1. New Software Notice alert!

    The new Web Graphics Creator (version 4.0) will be out soon.

    For now, version 3.0 is still active and works great on most Windows machines. It no longer runs on Macs using Lion or greater... (but the new version will fix this)

    So hang in there! It's almost done!

What's up with this?

Discussion in 'The eCover Creator' started by Zipper, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. Zipper

    Zipper

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    Hi all....

    Each time I make a front cover, it appears out of proportion.
    It's too tall, the top text is too far from the top and the
    bottom text is too far up from the bottom. How can I correct this?

    Thanks for your help!

    Jack the Zipper :helpnow:
     
  2. a¿ex

    a¿ex Staff Member

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    Each face of a given 3-D model has a certain aspect ratio. Unless the bitmap you want to map on the face has exactly the same aspect ratio there are 4 solutions:

    - fit the width of the bitmap onto the width of the face
    (this either leaves blank space at the bottom and at the top or it cuts portions of your bitmap off at the bottom and the top, depending on the aspect ratio of you bitmap)

    - fit the height of the bitmap onto the height of the face
    (this either leaves blank space at the right and at the left or it cuts portions of your bitmap off at the right and the left, depending on the aspect ratio of you bitmap)

    - fit the image into the available area leaving "untextured" areas (which is either "fit width" or "fit height", so that no portions of your bitmap is cut off)

    - scale to fit (this distorts your bitmap to fit onto the face)


    the default behavior is "fit the image into the available area". so your bitmap is neither distorted nor cut off.

    what can you do ?

    - make the bitmap you provide of the correct aspect ratio.
    - change the "mapping style" from the default setting to another setting which better fits your needs.

    for both cases you can tweak the information for each 3-d model:
    the files for the 3-D models are in the folder "w3dMedia".
    for each 3-D model, there is a png with the thumbnail (which is what you see in the menu), a file with the geo data and a xml file with infos for the model. It is the xml file, that we are looking for. To find the correct one look at the png files, find the model you are looking for and open the corresponding xml file in any text editor or xml editor.

    you'll find for the different faces of the model amongst others the following info:

    <targetRect>rect(80, 16, 432, 504)</targetRect>
    <mapmode>#fitInto</mapmode>
    <bgColor>#topLeft</bgColor>

    the targetrect tells you the aspect ratio. in the above case its width is 352 (-> 432 - 80) and the height is 488 (-> 504 - 16)
    so a bitmap with an aspect ratio of 352x488 will fit exact.
    this can be 352x488 or 704x976 (<- *2) or 176x244 (<- /2) and so on.

    or you change the mapmode to one of the following as descrbed above:
    #fitInto, #fitwidth, #fitheight, #scaleToFit

    the bgcolor is the color which is used for the "white space", when #fitInto, #fitwidth or #fitheight kleave white space. it can be a hex value for a color e.g #FFFFFF -> white or one of the following:
    #topLeft, #topRight, #bottomLeft, #bottomRight, which means the color of the specified pixel of your bitmap is used for the background. so if your bitmap has a blue background and the topleft pixel is blue, the white space will be filled with blue, if the default #topleft is specified.


    Just try out what fits your needs best.

    HTH
     
  3. Zipper

    Zipper

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    Alex

    WOW... that's a lot to digest, it will take me a while to figure all
    that out. I will work at it and post here if I have any more questions.

    Thanks for the quick answer!

    Jack...
     
  4. Zipper

    Zipper

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    Alex...

    Well, I opened that file in MS Word and, although I can build a computer
    and figure out most software without reading the manual, I am not into
    messing with that file. It was overwhelming and looked like it should be
    left up to you programers.

    It seems like the program should map the graphics correctly as it comes,
    maybe the new update will fix this unless it's something my computer is
    doing. In the meantime, my books don't look right...

    Thanks again

    Jack
     
  5. a¿ex

    a¿ex Staff Member

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    either use an xml editor instead of word or use the templates of homebiz or wait for the next version of the software. I'll provide templates and other help regarding the problems with the dimensions of the bitmaps.

    but...
    ...the program doesn't map incorrectly.
    it does exactly what you feed him. if you mean, that "map the graphics correctly" should mean, that the graphics shall be distorted, then you'll need to put #scaletofit between the <mapmode></mapmode> tags everywhere in the xml file.
    or wait for the next release, where you'll have a user interface to the mapmode.
     
