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  • Speaking of sprite engine

    If you are serious about graphic programming, and need a performing sprite engine, then it is already there.

    The GDImage's sprite engine works not only on XP, but also in full composited mode on VISTA and Windows 7, because it has been designed to be compatible with the DirectX10 Desktop Window Manager.

    Note: The standard GDI graphic controls do not work, as soon as you want to draw them on a crystal or blured AERO section (very handy to create amazing effects using overlapped windows).

    I have attached to this thread a new version of the DashBoard project.
    Each component is made of several child sprites, performing real time animation. You can dragg them with the mouse, or move them using the keyboard arrows.

    In GDImage everything can be a sprite: text, raster image, and vectorial graphics.

    Why wait for the past, when the future is already there

    ...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Patrice Terrier; 27 Aug 2009, 02:20 AM.
    Patrice Terrier
    www.zapsolution.com
    www.objreader.com
    Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

  • #2
    Using a layered window, and drawing directly onto the Window Desktop Manager with variable opacity are two different things!

    Attached is a GDImage project running in full composited mode on Windows VISTA using variable opacity, and drawing directly onto DWM.

    THIS CAN'T BE DONE WITH a graphic container or sprite engine based on GDI nor with GDIPLUS alone.
    The only standard transparent mode supported in Windows VISTA is the "blur mode", while GDImage supports also the "crystal mode" with custom color and multiple variable oppacity settings.

    Very important:
    You must try this demo on VISTA with the AERO mode being enabled.
    and select either the "Crystal mode" or the "Blur mode" to see what could only be done with GDImage

    ...
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Patrice Terrier; 27 Aug 2009, 12:18 PM.
    Patrice Terrier
    www.zapsolution.com
    www.objreader.com
    Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

    Comment


    • #3
      Chris,

      Now it is a bit pricy ($695 from what I see on the web site),
      The regulare price is €450, it is not my fault if the value of the $ has decreased so much in front of the Euro currency.

      Now about the price, i am just curious how much you would charge for one single programming day.

      Here if you ask a plomber to do some work in your house, he will charge you € 75 per hour + VAT (19.6), that means € 600 for height hours work.

      Don't you think that GDImage is worth the price of one day's work of a plomber.

      There is realy something wrong, if you can't invest one plomber's day work in something that tooks years to create, and that will save you weeks or even monthes of work.

      Now i have a question for you, if you give anything for free, how are you doing to earn your living?

      I didn't know that addon programming was a charity business.

      ...
      Last edited by Patrice Terrier; 27 Aug 2009, 01:57 PM.
      Patrice Terrier
      www.zapsolution.com
      www.objreader.com
      Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

      Comment


      • #4
        DirectX10 Desktop Window Manager
        Vista and 7 both use DirectX 9 (and Shader Model 2) for DWM, NOT DirectX 10.

        The regulare price is €450, it is not my fault if the value of the $ has decreased so much in front of the Euro currency.
        This only makes sense if you were limited selling only to countries which use the Euro. Even with a straight conversion, $450 is too much for me to consider since I only develop Freeware products.

        Comment


        • #5
          Windows 7 DWM will be DirectX10 based.

          Currently it is being used by WPF.

          Since VISTA, GDI is redirected to DirectX surfaces.

          since I only develop Freeware products.
          Then you have another job to earn your living

          One of the professional development plateform i am using is being sold ... € 1650 + VAT 19,6, and € 990 + VAT 19.6 in competitive exchange, and even at this price some guys are using it to write ... freewares

          ...
          Last edited by Patrice Terrier; 27 Aug 2009, 04:56 PM.
          Patrice Terrier
          www.zapsolution.com
          www.objreader.com
          Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

          Comment


          • #6
            Patrice,

            For a person like me I would not hire a plumber for $600 to $800 (US) for a days work. Thats a very large investment of money for someone like me, so I would simply do it myself (I have done all my own plumbing, electric on my house).

            I recently needed to install a timing chain on my 96 Saturn. That would be a $600 job for labor alone. I did it myself.

            The point being, just because a tradesman may charge as much for a days work as it costs for GDImage, does not make it practical for many people. People can only afford what they can afford. For those who can't afford something, they either do without or they find a way to do it themselves.

            Like I said, if one is programming professionally and their needs dictate a high end graphic tool, then GDImage is well worth the price.

            There are though a lot more hobby programmers using Powerbasic than you may think. Also there are likely a lot of programmers who do commercial work, but their budgets are very tight. If high end graphics is at the bottom of their wish list, then GDImage would likely not be something on the top of their purchase list. It all depends upon need.

            This does not mean that you should lower the price for GDImage though.

            It is simply a matter of knowing what your target market is and pricing accordingly. If your market is professional programmers who develop graphic intensive software, then the price is fine. If your market is all programmers, including hobby programmers, professionals on a budget with a low need for graphics, etc. then you may want to rethink your pricing or maybe offer a lower end Standard version with less features for them at a lower price.
            Chris Boss
            Computer Workshop
            Developer of "EZGUI"
            http://cwsof.com
            http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

            Comment


            • #7
              Windows 7 DWM will be DirectX10 based.
              Yes, DWM will use DX10 on 7, at least on paper. Unfortunately, most 7 machines will still be using DX9 for DWM via 10Level9 due to hardware limitations. Some low end machines may not even be able to use DX9 and may get stuck with WARP for software emulation.

              Your demos do work very well on 7 and I think GDImage is a powerful product.

              Then you have another job to earn your living
              I'm a disabled vet, I don't work anymore

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd like to weigh in on this discussion.

                I write and release mostly freeware applications. Especially now that I've retired my budget for purchasing programming tools is only a few hundred $$ per year. I could squeeze it a bit higher, but what I buy would have to have usage in a lot of applications for me to consider the wrath of Mrs. Beene.

                I'd love to have the graphic capabilities Patrice offers but it simlpy won't happen with my budget. So, I'm just not part of Patrice's target user group. That's his call, my loss. I'm ok with that.

                If Patrice were to offer a ~$100 something or other, then I'd seriously consider being a customer - but would it be a tool that could span a lot of application needs? Depends on my interests, I guess, but I suspect a 15% subset of his library wouldn't be as attractive.

                In the meantime I'm at the place Chris talks about - having to write my own, find something freeware/open source/low cost, or do without.

                The sprite engine doesn't seem to be an example of a broad use tool - but at a low enough price even a freeware author will pay to avoid writing something himself.

                Comment


                • #9
                  And instead of going to the doctor you also make your own medicine.

                  The plomber was just an example...

                  To say the truth, my main customers are elsewhere than this community, but since GDImage is written in PowerBASIC i am also posting here.

                  ...
                  Patrice Terrier
                  www.zapsolution.com
                  www.objreader.com
                  Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Especially now that I've retired my budget for purchasing programming tools is only a few hundred $$ per year.
                    Looks like most PB's user are now senior programmers, including myself

                    It seems that the new generation is more accustomed to RAD tools, thus they are not re-inventing the wheel, they are just using it, until they found another wheel that runs faster. See the success of DotNET or WinDev.
                    I know some guys using them, that have never used an API directly.

                    ...
                    Last edited by Patrice Terrier; 27 Aug 2009, 05:36 PM.
                    Patrice Terrier
                    www.zapsolution.com
                    www.objreader.com
                    Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Interesting comment.

                      Looks like most PB's user are now senior programmers
                      I've seen nothing that suggests this at all. It's certainly true that the forum posts are often from more experienced programmers, but that's in part because the responses to forum posts can look pretty scarychallenging to the occasional poster. That issue has been discussed off and on for some time.

                      In fact, when I posted "Where are the newbies" a while back, it generated the 2nd largest number of viewers of any message in the PBWin forum - so I had the impression that programmers using PowerBASIC are not mostly senior programmers (at least, not Senior to PowerBASIC).

                      I'd also disagree big time with the idea that newer generations are more into RAD. In my corporate software development role, the speed of development and cost of development were kings. My colleagues and I bought numerous tools/libraries/development aides based on their impact on the bottom line. My fellow programmers were anything but enamored with writing their own code - when purchasing it would apply years of experience (i.e., the code in the product) to our problems - such as your graphics library provides.

                      And finally, your plumber analogy has a hole. I can't speak to the volume of sales you have, but if you sold a product for a large price to a huge audience, then those customers would expect volume pricing - not a cost based on how long it would take them to do it themselves. They would expect the developer to make a reasonable+ profit, but not 100X the development/support costs. Like I say, I have no idea what your market/profits are - and I definitely believe in selling at a price the market will bear so whatever price you put on your product is up to you. But it seems to me that your plumber analogy wrongly argues for a high price strategy, without acknowledging the customer expectations of volume considerations.

                      So, other than that, we seem to be singing from the same page in the hymn book!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        In the meantime I'm at the place Chris talks about - having to write my own, find something freeware/open source/low cost, or do without.
                        I'm in the same boat. It looks like I am in good company

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Gary

                          I sell it the right price, because GDImage has exclusive features that you can't find elsewhere.

