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Cannot see intermediate steps in animation

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-23
I am having trouble showing a simple animation in a Java application. I paint several circles separated by repaint and sleep requests but I only see the last one, not the intermediate ones. The attached code displays a single "circle" at (100,500). When the user clicks on the "Move" button I want it to show circles at (200,500), (300,500), and (400,500), separated by short delays. However I only see the last one. Probably a simple misconception on my part... Thanks.
import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;

public class SlowExample{

    private Mypanel mypanel;
    private JButton button;

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        javax.swing.SwingUtilities.invokeLater(
          new Runnable() {
            public void run() {
                JFrame frame = new JFrame();
                frame.setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
                SlowExample eg = new SlowExample();
                frame.setContentPane(eg.createContentPane());
                frame.setSize(800, 800);
                frame.setVisible(true);
            }
          }
        );
    }

    public JPanel createContentPane(){
        JPanel contentPane = new JPanel(new BorderLayout()); 
                
        mypanel = new Mypanel();         
        contentPane.add(mypanel, "Center");

        button = new JButton("Move");
        button.addActionListener(new ButtonHandler(mypanel));
        contentPane.add(button, "South");
        
        return contentPane;
    }
} // end of class SlowExample

class ButtonHandler implements ActionListener {
    private Mypanel mypanel;
    public ButtonHandler(Mypanel mypanel) {
        this.mypanel = mypanel;
    }

    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {    
    	AbstractButton b = (AbstractButton) e.getSource();
        if (b.getText().equals("Move") ) {
            mypanel.move();
        } else 
        	System.err.println("Unknown source "+b.getText());
    }
} // end of ButtonHandler

class Mypanel extends JPanel{
    private Point p = new Point(100,500);

    public void paintComponent(Graphics g) { 
        super.paintComponent(g);
        int height = getSize().height;
        g.setColor(Color.red);
        g.fillOval(p.x-2, (height - p.y)-2, 8, 8);
    }

    public void move() {
    	p = new Point(200,500);
        repaint();
        try{Thread.sleep(500);} catch (InterruptedException e){};
    	p = new Point(300,500);
        repaint();
        try{Thread.sleep(500);} catch (InterruptedException e){};
        p = new Point(400,500);
        repaint();
    }     
} // end of Mypanel

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Question by:reallygorgo
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7 Comments
 
LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
objects earned 500 total points
ID: 35003159
Swing is single threaded so you need to control your animation in a separate thread
http://helpdesk.objects.com.au/java/how-do-i-update-my-gui-from-any-thread
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Author Comment

by:reallygorgo
ID: 35003375
I was afraid it was something like that. So does it make sense to think about spinning off a thread in my move method? I replaced my move method with the following, which seemed to work as I had hoped. Is there a better way? Can you explain what was going wrong  before? I guess I was sleeping the Event Dispatching thread?
public void move() {
    	Thread t = new Thread(new Runnable() {public void run() {    	
    		p = new Point(200,500);
    		repaint();
    		try{Thread.sleep(500);} catch (InterruptedException e){};
    		p = new Point(300,500);
    		repaint();
    		try{Thread.sleep(500);} catch (InterruptedException e){};
    		p = new Point(400,500);
    		repaint();}});
    	t.start();
    }

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Expert Comment

by:objects
ID: 35003424
that looks better

> Can you explain what was going wrong  before? I guess I was sleeping the Event Dispatching thread?

correct. one thread handles updating the gui. so when you sleep no updates would occur.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:objects
ID: 35003431
whether thats the best way or not depends on what you are ultimately trying to achieve.
How you have it currently it will spawn a new thread each time the button is pressed.
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Author Comment

by:reallygorgo
ID: 35003465
wrong comment accepted
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Author Closing Comment

by:reallygorgo
ID: 35003467
Thanks for your help.
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Author Comment

by:reallygorgo
ID: 35003489
> How you have it currently it will spawn a new thread each time the button is pressed

I guess that a more conventional approach would be to organise things up front.. eg. along the lines of the Model-View-Controller pattern.
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