Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today, the ability to load an animation file into a selection is being finished up.  It may also be possible to use an AVI file in the next few days.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We have a big animation related announcement today.

Version 9 will support trimming of AVI files so you can load in just the frames you want, using a convenient editor, screenshot below.  We are now just a little over a month from our planned release.  Be sure to check our latest offers, because we tend to cut the price pretty deep before a big release like this.

There's just 1 full day left on this offer
and more can be found at and

Friday, July 26, 2013

It looks like the version 5 features -- the Starry Night filter, and the Animated Glows and Flares filter -- will be be combined into a single filter, along with speed improvements and new animated real-time preview.  Here's a shot of what that will look like.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Finishing off the new particle gravity tool, aka "Neutrons" tool today.  Also added copy/paste for rotoscoping, so yeah, we do actually listen to our users if something is do-able.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Howler and Linux

Support for Linux with Wine is greatly improved as of our latest alpha release.  The program in general now seems very stable with main components operating as expected.  The only hold-out is the plugin interface.   There's only a small handful of plugins that are currently stable.  The main problem seems to be in how windows are attached to the main program.  Also, there seems to be some differences in how the COM interface handles specific types of data.  These may be patchable, but for now, our priority is to continue to internalize plugins.  That route is compatible with our goals overall.  We have been systematically internalizing plugins for the last several releases, starting in the version 7 lifecycle.  This effort has been to standardize the interaction of various parts of the program, the functioning of windows within the program, etc.  In rare cases, plugin windows could become disassociated from the main window.  There was also a small marshaling penalty when using the COM interface.  Basically, plugins were external ".exe" programs that executed along-side the main program and interfaced with it through a COM interface.  There were many advantages to this powerful plugin interface.  It made it possible to release new features without releasing full updates to the main program.  However, we found, that after that initial release, the benefits were outweighed by the extra effort that was required to maintain those programs separate from the main program.
Internalizing plugins lets us improve stability because plugins required a complex locking mechanize when the plugin and main program needed to run synchronously.  It also helps us to maintain a standard look and feel as the internalized plugins can use the built in preference system more easily, as well as taking advantage of the latest performance enhancements that might not have been available through the plugin interface.  Avoiding marshaling also gives us a small speed improvement.  Other improvments come just because we are going over the code again with a fine-tooth-comb.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today we are working out internationalization issues.  Input boxes should now support the "," decimal separator in addition to the "."

This caused problems in several places where fractional numbers needed to be entered, such as the particles panel and the new Puppyray raytracer.

It looks like only minor cosmetic changes will be going into the first release of version 9, although we are still considering some color changes.  We are concentrating more on making functional changes, such as various animated filters having a realtime preview that did not have them before.

Instead of a new screenshot today, here's a snapshot of my new ride, since my 30 year old, vintage Raleigh road bike snapped in half a few weeks ago.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A screenshot of an Acer c60 based netbook with Howler 9 loading an image sequence under linux.

Latest screenshot featuring a new gravity simulation filter.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013