Atalasoft's 31 Apps in 31 Days

Get Motivated

Motivation App (find an image URL from Google or Imageshack first)

Welcome to the first of 31 applications we will post (in addition to the contest participants' submissions). Make sure you add this blog to your RSS / Atom feed and check the gallery for summaries of all the apps as they are released.

For this application, I wanted to show off the ability to use DotImage to generate rich image content on the fly in as simple a way as possible. In this case, I chose to create a motivational poster generator.  At its core, it is a simple concept: take an image, drop it on a black back ground and place some text.  There are other such generators on the web, but I wanted to put in some details that would set this apart.

I chose to focus on the typography and the color selection for the slogan.  For the typography, I created the effect of elevated small caps by forcing the slogan to upper case and dropping then drawing the starting and ending letters in a larger point size.  I also dropped a hairline under the small caps.  The larger start and end letters are only there in longer words.  In short words they looked odd.

Finally the color of the text is selected from the image itself.  To do this, I convert the source image to 8-bit, then pick the most commonly occurring color that is "bright enough" to stand out on a black background.  This works astoundingly well for a simple algorithm.

All of this is put together through one remote invoke to the aspx application on the server. On the server, there is a method called ReworkPage that takes an URL to an image, a slogan, and subtext.  This method does all the work of building the image.

Try the Motivation web app.
Help yourself to the source and enjoy!


About Atalasoft's 31 Apps in 31 Days

Published Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:00 AM by Steve Hawley



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