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how to assemble a number of gifs to one graphic?

Posted on 1998-07-27
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I want to make a gif, with ready to use pieces. The problem is similar to the graphic used in this url:
http://www.intellicast.com/weather/ams/content.shtml
The weatherforecast in this page is made up with ready to use graphics, that are combined into one single gif-file.
How did they do that?
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Question by:bdeleeuw
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15 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:joakimf
ID: 1112928
How about Copy and Paste, it can´t be any harder than that......
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Author Comment

by:bdeleeuw
ID: 1112929
Intellicast has to do over a hundred of these forecasts, just as I have to do more then hundred of these graphics om a dayly basis. So there must be a more efficiënt way of doing so, maybe through a program written in VisualBasic.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:MorFF
ID: 1112930
I've used a product called DICER to split a larger image down into smaller ones.  This sounds like it is the other way around from what you want tho'.

Can you not use tables on your webpage to make them appear as if they are a single image, to save the gluing together?

Cheers - MorFF
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:MasseyM
ID: 1112931
I took a look at the page you mentioned.  the graphic doesn't seem to be "packed".  To me, it looks as though it is generated via a script or program on the server which "splices" multiple graphics together.  

- Matt
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Author Comment

by:bdeleeuw
ID: 1112932
Yes, there must some sort of a program that does these things. What I want to know is either what program or where can I find the specifications needed to write such a program myself.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:MasseyM
ID: 1112933
What are you trying to set these up for?  Maybe this would help to answer the question..

0
 

Author Comment

by:bdeleeuw
ID: 1112934
What I want to make is a graphic, that automatically is produced by a program, three times a day. The graphic is a bar-diagram, assembled from (stock)data somewhere on the net. Because the graphic will be incorporated in a page, made for students, I want it to be a rather fancy one, with some sort of drawings incorporated in them. Those drawings should differ according to the state of the data.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Jacco
ID: 1112935
It is quit easy make a program that does what you say. For example in Delphi it would be very easy to make. What you need is define a scripting language which does the following:

*** start of script ***
output c:\main.gif
c:\pic1.gif 0,0
c:\pic2.gif 100,0
c:\pic3.gif 0,100
c:\pic4.gif 100,100
*** end of script ***

The program you'd have top make should accept 1 parameter, the script file name.

merger script1.txt

I could make the program for you. It really would be something quit easy. The only thing is that I have to write the SaveToGif part... That is the hard part. (I already wrote the LoadFromGif once.

Regards Jacco
0
 

Expert Comment

by:AfroNinja
ID: 1112936
I would venture to say that how to do this depends on how the page will be updated.  If you intend to update the page yourself on a regular basis, then you can simply create a series of "gif bars" that can then be assembled together in a series when you need them.

It is also possible to create a series of gif images that have the appearance of being a single picture, but are several portions of images.  Through creative use of tables and / or frames, you can then arrange these images in such a way as to allow them to appear as a unified whole.

If you're looking for something to create a unique gif image on a day-to-day basis, you'll have to get inside the structure of the actual gif specification and write code that then creates what you need based on that.  It actually wouldn't be too hard (he says laughingly) to do, once you got the basic structure worked out.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:dooly
ID: 1112937
I'd use the table or frames route myself, unless the cells will have GIFs of varying sizes inserted.
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Author Comment

by:bdeleeuw
ID: 1112938
I have solved the problem by using multiple gifs in a table. I don't know if this works for netscape or for early versions of the explorer, but in MSIE4 it looks good enough.
Still I think that creating a single gif from all the different items is the best solution.
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:MorFF
ID: 1112939
Does that mean I came up with the solution you used then?

MorFF
0
 

Author Comment

by:bdeleeuw
ID: 1112940
Sorry MorFF,
I still think my question is not answered. I want to glue the different gifs together into one. That's what the question is all about.
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:ckayter
ID: 1112941
First, it is apparent from looking at the weather site (their USA map is an even better example) that the GIF is generated by a graphics application being fed information from a database where IF Condition=Cloudy THEN cloudy.gif X=10, Y=20, etc. is used to indicate which element should be used and where the element should be positioned in the image.

For your application, I might suggest you check the Microsoft SiteBuilders Workshop for DHTML. DHTML will allow you to position images at exact X,Y coordinates, overlay them with other images, and even assign background colors to specific areas in your chart.

Alternatively, you may find that OLE compliant applets such as MS Datamap (for a weather site) or MS Graph or Chart, used in conjunction with data downloaded to a database application such as Access, will do the trick. I might have to do a little "what iffing" on your application... If I find an easy answer, I'll post it here.

0
 
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
MasseyM earned 400 total points
ID: 1112942
Here you go,  a tutorial on how to use Excel and Active Server Pages to create graphs and things:

http://www.avatarmag.com/columns/serverside/default.htm

This is perfect for what you ar ewanting to do (I think)..
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