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Creating your own user interface with PicturePlayer Skin Compiler

The background image

Before you start creating your background image it is important to know the system that PicturePlayer will use to make the background image fit on screens with different screen resolutions (sizes).

The size of every background image created will be 640 x 480 pixels (VGA resolution). When the screen resolution being used is larger, the image will be adjusted in line with the information given below.

Simply zooming the background image according to the size of the screen resolution would produce an blurred image. Moreover, the areas defined for buttons, logos and text would also be enlarged at the same scale; and we do not want this to happen. And it is for this reason that PicturePlayer uses a system combining the copying and stretching of partial images.

This is done by dividing the background image up into 9 partial images made up of three lines and three columns (s. picture below). The partial images in the corners of the background image will later be displayed at a scale of 1:1 in the corners of the target window (1,3,7,9). The partial image in the middle of the first and third lines will only be stretched horizontally (2,8), while the partial image in the middle of the first and third columns will only be stretched vertically (4,6). Only the partial image in the middle is stretched both horizontally and vertically (5).


Image 1: The segments of the background image

Follow these rules for perfect results:

  • Only place images that can be stretched horizontally in segments 2 and 8.
  • Only place images that can be stretched vertically in segments 4 and 6.
  • The partial image used for segment 5 should represent part of the canvas and not carry a pattern. This is because this images will be greatly stretched both horizontally and vertically.

Using this method you can be sure that the edges and borders of the background image will be equal regardless of the enlargement factor.


Image 2: Enlarged background image (image 1)

Enlarged background image

  • A: The segments marked A will only be stretched horizontally.
  • B: The segments marked B will only be stretched vertically.
  • C: The segment marked C will be stretched horizontally and vertically.


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