Tapewise

ANI - Animation clips plugin for LCDC

The ANI plugin for LCDC allows you to create screens showing small animation clips that you can design using the "Animation design application".

  • Variables
    • 001 - Line 1: 1st line of the display used in 2 and 4 line animations
    • 002 - Line 2: 2nd line of the display used in 2 and 4 line animations
    • 003 - Line 3: 3rd line of the display, only used in 4 line animations on 4 line displays
    • 004 - Line 4: 4th line of the display, only used in 4 line animations on 4 line displays
    • Total frames : Reports the total number of frames in an animation
    • Current frame : Reports the current frame number you are on
  • Events
    • None available
  • Actions
    • Pause/Resume : Allows you to pause or resume the animation
    • Load file : Loads a different file into memory, this will cause LCDC to pause while it is loaded and processed
    • Go To Frame (First Frame is 1) : Allows you to reset the animation to a particular frame, use 1 for the first frame
  • Configuration
    • Yes, allows you to automatically load a animation file at startup.

     

Configuration

When you configure the ANI plugin, you will see a small form like so:-

As you can see this is a very basic configuration screen with only 4options :-

  • Save changes: Saves any changes you have just made, and if needed loads another animation file.
  • Cancel changes: Cancels any changes made
  • Reload animation: Forces a reload of the animation file (shown in filename), useful if you are making minor changes and you want to test them.
  • Run "Designer": Tries t o run the animation designer application (see below)
  • Autoload: If checked will automatically load the "Filename" animation file in, otherwise you need an event to load the file.
  • Filename: The filename of the animation to autoload

Notes

Screen designs should only consist of the 4 variables (or 2 for a 2 line display), however it is advisable to set the "FPS rate" of the screen to "10fps" and you MUST set the "Customs chrs" to "Animation"


Set the FPS to 10 and Custom chrs to animation


Set line 1 to [#$ANI001] and line 2 to [#$ANI002] that's it! (unless you have 4 line display!)

FAQ

What is the flashing box in the bottom right corner?
The ANI plugin pre-calculates all the frames into memory as it is loaded, this is to reduce the CPU usage while lcdc is running. A box will show in the bottom right hand corner of the screen while it is loading the animation. For very short animations this may only be show for a fraction of a second, but larger animations may take several seconds to load.

What does an animation look like?
Here is an example of a 4 line display animation


Notice how a 4line display shows 8 rows

Animation designer

Because the LCDC ANI plugin has three states of shading (off/shaded/solid) for each pixel, and because we have two deferent sizes of animations (2/4 line screens) we use a different file format to the Blinken lights standard. Because of this you can not play Blinken Lights movies unless you import them first then save them into the LCDC format.

When you first startup you will notice that you have the screen set for a 2line display, even though it shows 4 blocks high, this is because each line is split into 2 rows :-


Working on a 2 line display file

By hovering the mouse over any of the buttons you will get a short description of what it does. The top tool bar is as follows :-

  • Close : Closes the application, will warn if there are unsaved changes
  • Open : Opens a .LCDC-ani file, if needed it will also resize the screen automatically
  • Append file : Will open another file onto the end of the currently loaded file (e.g. allows you to join multiple animations together)
  • Save : Saves the current animation as a .LCDC-ani file (will ask for file name if one is not already there)
  • Save as... : Saves the current animation file but does ask for a file name
  • New : Pops up a question asking if you want to to a 2-line or 4line file and cleared the screen ready
  • Play | Stop : Plays the animation in the designer, it's not pretty :) but does the job, hit this button again to stop, all the other controls are disables while playing is in motion.
  • Import Blinken Movie : Imports a .BLM blinken movie file, if you are in 2 line mode you have the option to switch to 4 line mode
  • Information : Shows you the revision of the application

First tool bar after the work area, any letter in () is a short cut key to that while using this application :-

  • (F)irst frame : Moves you to the first frame of the animation
  • (P)revious frame : Moves to the previous frame (or back to the end of the movie if you are at the start)
  • Frame Info : Shows as X/Y where X is the frame number you are on and Y is the total number of frames in the animation
  • (N)ext frame : Moves forward one frame (wraps to the start if you are on the last frame)
  • (L)ast frame : Move to the last frame in the animation
  • Clear frame : Clears the content of the current frame, but does not delete the actual frame.
  • Duplicate frame backwards : Adds a new frame BEFORE the current frame and duplicates the content
  • (D)uplicate frame forward : Adds a new frame AFTER the current frame and duplicates it's content
  • (I)nsert new blank frame : Inserts a new blank frame at the current point
  • (A)dd a blank frame to end : Adds a blank frame at the end of the current animation
  • Delete : Deletes the current frame you are on
  • Move-> (Use the arrow keys on the keyboard for this)
    • Move left : Moves the frame picture left one position
    • Move right : Moves the frame picture right one position
    • Move up : Moves the frame picture up one position
    • Move down : Moves the frame picture down one position

Last tool bar :-

  • (-) Decrease duration : Decreases the duration the frame should be shown for by 100ms to a minimum of 100ms (.1 second)
  • Duration into : Shows you how long the current frame will be displayed for
  • (+) Increase duration : Increases the duration the frame should be show for to a maximum of 2000ms (2 seconds)
  • Solid block made by pressing the LEFT mousebutton over any square, checkered block made by using the middle mouse button and to clear a square use the right mouse button

Your first animation
Still not sure what to do? Ok follows these basic instructions to create your first animation

  1. Click the New button and select 2x20 line animation
  2. Click on the top left square of the work area, it should change to a solid block
  3. Now click the (D)uplicate frame forward button or just hit D. You should of noticed that the Frame info has changed to 2/2
  4. Hit the Move right button (or hit the right arrow key) and the solid block will move over one position
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 18 more times so that the block is on the further right position
  6. Hit the play button, you now have designed you first animation that scrolls a single block across the screen :)