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Author Topic: New debut of VirtualU  (Read 1777 times)

user5

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New debut of VirtualU
« on: June 14, 2021, 07:52:34 pm »
    We have done this new debut because the new version of the free Lazarus program VirtualU is such a great leap forward and because it's been a long time since the previous debut. It works better, it's more reliable and it has some nice new features and tools. It's basically a suite of picture and video tools. VirtualU makes no connections to the host machine except to use and return memory. The program folder is portable.
    We are very pleased with the current download version and we know of no bugs.

                                                                                                    June 14, 2021
    A new version of VirtualU is available for download because of the changes shown below.
    *User prompts have been updated.
    *New onsite help menus have been added and the Help files have been updated.
    *We discovered that pictures rotated or flipped by VirtualU did not retain their transparent capabilities after the rotation or flip was applied on the Custom page. Videos were not affected. This problem has been fixed.
    *When the capture area color on the edge softening page was changed in the previous VirtualU version, that change would erroneously not be applied to any existing video frames. This problem has been corrected.
    *If the user changes the capture area color on the edge softening page and uses that color for an edging session then the program now reminds the user of this change after the user applies the edging.
    *As we promised, we tweaked the SoftType edge softening method to improve its performanced. We have tested numerous images and the current download version now does better SoftType edging. SoftType may require some more tinkering in the future. Only long term testing will answer that. We will continue testing and we will report any significant information in the log reports.
    *The edge softening page has a new SoftType secondary edging system that better handles pictures and videos that contain small holes and gaps between foreground images which are less than about five or six pixels across. This new system takes a bit more time to process videos but it processes pictures in about the same time.
    *It's now possible to use the SoftType or Default edging methods on one part of an image and then to use either of them on a different part.
    *The edge softening page has a new tool that enables the user to adjust the SoftType level of change. The level of change is how much or to what degree each layer of edging changes from the previous layer, like in the gradients.
    *A new tool on the Custom page and on the edge softening page will tell the user if a particular color exists in the image. The tool on the edging page is faster than the same tool on the Custom page.
    *The program now automatically sets the work colors used on the edging page so that the user does not have to do that anymore. Work colors are used by the program to do various processing tasks. These work colors also work better with less chance of problems. A solution which enabled this change was discovered after consulting the Lazarus forum.
    *On one occasion during testing a right click on a video timeline resulted in the error message "Please press the flashing button and then try again." even no button was flashing. This bug has been dealt with.
    This work was challenging but this new version is great. If we missed something during testing then we will eventually discover that and correct it.
    VirtualU now offers four ways to do edge softening of pictures and videos. The program can edge most pictures and videos that have good quality and reasonable design.
    The attached images illustrate what we say. The picture before1.gif is a raster scan, unedged picture. The picture after1.gif shows the same image after it was edged with the secondary SoftType system to a white and blue sky background (the background under the edged picture or video frame) and its own red background was made to be transparent. The file before1.gif is a challenge to edge but it's a great image to use for testing because it contains a little bit of everything.
    The primary SoftType system is good, it's faster and can handle most images but it can't do what the secondary SoftType system can with small spaces, small holes and thin lines.
    The current download version of VirtualU contains the changes mentioned above.

    VirtualU is in a zipped folder named temp15.zip and it can be downloaded from:
        https://od.lk/f/NDJfMTM3NDQ0OV8

    A WordPad file containing instructions and developmental log reports can be downloaded from:
        https://od.lk/d/NDJfMjM2MDM4MV8/readme.rtf

    A documentary named wtf7 (World Of The Future) made by Fingal using VirtualU is available at:
        https://youtu.be/88Vd4L6rVk8 (contains no edge softening)

    A short movie that describes edge softening made with VirtualU can be downloaded from:
        https://youtu.be/iGqzTDpph0g

user5

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Re: New debut of VirtualU
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2021, 12:37:08 am »
    Right after we uploaded the previous version of VirtualU we discovered a potential major bug. We discovered that
if the menu item "Video\Play Project" and possibly some other menu items and buttons on the edge softening page
were activated while video frames were being altered then the edge softening page could crash.
    As long as the user would let each process finish before doing something else then everything would be fine but of
course it's best if the program can handle every possibility. This bug has been fixed and a new version has been uploaded.
    We are very, very sorry that we did not find this problem before the previous upload but these things can happen. We
have been working extremely hard day and night for over a month on some complex issues, so hard that we missed
some things. We will do our best to see that this does not happen again.

user5

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Re: New debut of VirtualU
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2021, 02:30:58 am »
    The secondary SoftType edge softening system is an improvement over the primary SoftType system
but it still needs some tweaking. For example, after1.gif has some pixel "holes" here and there in the
image which need to be plugged up with gradient colors instead of the image background color.
    That is what we are going to do next and when that is done then we will upload a new version with
these improvements, hopefully within a few days. These next changes should noticeably improve the results.

 

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