Colour ASCII Art tips, Localization Example and more 6


Colour ASCII Art
Since I’ve been playing around with the colour image output a lot in the last few months, I thought I’d share a few tips.

1) The way the output is displayed using characters gives the effect that the colours look lighter then they should. Adjust the image brightness and contrast to make the input darker and have the colours stand out more, or with inverted (i.e. white text on black) output make it lighter. Hopefully I’ll come up with a way to compensate for this automatically.

2) I think that having the colour output with the text inverted looks much better then with the normal white background.

3) Try removing the space and punctuation from the valid characters for the ramp (”Edit/Ramps/Valid Characters…”).

I might try to do a tutorial for colour output.

Localization
Here’s an example translation file to localize the program into American English. Save it to the same directory as the exe file and call it translation.xml.
http://www.jmsoftware.co.uk/files/translation.xml

The full list is here: http://ascgen2.cvs.sourceforge.net/*checkout*/ascgen2/ascgen2/translation.xml
History: http://ascgen2.cvs.sourceforge.net/ascgen2/ascgen2/translation.xml?view=log

Other
Some people complained, so if you don’t want the program checking for a new version each time it starts up (which just tries to grab a tiny xml file from the sourceforge page) you can now turn it off without leaving the program. Go to ‘Edit/Edit Settings…’ and uncheck the ‘New Version Check’ box, then press ‘Ok’ and go to ‘Edit/Save Settings as Default’.

I considered having it turned off as default since I added the manual version check (’Help/Check for a New Version’), but who would turn it on?

Also, please consider donating if you enjoy this program, or at least help spread the word about it. Having the external links removed from Wikipedia ASCII Art pages really hurt the traffic to this site (and the money per ad click has gone down the toilet).


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6 thoughts on “Colour ASCII Art tips, Localization Example and more

  • Dwayne

    It looks as though the whole section of image to ascii has to been removed. I can understand why the devotees would do that, but there is probably nothing that generates more of an interest in `ascii art’ than such converters.

    What may help is if you can put in a .NET Framework checker/downloader at startup. I seem to remember seeing one of those in a .NET executable (not installation file). I think the .NET bit deters a lot of less technical minded people.

  • Jonathan

    The ascii art stuff was moved into “List of text editors”, then they removed all external links (which was the whole Ascii Art Converters section). I’d start a Ascgen page but I don’t think I could justify it.

    I’m not sure there’s anything I can do about checking for .net at start-up. I’ve been meaning to add a proper installer for ages, and that will also install the framework if needed.

  • Jonathan

    Thanks to an anonymous tip on sourceforge, the next version will have better output through the use of a dithering filter. It removes the old “banding” problem where you would get a hard line of characters. 😀

  • Jonathan

    It was in a feature request: http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1825705&group_id=133786&atid=728167

    You know when you adjust the levels or brightness/contrast and you get a line of characters (like a block of “.” and a block of ” “)? This blends it in better, but at the cost of a little detail.

    I’m still not sure how to fit it in the program properly (or what level to use), and there’s a few other methods I want to try out before I release anything.