AuthorTopic: Workbench icons  (Read 5971 times)

Offline Arne

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Workbench icons

on: January 22, 2015, 11:01:25 am
I've been working on some Workbench icons. I'm using 3.1 so I can have 8 and 16 color icons, perhaps more - can you imagine?

Because color 0 & 1 is hardcoded to BG and text and it's useful to keep few colors variable for OS styling, I decided to use only 12 static colors for icons and leave the first 4 for a 3.1 or 1.3 scheme or one of my own.



Installing icons is a bit of a pain. There are helper programs (PD) but none of them do quite what need them to, and some don't work due to dependencies and bloat. I'll probably have to finish the file scanner that I started working on.

Icons are stored in separate *.info files where * is the name of the file, e.g. Banana.IFF. The image is stored in bitplanes, 4 in the case of 16 colors. They have 2 frames and can be any size, but keeping the width at or below a multiple of 16 is a good idea because (afaik) the bitplanes are stored in 16-bit/pixel format. A 33px wide icon would waste 15 bits per bitplane * height * 2 frames or so, and would probably draw/blit slower. The .info files also store what-happens-when-I'm-clicked arguments, position in window, etc.

Unfortunately there's no alpha mask, and in 2.0+ the icons have boxes around them. It can be patched though. Setting the 8+ colors is a bit of a pain too I guess (need visualprefs or something). It would've been neat if the icons stored their palette color values and not just pixel data so they could be adapted to foreign palettes, but icons are loaded off floppy often and can lag the system if they have too much data.

I'm blarging. Hmm. About the design of these, I did put some thought into some. Icons are tricky because sometimes you need to illustrate a very strange concept, like "Any file printed goes into a file instead". I just put a printer cable cord onto a floppy for that one.

Library files: I turned this into a book with a brain-tree on it (knowledge tree, and books are made out of wood).
Datatype: Used by programs to recognize new file formats, so Tron recognizer.
Iff file: Combined the DP pyramid with the default iff landscape icon, and random volcano of presumably paint.
Folder: I like the 1.3 look with the white drawers, but folders are nice to so I made an weird Drawlder.
Say: Removed in later WBs but any sound Amigian would copy it over from 1.3 and make it say WUBDUBWUBkRAAkRAAkRAAboobibibbiwowo. I wnated to antho up my WB and here I chose to use the Z head and Maria. Z always felt like it could've been an Amiga game had C= not messed up.
Commodities: turned into robo-creatures for no reason other than antho theme.
Binary/Data files: Used punchcards as reference for these.
Preferences: Took a cue from the lovely System 7 (mac) with the sliders, and combined with a WB style "?". Some of these use the first 4 colors as I'm showing how the editor windows look. Did the same with the calculator.
Tool: Turned it into a cog (was hammer). Used as default icon for programs without icons.

Pixel-technically, I tried to keep AA and dither at a minimum and avoided perspectives resulting in angles. The colors are bitplane collapsible so the icons would look okay in 4 color mode, and this limited which colors I could chose, but not too much. I'm using primaries and a gray ramp ending in warm with option for cool sky blue mid-shade. I did these in 8 colors first and expanded to 12 later so I'm not always uing the palette to its fullest on the older icons.

That's it for now. Toot~toot~
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 10:22:05 pm by Arne »

Offline Gil

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 04:25:02 pm
Most important part for icon sets, to me, is consistency. You've done a decent job there, though looking at the entire sheet from a distance, it's maybe a bit too noisy visually. That's fine though, works for me.

Pixel-wise these ooze style and I love the chunkyness, so that part is all good. Should I even mention that I like the palette? ;)

Why 3.1 btw?

Offline Arne

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 10:28:53 pm
The icons will be seen in a more structural manner when integrated into Workbench (e.g. a Drawer, four IFF files and two text files). Perhaps this will reduce noise. Sort of like pixel clusters vs one-of-each-color randomly.

WB 3.1 was the last "real" Workbench. I'm tempted to try AROS though.

Updated image, only slightly.

Offline ErekT

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 11:41:08 pm
Heh, love that you made Gosub into a hideous monstrum on clicking it. I also get an extra kick out of the Dpaint and RAM icons. But they're all excellent :) There's some banding going on there on the trashcan.

