Anicro Desapro Program Progress

October 16, 2002 - Most of the progress today was behind the scenes; the adjusting of subroutine locations, deletion of things I only needed for early testing purposes (like the random palette generator), and making it so I can cause the end design view to be drawn at times other than one of the result pictures being clicked. I did, however, add in the ability to view only those colors one wishes, which can be changed through checkboxes next to the palette. Cells that aren't supposed to be shown are made white and without text. 1 2
October 17, 2002 - Today I added in the "Printer Friendly" checkbox; when checked the important stuff on the design template turns black and white, with the cells gaining a black border. The palette and small version of the image retain their color. I also made it so when one of the color selection buttons has been used, it turns blue until finished--a bit useful if you accidentally hit it again, or choose the other option and find it not always easy to tell quite when it's finished. 1
October 20, 2002 - Today I heavily used a feature of VB I'd not previously messed with at all; the ability to have a message show when the mouse stays over something. For the original 16 palette variations it shows which palette they are, or that it's the original. In the design view, the cells and palette show what they would display anyway if you have numbers set to show. When you double-click on the background or quarter separators to get a random color, though, they will then give you the RGB information about what color you've ended up with.
October 21, 2002 - You guys really do influence my direction on the program, you know. For instance, tonight I was figuring on mainly tinkering with the stuff I did last night. However, the one external message I got was from Windex, again requesting some sort of resize, and even pointing me to where I could get some info on how. While I didn't use the info he linked to exactly, it did switch the focus of tonight's messing about. My previous messings with resizing images had led to two very different results: very crappy looking but speedy as hell, and very slow but as far as I could tell done perfectly. Tonight I tried for the middle route; not too slow but not too crappy. I realized that with the image only ending up 32x32, and then getting butchered into low-color anyway, total preciseness wasn't necessary. Anyway, I succeeded. It does a fairly good job, and it's also easy for me to change how accurate/fast it goes. I did it in a new small program specifically for testing out resizing, but it shouldn't be hard to put into the main program. Update again -Actually, I ended up putting it in the program. I consider this finally a big enough change I'm going to get it recompiled. 32x32 images should look the same as they did before in the program. Bigger images should be sized down fairly smoothly. Smaller images will look blockily blown up. That includes any image with a dimension less than 32; your favorite 40x31 image won't turn out quite optimally using only Anicro Desapro. I'm sure I could work to improve that, but until one of you out there tells me that you would actually use it, it just seems like time better spent on other things.
October 22, 2002 - Who was I kidding? Someone as anal as me couldn't just let the little thread of sub-32 textures not working as well as the others remain. Luckily the fix was a bit easier than I thought it would be, and actually probably slightly improved the accuracy of the rest... of course by such a small amount it shouldn't matter to the end design result. I also emailed a couple other people working on programs having something to do with Animal Crossing designs; I want to have a file format for groups of designs, but by running things by them we can have the files be compatible with all of our programs, as well as clear up anything they don't like about the format first.
October 28, 2002 - Today I figured out how to make it display files of more than one type at a time when choosing an image, so now the default is "All Valid Image Files". Also, got a correcter set of colors for palette 15 from ss5joshua's site.
November 6, 2002 - Big day today, and of course the first in a while I've done anything. Here's the thing: my next major goal was saving. I emailed a couple other program writers to see about a consensus for a save format, but that didn't lead to a quick conclusion. I had something really simple in mind, but ss5joshua has something more complex. I probably would've went with that, but he wasn't even ready to implement that into his program, really, so his thoughts on what it should contain weren't fully formed. I was kinda stuck as to whether I should do something now, or wait until he's settled on a format. This indecision kept me from doing anything for a few days. I've pretty much decided to go my simple route for now; support for other formats shouldn't be as hard to add later then, either. I got a lot accomplished in building save stuff into the program; a third form which shows the designs in a file by name, allows you to rearrange them and rename them, display them, add new things to the list, save, and load. Basically all the important stuff, it just needs cleaned up and a few things added here or there to lessen the chance of one doing something one shouldn't be doing. I'm also hoping to get some improved palettes. The source of most of my current palettes, Living Robot, has revised his templates. I've also seen Warlock's templates, which he or she began making after being dissatisfied with the colors in Anicro Desapro. I'm hoping to take advantage of both of these seemingly more accurate (yet still different from each other) sets of colors, by allowing one to select via checkbox or something which sets one thinks represents the colors more accurately. Differences in TVs and eyesight being what they are, I find it easy to see how different people can look at the same things and get somewhat different end results.
