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."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Creating professional light text effects

After a long and very hard work, I finally released Picture to People newest online tool: it's an astonishing powerful set of renderers focused on drawing light text effects.

I have been talking about this for a long time, but my first light drawing software was not as general as I would like and had low performance. This last undesired property made it unsuitable to be used online.

Since kind of a year ago, I started making new researches to be able to redevelop my light drawing engine. This work was very worthy, so I got a much more powerful and faster model. This way, I was able to develop a big list of light rendereres and I used them to make available more than 170 light text effects.

This new feature has a catalog page, just like our general text
generator. It's called Light Text Catalog. Since most of these effects are hard to be really understood in a very small example (like just a letter "a"), this new catalog have better examples. I'm sure they will be useful to all users.

I hope soon I can post some light effect tuturials that use this new exciting software at our blob about text effects. The world of light text effects will never be the same again.

Below there are two new samples of what you can get very easily by using this new astonishing online graphic tool.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

3D Texts with global illumination

I'm still developing my 3D renderer based on global illumination. It's already in alpha test phase. Currently I'm correcting some minor bugs e trying to make several performance optimizations.

This kind of software can generate nice soft shadows, what it's an interesting difference when compared to my first 3D text maker. Beside that, I'm testing other interesting things: I'm evaluating the possibility to offer a different interface paradigm where you have more control over the 3D model configuration. The drawback is a more complex and less intuitive set of parameters.

Below there is a teaser image that was already generated using my new 3D software (click to enlarge). It will possibly be released in the early months of 2012.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The best light text effects ever

If you are used to create some pictures by using your computer, probably you know that creating light effects usually is not a very easy task, mainly if you try to get something really beautiful or innovative.

I'm finishing the development of a new tool totally focused on creating amazing light text effects. As usual for Picture to People softwares, you will not need to have design skill to generate great results with no effort.

After the big success of our generic text effects renderer, this new tool will take our project even more ahead of competitors. We are best and biggest online provider of professional text effects.

Below I show you two teaser images about what is coming, hopefully this year yet. Click a image for a full size viewing.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cartoonize your photos

It was never so easy to transform your photos in beautiful detailed cartoon style drawings. I took some months studying and researching to develop the Photo Cartoon software, but the results are really worthy.

I would like to show you another example about what can be made using it. You can generate smart smooth regions controlling the gradient options and detailed strokes lines by setting the contour interface items (the contour lines can be softer if you desire).

Below you see a very detailed photo used as input and two cartoon images created using my renderer. The first one has more well defined filling regions and very delicate contours. The second example has very large smoothed regions and smartly selected contours lines. Both of them preserve the original details very well.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Turning a photo into cartoon

It has been several months since I published the last graphic tool to generate photo effects. Recently I had been totally focused on text effects.

I have just released the best program to turn photos and complex images into cartoon style drawings. This powerful renderer lets you control how colors, gradients and contours should be used to generate the result you really want.

Below I show you an example of a photo transformed into a cartoon using the default renderer configuration. Realize the advanced use of gradients and contours e how the important details are kept. Click the image to view in full size.

This new tool is easy to use. You just need to read the tips and spend some time practicing. Try right now our Photo Cartoon software.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Inspiration: the best graffiti text effects

Picture to People site has a page called The Best Graffiti Text Effects. It's a nice place to you see many amazing samples of what our Graffiti Text tool can make.

Using a so powerful software can be a little tricky, so it could be important to read the good tips at the renderer page. There are many options to configure if you want, but you can learn them in few time if you follow that suggestions. Furthermore, I hope soon I can post some tutorials about graffiti effects at the blog about text effects.

Feel inspired by so many good graffiti text examples and start creating your own graffiti right now! You can get astonishing realistic 3D effects.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Realistic graffiti text effects

I have already released the newest Picture to People online tool. It's the most professional software ever created to generate graffiti texts. You can get astonishing realistic results. It's like if you had really painted the graffiti on that walls in real life.

Some of the features that make this renderer able to generate astonishing realistic images are:
- ability to deal with three separated painting layer sets: back (optional), middle (optional) and front (the graffiti text itself);
- several drawing styles for each layer set;
- a list of fonts that are really suitable for graffiti drawing;
- several professional 3D text models with deepness setting;
- total control of color using;
- advanced gradient options;
- ability to draw the graffiti text over a background if desired;
- four styles of spatial fitting over the back surface with advanced configuration;
- a very big list of great backgrounds to choose from.

