FML Test Card Maker
Detailed Version History
This has been extracted from the user guide supplied with the download, to reduce the size of that file a bit. The user guide now only contains details for the latest version and important notices from previous versions.
Bug fixes / tweaks:
The Viewer image can now be drawn anamorphically, i.e. at 720 x (no. of picture lines), squashed horizontally.
Extra pre-set aspect ratios available (partly to support anamorphic images): 4:3 and 16:9 with 'digital sides', 5:4, square.
"Flip/Rotate" added to Edit Menu. This allows you to reflect all the selected objects in the current layer horizontally or vertically, or rotate them by 180 degrees.
Picture objects can now be drawn transparently, with a choice of transparent colour.
New shapes available for Cutouts: diamond and four directions of triangle.
"Select Card" added to File Menu. This has a sub-menu showing all the open TCDs when more than one is open; selecting a TCD from that list brings all its layers to the top and minimises all layers of any other open TCDs.
Bug fixes / tweaks
Can now have more than one TCD open at a time and open more than one file at once from within the Open panel. If you set up the TCD file type to use DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) in Explorer, you can also open multiple TCDs into one instance of Test Card Maker from Explorer. The blank TCD that is created on startup is therefore now optional.
Windows X-button on layer editors will now optionally close the card or delete the layer (or do nothing, as per previous versions).
Can now undo/redo up to 5 operations in each open TCD.
Clicking on the currently-open file in the File History now gives a "revert" confirmation box rather than "save changes".
8-bit colour restriction is now optional on the Viewer. Switch off the new option "8-Bit Mode" to use true-colour drawing in the Viewer. (Layer editors still use 8-bit mode for technical reasons, to do with not being able to see selection outlines on mid-grey.)
Smoothing options have been added:
New controls for white and black levels (changing brightness and contrast accordingly) and buttons allowing the individual colour 'channels' to be switched on and off.
Can now optionally save the Viewer and Thumbnail images as JPEG files (It turns out that BCB does let me save JPEG images after all!)
Default background colour in the Viewer is now silver (used to be the same as buttons and panels).
New Object Types
Can now use a JPEG file in a Picture object. (File extension must be ".jpg".)
Large text / text with borders now drawn much faster.
Triangles are now drawn with two-pixel-wide tips to preserve symmetry where necessary.
Options panel re-jigged with extra tab for Editor options.
HTML Help now available.
New buttons on toolbar: standard file operations, Viewer, Select All.
Status bar added, showing control hints, cursor position and brief details of selected objects.
Up/down buttons in numeric property controls are drawn differently.
Layer Properties panel now shows the layer number being edited in its caption, and its Objects list now indicates which objects in a layer are currently selected.
Visual warning for off-page objects is now red text rather than red background.
Hue control in colour selection panel now wraps around from 359 to 0 and vice versa.
LightSpots default spacing changed from 60 to 50; spacing control coarse increment changed from 1 to 5.
Can now explicitly set layers to be transparent or opaque (regardless of cutouts).
ToneBox now allows recording of dual tone (different frequency on left and right channels), antiphase tone (right = -1 x left i.e. pure stereo difference signal), and different cycle lengths for GLITS tone.
Options now include a time offset / fixed start time for clocks.
Delimiter for clocks (the ":" in times and "/" in dates) can be changed to an arbitrary string of up to 3 characters.
Object Colours panel now has a Store button which adds the selected colour to the custom colours on the main colour-selection panel (if it is not already in the palette). This makes colour-matching easier, e.g. re-using the same shades of colour from a set of colourbars.
Right-clicking a custom colour now gives a pop-up menu, with options to clear that colour or clear all custom colours.
Thumbnail creation speeded up some more (another 2-3x faster).
LightSpots default size is now 6x6 rather than 6x1.
Minor modification to PM5544 sample file.
Colour Cruncher was not allowing crunched image to be saved with original file name.
Active area borders were not widened properly for transparent ellipses, frames and LightSpots.
Blank lines in multi-line text were saved as the string "(null)" due to use of BCB AnsiString rather than C string part when saving.
You can now have tone and music with your test card!
ToneBox added to record the tone as a WAV file.
In full-screen mode, F5 starts/stops playing the tone file; F6 starts/stops CD player.
