Instagram in less than a day using Creo ;)
Our journey in the SelfieApp world is becoming more and more interesting.
Until now, we learned:
- How to take pictures
- How to apply a saturation filter before shooting
- How to browse our photos from the iPhone camera roll
If you missed my previous articles, and you want to start learning Creo from scratch, download the Creo IDE, then go to the Creo by examples blog section and read my previous articles:
- Welcome to Creo by examples
- How to create a selfie app with two lines of code
- How to work with Camera Roll, TabBar and CreoPlayer
- 6 minutes to create a cooler SelfieApp with a slider and squarish pictures.
What we are learning today
Today we want to do a step forward and make our SelfieApp more sophisticated playing with graphic filters. We want to take a picture, let the user add a secondary visual effect choosing from a filter library, then save or selfie to the camera roll. Among hundreds of possible filters available, we want to provide the user with three predefined effects: Comic, Crystallize, and Blur.
Before start reading this new post, be sure you downloaded the Creo project we are going to improve.
This time we'll do some "serious coding" adding something like "twenty-five new lines of code". We are also going to introduce a powerful new Creo class called DataSet, and a new UI control called Carousel. To make the building process as smooth as possible, I want to talk about these two components first.
The Carousel UI Control
The Carousel element can be used to display images in a row that the user can navigate by swiping left and right in the iPhone.
We are going to use this UI control to let the user choose what visual effect to apply to the photo he/she just taken.
The DataSet class
A DataSet is a collection of data organized in rows and columns. DataSets can be linked to real data on a database, or they can be filled up with data programmatically. DataSets are a powerful concept in Creo. Many UI controls can be linked to a DataSet at design time, letting Creo do all the magic. In our case, we are going to use a DataSet to store the three visual effects we want to load in a Carousel control.
Connecting a new window
We are now ready to go.
We want to start the SelfieApp, calibrate the Saturation parameter through a slider, take a picture, and then open a new Window. This Window will show the photo and a list of visual effects (in a carousel control) we might apply. Let's drop a new Window container (called
Window3) onto the Layout panel at the same hierarchical level of
TabBar1. This Window is going to show the picture we took from
Window1, so it needs to store the captured image in a
property. We learned that UI elements can have properties.
Let's define this property in
Window3 and call it
Now get back to
Window1, and make some changes to its
NewImage event. We don't want to save the picture in the camera roll for now, but we want to pass it to
Window3 and open that Window as a modal dialog:
Now run the app in the Creo Simulator and push the shooting button to test that everything works fine (you shoot a picture, and an empty
Window3 showed up).
How to fill up a DataSet programmatically
Window3 and it's still empty. We now want to show the photo preview on it, and let the user select which graphic effect to apply. Let's start.
ImageView control onto
Window3 — and create
ImageView1 the same geometry setting you gave to the
Camera1 control (both frame and constraints). Now let's bind
ImageView1.image property to our photo in
Rerun the Simulator to check that everything works as planned, and the picture is displayed correctly on
Note that, the
WillShow event is fired every time the control is displayed on the screen.
Let's retrieve Comic, Blur and Crystallize filters using the ImageFilter class method
A class method is a function available directly from the class itself.
Then, create a variable structured like a data set or table, with rows and columns. Each row represents a record within our data set. Let's say we want to have records structured like this:
- The attribute/column
Picturestores the original picture we took with a specific effect applied
- The attribute/column
Namestores the name of the graphical effect we applied to the image.
In this case, we're not going to use the column
Name, but we added it to the project to help you understand better.
WillShow event of
Window3 looks like this:
We are finally ready to associate a DataSet object to the
Window3 hierarchy, and fill it up with the
rows data structure defined above.
Drop DataSet on
Window3 from then Controls List, and
DataSet1 shows up in the Layout panel.
A DataSets can be configured managing some of its events, in particular:
- the event
Rowsi.e., how many rows this data set has
- the event
Columnsi.e., how many columns/attributes this data set has
- the event
NameForColumni.e., the name of each column in the data set.
We're not done yet. There's another
DataSet1 event we need to manage. It's called
Value and it has to return a cell value given its row and column numbers.
Let's define a property in the
DataSet1 object to store the
rowsdata structure defined in
Window3 (our filter list), and call it
Value event in
DataSet1 is like this:
Until now, the DataSet has been created and configured to host the filter-modified pictures data structure. We are pretty close to the end, but there are a few things left before we can add a Carousel control:
- We need to pass the
picturesdata structure to
- We need to tell
DataSet1to restart itself (so that pictures are loaded).
The best place to do it is in the
WillShow event of
Adding the Carousel control
Everything is ready to add a Carousel control instance to the project. We are going to position it in the second half of
Window3. But it won't be alone. In that area, we need to have another control: a "Save" button.
Remember? We want to select a visual effect and press the Save button to save the photo on the camera roll.
In my previous article, we learn something about Views: they help to group together UI controls with a similar context. This behavior is a perfect case for us because we want both the Carousel and the Button have a black background color and get resized consistently with their parent (the View).
So drop a View from the Controls List onto
View1), then both a Carousel (
Carousel1) and a Button (
View1. Set the background color of
View1 to black and set all its Autosize constraints except the Top one. Then resize
Carousel1, change its item size to 300x300. Change a few properties of
Button1 (color, font size) too.
Now we need to connect
DataSet1 and that's pretty easy, thanks to the Creo Inspector. Let's look for the DataSet property in the
Carousel1 Inspector. Open the DataSet dropdown list and select
DataSet1, then set both the Cell properties to
Picture (it's the name of the
DataSet1 column containing the modified picture), and boom. We can now browse the pictures with different filters applied. Run the application in the Simulator and check the result.
- When the user touches a picture from the
Carousel1, we need to update the
DidSelectCellevent is the perfect place to manage that assignment:
- When the user touches
Button1(Save), we need to save the picture showed in
ImageView1to the camera roll, do some housekeeping (like repositioning the slider in
Window1, for example), and close
Here you are, The SelfieApp is now completed!
You can take selfies, define a saturation level, select a visual effect, save the image to the iPhone camera roll, and browse your selfies from the app. How cool is that?
You can download the full SelfieApp project here. Leave your comments below and help us to understand better what you'd like to read next.