Most Stuff

Most stuff in Comic Revolt you can and should figure out by playing with it. This help file is for the things that are not so obvious.

Reporting Bugs

Two Editors

We have an outer editor from Rage Maker for the outer cartoon canvas and an inner one from Pretty Painter for the editor. Massively rewritten, they both still have their original undo/redo features. The outer one has a slightly wonky but useful undo/redo. The inner one has one undo with one redo which is just useful enough to keep. The plan is to hack a third app, create a real undo/redo system in it and bring that back for both editors in Comic Revolt.

The internal editor saves all files as having a transparent background. This means that it removes the main canvas background color. So, if you have a white background and you NEED white in your image, choose a slightly off-white in the image because all the pure white matching the background will be converted to transparent.

Colors

You can set colors, widths, and blurs with the presets button in the main editor for both brush and line. You can set the preset for the inner editor with the brush button.

You can set the brush color and line color and text color separately using the "Colors" button. The current brush and line color settings show up on the mode icon in the mode selector in the lower right of the screen. You can set an individual text object's color from its object menu. You can set the canvas color for one comic from the "Colors" button in the button bar. You can set it for all comics in the settings.

When either canvas is in MANIPULATE mode, you can longpress the canvas to set the brush color to the color of the pixel at the press. Just hold your finger down until the chooser comes up. In the main editor, you MUST set the picture to the canvas first. It CANNOT be greyed-out with its tabs showing. Then remember that it's hard to hit the desired pixel with your fat finger. Even a Samsung active pen is way bigger than a pixel. In all cases, it is EASIEST to zoom the canvas, set the picture if necessary, and then choose the color with your fat finger.

Drafts

Drafts only save the foreground objects, everything but the canvas itself. So if you save a draft with a colored canvas, you must restore the canvas color after you load the draft.

Handling Images

Some basic concepts:

So you have the SDcard/ComicRevolt directory with src/, drafts/ and saves/ inside. And you have src/ with two kinds of directories. One kind comes from zip installations and from making your own directories. The other kind is only two directories -- src/shareIn and src/editor.

ComicRevolt/src/editor is a directory created by the app. All the new images you create with the editor are saved to this directory. If you re-edit one of these, the new one is numbered sequentially. Comic Revolt does not overwrite any of your pictures. (Unless it does and then you need to report the bug.)

ComicRevolt/src/shareIn is also created by the app. All the images shared in from other apps are re-created in shareIn. And all alterations made on them by outside apps are there, too. Say you share in a.jpg. You shrink it to 256 and now you have a.jpg and a256.jpg. You outsource the latter and now you have three including a256o.jpg. Pretty soon you have a boatload of honking big files in shareIn and the image selector takes half a minute to load so you can pick one. What to do? DELETE THE ONES YOU DON'T WANT.

Deleting images is an important concept here. You can always get more. And your tastes and skills will be better each time. Move images you care about from shareIn to your own directories. But shrink them down first, to 256 or even 128. Whatever works. There are two easy ways to delete image files. You can choose "Remove and Delete File" from the object menu. Then for deleting a lot of pictures, use the gallery and longpress each image in the folder to check its checkbox and then choose the trash icon.

Note that when you use the object menu to do things with other apps or the internal editor, the altered copies don't go to shareIn. They go to the same directory as the original. But these are generally small, unlike share-ins from the camera and such.

Directory names starting with "A" or "a" are reserved for YOUR PERSONAL STUFF. You can use other directory names but these put yours at the top of the list.

Images must be PNG or JPG. You set this in the settings. You will find that most things shared-in are converted to your choice of png or jpeg compression. Only a few things come in as the opposite and alterations of them are saved in your choice. So you don't have to sweat trying to keep all of them one way. You just choose, based on what you want, which kind the app moves things to.

The default four-panel canvas is 512x512 pixels. So make your images close to the size they will appear at. This saves fiddling with resize and preserves maximum detail. They should have a transparent alpha layer and NO background if you want things to show through them.

To unpack images from your own zipfiles, make sure they are made the same way as the downloads are. Filename starts with "src" ends with ".zip". When you unzip the zipfile, all the directories unpack to the dir you unpack it in. To do this, make a ./srcSomething/ directory, put your image directories in there, `cd` into that dir in a terminal and run:

zip -r ../ srcSomething.zip *

Android Chooser Menus

NOTE: Many Comic Revolt buttons bring up Android app menus. You pick an app and hopefully it takes your image. But some apps will simply fall through. They won't take what you send them. If you share to or from app "SomeApp" and you come right back to Comic Revolt staring you in the face, report SomeApp as a bug, saying what you were doing when it failed to take what you sent it. Like, "I was OutSourcing a png with the Edit choice to Infinite Jest and Infinite Jest just opened and closed without doing anything." Then I'll have something to work with.

Crop Canvas Button

What if you want to repeat things from the canvas that have been drawn on or made out of more than one image? CropCnvs saves out the current canvas and let's you go crop a chunk of it in the Gallery. The cropped image then appears on the canvas. You can crop more than one bit of a canvas as the results are numbered. All cropped images from this are in SDcard/ComicRevolt/src/shareIn.