                          How many graphic tools do you know that are able to mix 2D and 3D graphics altogether.
                          How many of them are able to produce nice looking interface.
                          How many of them are able to manipulate clone objects to save memory.
                          How many of them are able to create interactive multimedia applications.
                          How many of them can display 1024 sprites at the same time.
                          How many of them are able to display pictures that exceed the size of 16 Mb.
                          How many of them are able to display composited layers using variable opacity.
                          How many of them could be used with plain Win32 or managed code.
                          How many of them would let you build your own visual components (gauge).
                          How many of them can mix raster and vectorial drawing.
                          How many of them can zoom in/out without pixel loss and almost instentaneously.
                          How many of them are able to perform image and text rotation at any angle without pixel loss.
                          How many of them allows you to setup all the color channels, hue, brightness, contrast, etc.
                          How many of them are able to display multiple animations inside of the same control.
                          How many of them have events callback to control the user interaction with each of the graphic controls and their child objects.
                          etc. etc. etc.

                          ...
                          Patrice Terrier
                          www.zapsolution.com
                          www.objreader.com
                          Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The selling price of software has a lot less to do with what it can do and more to do with the target market and quantities expected to be sold to that market.

                            A good example is the game software industry.

                            Some of the most advanced (and costly) software developed are computer games. Even GDImage can't compare to the amount of research and development that goes into some very popular games. Game software requires more than just writing software. It requires writers (for story plots), graphic artists (lots of them), actors (many games use real people for actors to create the characters), etc. The costs for some games goes into the many millions of dollars.

                            The problem with writing a game is that the target market will not bear retail prices in the hundreds of dollars. Even $50 is pushing it in the game market. So the only way to recoup costs for development is to sell for a low price to a very, very large target market. They do and they make a fair profit (money).

                            Now of course programming tools is a much smaller market. PowerBasic is a smaller market than some other programming languages (ie. VB or VB.Dot.NET) so the software must command a higher price. The question is how much ?

                            If the target market is only professional developers who can recoup costs (by saved time and/or high sales) then a more expensive tool is well worth it. The problem is "who" is that target market ? How much do they benefit from product ? (ie. could they still accomplish what they need without it).

                            Much of the business software developed today doesn't even need any fancy graphics, does not need 3D or hardware exceleration, doesn't need transparency or any of the wonderful benefits of something like Aero. Maybe they do a lot of number crunching. Maybe they do a lot of database stuff. Maybe they do a lot of data entry. Maybe they simply do barcharts and no more. Maybe they simply automate very mundane and common tasks.

                            The point is "who" is the target market for high end graphics ?

                            Now there is a target market somewhere, its just a matter of who.

                            The software price is dictated more by the target market and not by what it does.

                            So then is GDImage worth $695 ?

                            Absolutely!

                            But only to a very specific target market who can afford it, need it a great deal and have no cheaper (aka less features) alternative that would still fit their requirements.

                            The Powerbasic user base is likely very much varied in needs. I am sure there are many, many professional PowerBasic programmers. The question though is what kind of software do they write ? Thats hard to tell for third party developers.

                            A good illustration maybe the television:

                            For example, years ago many people only had black white TV's.
                            TV's used to be very expensive (ie. in the 70's or 80's).

                            One could have touted the advantages and the great experience of a color TV, but if one could not afford one then a black and white TV still would suffice. People were still able to watch the news on a BW TV. They could still watch their favorite TV program. True the experience was not the same as color, but BW still would suffice. Now of course there were some people who just had money and could afford a color TV. Some may have required it, possible some businesses or institutions and simply just had to pay the cost.

                            Programmers find themselves in the same situation.

                            If there is a cheaper alternative that suffices and meets their minimum requirements for the task at hand, then that is the route often taken.

                            When I started doing custom programming in the 80's, computers with just a text based 13 inch color monitor (harddrives measured in megs, not gigs), 5 1/4 " floppy running DOS were costing $2500.

                            I wrote a lot of software for a number of businesses which made them very productive. Yet, this was done with basically text based software and at most a few graphics done using those funny little graphic characters in the DOS character set (aka. little blocks).

                            Today, computers are cheap and so much more powerful.
                            Expectations about software and its look and feel are so much greater, yet.

                            Programmers only need what they need to get the job done so the end user can do the task at hand. Anything else is simply "icing on the cake".

                            There are those who need GDImage to get the task done, but they will be a much more select group than say for some who only need the simplist of graphics provided by the GDI. Look at how many who are doing some neat stuff using the PB Graphic command set. It suffices for many. True its no DirectX or 3D, but it suffices for many tasks at hand.

