The annotations feature of AutoGallery SQL allows you to display a text string or an image overlayed onto the preview thumbnail. So, for example, you could have
the word "Babes" written on all of the thumbnails in the Babes category that are picture galleries and a small movie icon displayed on thumbnails from galleries
that are movie galleries.
To add a new annotation, you will need to fill in the values in the Manage Annotations interface. Each of the available fields are described below.
Identifier - This is a short text string that you can use to identify each annotation
Location - This is the location on the thumbnail where the annotation should appear
You now have two choices on the type of annotation you want to use:
This will use a font file that you provide to render a text string on the thumbnail
String - The string that should be written on the thumbnail
Font File - The true type font file that should be used to render the string (must be uploaded to the data/annotations directory)
Font Size - The font size, in points, that should be used when rendering the string on the thumbnail
Text Color - The color of the text that is rendered on the thumbnail
Shadow Color - The color of the drop shadow that is rendered underneath the text on the thumbnail
This will take a small image and overlay it on the thumbnail
Image File - The filename of the image that you want to overlay (must be uploaded to the data/annotations directory)
Transparency - The color in the image that should be transparent when overlayed on the thumbnail (more info below)
Once you have all of the fields filled in how you want them, press the Add Annotation button. The software will check to make sure
that the font or image file exists and then save your settings for the new annotation. You will now be able to select this annotation
when you are editing categories and when you are using the thumbnail filters.
To update an annotation select it from the drop down list at the top of the page and press the load button. The page will reload and you
will be able to make changes to the settings. Once you have made the changes you want, press the Update Annotation button. This will
save the changes you have made and bring you back to the annotations interface.
To update an annotation select it from the drop down list at the top of the page and press the delete button. Note that this will not affect
thumbnails that have already been annotated, it will only affect newly created thumbnails after the annotation has been deleted.
When working with image overlays it may be necessary to have part of the overlayed image be transparent. For example, since all images are represented
by rectangles, if you wanted to display a circular icon on your thumbnails, part of the overlayed image would need to be transparent. This allows sections
of the underneath image to show through even if they are covered by pixels of the overlayed image. There are a couple of different ways you can do this:
- The image that you are overlaying can be created with transparency information built in. This requires that the image be saved in a format
that supports transparency, such as GIF. Most image creation programs allow you to specify transparent sections in the image, so if you are creating
your own images you will need to work with the product you are using to create a suitable image with built in transparency.
Important Note If your server does not have the ImageMagick Perl module installed and only provides access to the command
line tools, this is the only method you can use. You can determine this by the fact that the Transparency field will not show up in the Manage Annotations
- Create an image and use an unusual color to represent areas of the image that should be transparent. You will need to keep track of the color that
you use to represent transparent regions, as that is the color value you will need to enter in the Transparency field. One of the most commonly used colors
for this purpose is Fuchsia (a bright pink), which in RGB is 255,0,255 or in hex #FF00FF. You will need to know the hex value of the color you use, as that is what must
be entered in the Transparency field. So, for example, if you do use Fuchsia you would enter #FF00FF in the Transparency field.
Here is an example of a possible overlay image that you might use. It is saved in GIF format with no transparency information built into the image. In this
case the color Fuchsia has been used to represent transparent regions of the image, so the value #FF00FF was entered in the Transparency field:
It may help to take a look at a zoomed in version of this image:
Note that all of the pixels that are Fuchsia in color are the ones we want to be transparent. This will allow thumbnail area that is underneath the overlayed image
to show through. Here we can see what a thumbnail looks like that has had this movie icon overlayed on it:
Notice how the Fuchsia pixels are no longer visible and the thumbnail area underneath the overlayed image shows through. This is the type of effect you want when
overlaying non-rectangular images on your thumbnails. Just as an example, this is how the thumbnail would have looked with no transparency defined for the overlay image: