Building a Dot Matrix Animator

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  • dot-matrix

    A program that generates an animated dot matrix GIF based on input images the user provides.

    Whenever I start learning a new skill, I like to come up with a project I can use to apply the skill, test my knowledge, and push myself to find areas where I need to improve. As helpful as tutorials and walkthroughs are, I find that I always get the most experience when I can struggle through a project I start from scratch and apply the knowledge I've learned without explicit instructions. I decided to write this blog about my first Ruby project because I really enjoyed this project and think the results are pretty cool! I won't get into the details about the code here, but it is all available on my GitHub!

  • RMagick

    Ruby bindings for ImageMagick

    To accomplish this project, I knew I would need some way to process the input images. Resizing the images was the easy bit. The more complex (and more important) task was to find the best way to relate a pixel's color in the source image to a dot's size in final animation. I felt that the relative luminance as described in this W3 accessibility document was a logical property to use in this case, and can be easily calculated with a color's RGB components. After determining what tasks I needed to fulfill, I determined that the RMagick library would be a good choice for this project.

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  • Thor

    Thor is a toolkit for building powerful command-line interfaces.

    I wanted to provide a command-line interface for the user that was easy to use, and I also wanted to provide the flexibility with the options used to render the animation. After looking around online I found that Thor was a good tool to utilize. It allowed me to easily create a number of options that make this program much more versatile. An example below shows how a user can select which folder the source images are in, as well as what the background and foreground colors should be:

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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