Article ID: 3323, created on Nov 30, 2007, last review on May 10, 2014

  • Applies to:
  • H-Sphere


Positive Software introduces a revolutionary step in on-the-fly image generation. The new Image Maker allows users to create image templates from which images can later be created with the arguments provided.

A designer can define the overall shape and dimensions of an image, leaving its colors, its shades and its labels up to the end user to select. And the result is a professional, crisp-looking image that looks like it took hours with an expensive graphics application to create.

Because Image Maker uses XML for image template definition, and can read its masks from most industry-standard formats, there is no need to get any additional software, and the learning curve is very small. From simple on-the fly text labels to complex multi-layered images, Image Maker's graphics can be used for in all parts of web design and development.

Image Maker is developed using Java (with Java2D and Java Advanced Imaging libraries). It will therefore run on any platform for which the latest Java technologies are available (this includes Windows, Linux and Solaris machines.) The installation and configuration of Image Maker on machines with functional Java Runtime Environment is quick and painless.

Image Maker can be used in library form or set up as a separate scalable server to separate image generation from all other processing, allowing you to better ballance server load and increase overall system efficiency.

Image Maker can be put to good use in any environment that requires fast, clean on-the-fly image generation. Whether used as a library or a standalone application Image Maker can save time and money on the development of a proprietary graphics libraries.

Because it uses an extensible modular architecture its potential is not limited to its current possibilities. Additional modules can be developed and added based on customer need to perform specific functions and operations. And since Image Maker comes with the source code, anyone can modify it to make its operation best fit their specific needs if they so desire.

Image Maker uses an advanced caching algorithm that allows it to only draw the parts of the image that have been altered. This makes it highly efficient in environments where a lot of identical or similar images need to be created.

Current capabilities of Image Maker include:

  • Dynamic image sizing : the resulting image can be sized based on its content Image file loading : images can be loaded from file or URL (ftp or http), in most industry standard formats (gif, jpg, png, bmp)
  • Primitive drawing : use image maker to draw primitives like lines rectangles ovals and circles.
  • True color capabilities : because Image Maker uses html hex scheme tospecify the colors used for rendering, you can use all of over 16 million colors supported by the web
  • Saving to both formats : Image Maker can save its images to either GIF or JPG file, the two most popular web formats
  • Support for gif transparency and color depth : even though Image Maker creates true color images, it can quantize the images to a specified color depth and make them transparent if GIF format is used for saving.
  • Image masking, resizing and tinting : Image Maker lets you load, resize, tint and apply masks to user images defined on-the-fly, allowing you to insert photos into logos and make it look like it belongs there.
  • Label drawing : Image Maker can draw text labels in specyfied system fonts. It can even choose the best size to fit the text into a pre-defined bounding box.
  • And much more...

And remember, that since Image Maker is modular, there is no limit to what it can be made to do.

You can see the Image Maker in action in our SiteStudio application (online demo available). All the images used in the HTML layouts of SiteStudio are generated on the fly by Image Maker in a multi-user environment.

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