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."

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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