Three new object types added:
Box/Frame: - previously a filled box with outline required two block-trains, and a rectangular frame required four lines.
LightSpots: three overlapping spots as seen on the ITV Lightspots slide and the ATV Colour "Zoom" frontcap. Colours are adjustable as per Colourbar objects.
Clock: similar to Text but displays time, date or a countdown in various formats (including a Countdown Minute).
'Grow' property added for circles (also applies to Box/Frame) to determine whether these objects grow in overall size (as per previous versions) when their Thickness is increased.
Text can now be multi-line, with fine-tuning of line spacing.
Text Properties panel now includes a sample text box with 5 different samples available.
Picture objects can now have a relative pathname (e.g. "./picture.bmp") for greater portability.
Select Area function added - allows creation of a selection area either for placement of a new object or for a restricted Select All.
Grid properties are now part of layer properties - the Grid button has therefore been removed. This allows definition of an invisible grid, which is sometimes needed for proper object alignment on transparent layers.
Full drag-and-drop now allowed on the object list in the Layer Properties panel.
'Shift...' button removed from Layer Properties panel to become an Edit menu option 'Shift Set...', which now shifts only the selected objects.
Thumbnail creation speeded up (about 3x faster).
Custom colour dialog now shows current R/G/B values on labels when not in full-display mode.
New Options added to control how the Viewer behaves when invoked, to control countdown clocks and to specify a CD drive.
Viewer can now be invoked by pressing F12.
Bug fixes / tweaks:
Occasional access violation after undoing a move or resize of a single object.
Edit an object or object-set, then change editor layer size, then Undo, caused access violation.
Copy and paste of a set containing a cutout: dragging the new set using a cutout caused all other objects to become unselected.
Edging alignment was not always correct when 'Align to pixels' not set (various tweaks made to thickness/edging calculation generally).
Fonts list for text/clock objects was listing duplicate font names starting with '@' (possibly Windows XP only).
Owing to a PC failure here at FML, some of the source code from v3.30/3.31 was lost (as well has having to redo much of the above - doh!) The resulting re-write was neater in places, but there may remain minor differences in functionality from v3.30/3.31 not mentioned above.
U and V were transposed on the colour panel; slight correction to ratios used to calculate Y/U/V
New customised colour panel with more 'testcard-like' preset colours, and ability to set colours by Y/U/V components.
Colour Cruncher layout slightly improved; it also now remembers part-selection of image on Undo.
Object Position can now be large and negative in the Properties panel, to match what drag-and-drop can do. (Previously the negative limit was -2.00.)
Visual warning if an object's Size and Position may place the object completely off the screen.
Maximum width on increased to 2048 in the Viewer.
Initial directory in Open dialog now comes from the most recent entry in the file history.
Sample PM5544 now uses proper U-only and V-only colours in the colour brackets.
Black Reach and White Reach had no effect on Colour Cruncher operation.
'45 Degree' property was not passed to the CrossBar Properties panel.
The 'non-clearance of temporary files' bug (see Version 2.30) had re-appeared with a different, and less frequent, cause (clicking Cancel on the Layer Properties panel).
Maintained & compiled using Borland C++ Builder 5 on Windows XP (previous versions used BCB4 on Windows 95).
Thumbnail creation facility added to Viewer.
Default filename appears in Viewer and Thumbnail save dialogs.
Colourbars can now have pure black+white regardless of colour adjustment settings.
Button added to Viewer for full-screen mode (Ctrl+F can still be used).
A couple of access-violations ironed out (affecting true-colour displays).
Undo of a mouse move or resize of multiple objects did not revert the selection outlines of the objects, also leading to access violations.
Alignment errors between objects & grid. Note that this may *cause* some objects to become slightly misaligned, especially triangles as these were most often affected by the bug. Objects aligned to gridlines with Edging (rather than tweaking size & position) should not be affected.
Colour gradients can be optionally stepped instead of continuous
Can now view the actual colours (with RGB values) used to draw an object.
Card Properties now include TV line frequency (affects frequency bursts set in MHz).
Can now browse for an image file when it cannot be found in the expected location, rather than having to move the file to the correct location.
