Part 4: Creating the MBM'sIn which we'll identify graphics that we'll need, and create our first MBM graphics file using MBMWhizzard.
If you go back to our sketch of what we wanted Master to look like, then you should be able to break it down into windows and bitmaps. The window part is the easiest. The outside status bars, titles and CBA bars are something controlled from code, and do not need graphical windows. Our main display can be represented by one window (in fact, it needs to be as it will have the background).
Looking at the bitmaps we'll need, we find the following...
- The FreEPOC Logo
Standard FreEPOC practice is to have the FreEPOC logo available as the first bitmap in any mbm, even if it is not shown in the program. If you have your own logo, this is a good place to put it.
- The Program Icon
Used in the About box, this will be the same as the icon we eventually use to represent the program in the Extras screen. we'll do that later in the course, but for the meantime, we still need the large size available as a bitmap. This is it.
- The Balls
Cunningly, we store all our balls in one strip, along with an initial blank grid square in the first space, and a 'mask' in the second space we can use to punch out a hole in the background wallpaper so the balls can be copied over to preserve the background. This technique will be discussed later in it's own section, because it's really important and something you can use in pretty much any application.
- The Clues
In a similar way to the Balls bitmaps, this is the bitmap that gives the user the clues to what is in the right place and in the wrong place.
- The Cursor
used to move up and down the grid so the user can see what ball they will change.
- Background Wallpaper
Pretty self explanatory. The wallpaper here is a simple blue sheet of paper, but you can substitute whatever you want.
Create your bitmaps in any graphics application (personally I use Windows Paint, it gives you pixel perfect control - but anything will do). Save them as Windows/OS2 bitmaps into an easily findable folder. To get you started, here's a download of the bitmaps we'll use in Master, although you're free to design your own!
Using MBM Whizard
Dazler has programmed a GUI for the Symbian utility bmpconv.exe which is normally used for creating and opening mbm files on the PC. You can download MBM Wizard from Dazler's Nokia site. On this site there is the program itself as well as a very useful tutorial on how to use both bmpconv and MBM Whizard.
Using MBMWhizard is very straight forward. MBM Whizard is a Windows GUI for Bmconv. It allows you to quickly create/update archives and even browse them. All the functions of MBM Whizard are a combination of bmconv commands. Only the converting of images from Jpg,Gif and Bmp to bmp is done by MBM Whizard.
When you open MBM Whizard you will be presented with a new project. You can now include files in the project and specify their colour. After this you can use Save/Save as to make the mbm file. You can start a new project at all time by selecting New in the File menu.
Go and have a play with MBMWhizard - it should be obvious how everything works, and if it is now - then there is some great documentation with the program.
It's hard to belive, but you've now coded almost everything you will see in Master. Planning the program before starting to code means that all we have left is to change the Event Core to reflect the new app, add in the subroutines for key presses and events and we'll have the app running to a good standard. That should take us over the next two or three lessons!
Published by Ewan Spence at 14:41 UTC, August 25th