Author Topic: New debut of VirtualU  (Read 305 times)


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New debut of VirtualU
« on: August 26, 2020, 09:36:40 pm »
    This is to announce a new version of the Lazarus-made program VirtualU, a video editor, scene maker, movie recorder and builder.
    *VirtualU has a new tool that does edge softening. This process transforms the hard pixel edges of raster scan foreground images on transparent pictures and videos and makes them soft and fuzzy so that they blend into the background.
    VirtualU Edge Softening is super anti aliasing in all directions and quadrants on all non-moving or moving backgrounds. The program adds multiple layers of new, color-adjusted pixels around a foreground image surrounded by its background transparency. Thus the background is seen through the transparency and is used to define the new foreground pixel color based on the settings of a scale pointer.
    Each color of every foreground edging pixel is a mix between itself and its neighboring background pixels. VirtualU edge softening softens the edges on foreground images even if the background contains moving images and even if the edge softened picture or video is itself moving.
    The edge softening feature uses two methods and three automatic speeds. Method 1 is for pictures only and it is useful when the moving or non-moving background images under the transparent picture to be edged have a consistent color and brightness level. Method 2 handles pictures and videos and edges them to whatever moving or non-moving images may be under them with each frame of the project movie to be made. Good pointer settings on the edging page can result in a nice situation in which you can't tell where the edged image ends and the background begins.
    The edging page uses APIs, BGRABitmap and handles pictures and videos with solid background colors that will go transparent. Multiple layers of edging can be applied to every picture or frame of a video.
    The edging page is the capstone for the image-altering methods and the Transparencies tools. It basically completes the suite of tools available with this program though improvement will continue.
    VirtualU is the king of transparencies and the current download version is a vast overall improvement.
    The edge softening tool can give text, pictures and videos a nice 3-D effect when the image is edged over one color but used over different colors.
    We call the new edge softening tool "SoftEdge" and you first heard it here.
    *This version of VirtualU introduces three new features in the Custom page (main working page) Image menu. These three new tools remove any existing edge softening (anti aliasing) from the foreground images in most transparent pictures and videos, even those which have been edge softened by programs other than VirtualU. One of these tools uses an amazing moving mask to achieve its purpose.
    *When previous versions of VirtualU were used, the Film Options page would not permit a frame rate change if a video import had been through an image-altering method. The program has been changed so that now a frame rate change in such a case is allowed if the frame rates of all loaded videos divide evenly into the project frame rate.
    *The Help files have been vastly increased and added to. Prompts have been updated and improved.
    *When VirtualU is run, the program now alerts the user if the previous run was not shut down correctly.
    *Many improvements have been made to VirtualU, too many to list here but they make using the program easier, faster and more trouble free. The program has over ten new major and minor tools. If there's ever a problem then you can bet that there's also a workaround solution.
    *On one occasion an exception error occurred after the Build Clip button on the program's Film Options page was pressed, causing the program to crash. The cause of this error has been found and fixed.
    We have run VirtualU through a gauntlet of testing and we're aware of no problems but if we missed something then apologies in advance. All issues will be dealt with. If we find any notable problems in the program after this then the problem will be fixed and noted in the readme.rtf incident logs.
    The edging page uses the fastest possible code though complex projects with much size and/or movement can take a while to edge. A search area selection tool helps when using large images and the edging page provides a time estimate for every Method 2 edging task. The edging tool edges large good-quality raster scan text reasonably well and excels with more colorful complex pictures and videos.
    VirtualU is totally free with no strings attached. VirtualU is a real FrameHandler.
    The main program run by virtualu.exe is virtualux.exe and it was compiled on an older version of Lazarus while the edging page and one of the de-edging tools were compiled with the newest Lazarus version. This was necessary to use BGRABitmap. This odd combination has ramifications and thus protocols and compromises which must be followed so that VirtualU basically works the same on any Windows system with some tolerable minor variances. The program works fine whether in default mode or in compatibility mode though the latter requires two launching attempts on its first run in compatibility mode.
    The folder in which virtualu.exe (green trident) resides is portable and the program makes no connections to the host computer (Windows XP - Windows 10) except for normal memory use.
    Regarding unfinished business, there are still too many forms in the program and it turns out that we still have an artifact problem which appears in colored AVI transparencies made by VirtualU. Several VirtualU tools fortunately can remove them. Older code could be speeded up and a few other improvements made when and if we find the time to do them. The edging feature was a huge task. The edging page uses the fastest available code statements but it can take a while to edge large and/or long videos because the program has so much to do though the result is usually worth the wait. Edging is for videos that you want to be perfect. If the originals are good then the result will usually be good.
    We have received much valuable help from this forum, specifically with BGRABitmap, image contrast, color handling and in many other ways. Just coming to the forum can sometimes be a catalyst for finding solutions.
    The forum was patient and those folks are something else and/or something more.
    BGRABitmap is fast, no doubt about it. I truly don't know which is fastest, BGRABitmap or RawImage but they are both fast and any difference must be negligible or nonexistent.
    All praise to Lazarus. - Author

    VirtualU is in a zipped file named which can be downloaded from:

    Instructions for installing VirtualU can be downloaded from:

    Show "World Of The Future" made with VirtualU:
        wtf7 by Fingal on YouTube

    Movie clip about VirtualU's new edge softening feature:
        softedge2 on YouTube by Fingal


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