Using SiMPLE To Create
Your Own Computer Art
(Part 1)

[Note: This webpage is intended for users of SiMPLE.]

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Welcome to this very brief, 4-part introductory discussion about how almost anyone can start creating their own computer art, even if they've never tried it before! Creating your own "computer art" is fun and easy when you have SiMPLE installed on your computer.

Before we begin, let's first talk a little bit about something called pixels.

What is a Pixel ?

A pixel (short for Picture Element) is a single point in a graphic image. Your computer displays pictures by dividing the display screen into thousands of pixels, arranged in rows and columns. The location of each pixel on the screen is specified by giving the column number (or "x-coordinate") and the row number (or "y-coordinate") at which the pixel exists. (The top-most row number is "zero", and the left-most column number is "zero".)

Each pixel can be displayed in any one of millions of colors. But, for our present purposes, we will limit the range to only 16 colors. Each of those colors can therefore be specified by a number in the range zero through 15, as is shown in the following chart:

Creating computer art is merely knowing how to set all the pixels of your display to the colors that you want them to have.

To create computer art with SiMPLE, just use the Windows Notepad editor to create a list of "instructions" that tell the computer which specific operations you want it to perform for you. (This list of instructions is commonly referred to as a source listing.) When you are finished making your source listing, just drag it onto the "SiMPLE" (toy block) icon. In a few moments . . . your "masterpiece" will appear on the screen!

OK, Let's Try It!

Let's start out by doing nothing more than creating a solid white circle whose center is located on column 320, row 240, and whose radius is 100 pixels.

To do so, create a "New Text Document" in your "Samples" project folder. Then type in the following instruction:

solid circle (320, 240, 100)

When you have finished typing the source listing, close your document and drop its icon onto the "SiMPLE" icon:

A black window (displaying the words "Starting Win-SiMPLE . . .", "Translating . . ." and "Compiling . . .") will appear. In a moment, a second black window will "pop" open to fill your screen. Voila! You have just created your first artistic masterpiece . . . a solid white circle!

If you don't specify a color when requesting a shape (such as a circle), the computer will draw it in white. To make the computer draw it in a different color, all you have to do is specify (prior to requesting the shape) the ID number of the desired "solid color" to be used.

Let's tell the computer to draw a yellow circle instead of a white one. (Looking back at our previous color chart, we see that the color ID for yellow is 14.) So our list of instructions would now look like this:

solid color (14)
solid circle (320, 240, 100)

When you have finished changing your source listing, close the document and drop its icon onto the "SiMPLE" icon, just as you did before.

Finally, let's see if we can turn that yellow circle into an image that looks something like a "face".

Increase your list of instructions so that it now looks like this:

solid color (14)
solid circle (320, 240, 100)
solid color (9)
solid circle (290, 225, 20)
solid circle (350, 225, 20)
solid color (4)
solid oval (320, 285, 35, 10)

When you run this listing, you should see:

(As you can tell, we're not quite as good at drawing faces as you are. So feel free to modify the source listing to make a better image.)

This concludes the first part of our discussion.

Click here to read Part 2.

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