APPLICATIONSCREATION GRAPHIQUE ★ EASYDRAW|Computing with the Amstrad) ★

EasydrawApplications Creation Graphique
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EASYDRAW is a powerful graphics utility which you lean use to create your own spectacular titles, pictures or games backgrounds. You can even build up a picture, save it part-finished to tape or disc, reload it at a later date and improve it until it suits your needs.

The picture you have created and saved can be used in your own programs either by loading straight to the screen or loading into the reserved memory for recall when needed.

The off-screen pictures shown on these pages took only minutes to produce, but of course it will take you longer until you become familiar with the facilities available.

A brief resums of the capabilities of each option is shown in Table I.

You would be well advised to read the instructions in stages. There are 19 options and each needs practice to understand it fully and become proficient with its use. Read the guide to EasyDraw's functions down to the Beam option first. Then try drawing different coloured horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. Once you understand these first five functions, build upon your knowledge by reading each subsequent option and practising it until you understand them all.


Figure 1

The following tips on drawing circles and polygons will help to make life a little easier for the first time user:

  • Estimating the start position for plotting circles and polygons can present some problems. In the early stages these calculations can be made much easier with the use of a visual aid.
    Draw a 100mm diameter circle on a piece of clear plastic using a compass and a felt tip pen. Then mark the circle as in Figure I. When estimating the start position for a plot, hold the plastic with the 0 and .5 vertical near the screen and read off the position required.
    Some interesting shapes can be obtained quite simply by using the part shape and directional plot options as shown in Figures II and III.
  • You can change the colour while plotting to produce a multicoloured shape. Choose a high number of sides to give you more time (there is no limit). A polygon with 1,000 sides plots slowly and gives you time to change colours or stop the plot wherever you wish.
  • Draw to Tab can be implemented when drawing circles and will produce a cone shape, whereas setting Tab Move before entering the circle option and then Drawing to Tab will produce cylindrical shapes.
  • If you make a mistake when drawing a shape you can erase it immediately by selecting the background colour and repeating the process you have just used to create the shape. However it can be difficult to remember exactly the sizes and positions used. A much easier way is to set Tab at one side of the shape, turn on the Draw to Tab function and as the cursor is moved the shape will be erased.
  • To save a shape to memory you can draw directly to the screen freehand. Alternatively you can prepare a grid (Draw to Tab + Tab Move) to guide you. Change the drawing colour, set Tab, move to the next tab setting and draw a line to the previous tab then set the next Tab. In this way the shape is "memorised" while it is being drawn. Draw it at about half the size of the screen for the best results. A large shape reduces far better than a small one enlarges.
  • To exit from EasyDraw press Ctrl + ? as if you were going to save the screen to memory, but answer N to the first prompt and the option to End will be given. Escape can only be used in the main program when an input is required - such as Quick Circle - so this is the ideal way to access your listing to search for typing errors.opening screen use RUN 200. If the program stops as a result of a typing error and you are halfway through your first masterpiece don't panic! Put on the kettle, enter GOTO 550 the main program, and save the picture before you do anything else.
    To run the program without the
  • Use a light touch in the Memory option as a prolonged keypress toggles the memory on and off quickly and will result in empty shapes being numbered in memory.
  • Before saving any picture remove the flashing cursor by either moving it off the screen or by drawing a line in the colour of that position.
  • When changing INKs make a note of the command given at the time as these are needed to be set up in your own program. Avoid changing INK 1 5 in (P):INK 4 in (E) and INK 1 in (B) as these are used for screen messages and you may end up with a one you can't see. Change them once your drawing is finished to any INK you wish.
  • Several options use the same line for messages, so remember to switch them off when you have finished with them if you are using two or three at once.
  • You can incorporate pictures created with Easydraw in your own programs. When a picture is saved the whole screen, not just the window, is saved. The border around the window is, however, saved in the background colour. So if you recall a screen in one of your games the border will be available for on-screen prompts.

    A saved picture can be loaded directly to screen when, of course, it will be displayed immediately. Listing II shows the idea.

