been made from scratch, including its low level Computer Graphics libraries like Maccala. Nowadays, most final features produced for this project are released as free online tools available from its official website. This blog talks about Computer Graphics, mainly concerning Picture to People development.

"Only who makes has true knowledge. Knowledge is control. True power depends on total control. Only who makes from scratch has the real power."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Innovative carving effect

I was tired of the same old carving effects based on some variation of directional Laplacian, so I created a much more complex and realistic one. I called it "Photo Stone".

Some of its main features:

- suitable to photos;

- tries to be realistic without to be to much destructive concerning spacial information;

- tries to keep the original colors as much as possible.

You can make a comparison with the more traditional carving effects going to Picture to People Photo Effects and choosing "carved" in left side menu.

Below you can see a photo and a carved example. You can use this tool by yourself in Picture to People carving effect generator.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Vector drawing library

I lot of people ask me how I make Picture to People. Well, I develop P2P by using my own graphic libraries I create from scratch.

One of my newest libraries is Maccala, a vector based rendering library with professional anti-aliasing e many advanced features. I have been developing it intensively for the last 2 years.

Having this library in hand, I could develop even more advanced features like my own font rendering engine.

If you are a software developer or are just curious, you could like to visit the page about Picture to People vector based drawing library. This URL has many interesting sample images.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Liquid text: a realistic example

Now you have a good ideia about what the "Liquid Text" tool can make, I show you a complete and realistic example.

It's a water text created over a photo. Usually you can get a nice, eye catching result when drawing over a photo if you enforce the 3D properties of your liquid text. If you draw over a simple, plain color background, probably you should use a different configuration.

Despite water text is the one people usually use most, you can get many other kinds of liqui text using this Picture to People text generator tool.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Liquid text configuration

Here I use a kind of water text to show some interesting options about Picture to People liquid text generator.

First I show you a water text. So, using the same configurations about font, transparency, liquefying, translucency, colors, etc, I change some other things you have not seen here yet.

Below I used "small drops".

Here I used "big drops".

This one was made with "extra pools".

Below I used "trickling drops".

Of course, you can use any combination of these features if you want.

Make your water text or any other liquid text using Picture to People. It's fast and very easy.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ice text

The Picture to People liquid text tool was created to be versatile.

Despite its main goal is creating liquid text, using the right configuration you can get even other kinds of text.

Below I show you two examples of ice text created with the "Liquid Text" feature.

You can make your own ice text using this text generator.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Water text examples

Here I show you some more elaborate examples about water text.

First you see a more trivial example. I made the liquid color slightly blue and set the shadow to a very dark blue. I set a very simple neutral configuration, with a low level font distortion.

Now I set a high level font liquefying, and set a good level liquefying for the image behind the liquid.

Here you see a water with more strength. I set the liquid to white (indeed more used for water) and I improved its 3D appearance increasing the shadow configuration.

You can get your own water text or any other liquid text using Picture to People. It needs no design skills.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Liquid text: example 2

Now you see the next example of liquid text made with Picture to People. I made a water text and have used a complex background to improve the realism.

The chosen font face was liquefied (distorted), so the text can really look like made of liquid. This very important feature of this tool is configurable.

When there is an image (and not just a color) behind the liquid text, you can take advantage of one good feature: the image can be liquefied in the part covered by the liquid. I have used it in a low level.

I have used a very slightly blue liquid with no translucency. I have put a stronger shadow to enforce the 3D appearance, but it makes the water less subtle.

Make your own water text or any other liquid text easily using Picture to People right now.

I will show even more realistic liquid texts in next examples.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Liquid text: example 1

Here I show you the first liquid text example made with Picture to People tool that already is online.

Since it's the first example, I kept it so simple as possible. I used a plain green background and a thick font. I configured the liquid to have a slightly strong 3D appearance, to be white and very transparent, and to produce a big font face "liquifying".

Depending on the results you want, a similar configuration can be used to create water text. Create your own liquid text right now.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Drawing liquid text

Now Picture to People has a powerful tool to draw text made of liquid.

This new feature is very configurable, so you can draw liquid text in several styles and simulating virtually any kind of liquid material. This development wouldn't be possible if I hadn't developed my own font engine.

In fact, some of my testers around the world have already used this tool to make other kinds of beautiful texts that don't look like liquid. Sometimes a tool has so many freedom degrees that you can get even unplanned results.

I will show several liquid text examples in next posts. Anyway, you can get your own liquid text right now using Picture to People site.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Font engine: example 5

Picture to People font engine is very evolved nowadays. It goes very beyond an usual font renderer.

Using my font libraries I can, for example, make uncommon vector based transformations over a text. The more important here is the transformed text keeps being an entity made of vectors.

Below you can see a simple text made using the canonical Arial font face. The second line shows the same text after a nontrivial vector based transformation.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Font engine: example 4

Picture to People font engine can draw text outline natively. It can be made using any True-Type font.

It's one of the main features people usually miss in a "common" font renderer.

