A Few Small Projects

Archived development update discussion from past versions
Archived development updates.

Postby qwertyo76 » 03-18-15 6:05 am

Yeah I'm not an expert either, that's just how I think of it. Like if you just take out any old rainbowfied image and count, you can't really get more than those 8 (debatably 9,) distinct colors, excluding Black, White, Grey and Brown. Yeah stuff like Rose is really nice, but I struggle to call it more than a transitional phase between two colors, unlike something like Orange. It's all arbitrary, though. Humans can technically see several million colors. :p I suppose it's also not particularly relevant to what we want for Synthesia.

(I totally messed up on that image by the way. There's only 8 in the 9 line, 16 in the 18 line, and 32 in the 36 line.)
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Postby Korados » 03-18-15 2:32 pm

I find it really great that you concern about the colors now! I know pretty much about color theory. I also agree to the color wheel with set values. The (completely healthy) human eye can distinguish 16,8 millions colors actively. But, to be honest, like I said, I'd already be happy with 2 or three more colors, because of the septets and octets I'm listening to. I'm really looking forward to it!
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Postby Nicholas » 04-08-15 7:45 pm



I can now officially report that the technical limitation on note colors is a solved problem. :lol:

This WILL NOT be in Synthesia 10.2 (or 11)... this video is more just proof that the final hurdle has been surmounted (while doing completely unrelated work).
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Postby qwertyo76 » 04-08-15 9:54 pm

This is awesome. I can wait.
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Postby Birdman87 » 04-09-15 9:39 am

That looks amazing!! Really excited for this.

Do you think it's possible to add colors just for 12 notes and make them repeat? oooor. OMG, add colors just for the key the song is in like the rainbow AND make the keys that don't belong in that key signature gray or something, that would remove the need for note names altogether.
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Postby Nicholas » 04-12-15 2:17 am

I suppose it's worth mentioning another reason this won't make 11 or 12: there is still one more tiny limitation in the drawing of black keyboard keys (not falling notes). That texture doesn't have pre-baked colors, but it is generated at the start of play, so there is a (small) limit on the number of colors used by a given song.

The good news is that I've already thought of an obvious solution. It's just a little extra work on top of the other UI and persistence stuff that will be required for this feature. So there. Hopefully that makes the bad news even easier to swallow. I'm starting to feel a little guilty for what is essentially teasing everyone by posting that video. ;)
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Postby Nicholas » 04-18-15 6:28 pm

Higher contrast labels are done and ended up very close to the mockup.

Spoiler:
highContrastLabels.png
highContrastLabels.png (53.29 KiB) Viewed 22287 times

Just like the flat notes... I have my reservations. They definitely look less fancy than the old, outlined labels... but I supposed I'll take readability over fancy any day.

Other benefits include: labels smoothly scale again instead of having those size jumps. But this time (especially on Android) there is no longer a performance penalty for changing label size. (On Android, that could cause a multi-frame hiccup.) That took adding a new bit of tech to the engine: mipmap support. Synthesia's graphics capabilities have just joined the 21st century. ;)
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Postby Birdman87 » 04-18-15 7:34 pm

Those definitely look way more easier on the eyes, looking forward to trying them out.

Have you considered other colors? Something like a dark yellow with dark outline. Or even something like being able to choose the color?
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Postby Nicholas » 04-19-15 8:38 pm

I hadn't. But your question prompted me to. Though, after trying a few things out in Photoshop, it didn't seem like anything else came close to the readability of that solid black. Maybe I didn't interpret what you meant exactly right. I'd love to see a picture if you know something that might work better.
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Postby Birdman87 » 04-19-15 11:43 pm

Well i can give an example of yellow subtitles in movies, especially when it's a snow movie and the subtitles are yellow, it's a lot easier on the eyes.

Here is an example

http://www.shaolinchamber36.com/wp-cont ... les_02.png

or simply google "yellow subtitles" and go to images.

Of course many shades of yellow and various outline thicknesses would have to be measured against bright backgrounds to get that perfect legibility maybe even changing the font too.
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Postby Nicholas » 04-20-15 11:20 am

That is nearly the same scheme we just left, because it was hard to read! :lol: White+outline is close to yellow+outline.

In a movie's case (where the background behind the words is constantly changing) the outline is a necessary evil.

In Synthesia, where we know the color shown against the text will be constant and generally pretty bright, the solid, dark text seems like it will always give us the best contrast.
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Postby Birdman87 » 04-20-15 2:24 pm

Ohh so you just want to remove the border of the notes altogether.

I can understand why you would like to remove the outline cause it makes rescaling easier coding wise but, that black doesn't look very pretty, just my personal opinion.

That being said i am willing to accept any compromise as long as legibility isn't compromised. So it's an all go on my part :)
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Postby Nicholas » 04-20-15 3:03 pm

Birdman87 wrote:... that black doesn't look very pretty, just my personal opinion.

I agree. It is unfortunate. But between pretty and usable/legible, there can be no contest.

An alternative might be to support many styles... but I will shy away from that choice the same as I always have. For our tiny development resources, it's most efficient to keep only a single code path. It simplifies the user experience, too.
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Postby Birdman87 » 04-20-15 6:54 pm

It's set then, any eta on the next test version?
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Postby Nicholas » 04-20-15 7:36 pm

Not yet. There is still a bunch of under-the-hood things I'd like to fix before a preview goes out. The infrastructure stuff is better included in as many previews as possible to have a better chance of bugs being discovered.
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Postby Nicholas » 05-02-15 1:36 am

Things are starting to get knocked off that list in the top post.

I just wrapped up the Classroom Installer tool for the Classroom Guide. We're only one more guide out from marking "Synthesia Guides" complete, too.

Beyond that, 10.2 is deep in development now, but with some large pieces still remaining. Still, all kinds of gears are turning.
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Postby Korados » 05-02-15 11:47 am

Hey Nicholas,

I just thought that I give a little life sign again! This video with the colors is wonderful! I'm really impressed that you was able to do that!

What will the new version do in terms of the bugs I encountered? On Synthesia 10.1, there still are a bunch of Midis in my archive which get messed up when I play them on Synthesia.
Especially big Midis with a lot of instruments. Although 10.1 fixed some of the errors, unfortunately, it didn't clear them off completely.
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Postby Nicholas » 05-02-15 3:40 pm

I've still got two known MIDI loading/playback bugs (related to songs with lots of instruments) on the schedule for 10.2. I'm hoping to have those fixed in the first dev preview. At that point, try it out, see if it fixes your problems too, and if not, send me the files that are still having trouble.

EDIT: Ha! Those two issues are the ones you've already reported via email! I've already got the broken songs. (They've been staring right at me on my desktop ever since you sent them.)

I'm not sure I've ever realized your forum handle belonged to you. :lol: So, yes. They're still on the schedule to be fixed. Sorry for the wait!
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Postby jimhenry » 05-05-15 3:00 pm

I think there are some pending items regarding the looping feature. Is that something you will be looking at for 10.2? If so, I'll try to dig up the specifics.
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Postby Nicholas » 05-05-15 9:18 pm

Off the top of my head the loop delay slider will refer to (and have snapping points for) beats instead of just being a smooth, unit-less scale.

Otherwise, I thought I'd tackled the other stuff. E.g., while in loop editing mode you had recommended not showing the cool auto-repeating loop sections near the top of the screen (because it obscured the future notes, making it harder to pick good loop bounds). Despite having to give up a favorite bit of eye candy, your suggestion made sense, so I fixed that in the 10.1 release.

Was there more?
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