Below there are two examples about what this amazing tools can create. The first image is a graffiti text without background and the second one shows a graffiti text drawn over a back surface. Realize how the graffiti drawing lays on the surface curves in the last image.

Create your own professional graffiti effects by using the Graffiti Text software at Picture to People site.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Professional text effects

Picture to People offers many graphic tools to create professional results. Despite I usually make them as easy and direct as possible, some of them are not trivial.

The project has several text effects and generators, so there are many tips and tricks to use them the best way. Smart users can get astonishing results as you can see at our page that shows samples about the best text effects.

If you are interested about getting great graphic texts, you could like to read my blog about text effects tips and tutorials. It's a good idea to subscribe to its RSS too. There you will learn step by step how to create results like these ones shown below. It's fast, easy and requires no design skills. Each image links to the related tutorial.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ray tracing: aliased specular reflections

Sometimes it's difficult to model shapes that look really smooth when we use polygons. Depending on the light position and material configuration, the faces can appear very evident in some regions.

Usually we can solve this problem with some extra work on 3D objects modeling, changing the polygons spacial configuration or increasing moderately the number of polygons.

But there is a much bigger problem: the specular reflections are much more sensible to non-continuous surfaces. Reflection tends to spread the original light rays, so it works like a magnifying glass to geometric imperfections.

To solve this situation, many times it's needed to increase exponentialy the number of polygons for 3D objects, so the rendering time is too high. It's really a very big problem and I'm trying to minimize it using some heuristics.

Below I show three images to illustrate what I have just explained. Pay attention to the reflection of the right side object on the left side one.

1) object at left side really has few polygons and produces a very poor reflection;

2) when I model the object with hundreds of polygons, the object itself is already totally smooth, but it still produces an "aliased reflection";

3) to generate a continuous reflection, it was needed to render an object with thousands of polygons.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

3D Text: rendering with global illumination

It has been almost 20 years I'm involved with Computer Graphics studies, researches and developments. Most of this time I spent with Digital Image Processing and artistic filters, effects and transformations. During this time, I have dealt with 3D CG several times, but my main focus always was on 2D world.

Since two years and a half ago, I decided to make serious 3D tools for Picture to People project. I have been studying and researching about 3D during this time, handling many different math models, algorithms and techniques.

A ray tracer to create 3D realistic texts is an old dream that is ongoing. I will need a good piece of time to finish it yet. So, in this meantime, I decided to make other 3D text generator using other paradigm. I would implement it anyway sooner or later.

It's already under development a text renderer based on global illumination algorithms. I'm trying to find a good point between impressive results and reasonable performance.

One interesting thing about this kind of software is: it can generate natively very realistic soft shadows, what gives a very convincing 3D look to the models. Direct illumination methods (like ray tracing) are not good to create this kind of shadow that is very common in nature. Each paradigm has its strengths and weaknesses.

Well, let me show what I'm talking about. Below you see two 3D texts created with a global illumination renderer.

By the way, I have an important thing to celebrate today: it's my post number 200! Most blogs are abandoned before getting one year old and I'm still here. I started this blog in October 2007 and a lot of Computer Graphics subjects were discussed here since that time. This blog tells a lot about Picture to People evolution in recent years.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Water text effects

The newest Picture to People tool already is online. It's a tool totally focused on drawing water text effects.

Its results are essentially different of the ones you get by using the Liquid Text tool. Briefly speaking, this new software draws text with water appearance without destroying the font curves, but using them to guide the shape that water should have.

Unlike most tools of this kind, usually these new water renderers work better with font faces that are not very irregular. Too irregular fonts tend to generate a lot of interference, so the final image has too much foam.

Below I show you what our new Water Text software can make.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maccala improvement: Curves simplification again

The first implementation I did for curves optimization was good, but not good enough. In very extreme situations, the algorithm could fail, so the result of simplification was a curve with a different shape from its original form.

After some more hard work, I could finally develop an algorithm that I was not able to make fail, even when simplifying the more bizarre font faces I have ever found in my whole life.

