Monday, December 17, 2007

Prototype #1 of 3D Comic Book Viewer

Having recently enjoyed re-reading some of my favourite graphic novels in CBR and CBZ format, I've decided to write a viewer with a few new features that weren't in the few viewers that I was using. This included the ability to smoothly zoom in and pan around each comic book page.

This zooming and panning smoothly is possible as the program uses your 3D graphics card to view the various pages - while ensuring that the image quality is preserved.

I've decided to release prototypes of the viewer during development, to get feedback from the wider community on what they would like a viewer to have also.

Download Instructions

Download and extract the files from the ZIP below...

When you run the "3DComicBookViewer" program, you will be presented with an Open Comic dialog box.

Keys and Controls for Viewing Comics

To move on to the next page, use either - left mouse button, SPACE, Page Down or +.

To move on to the next page, use either - right mouse button, BackSpace, Page Up or -.

Use the Arrow Keys and Q and A to zoom and pan around the image.

To open or load a new comic book, press O or L.

Press ESC to quit the viewer.

I hope you enjoy using the viewer, and give feedback on what you would like to see.

While I'm initially going to focus on the viewer ( ie per comic features ), there could also be a larger "Comic Book Manager" development later on.

Of course, I'd also like to hear what people might pay for a quality comic reader product ( if anything! - of course, to be realistic $0 development budget = less resources, some $ means I can spend more resources on this project etc )

I look forward to hearing your feedback!


John O'Kane said...

Seems like a cool idea Mal. One suggestion is to allow users to add navigation meta data to their comics. I'm thinking panel areas, panning, zooming etc scripted in a sequence for best reading. Rather than have the user scan around. So the process would be, mega-fans of a comic would create the viewing sequence and save it to the navigation data along side the comic files (or stored on a file server). They'd love this. They might even add sound effects etc. Your reader would then use that as the way to progress through the comic.

So this way you beat one of the problems with comics imo, that you accidentally see the next scene before you should. Instead you see the panels in a way that best suits reading it (as decided by the fans that implement it). If you'd ever seen childrens' stories read out of illustrated books for tv you'll know the sorts of effects I'm talking about, slow panning, quick jump to an explosion graphic etc. Technically it's just a sequencer, with each step being a set of viewing coordinates on the texture with interpolation timings.

Mal said...

Hi John,

Thanks for the comments - allowing users to set up a pre-determined view sequence definitely sounds like a great idea - I'll see what I can get working for one of the next prototypes.

Anonymous said...

has anything developed since 07. I've been looking for something like this for my own comic books.