Share In Button

This lets you pick an image and bring it onto the canvas. If the choosing-app will crop the image (i.e., Gallery), you can get a crop of the choice. Crop it all if you want the whole pic. If the app won't crop, you get the whole thing anyway. If the sharing app returns a weird response, you get an error message. Report this as a bug (see above.) When you report the bug, include what app you were using and what the error was on the screen.

Object Menu - Crop

This opens Gallery and you pick exactly the picture you selected with the object menu. Let's say its name is "pic2.png" You go get it in the gallery, crop it, and it comes back onto the canvas cropped. But what actually happens is pic2.png is cropped to pic2c.png and the app swaps pic2c.png for pic2.png on the canvas. NOTE that both are now in the same src directory now.

Obect Menu - Edit

If you are creating a NEW image using the Editor button in the button bar, you have to save it. It saves to ComicRevolt/src/editor. You can rename it and put it in another folder on your own. You can start another new one inside the editor with the file button.

If you are editing an image object on the canvas, you hit the backbutton twice to exit. If you hit SAVE, the image is saved in the same dir as its original and is swapped out on the cartoon canvas. You can edit and re-edit as the results are numbered: somename.png is edited to somename_e1.png, _e2, and so on.

Object Menu - Filter Image

We're not trying to compete with PhotoShop or the Gimp here. Those programs are like fine surgical instruments for altering images. These filters are more like bowie knives and bone saws. They are for radically altering an image into a cartoon. You should be able to take a picture of someone, crop tight to the face, reduce to 256, and filter with a macro to have your own style of image in a comic. The filters work on simpler images, too.

Filtered images are copies of the original. They are numbered _f1, _f2, etc. Filtering has one undo and then you have to reload the original. If you send it a picture bigger on one side than 512 pixels, the filter activity first makes a reduced512 copy to work with. That and the filter results will all be in the directory with the original.

Filter Macros

There are examples of macros on the Comic Revolt site. They are just text files in SDcard/ComicRevolt/filters. Each macro is a series of simplified filter names, sometimes followed by a number. They show up in your filter list. This way, when you find a combo of filters you like, you can macro them. Here's a list of filters, with the name for the file and the span of numbers each can take.

  1. Cellular - cellular - n/a
  2. Contrast - contrast - 1-20
  3. Displace - displace - n/a
  4. Edge Detect - edgedetect - n/a
  5. Greyscale - greyscale - n/a
  6. Invert Colors - invertcolors - n/a
  7. Marble - marble - n/a
  8. Mosaic - mosaic - n/a
  9. Posterize - posterize - 2-16
  10. Solarize - solarize - n/a

Matrix Filters

You can also create matrix filters. This sounds complicated, and it is if you want to completely understand it, but it is simple to use with Comic Revolt. You can go to

http://beej.us/blog/data/convolution-image-processing/
and play with these matrices. Note that his Divisor or Factor is 9. You can find examples on the matrix filters link on the Comic Revolt website. The Factor goes on the first line and three lines of three numbers come after that. You can separate the numbers with any combination of spaces and tabs. When there is an eleventh number below the three rows of three, that is the Offset. It is set to 1 by default. So you don't have to use it unless you need to.

Just put the matrix data in ComicRevolt/filters in a file called MatrixSomething.txt. Your filename, minus the ".txt" will show up in the filters list. Don't use spaces or anything else wierd in the file name.

You can use your matrix filters in your macros. If the filter is "MatrixDarken.txt" you put "MatrixDarken" (don't lowercase it) in the macro file. If you want to run it three times, put "MatrixDarken   3" in the macro file.

Object Menu - OutSource

Here is the concept: send the object to an app that alters pictures, then use the gallery to get the results. Some apps won't take the object sent to it, so just backbutton-cancel the second chooser and report as a bug. Then hit Outsource again to pick another app. (Because of how Android does things, you will have to cancel both menus if you hit Outsource by mistake.) OutSource has an Edit button and a Send button. These each create different queries into Android and get different lists of (hopefully) willing apps. Some of these apps won't take your image. Report this as a bug so it can be fixed.

Object Menu - Reduce

The number you choose here is the largest dimension for sides of the image. If the image is smaller than this choice on every side, it is unchanged. The original (some.jpg) on the canvas is replaced by the reduced image (some256.jpg) and both now are in the same directory. When you get the size you like, delete the ones you don't want by hand or they will slow down the image selector.

Fonts

Android apps can't set the font because Android sets it system-wide through the Settings. They say it's a security issue. "Help me! I'm stuck in 12pt Dingbats!" Apps can try to use a custom font but Google has arbitrarily chosen to ignore certain custom fonts and you fall back on the Setting's font anyway. The original source code for Rage Maker had a setting for italic, which called up the italic version of the system font. Which mainly didn't exist. So all italic stuff was removed.

Final answer regarding all font questions: pick the font you like the best from your devices Settings app and live with it.

More to come ...


Hit back-button to exit this screen.