November 7, 2002 - Today was mostly doing the manual work of grabbing the RGB values from the two sets of palettes, and making a way to switch between them. However, I did speed one thing up; I realized in the initial color choosing process, something was being repeated, when it would be more time efficient to find its value once and then reuse it. So the time for either method of color choosing is now about 2/3 of what it once was. My gift to you: 1 second of time. I also began messing with some sprites smaller than 32x32 from old games. I know that's a main thing I and others would like to put into designs, so I was dissatisfied with tiny sprites being blown up to 32x32; I made an option to choose whether tiny ones get stretched, or have a border... with all these options, I'm probably going to need to spin off a separate Options form to lessen clutter on the main one.
December 22, 2002 - Boyo, has been a while since I really worked on the program. However, with school out for a few weeks it's a good time to do so again. I've communicated a bit with fellow Animal Crossing enthusiast Tegeus Cromis, and in the end we came up with a solution to one problem that can come up with the program; colors coming up when they just don't seem right. While the program DOES do the correct thing in choosing which color is the best fit by the RGB values, sometimes it just doesn't seem the right choice to our eye. So tonight I implemented a fix to this. It does, though, involve yet another window. Anyway, it displays all the colors of all the palettes, arranged in columns and rows. Double-clicking on a color changes its status from valid to invalid, or vice-versa. When a color is invalid, you can tell by the word NULL being put over the color on this new Palette form. Then, in the part of the program where it chooses the closest color, it's simply made to ignore any colors you've set as invalid. You might just end up with an even worse match, but you do have a bit more control over things. One last comment while I'm here: I think it's pretty cool that Google has started giving a fair number of results when you search for Anicro Desapro.
January 20, 2003 - Today I tried to make the list of images in the ACS files easier to sort, but I basically ended up back where I started. I've put the info on it in the section below, if anyone has any input.
February 5, 2003 - It irks me that I haven't got a great way to resort the ACS files, but if I wait until I've got the perfect solution to that, I won't be releasing it until Animal Crossing 2 hits. Tegeus Cromis has asked again if he can share the recent unreleased version I shared with him, but instead I'll just patch up a few things, add in a Thanks section, and make a proper release of it. Also, it seems Jet Grind Radio on GBA will allow you to make a single 32x31, 6-color graffiti. I doubt much anything worthwhile could be gained conerting computer images to that, but what the hell; all I'll really need to do is remove features from Anicro Desapro, give it a smaller palette and image size, and voila: Jegrio Desapro! Hours later. Alright, I'm pretty much ready to send this thing off for compiling. Here's the important stuff. In the main window you can hit the Show ACS Form button, which brings up a new window. This is where you can manage, save, and load sets of textures saved in ACS files. To add a new image, once you have a design in the Design View window, double-click on the small version of the image. This will add a new design to the list in the ACS window, with a name beginning with "temp", which you can then rename. Rearranging/deleting things is pretty straightforward, if a bit clunky. Saving and loading is pretty normal, too, but be careful of one thing: if the last thing you've done is open an image file from the main window of the program, then hit Save in the ACS window, the default file name will be that of the image; hopefully I can get that changed eventually, but just don't go in mouse buttons ablazin'.
