Today I can report about some refinements that I have made to the new playback feature. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really have to. It’s really amazing to be able to watch again how a beautiful picture came into being.
New Picture through Playback
When you click the play button, playback mode is activated (which is indicated with a special border around the image). While you are in playback mode, the “new picture” button receives another option (see the screen shot).
This can be useful in several situations:
- When someone comes along and draws over your picture. Now not as bad anymore: just go into playback mode, go back to before the guy did what he did, and then click the new picture button. You can also invite people to come along and leave that guy behind.
- When you encounter something nice within the playback. Sometimes it’s worth keeping a picture that has been overdrawn again. Before, it was buried in the playback, but now you can rescue it by promoting it to a new picture. Cool!
- When you really need to undo something. Ok, Colorillo lacks an undo function, but it’s for a good reason: You can’t take back what already has been sent out to all other users of the picture. So, you liked the nose you drew before much better than the current one? Go back with playback and continue with the old one.
The playback section gained a little more height: There’s now a second line being displayed when you start playback:
This now displays when the drawing was done, how many people and lines were involved and how long it took them. I think it’s pretty interesting.
Note: for older pictures there might not be all data available for this, so it might say that x-thousand lines were drawn in one second. Hard to believe and probably not true indeed, but I didn’t store that information in the beginnings of Colorillo…
Load More Playback Data
I have an algorithm in place that analyzes the picture to see at what point everything was overdrawn, so that point could be considered as a starting point for the current picture (actually that’s often the reason why creating a new picture as a “copy” of the old one takes a few seconds — actually it’s not a copy, it just references the line where the new picture was created).
This is also used for playback. It will load so much data until it arrives at a point where everything before has been overdrawn since. Now, I have lifted this frontier: With the Load more playback data link, Colorillo will load the data to the overdrawing before that. Maybe there is a great picture hidden in there which, as you now know, you can now promote to a new picture.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Playback
If you want to undo something or create a new picture just before someone came in and drew something bad, it is very important that you find exactly the right spot where to create your new picture. I have made this a lot easier with keyboard shortcuts:
← (left arrow key) to step a frame/line back and → (right arrow key) to step a frame forward. Use the Shift key to step 100 frames or lines.
Space can be used to pause or resume playing.
I think these changes greatly improve the playback functionality, and there’s more coming. I’m working on making it possible to download the playback as a video and/or export it to YouTube. There are still a few technical hurdles to take on this, but I’m optimistic.
PS: Just a few moments ago we had our 30,000th picture drawn. What a thrill!