Wiiflow's oft-seen wait animation is abomination - but what can be done?

Discussion in 'Wii - Backup Loaders' started by spacepimp, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. spacepimp
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    Member spacepimp Pathalogical Fantasist

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    I'm sure all the wiiflow users out there in gbatemp land are familiar with the current wiiflow wait animation.
    It was selected following a period of submissions and voting, and was by far the most popular choice.
    Unfortunately, the size of the animation caused huge problems and the image had to be compressed - to about a fifth the size of the original at 18.5kb!!!!
    Now, this image was not designed with this level of compression in mind, and so what were originally soft glows and reflections are now a glitchy screech of an eyesore.
    But rather than a black screen, wiiflow needs some movement to assure the user it hasn't crashed. So what can be done?
    Well.....Devs had a bit of a nightmare with the last animation, and frankly, have more important things to think about! So it's up to the community at large to find solutions...
    To open, I'd like to suggest:
    1/either a better, or more suitable animation for the size.*

    2/ A randomly selected wiiflow tip and a very simple animated bar/dots

    3/ usb gx solution of having a running status and a nice bit of artwork.

    Although I'm sure there's plenty of opinions that differ:)

    The second 2 require help from the dev team, but solution 1, well -
    Happily, Abz has put the hours in and written a guide using animations resulting from the competition
    http://gbatemp.net/threads/changing-wiiflow-boot-animation.330880/
    All we need are some 18.5kb animations!

    FYI
    Voted for
    [​IMG]86kb
    Got
    [​IMG] 18.5kb
     
  2. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    There's another choice, but it require programming knowledge : Code the voted animation and effect instead of loading a picture frame by frame.
    Using mathematical algorythms, vector graphics and procedural textures.

    You know, like old demoscenes from Amiga which took only few Kb :D *nostagic*
    There are some demo on Wii too.

    Of course Wiiflow developers have better things to do than working on a vector animation homebrew.
    Edit: but another dev could do it if interested.
     
  3. kineticUk

    Member kineticUk GBAtemp Fan

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    Alright hmmm,

    personally I was well pleased/relieved when the current animation won and in my opinion it is by far the most cleanest dopest pro lookin animation ... I like it, its wiiflow's load thing, Please don't kill it! ;)

    I agree it would be better if it wasn't shrunk but I really dislike the previous animations and I would rather have this small than those. The occasional dodgy graphic aside it never bothered me, I feel we shouldn't "fix it if it ain't broke too much"

    Improvements would be cool but i'm good.

    (more load bars for info, slight variations to the animation depending on what wiiflow is doing, which flow is being read etc. what cyan talks about would be amazin' though no doubt)

    Happy as larry right now, love the attention to detail and bug fixin etc that the team fix have done.
    4.1 is f***ing badass.

    Lovely.
     
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  4. FIX94

    Global Moderator FIX94 Global Moderator

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    I said you, wont change the animation for a long time, its small, its pretty and the wii can handle it :P
     
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  5. spacepimp
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    Member spacepimp Pathalogical Fantasist

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    'k Gents, absolutely want to thank you for the replys. To be clear -the animation that won is not actually the animation wiiflow uses. Absolutely the right animation won that competition, about half the vote and clearly the most professional. I think it's reasonable to say that part of that professional sheen in a 100x200 pixel image was attained using compression. However the actual animation that is used is (necessarily) highly compressed AGAIN. On my modest family TV, over composite, it's irritatingly glitchy - you are entitled to your own opinion, but I think it lets wiiflow down. ( i'll get round to posting the comparison, hopefully later today ). I completely sympathise when Fix doesn't want to change it, finding out the animation needed to be 18.5kb was a massive pain in the arse.(@fix - I'm sorry you felt you had to repeat yourself). That's why I'm suggesting, in the OP, that the devs are too busy with more important stuff - that it's up to the community at large to find solutions. I give examples of workable solutions that you are welcome to criticise and invite people to add their thoughts and ideas. If Fix eventually decides to change it - wouldn't it be nice to have a solution that's been really thought out and tested? One that people largely agree on? Even in a situation where people want different choices, the fact those choices exist can only be a good thing.
    If you, like me, dare not a fan of the animation, I offer a solution independent of the dev team. You can change it using Abz's guide.
    We just need some suitable images as the ones on Abz's thread are too big.