February 12, 2003 - I've already begun improvements for the next version. It actually began last night, when someone informed me of a button I used for testing still appearing when the Design View was big enough. Oops. He also recommended I put in error handling for things that currently crash the program, which is of course a good idea. This morning I've begun on something that should make the freehanders happy; now in the Design View, if you single click on a color, it's border goes away and it adds some asterisks to its text, to signify that it's selected. Once a color is selected, you can click one one of the cells to manually change it. Already I've used this feature to fix up a few oddities in the crunk.acs file available for download above. Having a Fill option shouldn't be too much more difficult; except for altering the very look of the Design View to better contain these new abilities.
February 13, 2003 - Fill was tougher than I thought. I tried making it recursive; after changing one piece, it would check above, below, left, and right. If those should be changed, then they would be and the process would repeat. However, recursive functions like that can only... recurse so many times before it wigs out. So the Fill didn't work for big areas. I totally redid it in a different way. It's slower, but works. Next I'd like to make it be able to draw a line. I'm pretty sure I know how to go about coding it, I'm just wondering quite how to have it work in terms of how and where to click before it gets to the "draw line from point A to point B" bit. I also took care of one of the crashing bugs the program had; no longer will it crash if you click on one of the starting 16 squares before running an image file through the program.
February 18, 2003 - Yesterday and today I cleaned up the Single and Fill code; Fill unfortunately doesn't seem to have quickened much, but it's a lot easier for me to look at, and it doesn't really take THAT long. Line has been a pain, but now I'm pretty sure how I can implement it in an alright fashion. Today I added in the color palette used at Animal Crossing Community, a really nice AC oriented site. Desapro's fingers can be seen many times in the texture section, but my few texture attempts there showed the palettes to be fairly different than the ones I've got. Whether or not they're truer to the game, now Anicro and the ACC flash pattern creator can talk with the same tongue.
February 19, 2003 - Well, I finally got Line in tonight, and with very few hitches this time. To do a line, you choose the Line option, then click two points. As long as they're not the same, it'll draw the line, then default back to the Single option; I figure lines are rare enough in comparison that this is preferable to accidentally starting another line immediately. There are now two more things I want to do before I consider my basic freehand toolset complete enough for now: a Clear to set the entire 32x32 block to a single color, and an Undo. Both should be pretty cake to do. Hours later. Yep, pretty cake. I also made it so when the program starts off you can click on one of the 16 squares to bring up a blank Design View filled with color 15. Now that there are freehand tools, that makes it quicker to get to a blank slate. Actually, I think this is about a good point to call it a new version... I'll look things over, but I hope to get it out within the day.
February 20, 2003 - So all I did today was make a small change to the Thanks section, and find another possible crashing bug I didn't know about before but will have to research to learn how to avoid. However, today is a pretty groovy day Animal Crossing-wise for me: it was 6 months ago today I and most of the other Pioneers got their copies of the game. I did a lot of playing that day, and it was messing with textures that day that first led me to think of ways to take pictures and put them in the game. Initially using palettes and paint programs as some others do, and then as time went by the idea evolved to a program which could decide which palette was best. Here's my character of the time looking pretty smug in his swanky new River City Ransom shirt. I did do some Anicro sidework today, but it's not ready yet. I began work on a help-ish section which explains what can be done in each window.
February 24, 2003 - In the February 12 entry I mentioned "someone" who pointed out some things to be fixed. As he bears repeat mentioning, I'll actually give a name this time: Chrono007. After the February 20 version was released he gave even MORE suggestions of things that should be changed. I began implementing some tonight. For one, if you try to open a file the program can't use, it will give an error message rather than freaking out. The same goes for ACS files. Also, in a very useful and should-have-thought-of-this-myself enhancement to the freehand tools in Design View, right-clicking on a cell will suck up that color to be the current selected color, much as Animal Crossing's pattern maker does with the B button. The entire program now ends when you terminate the main window. This is something I tried before, but couldn't get to work for some reasons. I've also made an enhancement of my own tonight; getting the original image from the clipboard rather than an image file. I'd used the clipboard previously for text, but wasn't sure how to do it with images. However, it was even easier than I'd hoped, and my initial guess on how to do it proved correct. So now, left-clicking on the Toby face (or whatever image you currently have there) brings up the Open dialog, but right-clicking will put in the image you currently have in the clipboard.
