Paint a pretty pixel
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Edit your pictures in minute detail with ROBIN NIXON's Pixelator

PIXELATOR is a machine code " pixel editor offering functions you'd normally find only on the most powerful graphics packages. Most of its facilities can easily be accessed using the cursor keys in conjunction with Shift, Control or Copy.

The idea is to make editing those fiddly bits of pictures much easier by magnifying them. Although Pixelator is probably most useful when used in conjunction with your normal art package, you can also use it to design screens from scratch.

I built one limitation into the system - the program only runs in Mode 0. This is because of the maths required to get the direct pixel scrolling and to make manipulation as fast as possible.

A more general routine would be a lot slower (and longer) and anyway, I think you get the best effects from having all 16 colours available in Mode 0.

When you run Program I it saves a binary file called PIXEL.OBJ to tape or disc. This file can then be loaded and run at a later date by a simple Basic program such as this:

100 MODE 0
130 LOAD"PIXEL.BIN",&8000
140 CALL &8000

You will notice that HIMEM has been set to &3FFF by the MEMORY command in line 110. All programs that use Pixelator must do this as a copy of the screen is stored at &4000 so the memory above this address must be protected.

When the code is called - as in line 140 above - you are presented with a menu offering a number of selections - see Table I.

Tab Edit picture
I Change inks
L Load picture
S Save picture
Esc Return to Basic
→ First colour
← Last colour
↑ Next colour
↓ Previous colour
Return Select colour
Table I: Main menu keysTable II: Ink selection keys

The colours assigned to the inks are as you left them when you entered Pixelator. So if you have set ink 3 to yellow in your Basic program, that remains.

However, if you are not happy with the colours which have been chosen, you can change them by selecting I (for Inks) from the menu.

You are then prompted for the colour number which you must enter in hexademical (0 - F). If you are unsure about hexadecimal, the colours are listed on the screen next to their selection numbers.

Having selected an ink number you are prompted for a colour to assign to it. You choose one with the cursor keys: The left arrow selects ink 0, the right arrow selects ink 26 and the up and down arrows select the next or last ink.

When you have made your choice, press Return and select the second ink - make this the same as the first if you don't want the colour to flash. The keys required are summarised in Table II.

If the currently loaded picture is not the one you wish to edit, you can load a new one by pressing L (for Load picture). Likewise, pictures you wish to keep can be saved by pressing S.

Pressing Tab takes you into edit mode. Here you see the whole of the picture you are editing with a window, taking up a quarter of the screen, containing a blown-up portion of it.
If the part you want to look at is obscured by the window, you can move it using the cursor keys with Control.

Once you've got the window where you want it, you can move the cursor to its required position using the arrow keys on their own. When the cursor reaches the edge of the window it automatically scrolls, showing you where you are. If you prefer to keep the cursor at a certain position within the window you can still scroll it by using the arrow keys with Shift.

Sometimes the window can get in the way too much for you to decide exactly what you're aoinq to do next.
To avoid this, pressing Clr at any time hides the window.


Cursor left
Cursor right
Cursor up
Cursor down
Scroll window left
Scroll window right
Scroll window down
Scroll window up
Move window left
Move window right
Move window up
Move window down
First colour
Last colour
Next colour
Previous colour
TAB Enter main menu
CLR Hide window
SPACE Set pixel
ESC Return to Basic
Table III: Edit mode keys

To select the current drawing colour use the arrow keys in conjunction with the Copy key. All these commands are documented in Table III.

If you would like a copy of the complete source code (which unfortunately is far too long to fit in the magazine), written using Maxam, write to me enclosing a stamped addressed envelope.


★ PUBLISHER: Computing with the Amstrad
★ YEAR: 1988
★ AUTHOR: Robin Nixon


  » Pixelator    (Computing  with  the  Amstrad)    ENGLISHDATE: 2020-07-30
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.