image provider

Dissolve Designer


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

I saw a special effect for the first time on TV in a bank commercial. It was a dissolve from one scene to another. The image first dissolved into coloured tiny tiles (each the color of the average of the pixels in the image in that tile.). The tiles independently scooted about to a new position where they formed a new image. During this time the tiles smoothly change colour and fatness of the diamond shape to morph into the new image. The transition was a sort of two-bladed cyclone pattern.

I thought a dissolve designer might be a fun toy for a newbie to write. The program may be slower than TV, but it does not have to work in real time to be displayed full speed on TV. You can generate separate gifs, then use a tool like PaintShop Pro to turn them into an animated gif.

The end user could control various parameters of the dissolve (e.g. tile size, intermediate colours, trajectories) and see the results on pairs of images he supplies. A fancier version would let the end user write simple functions to be included. You might parse these or compile them and load them via Class.forName, the way the LearnToCount program does.

One trick you can use is to generate the images backwards. Start with an image and gradually have the bits of it break up and wander off. When you play it backwards the bits all colalesce.

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