Thursday, November 20, 2008

The next splash image

That last splash image was just a little too childish and I needed something a little more bold to represent the market I think this program fits in. High School, College and Adult students needing to memorize any type of information. Here is the image.

The actual drawing went something like this. I found an image of a charging elephant online and used my favorite image editing software Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 (usually less than $50) to draw a black and white sketch of a charging elephant. I also recommend Gimp which is free and have used it in some of the computer classes I have taught.

I used a Wacom Intuos3 6 x 8-Inch Pen Tablet to do the actual drawing. The original image is 8x10 inches at 200dpi good for use if I ever need to do any package printing.

The charging elephant picture was placed in it's own layer and given a lot of transparency so it was just sort of an outline. A less technical trick would be to use a Lightbox. I did the tracing and added the rotated rectangle as a flashcard representation. I then got rid of the original charging elephant and selected all the black lines. I inset the selection and filled that selection with black in yet another layer. I then filled the various sections with primary colors and ran an Effects/Illumination/Sunburst effect centered on the light bulb (which was primary yellow). I then tried a ton of different trial and error effects to get the final rendering. I think the one I finished with was either Artistic/Hot Wax or Artistic/Enamel. I don't fully remember, but it took a hundered different tries. I went back and made the center of the lightbulb a lot more yellow to help the bulb stand out after one of my reviewers made that suggestion. The original drawing in the layer above this was then turned back on to give the distict black lines over the colorization.

After years and years trying to come up with a new elephant, this one was drawn in about 30 minutes and colored in about an hour.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Possible splash image

I've been working on the about screen for the new standalone quizzer and have the first concept. I think it might be too kid like and will be creating at least one more. Opinions welcome.

Monday, November 17, 2008

More features and cleanup in the standalone quizzer

I added more features and cleaned up some more bugs in the standalone quizzer. There was no way to quiz on hard, med-hard or percent in the new quizzer. Since all of these items are handled on the menu system in Memorize-It I could have just added a menu to the standalone quizzer, but I ended up adding a small drop box to the quizzer itself. I think it keeps the application a lot cleaner. I'll try to add a screen shot on a future post.

I also added a way to set the auto quiz delay and a preferences menu item to all for the minimum number of quizzes per card. The auto quiz delay was also on a menu and is now a button above the quiz card. The preferences needed to be added as there will probably be some other things I'll have to add to the preferences so this was a good infrastructure change. I need to create another installer and do some more testing and see how close I am to letting others look at it.

On the development agenda next is an "About" screen. You would think this would be simple, but I can't even begin to describe the amount of time that went into the Memorize-It about screen. It has a ton of code to show different about screens for different serial numbers and licensees. If there is one place in the code that could use some clean up, that would probably be near the top.

Still moving along nicely...

Friday, November 14, 2008

serial number systems and installers

Last night I took a huge step and completed the trial and for sale serial number system and an installer for a small collection of Spanish decks. This is a test and would require a bunch more work on the flashcard side, but I'll be testing this out on my own and probably fine tune a little bit more before I send it out to some of my reviewers. This has been a long time coming and it feels good to have an actual product shaping up.

This is just the upgraded quizzer system. Once I have one or two of these done I'll go back and finish Memorize-It which needs just a few more features and then I'll ship that. No timeline on either, but I am making progress.

Stay tuned.