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Web Cartoon Maker: a Fun Way to Learn C++ Contents Previous Next

Changing a Decal

You now know how to register a new decal. But how do you make a picture? What dimensions should it have? The easiest way to find out is to download a character's sources. You can go back to and download the sources

Once you download and unzip them you'll find several images and a header (.h) file in the archive. You'll need to find a decal picture. For example the default decal picture of a Boy character's head is in file "head.svg". Just edit this file any way you like, or even substitute a completely new picture, and save somewhere on your hard drive ( "c:\\myimage.svg" in the above example).

Note: This would be a good time to look at the “Simple Character Modification” tutorial.

Do you know how to edit SVG files – or even what a .SVG file represents? Answering the second question first, “SVG” stands for Scalable Vector Graphics and is an open standard for pictures in vector (points and lines) format. Vector formats are much more scalable than raster (pixel) based formats such as .JPG, .PNG, .BMP and .GIF. The disadvantage of the vector format is that nearly all cameras and displays are pixel based, so ultimately the vector drawing must be converted back to raster format for display.

You may already have some vector graphics editing tools installed on your computer. The commercial standard tool is Adobe’s Illustrator. While an excellent tool, it is also both expensive and “expert friendly.” Fortunately, there is a great free and open source SVG editor called Inkscape which you may want to install (download from ). Inkscape also has a good online user manual, which is referenced on their web site. Finally, you can also edit files online at . Please keep in mind that online editor will work in IE only with Chrome Frame plugin. But it works just fine in Firefox without any addons:

Notes/Cautions: While the online editor is quite convenient, the available user documentation (at ) is aimed more at the code developer than the first time user. Also the .SVG format can occasionally be a bit unstable, although the situation gets better every day. If you are using Illustrator, stay with the .AI format (a very stable but Adobe proprietary vector format) as long as possible.

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