Annotations

Introduction

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.

Adding

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. 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.

Updating

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.

Deleting

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.

Transparency

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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: