Default background colors

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sliptonic
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Default background colors

Postby sliptonic » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:53 pm

With work on 0.13 proceeding, I thought I'd float this out for discussion:

A lot of you know about (and many of you have helped with) the book Dan Falck and I are writing about FreeCAD for Packt publishing. It now looks like the publisher is going to actually print the book as well as distributing it as an e-book. That's the good news. The bad news is that they're having a difficult time reproducing the screenshots in b/w so that they're understandable. The dark blue gradient background is a problem, particularly with the red geometry and constraint lines in the sketcher. Now we can easily change the colors to produce new screen shots for the book but it means the images will no longer match what a new user sees in a default install. That's not really a big deal but it got me wondering about others CAD applications.

Just doing a google image search of some of the commercial cad packages, it seems they prefer a lighter background for sketching:
Pro Engineer
Solidworks
Sketchup

So I'm wondering:
1) Are there other ergonomic/usability reasons to have a lighter background for the default setting?
2) Is reproducing screen shots likely to be a recurring problem?
3) Do people have strong feeling for or against the current theme? I personally don't have strong feelings but find red on blue a bit hard to use and prefer a higher contrast setting.
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sliptonic
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Re: Default background colors

Postby sliptonic » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:28 pm

I'm not suggesting this color scheme (no one would ever mistake me for a usability expert) but this screen shot shows pretty well how the current color scheme makes constraint values illegible.

Image

IMHO, the similarity of colors between the vertical axis and the sketch geometry is also confusing.
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sliptonic
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Re: Default background colors

Postby sliptonic » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:43 am

This is kind of cool. I didn't know gimp (2.6) could do this:
Take a screen shot and open it in the gimp.

Click the menu View->Display Filters...

Image

Find the filter for 'Color Deficient Vision" and move it to the active list, then click on it.

Now you can change the Color Deficiency Type to see how the image will appear to a person with that particular type of color blindness.

For instance, here's a fully constrained sketch as viewed with Deuteranopia

Image
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yorik
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Re: Default background colors

Postby yorik » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:09 pm

My opinion is that it will be hard to find a color that behaves well in all situations, so why not keep this one (Besides, all the sketcher is "red", changing the constraints would mean change many other things)... It would probably be easier to change the default background color (why not, if someone comes with a good one?)
pperisin
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Re: Default background colors

Postby pperisin » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:23 pm

I would also consider changing default background color.

someone had a good one some time ago. i think norm is using it.

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Petar
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NormandC
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Re: Default background colors

Postby NormandC » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:00 pm

No, I use the default. Are you talking about this one?

https://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/ ... system.jpg
pperisin
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Re: Default background colors

Postby pperisin » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:33 pm

yes, that was it. Those colors look nice IMO and they do not look same as CATIA.
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sliptonic
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Re: Default background colors

Postby sliptonic » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:50 pm

I ran that screenshot through the color deficient vision filter in gimp and it looks very attractive with all three forms of color-blindness. I'd be very interested in playing with it more to see how it works with the sketcher. Does anyone have the color codes?
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NormandC
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Re: Default background colors

Postby NormandC » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:15 pm

If I recall correctly, the user who created this screenshot (which I added to the wiki) posted the color codes for his background. Now finding that post is another matter. Maybe do a search on the screenshot's filename?

Edit: nope, not finding anything. Maybe look at the date it was added to the wiki, and look for it in the "Show your FreeCAD project here" topic around that date. Sorry gotta go coffee break's over!
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sliptonic
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Re: Default background colors

Postby sliptonic » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:30 pm

I picked them out of the screenshot. Probably not perfect but pretty close.

The images also convert to grey scale well using all three default methods in gimp. It looks pretty good in the sketcher. The only thing I see is that the default geometry lines are white and get lost in the yellow band in the middle of the gradient.