  6. Zipper

    Zipper

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    Alex

    Thanks again for the quick replies! I am using the Homebiz templates and still
    the problem exeists, but, I am having other problems so I'll just wait for the
    updaste and see what happens.

    Jack
     
  7. BFS Will

    BFS Will

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    I have found the same issues. I use the built in software to make a cover but when I put it on the box, it is so distorted that it is not useable. I wouldn't recommend this software until this issue is fixed. If you tell us we can make the cover and import it to the software box cover, it should fit.

    The cover is saved as a "thumbnail" and when it is stretched to fit on the box, it looks like a 70 x 70 drawing stretched to 600 x 600.

    Not what I wanted nor expected.
     
  8. a¿ex

    a¿ex Staff Member

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    I am sorry, that it doesn't work for you.
    I'd like to understand where exactly the problem is for you, so that I may be able to address it.

    Could you by any chance provide one or two screenshots, which illustrate the problem ?

    Thanks
     
  9. BFS Will

    BFS Will

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    [​IMG]

    Your program tells me to start by designing a cover. I did that. I used one of your covers and changed the words to use the words for our product. I then saved this when prompted. Your program gave it the name and saved it. I then attempted to import it as the cover for the box and above is what I got.

    It looks like *#@!*#@!*#@!*#@! and unuseable.
     
  10. BFS Will

    BFS Will

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    The word c r a p appears with symbols?
     
  11. a¿ex

    a¿ex Staff Member

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    LOL, can you dig how sophisticated todays blog software is that it even "translates" certain words to computer geek slang ;-)


    concerning your issue.
    I am working right now on a new version of the 3-d modul, which will provide a user interface to the image dimension issues the users have encountered.

    As the models each have different aspect ratio on each face, we definately need different sized images for each 3-d model in order to look OK.

    In your case though I have to say, that it looks really like the bitmap you imported is very small. (what are the dimensions of the file you imported btw ?)
    what I don't understand though is that you state, that it's distorted. Looking at the letters (e.g. the "o" in ".com") doesn't seem to me that it is distorted. it looks pretty "circular".

    It does look "trimmed", though.
    Did you alter the xml file, which describes the texture mapping on the 3-d model ?
    It looks like "Software Box 1", the first 3-D model in the list, to me.
    the xml file which determines the size of the texture is "boxshot.xml" and is located in "Resources/w3dMedia/"

    it should contain a chunk which looks like:
    ...
    <boxshot_front>
    <targetRect>rect(67, 14, 445, 498)</targetRect>
    <textureSize>point(512, 512)</textureSize>
    <mapmode>#fitInto</mapmode>
    <bgColor>#topLeft</bgColor>
    </boxshot_front>
    ...

    these are the values for the front face, which doesn't look correctly in your case.
    does this differ from your file boxshot.xml ?


    how about the other 3-D models ?
     
  12. BFS Will

    BFS Will

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    Oh, I found out what I did - it took me some time. I created the cover using your program. I then selected to save it. I then imported the saved file. What I needed to do was to go to the Export and export it as the cover of the box. There are still bugs because when I get into the photorealistic area, I can't exit the program. I have to use Ctrl-Alt-Del to get out.
     
  13. a¿ex

    a¿ex Staff Member

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    Hm, don't you have a menuItem "Quit" ?
    (I do not have the PC handy here at the moment, but on my Mac there is a menu item "Quit", which serves quitting the application quite well)
     
  14. BFS Will

    BFS Will

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    Start the program, go to Photorealistic. There is no menu item anywhere on my screen that says I can quit the program. I can click the red x in the upper right corner and the program will quit. If, however, I work on an image, then try the red x, I cannot quit. I must hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to exit the program.

    This software has bugs, no question about it. I have tried doing the photo render. It saves the file as untitled. Yes, I can change the name. When I go there to look at it using Paintshop Pro, the image I thought was saved is actually a text file.

    How am I supposed to save the box as an image?
     
