Vector Graphics

Version 2 is now in full Beta Testing for IMS Web Engine
users. Within the next two weeks we are hoping to post
betas for IMS Web Dwarf and IMS Web Spinner.

Although many of the new
SVG and animation features are
exclusive to IMS Web Engine, there are many new features
that will also be available to IMS Web Spinner and IMS Web
Dwarf. IMS support for vector graphics is also available to
Web Spinner users and has undergone significant enhancement
V2. Since I have not written about these enhancements
before and since there is no documentation available yet, I
thought it would be useful for our current beta testers if
I discuss these enhancements while letting our Web Spinner
users know about some of the new features that will be

There are two major components to vectors. The first is the
geometry and the second is the shading. Both components
have undergone significant enhancements in

The two most significant enhancements to vector geometry
include the addition of a Vertex Editor with extrude
capabilities, and the inclusion of Path geometry that
provides the ability to combine vectors, rectangles,
ellipses and B-
Splines into a single geometry component.

A path can be created in two ways. The first method uses
the new Path command that will display a Path toolbox with
move, line, rectangle and
spline operations. By selecting
the different tools it is possible to create complex shapes
that are disjoint or that have holes in them. An example of
a path that combines several shapes can be viewed at:

The second way to create a path is to combine several
existing vector shapes together. This can be done by
creating a Group or Temporary Group Object and then
selecting a new Merge command located on the Align Bar.
When rendered, a path can be displayed using an even/odd
rendering method that will leave holes in the geometry. An
example can be viewed at: is74fig2.htm

An enhanced Vertex editor with extrude capabilities has
also been added. In the past, the vertex editor could
simply be used to move points on a polygon. The vertex
editor will now display a toolbox with extrude operations
as well as insert/delete operations. The extruder can be
used to move, rotate and scale the current geometry while
duplication points. An example is posted at: is74fig3.htm

The other major component enhancement for vertex geometry
comes from the Shading editor. Enhancements include the
addition of linear shading, radial shading and transparency
in addition to the flat shading and texture mapping that is
already provided. An example of a shaded path can be viewed
at: is74fig4.htm. If you have Adobe's
SVG viewer installed you
can view an animated path Object with shading, transparency
and texture mapping at: aniTranShad.svg

SVG fully supports vector geometry and shading so that
these enhancements can be viewed directly when a project is
viewed in the new
SVG format. To provide reasonable display
of vector geometry with shading in HTML, vector geometry
will be rendered into the standard
PNG image file format
unless a different format is selected. Individual vector
geometry can now also be directed to

The above HTML examples are rendered in
PNG and should look
good if your display is set to 16 or 24 bits. There is
still a bit of tweaking required to crop the shapes so that
they display the full width of the vectors, which explains
why the right and bottom lines may appear thinner on your

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright
2000 Virtual Mechanics

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