March 9, 2003 - No progress in the last few weeks, until tonight. For one, due to popular demand, Line no longer defaults to Single after use. For another, no longer is the palette number displayed in a label like the colors, but in a drop-down box. This allows you to change the palette from within the Design View, but leave all the color values the same. Why? Well, for one it's another thing in the actual Animal Crossing pattern maker that wasn't here. For another, I've recently realized that if you want to transfer something from a palette like #15 to the game, the easiest way is to transfer things over in a more colorful palette where it's easier to tell the colors apart, and then switch the palette in the game once everything is transferred. For a third, the Clear option button is now a regular command button. The only reason I had it as an option in the first place was so it wouldn't be the only command button, but since I added Undo that became moot. For a fourth, I've changed the way you select a color to use. Rather than clicking once on the label of the color and having it get ****s added to the box, there's now a row of option buttons to the left of the colors. The section to the right of the main image has become QUITE cramped with the additions of the last month or two, and wasn't perfect to begin with. I really need to redo the way it reconfigures itself with different sizes. Also today I realized another feature that I should add. Cromis was showing off some wall/floor patterns by taking the small version of the pattern and pasting it beside itself a few times, to show how the opposite sides flowed together. That's really an option that should be in this program.
March 11, 2003 - Tonight's improvements are really cool. For one, I redid the way the things to the right of the design rearrange themselves; they still won't look very good if you make things too tiny, but it's about as good as I know how. There's now a Refresh button proper. Previously I'd stuck it onto the double-click function of the palette labels, but that was only because I didn't know where to squeeze in a button for it. Now that's not a problem. Also, you can now view four of the same pattern next to each other; in the main window there's a new option to choose between Solo (as it was), Four (four identical), or Mix It Up (like in the game; mirrored). Now you can see things as they'd appear in the game. I realized Mix It Up still couldn't show all the possible matchups from in the game, but that would require more than 4 small images, and be much more of a pain. So I added in Mirror Vertically and Mirror Horizontally. Using these can let you see the other types of side matchups Mix It Up would create in the game, just not all at once.
March 12, 2003 - I fixed a stupid bug tonight. If you have an ACS file saved with anything of palette 16, it thought it was invalid when it opened. I had it check the palette numbers to make sure it was a legit value, but I got "16 palettes" and "15 colors per palette" mixed up.
June 22/23, 2003 - The only change from the last version is the addition to send patterns to your account at Animal Crossing Community. You must be logged in there (in the way that if you went to the site, you would automatically be due to cookies) for it to work. Simply have the design loaded in the Design View window, and use the new button, "Send to ACC". It will ask for a title for your pattern (up to 100 characters), open up a new browser window, and bring you to your new pattern. There's currently no way to edit ACC patterns directly from Anicro Desapro, though.
July 3, 2003 - Three changes today. One is the addition of a full set of Pixie & Qwill colors, and they're set as the default. It's quite similar to the ACC color set, since they started out with a then-incomplete P&Q set, and finished from there. However, I noticed the other day at least one ACC color is quite off, so decided to see if there was a full P&Q set yet. Also, due to there being yet another color set to fit in, the selection is now made through combobox; click on the arrow and choose from the list. The third change is totally behind the scenes; for "Four" and "Mix It Up" I had been using 4 separate small images to get the combined effect, but I made it so that the original one will just change size and show the same things. I started thinking about how to do an umbrella-like view, but it's a bit more trouble than I thought it would be. Just from my image program testings, I can see it won't be as simple as rotating the image by 60 degrees several times and pasting it all together. Updated later: So I added in code to grab patterns from ACC, given a pattern number... at least partially. It can get the color number for each square, but not yet other important things like the palette or pattern name. Still super cool.

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