Mark R. Johnson
     
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Pop-up Text Balloons

By far the bulk of the development time for 24 Hours went into creating the pop-up word balloons. To understand the need for this, one must remember that the original comic book exists as a flat image drawn around the areas of text. In order to make the image appear first and then have the text appear on top of that, the image beneath the areas occupied by the text balloons had to be recreated in their entirety. Although this area of the image would be visible for only a few seconds at a time in most cases, it was clearly long enough for the user to notice any significant flaws in the reproduction.



Figure 7. Component parts created for pop-up word balloons.

The first step in creating the pop-up word balloons was to create an unanti-aliased selection of the word balloons in the original image. These selections could then be copied and pasted onto white backgrounds (which would later become transparent via masking in the Director project). Once the word balloons were stored off on their own, the image could then be edited to fill in the areas previously occupied by the text. This involved extrapolating the image to the new area, and using tools such as Photoshop's Rubber Stamp tool to accurately reproduce the coloration and texture found in the rest of the image. The final image, no longer containing any word balloons could then be imported into the Director project along with the separate word balloon components. Using masking and careful placement of the word balloons, the original image could be recomposed, one layer at a time.

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    [Return to Top] Copyright 1997, Mark R. Johnson.
Last modified 6/11/97.