New 'Insert' option on Layer menu - inserts a new layer immediately below the current layer, as opposed to 'Add' which adds a layer at the top.
'Select All' added to Edit menu.
Paste now preserves the original ordering of objects when more than one object is pasted.
Minor modifications to example TCD files.
A layer-level edit, followed by Open or New without saving changes, then a layer-level edit on the new card, could cause an "unable to load file" error on a temporary bitmap file. (One example is cutting an object from one card and pasting it into another.)
FreqBurst drawing occasionally drew only one row of pixels.
Document control was forgetting the current working directory when a new TCD was created.
When decreasing the file history size, the bottom of the history was retained rather than the top (until the next file operation).
Custom edit boxes now respond to the Return key.
Colour-washing no longer occurs in the Viewer on high/true colour screens.
Smooth scaling of raster fonts even without TrueSizing - this is now working.
A basic undo/redo facility has been added.
Can now select multiple objects for dragging and resizing; cut, copy and paste can also be used on such sets of objects (e.g. for moving objects between layers or quickly cloning objects).
Three new object types:
GridCross (the extra gridline styling as seen on Test Card F)
FreqBurst (more versatile type of frequency grating, which allows exact frequencies, solid or sinusoidal variation, and sloping edges)
Picture (at last!)
Block-trains can now have transparent alternate blocks instead of alternating between two colours.
Colour-swap button added to Object Properties panel.
Colour Cruncher tool has been added, to aid with incorporation of picture objects. (On the menu, Colour Cruncher and 'Options' are now both under 'Tools'.)
More Options have been added.
File can now have a title.
Drawing of colour gradients and text has been sped up.
Assembly of multi-layered cards in the Viewer has been sped up too. (This appears also to clear the intermittent fault of not all layers being drawn.)
An .ini file is now maintained, in the same directory as the application. This allows Options and the file history to be permanent.
Slight modification to the 'dot matrix' font (uppercase A and V).
Unusual resizing of Crossbars when dragging them with the mouse has been corrected.
Now looks in the system environment to find a temporary directory, rather than assuming C:\Windows\Temp exists.
Can now use the mouse to move & resize objects within layer editors.
Optional display of X and Y coordinate axes added to layer editor.
Cutout hatching is now always black and light grey.
Previous versions tended to leave temporary bitmaps in the PC's temporary directory (e.g. C:\Windows\Temp). This has now been fixed. (For C++ fans: the generic list item class needed a virtual destructor.) PLEASE CHECK FOR THESE FILES as they will use up a fair bit of disk space if there are a lot of them. Any files in your PC's temporary directory with names like 'tcl[hex digits].bmp' can safely be removed while the application is not running.
New object type 'Bullseye' - two-colour 'target rings' shape as seen on the Indian Head and many other optical test cards.
Improved double-click edit for 'cross' objects - must now click on the cross lines if the cross is transparent. (Improves access to underlying objects)
Layer windows no longer minimise when their X button is pressed. (They are still not deleted though.)
Colour gradients are now drawn faster - about 2.5x as fast as on previous versions.
TrueSized text is drawn faster, especially when based on a small font size.
The base size for TrueSized text was not being saved in the TCD file.
Application compiled using Pentium (instead of 386) instruction set. This allows it to run on Win2K apparently.
File menu now has a four-entry file history. (Currently it is not preserved when you exit and restart the application.)
When opening a TCD, layers are displayed in corners of the application workspace, instead of stacking up.
New 'cross' object added. (The sample pm5544.tcd makes use of this object.)
Text can now be made to match exactly the horizontal and/or vertical dimensions of the text object's rectangle (TrueSizing). This also gives smoother resizing of raster fonts, even when TrueSizing is not applied. TrueSized text can also be based on a fixed font size for a 'chunky pixels' effect.
Improved performance and operation of object list in the Layer Properties panel.
Customsied edit controls for number properties.
Double-click editing for circular/elliptical
objects has been improved:
- You can now click on the inside of a circle to edit it if the circle is not transparent.
- Clicking on the 'unused' part of the rectangle which bounds a circular cutout no longer selects that cutout.
Cutouts now crosshatched in two different colours (black and the nearest available colour to light grey), avoiding invisibility when placed over a black region.
Test Card Maker
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