  15. a¿ex

    a¿ex Staff Member

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    Unfortunately no software is immune as it is written by humans, which by definition commit errors. ;-)
    But you can be sure, that we do our best to avoid errors and bugs to the best of our knowledge.

    I don't quite understand what you want me to name the file. I thought "Untitled" was a common name for a new, err... untitled document.
    "Untitled" is just a proposal for a name, it is normal to leave it to the user
    how s/he wants to name her/his files.

    As for the text format, I apologize for this bug, as I didn't know, that the image exporter modul requires a filename extension to actually write an image file, which is supported by standard image applications.
    At the moment it writes its native file format, which is .miff and can only be handled by imageMagick to my knowledge. If you like you can send me the file and I'll convert it to another format, to save you the time to set it up again.

    In the normal scenario, the application would decide what file name extension is used (that's what I normally do), I left this decision to the user for an easy way to determine the file format, when I brought the support of an alphachannel via .png into the application very late in the game.

    I'll fix that, so that it defaults to jpg, if the user doesn't choose a valid extension.
    Meanwhile you'll have to add the filename extension yourself, when naming the file.
    Sorry.

    Try .jpg, .tiff or .png.
    In the special case of .png, you'll get the 3-D model only with a transparent background, so that you can use it in another image document.
     
  16. BFS Will

    BFS Will

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    Well, I fooled around with it some more. In looking at your manual, it says the default saved file is jpeg. Not with my program it isn't. It is saved as a text file. I tried changing the name to test.png. The program then put up the message that it was saving the file, press and hold key or mouse to cancel. After about 5 minutes of waiting, I pressed a key and held it - nothing. I tried the mouse - nothing. I hit Esc - nothing. I finally hit ctrl-alt-del to get out.

    I have an Athlon 64 bit mega-power computer with 2 gig memory. XP Pro with SP2. All new everything. I don't think it's my computer.
     
  17. a¿ex

    a¿ex Staff Member

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    What puzzles me, is the fact, that the screen with the "press and hold key or mouse to cancel" thingie is shown BEFORE you select the filename.
    so you shouldn't be able to choose .png as format and see the "press and hold key or mouse to cancel" - dialog AFTERWARDS.

    I couldn't say that for sure, as there are many parameters, which can cause malfunctions in applications especially these, which use demanding realtime 3-D render functions on the graphic card.

    After all even the fastest and newset computers experience sometimes crashes of applications, even much more sophisticated applications.

    I agree, though, that it shouldn't happen and I certainly do not like, if my applications behave in this way. So if you have reproducible steps forme to replicate the problem, I would gladly look into it.
     
  18. Zipper

    Zipper

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    To BFS will:

    In the "Photo Realistic Mode", no "quit" shows up on my computer, probably due to using a lower resolution. I just go to the top of the page, click on the blue barr, drag it down revealing the menue bar where I can either go back to the main menu, or quit.

    Hope this helps....

    Zipper
     
  19. BFS Will

    BFS Will

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    I use everything from Adobe Photoshop CS to Video editing to Camtasia Studio without issues. This is the only program giving me problems and I own all of the Logo stuff as well as the Flash maker program you guys sell. This eCover program has been nothing but a problem for me. What is the refund policy? I don't mean to sound like a nag or whiner but from your sales pitch, it looked like a good program so I bought it. Had I known I would have this many problems, I would not have bought it. So far, I have not produced a single box, cd or anything with it that is useable.
     
  20. JackSmack

    JackSmack

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    A Lot Frustrated

    You know Marc, I could not wait to get this product. I thought I would be able to make all my covers in a "quick way" without learning PhotoShop.

    I came to the forum tonight looking for answers to what I thought I was doing wrong and what I have come up on is the same problem every one else is having.

    What really upsets me is that you think we would buy eCover Creator without it being tested and a finished product. You were right, based upon your past product history of "good software". You say it is a finished product and yet you are already working on a GUI that will solve the problem.

    Why in the heck would I want to learn xml or any other kind of "ml"? All I want is to make an ebook cover and not have to re-program your software that I bought to solve my problem of not having to learn Photoshop.

    I guess easy ain't always the way, 'ey?

    Tell ya what. When you get the "bugs" and GUI problems I will come back. Until then my Friend I do think I have another alternative.

    Hodges
     

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