With Picture to People, this kind of drawing is highly configurable and you can even choose the line thickness.

Below you see a text outlined in three different fonts.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Font engine: example 3

Picture to People font engine is powerful and scalable.

This example shows you how the text renderer can draw strange or complex True Type fonts with no quality losing.

This font engine forced me to improve some features to the extreme and these improvements will be useful for many drawing tasks.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Font hinting

Probably you don't know, but all this text in tiny size is a very important example of Picture to People font engine.

This example shows a phrase written with several different fonts in size 8. My font renderer has its own hinting techniques and the output in good quality shows it can make the work. Font hinting is one of the hardest subjects about text drawing.

Sometimes the methods I use for hinting can not eliminate all little blur for some fonts in very small size, but for sure they help a lot.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Font engine: example 2

Picture to People font engine can render fonts modifying them like you are used to: bold, italic and both.

As you can see, the font used for this example is not so simple as that ones from the first example. My font renderer can draw harder typefaces.

For now, I see no use to underline or strikethrough styles, so I will not implement them. I prefer implement more useful styles and transformations you can't find in other font engines.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Font engine: example 1

Finally I can show some results about text drawing using only Picture to People software.

The text you see below was totally made with my own font rendering engine. For this, I have used two canonical fonts: "Arial" and "Times New Roman".

Realize the perfectly anti-aliased filling with no "blurred" appearance. I created a completely new robust algorithm for that with several important advantages. I tell more about that in future.

Despite its very professional quality, I will improve this library to very beyond a plain font engine.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Picture to People discussion group

I have just created a group to Picture to People project.

There you can:

- tell about your experience using the project;
- ask for help;
- know what other users are saying about P2P;
- know about relevant anouncements I will post (if you wish, you will receive emails with a digest of the posts daily or weekly);
- suggest new features.

As you can see, it will work like a mix of forum, rss, ... So It can be worthy if you join. It's here: http://groups.google.com/group/picturetopeople.

For me, the last use of this new channel is the more important one. Now I have an "official" way to receive asks for new effects and new tools from Picture to People users around the world.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

The font engine is evolving

I'm facing well the hard challenge of have my own font engine. Some of my very low level libraries are been improved to achieve this goal.

Some of the main problems to someone trying to make this:

- TTF file format is weird and complex;
- font hinting is a very hard subject and trying auto-hint fonts is even worse;
- some fonts are very complex;
- there must be special care to draw fonts in small size; it can need proper algorithms;
- you should have a very complete, robust, and fast rasterizer behind you.

Some of my pieces of code are being stressed, but I'm glad about that. In the end I'm getting a general improvement in several low level libraries, what will help me in other developments.

In time: be patient. I will show you screenshots soon.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Next challenging library: a font rendering engine

Now I'm working in an engine to render texts from scratch (from TTF fonts) with arbitrary vector based transformations.

Believe or not, it's a VERY hard task. The reason is not the transformations by themselves; the development of a complete font engine is a very complex goal.

In next posts, I will explain superficially why typography is a hard subject (despite the normal problems concerning professional Computer Graphics).

This library is one of the last low level tools I will need to create to use in a new and ambitious high level library. For now, let's keep it like a surprise.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Drawing like a human - example 2

Here I show you the last "Real Pencil" example for a while. Can you see like the delicate strokes follow the photo structure? It's one of the more important features of this renderer.

As a complete project, this tool uses libraries that even I took hundreds of hours to develop. Anyway, it was a worthy effort, because the users feedback is very positive: they say it really can generate "human style" drawings.

I'm already working hard in several other Picture to People sub-projects. If everything keeps going well, there are some surprises coming.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Drawing like a human - example 1

Here I show you a colorful example of Picture to People "Real Pencil" renderer in action.

This example photo was chosen because it has very clear curves. This way you can see very easily how the drawing trace respect and follow the input geometry locally and globally.

The third image is a zoom-in of a part of the second one. Realize like the drawing is made of a big amount of very small and delicate strokes, just as people are used to make by hand.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Can a computer draw like a human?

I have been studying and researching about Computer Graphics for more than 15 years. A great part of this time I have spent researching about professional artistic filters and effects.

I was always facinated by the way humans produce art, mainly drawngs and paintings. I have always tried to create math models and algorithms able to make drawings like ones made by human hands.

Now I got closer to my intention. I have created a new model to draw based on photos. Here some of the main reasons that make this algorithm work "like a human":

- the final image is made of thousands of small and delicate strokes (many people are used to draw this way);

- each stroke is carefully chosen (the calculations are made stroke by stroke);

- strokes respect and follow the photo geometry globally (on purpose or not, drawers usually act like that).

Below I show you a simple example. You can easily realize the strokes follow the geometry of the input photo in a similar way many drawers do.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vexel drawings from photos: example 8

Here I show you the last example about Picture to People "Art Vexels" section.

I have not shown all possibilities, but I think it's enough. For sure you already realized how configurable this tool is.

Next post will be about a new subject: transforming photos in realistic pencil drawings.

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