                            When I see those who require more, I do try to push them in the direction of GDImage though. If their requirements are high, GDImage is well worth the cost. My own graphic stuff can't compare to what GDImage can accomplish (thats the truth). If someone says to me, I am looking for 3D stuff, OpenGL, support for the DWM, I would answer "have you looked at GDImage yet ?".

                            The price though dictates who (and how many) will seriously consider it.
                            Last edited by Chris Boss; 28 Aug 2009, 02:07 AM.
                            Chris Boss
                            Computer Workshop
                            Developer of "EZGUI"
                            http://cwsof.com
                            http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The GDImage trial version is fully functionnal and there is no time limitation.

                              You can use it as long as you want, and learn SDK programming from the many source code examples that are provided with it.

                              Several students and hobyists already use the trial version with their own applications, including a few doing freewares...

                              The GDImage standard version (sold € 150) has been discontinued one year ago, because it was doing almost the same than most graphic toolkit you can find around, even some that are freeware like "freeimage".

                              In the actual version i have focused my work on things that can't be found elsewhere, or at least not in the same price range.

                              Using different programming languages i can make a comparison between the type of applications people are doing with them, you can see some using GDImage in the "showroom" section of my website.

                              The "eye candy" audience is growing fast, and the softwares that are still looking like the old DOS applications or Windows 3.1 will not sell anymore except for specific niches, but for how long.

                              GDImage helps to create new interfaces that would make the difference, and that is definitly the orientation i am taking for all the softwares i am working on, including those i am doing for others.

                              Nowdays the use of a graphic chart is a fondamental concept, in large or medium company. The software and the website must use the same, because they are now the company signature worldwide.
                              One of a pharma company i had to work for, had a graphic chart that was more than 150 A4 pages long.

                              ...
                              Last edited by Patrice Terrier; 28 Aug 2009, 03:57 AM.
                              Patrice Terrier
                              www.zapsolution.com
                              www.objreader.com
                              Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Amen to that!

                                The "eye candy" audience is growing fast
                                That's why those of us who cannot draw a straight line, even with a ruler, are so attracted to a powerful graphics engine such as GDImage.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Wait ...

                                  You said ..

                                  ...use the trial version with their own applications, including a few doing freewares...
                                  But I read at your site ...

                                  You can test everything, without any limitation, however to unlock the DLL and remove the nag screen, you will need a private key to distribute the royalty free GDImage.dll with your application(s).
                                  Can you clarify - folks have written/distributed freeware with a nag screen? As I noted, I mostly release freeware these days so if there's a no-nag screen trial version of GDImage I can use in my freeware releases, I'd very interested. I didn't catch that when I read the web site.

                                  The last time I used a graphic package for my freeware, I wound up buying it to release a commercial package. There's a reason why trial versions are available!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    folks have written/distributed freeware with a nag screen?
                                    Yes, because the nag screen shows up, just at startup, like with my demos.

                                    The freeware i am speaking about, is a Role Game, written by Vincent Dupont in WinDev.

                                    > Bonjour,
                                    >
                                    > je développe en ce moment un logiciel entièrement gratuit et peut être à
                                    > l'avenir en open source.
                                    >
                                    > Pour certaines fonctions, je cherchais à développer une bibliothèque
                                    > graphique quand je suis tombé sur votre bibliothèque que je trouve
                                    > réellement impressionnante, et convient idéalement à mon besoin, voir même
                                    > m'ouvre de nouvelles perspectives pour mon application.
                                    >
                                    > Je voulais savoir si, avec la version de "demo", celle qui a la petite
                                    > boite de dialogue au démarrages, cela ne me gênant pas le moins du monde
                                    > puisque mon application n'as pas et n'aura jamais de but commercial, je
                                    > pouvais utiliser votre bibliothèque graphique gratuitement en l'état.
                                    >
                                    > Dans l'attente et en vous remerciant pour votre excellent travail.
                                    >
                                    > Cordialement
                                    >
                                    > Vincent
                                    ...
                                    Patrice Terrier
                                    www.zapsolution.com
                                    www.objreader.com
                                    Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Sprite, sprite, sprite...

                                      Try to count them.




                                      ...
                                      Patrice Terrier
                                      www.zapsolution.com
                                      www.objreader.com
                                      Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Here is another GDImage Sprite demo:

                                        MagicBall uses variable opacity, and works in full composited mode.

                                        You can dragg it around the screen, press the escape key (after you click on the ball) to shut it down.

                                        ...
                                        Attached Files
                                        Patrice Terrier
                                        www.zapsolution.com
                                        www.objreader.com
                                        Addons: GDImage.DLL 32/64-bit (Graphic library), WinLIFT.DLL 32/64-bit (Skin Engine).

                                        Comment

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