    Alternatively you can load the picture into memory that's not screen memory. When you want to display it a simple machine code routine will move it from storage into screen memory.

    This has the advantage that you can move your stored picture onto the screen, manipulate it, and resave it, as in Listing III.


Figure 2

Figure 3

User's Guide to EasyDraw's functions
Colour choice

To change the drawing colour press Shift + the corresponding letter key opposite the colour block. Ink change
Press Ctrl + P followed by the appropriate letter key and Enter. The selected colour will turn black, at which point pressing Shift will move through the colour palette and Enter will fix the chosen colour.

Cursor control

The arrow keys control the cursor, and coupled with Shift will jump the cursor 20 pixels for faster movement. 

Cursor jump

Ctrl + J will alter the size. Enter the horizontal and vertical size.

Beam

Ctrl + B toggles Beam on/off to draw lines, and cursor jump can be implemented. Alternatively Ctrl + Copy toggles the Copy key to draw but only when it is held down. With the latter option cursor jump cannot be implemented to draw - only to move. 

Tab setting

The Tab key "sets" the cursor position which is memorised and indicated in yellow above the permanently displayed X, Y coordinates of the current cursor.

Lines can be drawn to Tab from any position, either on or off the screen. Draw single line to Tab Shift + Tab draws a line from the current cursor position to the previously set Tab position.

Draw to Tab

Ctrl + D toggles this option to draw a line to Tab with every move of the cursor - including any cursor jump implementation. This is useful for drawing several lines to Tab and avoids having to press Shift + Tab for each line as in draw single line. 

Fill

Place the cursor inside any shape and Ctrl + F will fill it to the nearest vertical line under arrow key control as the cursor is moved vertically. 

Erase

Selecting background colour A with the Beam, Draw to Tab, or Fill options will remove foreground colours. For full screen erasure press Shift + Clr. 

Quick circle

Use the arrow keys to place the centre, press Ctrl + Q and either enter a radius > 4 or press 0. The latter enables the left or right arrow keys to move a second cursor with which the radius can be set by pressing Enter.

Circles, ellipses and polygons

Use the arrow keys to position the shape, then press Ctrl + Clr and input both horizontal and vertical radii using the same options as in quick circle.

Input the start position, a number between 0 and 1 (.5 will start to draw from the bottom of the shape). This is calculated using decimal fractions on a clockwise circle.

Input the number of sides. If this number is less than 20 you will be prompted for a delay. This is only needed if a part shape is required so that pressing the spacebar can halt the plotting.

Answer 0 or 1 to the prompt for clockwise or anti-clockwise plotting.

Tab move

The Tab setting can be made to move with the cursor by pressing Ctrl + Tab. Coupled with Draw to Tab parallel lines can be drawn using cursor jump to create a grid. This also works in the circle /polygon routine but must be set before Ctrl + Clr. Shape memory

Ctrl + M stores and numbers upto 40 shapes to be recalled and drawn at any size. Press Tab, and while drawing a continuous line press Tab again at every change in direction (only Tab settings are memorised). Check your shapes using the redraw option before you save using Ctrl + S.

Ctrl + L will load a new shape file from memory.

Redraw shape

Ctrl + R and enter shape number and magnitude required (from . 1 upwards), to enlarge or reduce the original.

Type at cursor

Press Ctrl + T to enter text, numbers or Ctrl graphics at the cursor position.

Go back to options

Ctrl + G will return you to the opening options for a mode change or to load a picture from memory.

Save screen

Ctrl + ? saves the screen to tape or disc.

Load screen

A saved screen can be loaded into memory using either the option at the start of the program, or Ctrl + L at any time.

CWTA

★ PUBLISHERS: AMSTRAD SEMANAL , Computing With The Amstrad
★ YEAR: 1985
★ CONFIG: 64K + AMSDOS
★ LANGUAGES:
★ LICENCE: LISTING
★ AUTHOR: GLYNNE DAVIES

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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.