RISC OS Avatars
Some time ago I designed a set of graphics for the ArgoNet Voyager version of
ArcWeb which included an image on/off button of a girl who stuck her tongue out
when you clicked on the button. When ArgoNet wanted to move to Browser
(and later ended up with Fresco), I redesigned the graphics to a more minimalist
style and the girl only lived on in the custom directory sprite (using the
Desktop+ module, and with the tongue sticking out when you opened the
When I started designing HTML³
I noticed that Netscape Composer had images to show how alignment would affect
the images within the text of a web page, and I thought I'd go one better - as
well as the boring standard way of showing lines of fake text and bits of colour
to show how where the images would lie, I resurrected the girl and had her look
in the direction of the alignment.
Time passes and HTML³ is starting to get a bit long in the tooth; the
windows are getting a bit cluttered and yet I want to be able to add even more
options. So I'm thinking of a fairly major re-write, possibly even
scrapping it and starting on HTML4. One of the ideas this threw up was to
get rid off all the individual girl images and have one über-image drawn on the
fly, which would allow for better colour handling, more animation and so
on. This idea snowballed, and took in a custom smiley project I was
working on for Acorn Arcade/The Icon Bar's forums.
- Special character (see below)
- Skin colour
- Same face shape for all (except skull), just change colours.
- Need three colours for shading
- others possible, such as blue and green.
- Again, basically change the colour variables
- And at least two, maybe three, colours for hair shading
- Implementation could auto-change based on colour? ("long"
would look different between races?)
- Only need one colour; might need to make sure black is included though.
- Use circles not points in vector mode - remember that it can be scaled
- Could be implemented by combining.
- Eyebrows automatically bigger for male than female
- small (John Lennon student style)
- comedy large
- sunglasses (small)
- sunglasses (larger)
- red squirrel
- smiley face (if using fully customised smileys on online forums)
- These would be one-offs, and not configurable - blonde goateed monkeys would just be too silly
Configuration via a single program in !Boot.Resources.Configure in RISC OS 4
style boot sequence, or Apps in older versions. As long as it's seen on
bootup it can be called via a system variable from any program that needs it.
- generate short alphabetic code (I'd be something like :MWYSRGGO:, a
monkey would be :s:monkey: and so on)
- On-the-fly drawing code to be written
- Scalable - defined a
- using ColourTrans for dithering (can use subtle colours and let
OS worry about how to display it in low-colour modes)
- animating (require some kind of binary representation to handle combinations)
- close eyes
- screw up eyes
- mouth open (chin moves down)
- mouth open bit + oo-sound bit = grimace
- Uses: tongue sticking out + screw up eyes + mouth open =
proper tongue sticking out configuration
- Uses: mouth closed, open and oo-ing should be enough for
faux speech animation
- Uses: close eyes + oo-ing = yawn
- Random stuff can happen - leave a window open too much and
get yawns, burps etc.
- No eye animation - custom job for HTML3(/4)? Or allow
for mouse follow in other apps?
- GIF version for use in HTML3(/4) documentation - copy in on change
(or use directly from !Boot location) so all docs have you personal
avatar to guide you.
- Author to pre-render all smiley combinations for online usage.
- DrawFile version for DTP
- Sprite version?
- Personal (online presence etc.)
- Assistant (for help docs etc.)
- Can clone assistant from your own image.
- HTML3(/4) - images window especially, but could be on all windows?
- Could replace !Help and BubbleHelp with avatar
- plug in support for speech synths?
- Speech changes based on gender - possible on older SupSoft
module with tone change?
- Online smileys
- Add to email headers, display image of sender in Posty etc.
- Mouse follow silly; could add in clocks, random cookies, download
weather info, other reporting functions.
- NO BLOODY PAPERCLIPS!
Avatar animation (work so far)