Below I show some more tests made using even more weird and complex fonts than the ones tried before. It's never easy, but my vector drawing library is getting more and more powerful.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Maccala improvement: Curves optimization

Picture to People Project has the best and biggest set of text effects around the Internet and much more will be released yet. It was possible just because our software haa a strong foundation: our low level libraries are powerful and are constantly upgraded.

These days I have been improving Maccala again. The vector based rendering engine is receiving an important optimization: an algorithm able to make curve simplification with almost zero quality lost. The main advantages this technique will bring are:

- reduced memory usage for curves/fonts representation;
- faster 2D curve drawing;
- faster set operations over polygons;
- faster 2D font rendering;
- faster 3D text rendering.

In fact, my biggest motivation to make this right now is to help to accelerate the realistic 3D text renderer I'm developing, but many vector based P2P tools will benefit from that.

Most time I use the font rendering engine to test this optimization. If the algorithm can simplify strange fonts with no visible quality loss, so I can suppose it's working correctly.

Since I'm very excited about this improvement, I show below some examples about what it can do and how it works. Each image shows the simplification of an "a" letter of a different font. At left, you can see the points representation and at right the generated drawing.

The tiny black dots are the points used to create the character; the black continuous curves regions usually are dozens or even hundreds of points very close to each other and they just happen in the non-simplified (top-left) chars. What is important here is: when a simplified "a" is drawn, it has the same looking than the non-simplified one, so the quality decreasing is negligible. The simplification has been made to be a nondestructive process.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Maccala improvement: Adaptive Curves

Picture to People makes vector based drawing using Maccala API. It's very powerful and robust, so P2P has many tools that make/use 2D rendering.

Anyway, there was a small problem when drawing curves. They are more difficult to render when they have these two properties at the same time:
1) to have very strong or sharp curvatures;
2) to be too thick.

In this situation, some curves were not drawn smoothly as they should be. It's what I show you in the first image below. You see a curve skeleton and its version with a thickness of 150. Basically the thin curve shows how smooth it really is, but the thick one is not that smooth.

I improved Maccala and now it has adaptive curve drawing. In practice, it means Maccala can draw perfectly even very thick regions that are too curved. The second image shows the same curve as before, but perfectly drawn using my adaptive rendering algorithm.

Now Picture to People can draw super professional 2D vector curves even in the more unfavorable situations. It can help, for example, to draw in higher quality a thick outline of some very weird and complex True Type fonts.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The best text effects

Picture to People official website already is 2.5 years old and already received more than 2,500,000 visitors (the counter is public at the site).

After a very long and hard work, we already have the biggest set of online professional Computer Graphics tools around the Internet, and there are much more coming.

To celebrate, I created an official "Hall of Fame" at Picture to People site. There I show many amazing text effects created by our beta test team and regular users exclusively by using our tools. This page is open for anybody who wants to participate. For sure there are uncountable effects and results to be discovered, tried and used, so anyone who gets a great image can send it to be shown in our roll. I will publish new samples from time to time.

Feel invited to visit The Best Text Effects page. I hope this page with some of our best text effects shows how powerful Picture to People is and inspires people trying to find more and more nice ways to use our graphic softwares.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Professional light text effects

I have been studying and implementing light models and algorithms for at least 3 years. I have developed, more than a year ago, a library to render light effects. I have even created some light text effects, but I didn't publish them, because they were very slow to calculate.

These last months I made a huge effort trying to create from scratch a new fast library focused on rendering lights. I finally did it and this new library is not just faster, but better than the old one. Now I'm developing a big collection of ready to use light text effects. Many users have asked for it since Picture to People is online.

Below I show you some examples about what is up to come: professional results with no configuration.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Picture to People now has font effects

Have you ever wanted TrueType or OpenType fonts were able to make a little more? Have you ever wanted to change a little an usual font face? Well, I did.

I created a tool to go beyond the traditional font rendering engines and turn regular fonts in something more complex or more stylized. It's our first tool totally focused on typography. If Picture to People usually releases "text effects", we could think about this like a software to make "font effects".

Below I show you a text made with a regular font and so two typographic transformations created using the same font as input.

This new feature was already released at the Typography Effects page.

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