Category Archives: graphics

>Smooth web image zooming with FancyZoom


FancyZoom is a JavaScript library for zooming into images on a web page. It looks really well, zooming images smoothly when you click on them. And then when they show, they get a shadow effect applied.

The library works with most modern browsers: (Mobile) Safari, Firefox, IE6/7 and Opera are reportedly supported, but no word of Konqueror (KHTML). See it in action on here:

FancyZoom is free for non-commercial use. To use it commercially, the author asks $39 per site.

FancyZoom 1.1 comes with for 2 JavaScript files (34 KB) and 15 PNG image files (100 KB), which sums up to 134 KB. With current broadband connections it should not be a problem in itself, but it may add up to the total download size for a web page, especially for first-time visitors. Note that a compression tool like YUI Compressor may tighten the file sizes a bit.


>Opacity 1.1 released


If you’re creating iconic graphics, either for desktop applications, mobile apps or the web, and you’re lucky to be using Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), then Opacity is definitely a contender for creating those nifty looking images.

Opacity is simple, intuitive but still very powerful when it comes to creating small graphics. It supports layers, different kinds of shapes, all sorts of effects and integrates with a couple of FTP programs.

The user interface works mostly consistent with the rest of Leopard.

Have a look at the screencast on their site.

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Posted by on 7 May 2008 in apple, graphics, leopard, mac, macos, macosx, png, web design


>Decorations 1.0 released

>Anthony Goubard (of Ant Commander fame) has released Decoration 1.0. It’s an interesting Java-based application for graphical designers that makes it easy to apply all sorts of effects (100+) to graphics and text, including gradients, drop shadows, glow, etc.

What makes it attractive for professional use is that it supports a batch mode, for processing hundreds (or more?) of images sequentially.

For more information check out the screenshots section or the gallery.

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Posted by on 25 April 2008 in design, graphics, web design


>Wishes for Java 2D

>A couple of months ago, I started using Java 2D for pregenerating large amounts of images to be used in a website. To make them look great, I use features such as translucency, gradients, anti-aliasing for text and shapes and fractional metrics.

Although Java 2D works fairly well (although with some annoying bugs on Mac OS X) and offers a simple and consistent API, there’s still some features I’d really like to see added:

  1. Color quantization, first and foremost. I want to be able to convert a full color image to a 4-, 16- or 256-color pallette and then save it in GIF- or PNG-format. Currently I use the command-line pngquant program as an alternative solution.
  2. Configurable character spacing. Currently, character spacing (not character width) is fixed.
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Posted by on 30 October 2007 in 2d, graphics, java, java2d