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #4 on: January 23, 2015, 12:28:48 pm
I really love these, and your chunky style in general. Would love to run some kind of ArneOS as my primary operating system.   :lol:

If I were to nitpick, which I'm obliged to just because it's on this forum, I'd say some bits seem a bit noisy and imprecise.  Tool very asymmetrical, gosub has a few right-angled clusters for such a rounded shape. Trash quite noisy, and a weird big square banding(?) cluster in top right (I'm not sure how to explain that properly but I'm sure 99.99% of people would never notice).  But over-all this stuff makes me really happy.  Makes me want to buy an Amiga. 

Offline hawken

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #5 on: January 27, 2015, 06:07:25 am
loving these, especially ram disk, datatype & DPaint IV! Orange blue & white work so well together.

All I can say is I wish workbench looked this nice back in the day.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 06:09:13 am by hawken »
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Offline Arne

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #6 on: January 31, 2015, 02:36:35 pm
With Trashcan I wanted to pay homage to the tapered version (1.3) which unfortunately meant a lot of slight-angle problems to deal with (I didn't because I rushed it).

As I may have mentioned, System 7 was at the back of my mind doing some of the icons, and now it's at the front of my mind.



What kind of palette would a Mac-Amiga hybrid from around 92 have? Chunky pixels were becoming popular, 8 bits per pixel, i.e. 256 colors. Now, the palette might be dynamic, but it's best to keep a few OS static colors around. I think early Windows did. This gives me 240 colors. I've been holding off doing a 256 color palette (again) because it's a rather difficult task. This time I started out by indexing 256 64x64px photos, then I arranged the colors into ramps manually, realized I didn't like the ramps so I made ramps from scratch instead.



The two main sets were made with the following philosophy: Instead of doing 16-length ramps I wanted to focus more on hue and saturation coverage, which meant shorter ramps (larger value steps). I know that both dark and bright colors can often be merged, so my ramp lengths are interlaced short and long. I imagine that the blocks can be rolled up hue-to-hue-end and tapered/pinched towards the black and white ends. I chose to do a gray block and a normally saturated one, and then I added the 6 full sat colors and a few strips of high sat graphical ones. I had a few indices left and know that earth tones can be a bit sensitive in platforming games (lots of brown rock/mud terrain) so I padded with poop colors which seemed to be missing. Skintone coverage seems alright. A quarter of my source images were porn *snicker* (easiest way to get human skintone coverage tbh). I've pondered freeing up some colors (Ptoing suggested some of the near blacks) to soften/lengthen the sky gradients. Skies are sort of unique in that they are not textured and very often feature long smooth gradients. Overall the palette seems to be working but I have not yet done a similarity/dupe test.

Palette target is OS environment, so it should handle photos, games, documents, etc. I think System 7 has a 256 color palette in one of the modes but I have not been able to find it. My fantasy computer will have a blitter-type-GPU with its own VRAM (contains framebuffer/textures/various lists and pointers). In 256 color chunky pixel mode pixel manipulations are a lot easier and faster for a programmer. The idea is that the GPU is able to quickly redaw Bobs (fast enough for convenient immidiate mode) whilst the CPU does other things in its own RAM. No sprites. The CPU mostly only sets up and nudges Bob lists, scanline lists, as well as loading/changing textures in VRAM occasionally via some port. While it's tempting to put VRAM in RAM for direct CPU manipulation I think it will create communication/addressing slowdowns/conflicts.

---

Also a Win 3.1 quickie!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2015, 03:25:02 pm by Arne »

Offline rikfuzz

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 10:58:43 am
 :y:

The original win 3.11 screenshot for anyone else curious:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/73/Windows_3.11_workspace.png

Offline surt

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 12:45:28 pm
Yeah the windows 16 colour palette was nearly as horrible as the spectrum's.  :0#

So the final 16 colour group would be the fixed gui colours then?

Offline Kazuya Mochu

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Re: Workbench icons

Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 12:34:11 pm
Id just like to ask Arne: Do you sleep?? How do you even get time to do all this stuff? this is incredible!
Image size doesn't matter! It's what you do with your pixels that counts!