randomfixation


screen scroller

Posted in on January 16, 2007 @ 8:53am

I am developing a Flash application used to scroll words across a screen. We use the Screen Scroller to scroll words slowly on the back wall of the stage at my church during a church service. I don’t have any photos of it in action (yet) but, with the wonders of modern technology, you can view it in action in the comfort of your own web browser!

Click here to open a new window with the Flash (~207KB). Hit this if you want to see the config.txt file. This version uses words from our current series, “Life’s BIG Questions”.

Haven’t yet made a Configurator for it (in the works), but if you can figure out the config.txt you’re on your way to making use of it yourself. Basically, every non-blank line must start and end with an ampersand (&). If there are many values for a variable on one line (separated by ampersands), the ones following the first & symbol after the = symbol are just there for storage, to show you what values are permissible.

If you want help with it, leave a comment below. It’d be nice to know where and how the software’s getting used anyway…

Download a Windows Flash Projector of the current version:

ScreenScroller117.zip (~1MB)

Screen Scroller – Version History and Feature List

v1.17 (20070116)

Proper Item Spacing!
Now the bottom-most Scroller will never be cut off by the bottom of the screen. Man, that was irking me no end.

v1.16 (20070116)

Not released (scrolling bug).

v1.15 (20070116)

No More Collisions!
Scrollers will (almost) never overlap (depending on your configuration), and if they do, they’ll probably do so more tastefully.

Main Title!
By pressing the “T” key, a configurable title will be faded in at the centre of the screen. This would be nice, say, during a sermon or presentation, where you want just the main subject on the screen. Now, if only we could fade out those scrollers at the same time…

Fade Out Those Scrollers At The Same Time!
That’s right, if you press the “F” key, the Scrollers will fade out and disappear! In fact, I have configured three keys for this one. Along with the “F” key functioning as a toggle, the “O” key will perform a fade Out and the “I” key will perform a fade In.

Speed Up And Slow Down!
The up arrow will increase the speed marginally, and the down arrow will decrease it. If you go far enough, the Scrollers will change direction. Use either the left or right arrow keys to reset the speed to the original value.

Pause and Play!
By pressing the space bar or the “P” key, you can pause/play the animation. Don’t really know why you’d want to pause – perhaps just in case you like the look of all the Scrollers where they are, and want to admire them longer? While it’s such a fun feature on its own, the kicker is that it also works in conjunction with the Fade Out feature, to create a perfectly seamless presentation.

More Word Flexibility!
The number of words on the screen is now separate from the number of different words in the list. That is, you can have 10 words in the word list and only scroll 3 on the screen at one time. Or 3 words in the list and 30 Scrollers. Or whatever you like.

Extra Good Smarts!
The next word to appear on the screen is selected randomly from the available words, and all available words are put on the screen before the random list restarts.

Black Is The New Black!
Speed optimisation on black screen – smoother scrolling.

v1.0 (20061230)

Don’t hate me – it was version 1.0 after all.

A great abundance of configurable options made it almost bearable, but the poor thing was still finding its feet. Words would overlap all the time (yucky first generation code: my bad), and the scrolling was slow and sometimes jerky.

Happily, the new version is better.

6 Responses to 'screen scroller'

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  1. on January 16th, 2007 at 9:10am

    […] screen scroller […]

  2. Nathan Vawser said,

    on February 1st, 2007 at 2:09pm

    Hi Matt,

    Josh Curtis put me onto this – it is awesome, and I’ve downloaded it for future use for us.

    Hope you are well – love to hear how things are going some time.

    Nath

  3. Stephen Riddell said,

    on February 8th, 2007 at 9:27am

    Matt, can you release the flash file for me to gaze at and admire please?

  4. Matt Hawke said,

    on February 8th, 2007 at 9:37am

    Hmmm. Not sure that I’m ready to open the source up for this one. I’ve got some changes I’d like to make and the code isn’t very tidy or friendly so far.

    I’m going to try to do some more work on this in the next couple of weeks, so maybe then I’ll release The Configurator and the .fla at the same time.

  5. Stephen Riddell said,

    on February 8th, 2007 at 2:40pm

    Suh-weet. Thanks.

  6. John Barron said,

    on April 21st, 2009 at 6:00am

    Brilliant – I was looking for a way of display all the books of the Bible, randomly, before we start a session on books of the Bible. This is just what we need, I configured it with no problems and I’ll use the .swf file to run it from my mac.
    Thank you very much – I’ll suggest other people use this too.

    j