    EDIT: Also, as wiiflow is becoming more stable, it might be practical to post builds with favoured animations.
     
  6. spacepimp
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    Member spacepimp Pathalogical Fantasist

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    Thank you so so much for reading the OP and having input.
    Just further to cyan's idea, would it be possible to lift oldschool demos directly? Perhaps suitable code is already knocking about in the amiga emulator?
    I would love to have a go, is there an editor that can render that kind of thing. Or is the only option coding it?
    Anyhoo, thanks for the idea!
     
  7. spacepimp
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    Member spacepimp Pathalogical Fantasist

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    Some of the more popular animations on Abz's thread don't need any compression, as they are already under the arbitrary 18.5 kb size limit.

    [​IMG] 6kb![​IMG]18 kb[​IMG]18/19kb[​IMG]18/19 kb
    [​IMG]12kb[​IMG]9kb[​IMG]4kb!

    I should add that I hope to have a look at reducing the size of some of the others soon
     
  8. Cyan

    Global Moderator Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    Who is the author of the wining animation?
    If he kept the files he used to create the animation they could be loaded independently by Wiiflow, and Wiiflow display/move/hide them and using alpha channel for the glow effect.

    It's only a single blue color for the glowing effect loaded in the background (generated?)
    The WiiFlow text (png)
    A single white box loaded once and duplicated few times for the cover (png?)
    A black mask with alpha gradient for the glowing effect (loaded as png?). (we can set the % of alpha we want multiplied to the png alpha? or does it use the alpha defined by the png?)

    Load the blue color in the center of the screen
    Load the Logo on top of it, load it again in mirror
    Load the amount of cover you want in background to foreground order, make the same in mirror
    Load a foreground mask with set alpha value to hide the blue color around the text (glow) and the bottom part of the screen (mirror effect)
     
  9. spacepimp
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    Member spacepimp Pathalogical Fantasist

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    Hey Cyan,
    'twas spyrosam. It was very popular so he may be interested in your thoughts. I shall direct him here forthwith!
     
  10. FIX94

    Global Moderator FIX94 Global Moderator

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    I hope you are silent now, made enough space free to use the 10 frame original png animation, IMO the diff is so minimal that its not worth it, check it out.
     
  11. spacepimp
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    Member spacepimp Pathalogical Fantasist

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    Firstly just wanted to thank Fix for having a go at using the uncompressed animation, and apologise for any misunderstanding. Thanks again for all your hard work.

    Unfortunately, returning to the original size incurred problems, so the idea was dropped.
    HOWEVER
    Recent updates mean all but the very biggest of the animations are now usable! :)
    Check out the first spoiler of Abz's tutorial to find suitable animations - often the smallest are the most pleasing (at least that's what I tell my wife (tsh boom)).
    http://gbatemp.net/topic/330880-changing-wiiflow-boot-animation/

    Interesting Point?
    An old version of Wiiflow, around 2.1-2.2, could load animation frames from a folder. This meant that you could have your pick of wait animations, and themers could have custom animations, without having to compile your own version (don't be intimidated by that! - I was - and if I can do it, anyone can!).
    There was a problem, in that the default animation frame was loaded before the custom frame was loaded and displayed, and this made the animation a little slow.
    If one of the one of the smaller (4-10kb!) animations was the default, and the current default placed in the custom folder, potentially, is small enough to enable this feature again?

    I understand that reading the file from the media can also be the slowing point, so i was wondering, would it be possible to save the custom animation frames to the wiiflow nand save when they're changed?

    I really am trying to open a discussion about what might be cool in wiiflow - any thoughts? Particularly about a randomized tips text that was changes every time the wait animation loaded - what would you put in it?
     
  12. Hielkenator

    Member Hielkenator GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I liked to old animation.
    But I do not use Wiiflow that much...
     

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