Water Rocket Computer Model Palette Editor Details

I have updated to Version 1.10 which, apart from having everything on it that I could think of at the time I wrote Version 1.00, has in addition a view button which allows you to look at the sequence using a dummy full screen. The screen shot on the right shows Version 1.00 running in a DOS box under Windows 95, along with the WRCM and the HTML help in the background.

The idea behind this program is that the user can have more control over the way that the 3 Dimensional Optimisations look. This can be used for:

  • Making school/university projects look better;
  • Displaying contours easier;
  • Individualising the model output; and even,
  • Using less printer ink.

NOTE:- You need to have version 4.40 or later of the Water Rocket Computer Model so that palettes are actually used.

When you load the Palette Editor up and before the program even displays the screen shown on the right:
  • It checks to make sure that all of the palettes in the order file do exist, removing those that do not (and letting you know about it first);
  • If the order file does not exist, it generates one using the available files;
  • It checks each of the palette files to make sure that they conform to the standard file specification, adding any details as required (again, letting you know what it is doing); and,
  • It lets you know if there are too many palette files in the working directory (you are limited to 100 files in the directory and you can choose up to and including 50 files to go into the order file - why would anyone want more?).

Once all of the checking has been done, the List Editor (Main Screen) displays itself, allowing the following:

  • List of the first (up to) 100 palette files on the disk in alphabetical order;
  • List of the (up to) 50 palettes that the WRCM uses in the order that they are used (I would recommend that you have no more than between 10 and 30 otherwise, it becomes a pain to go through them all to find the one that you want);
  • Buttons to add files to and remove files from the list;
  • Buttons to move chosen files up and down the list;
  • Save List button (this saves the palette list file, not the palettes);
  • You can drag a file from the file list into the selected file list and drop it where you want in the order;
  • You can drag a file from the selected file list and if you drop it in the first list, it will be removed from the selected list;
  • You can drag selected files and drop them where you want on the selected file list thus reordering the list;
  • New palette button to create a fresh palette (this starts off as a grey scale but you can do what you want with it - see below);
  • Edit palette button to edit the current palette (the one in either list but the actual file is listed in the window at the bottom of the screen - that is the last oe you clicked on whether it is from the list on the left or the right). You can also edit a file simply by double clicking it on either file list;
  • Copy palette button that allows you to take an existing palette and make a new copied file from it. You have the opportunity to give it a new description so that you can recognise it and if the file name already exists, you will be given the option to change it or overwrite the existing file;
  • Exit button. Should you ever need to exit the program, this is how you do it. Remember to save the selected palette file list first though;
Palette Editor (Graphics Screen displaying the colours as in the screen shot on the right). This allows you the following:
  • Copy button to copy a chosen colour into the clipboard;
  • Paste button to paste the clipboard colour onto a chosen palette colour. You need to have already copied a colour first to do this. Press [Esc]ape to get out of this;
  • Flip button to invert the order of a selection of palette colours. Press [Esc]ape to get out of this;
  • Gamma button to change the linearity of a selection of palette colours. You can choose which of Red Green and Blue you want to edit. Press [Esc]ape to get out of this;
  • Interpolate button to make a series of intermediate colours between the two colours you choose, on the palette colours between those two colours. Again, you can change the linearity as with Gamma above, except that this time, the maximum and minimum values for each of the three colours (R, G & B) is determined by the values of the two chosen colours. Again, you can choose which of R, G & B you want to edit;
    TIP... You can make a good toned transition from Black, through the colour of your choice, to white by interpolating between black (at the bottom) and white (at the top) and choosing in turn R, G then B, and using a different linearity for each.
  • Save button to save the palette and go back to the other screen.
  • Abandon button to go back to the other screen without saving.
  • Note that each of the previous functions can be selected by pressing their initial letter to get it (C, P, F, G, I, S & A) and when you are within a function such as Interpolate, the keyboard is still active so that you can (in the case of Interpolate as an example) press R, G, B, C and D or [Esc]ape or use the arrow keys to change the linearity.
  • Drag and drop colours, shifting those between just by clicking on a colour and dragging it to where you want it to go, then dropping it.
  • Alter R, G & B values by dragging the respective value bar.
  • View the palette as it would appear in the WRCM both with a black background and a white background so that the palette is easier to visualise.
In the shot on the right, you will notice that the Computer Model and the Palette Editor are running at the same time. This is under Microsoft Windows 95.

The Computer Model remembers where it is in the Palette List file by remembering which line it is on (the third line or the seventeenth line and not the line with a particular palette in it - this allows you to have palettes repeated in places within the selected list if you need to have them). Also, it opens the Palette List file only when you press SpaceBar - it finds where it was, finds the file name for the next palette file, closes the Palette List file, opens the particular Palette file, finds out the colour values and then closes that. This means that the files it uses are only open for a fraction of a second (unless you are working from a flopppy diskette).

This means that you can edit the palette list and the palettes themselves while the Computer Model is running simply by pressing [Alt]+[Tab]. So, if you are trying to get that graph for that science project looking just right and you need to edit the files, you can switch from the graphical screen to the Palette Editor (in either screen) and back just by pressing [Alt]+[Tab], without having to replot.

Click Here to read the readpal.txt file.
Note that this is a text file so you will need to use your Back button on your browser to get back here.

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