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AltGUI + AltSketch - new power for the new Unity UI & NGUI – Just Draw It!

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AltSoftLab


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Hi Unity Community!

AltSoftLab Team is pleased to present our AltGUI Framework based (and included in AltGUI SDK) on the AltSketch Vector Graphics Library with integrations into new Unity UI & NGUI as independent powerful controls. So now you can forget about font atlases, vertex and texture buffers and too much complicated mathematics! Just Draw your controls with pens & brushes! Make control updates (redrawing) only when it's realy needs (not every frame)! Use a wide variety of powerful libraries (HTML, SVG, Chart/Plot, advanced Text Editors, interactive GIS with trackings, Geometry Transformations, etc.) that already exists in AltGUI SDK & create/port the new ones. And the one of the main features of AltGUI is: you can create AltGUI Control once and use it without any modifications and adaptations in new Unity UI & NGUI! All AltGUI functionality can be used in new Unity UI & NGUI without any modifications. Also you can create and test AltGUI controls without Unity Editor as separate application (because AltGUI Core is not depends on any integration and backend UI) and then use it in Unity. And of course you can use AltNETType (our port to .NET of FreeType font engine - you can no more to care about native FreeType libraries on different platforms) dirrectly on the fly creating all characters of TrueType fonts of any language and any glyph variety; native formats image load/save and transform operations; ZIP-ed virtual file storage; and many more other features. Please look down into more details.

AltGUI Full SDK is already available on AltSoftLab. AltGUI Unity SDK will be available soon on Unity Asset Store. Unity SDK is a subset of Full SDK, but has the same pricing. AltGUI Full SDK is available on private GitHub and can be upgraded more often and quickly (not requires Unity Asset Review). If you prefer to have not only Unity Integration or you want to use AltGUI SDK directly (not as Unity application) on Silverlight, Mobile platforms, another graphics engines or just in target .NET 4.0, it’s recommended to buy AltGUI Full SDK. Please look more into differences of Unity and Full SDK on AltSoftLab. Developers who alredy have AltSketch SDK can upgrade licenses to AltGUI Full SDK on AltSoftLab.

AltGUI Demo contains hundreds of examples of AltGUI & AltSketch in different ways of uses. There are several Unity Web Demos on AltSoftLab representing AltGUI features:

• AltGUI Unity UI Integration Web Demo
• AltGUI NGUI Integration Web Demo
• AltGUI Native Web Demo

Some screenshots are represented below. Look more in AltSoftLab Screenshots Gallery


AltGUI & AltSketch DESCRIPTION:

AltGUI & AltSketch are pure C# CLS compliant 100% managed .NET 2.0 Subset (PCL .NET 4.0 version of assemblies are available only in AltGUI Full SDK), without unsafe blocks GUI Framework and Vector Graphics Library with Software and Hardware Render Backends for Games, Scientific Applications & other uses of Computer Graphics. All core functionality collected in two lightweight libraries AltSketch.dll and AltGUI.dll. It depends only on System assembly and has own Alt.Data & Alt.Xml multiplatform realizations.

AltSketch has System.Drawing (GDI+) like program interface and Software & Hardware Render Backends (solid and texure AA visual data triangulation), contains a subsystem AltNETType - port of wonderful font rendering library Freetype (not need any predefined font atlases with limited chars amount/size/style) and subsystem AltNETImage for Image manipulations (loading, saving, transformations). With AltSketch you can load any fonts or images in a popular graphic formats on the fly just from files, streams, buffers, etc. Using AltSketch you can draw Graphics with Brushes and Pens like you do it with any drawing library. As AltSketch has several integrations with most popular GUI systems and Mobile platforms, you can develop and test a drawing part of your 3D application/game as independent program, and then easy integrate it into your main solution. It is flexible and useful development method in case of main project bulking and test complexity, or useful for team development process.

AltGUI has a Virtual File System support with Zip containers for resources loading. All AltGUI functionality & extensions works via VirtualFS and all resources can be loaded as from real file system, so from Zip containers (from files or memory streams).

AltGUI – Unity UI & NGUI integrated Professional GUI Framework with Windows Forms like API and hundreds of controls. With AltGUI you can develop, use and distribute controls for Unity UI and NGUI (and native AltGUI and AltOS) applications without any differences per each GUI (yours receivers just must have AltGUI SDK). With AltGUI you no more need any specific not flexible and hard coded operations with vertex and texture buffers/objects – just draw your controls with pens, brushes, fonts, boolean geometries, etc. with the single API like it processed with System.Drawing (GDI+) in Windows Forms or draw funcs and shapes in WPF. AltGUI can be used directly without any other GUI (useful in developing process). AltGUI controls can be used in Unity UI or NGUI like Windows Forms controls can be used in WPF or WPF controls can be used in Windows Forms. Using AltGUI you can create professional applications with powerful UI.

Because AltGUI has Windows.Forms like API and functionality (in conjunction with AltSketch that is similar to System.Drawing GDI+) it's easy to understand it and port to AltGUI a wide variety of useful libraries and solutions.

AltGUI SDK includes wide variety of extensions: ported to AltGUI popular libraries (GUI, Plot, GIS, Computer Science, Physics, Graphics etc.):

• HTML Renderer
• ICSharpCode TextEditor
• SVG.NET
• GMap.NET
• NPlot
• OxyPlot
• PieChart
• ZedGraph
• PDFsharp
• Box2D
• Farseer Physics
• AForge.NET
• Gwen GUI
• etc.


HOW TO:

Okay, do you want to know how it's possible to create AltGUI controls usable for Unity UI and NGUI and so on? Let's go.

Unity UI & NGUI have 2 major UI elements:

• AltSketch Paint
• AltGUI Control Host

AltSketch Paint is the base drawing visual control. It makes all for the drawing process and can be used dirrectly as separated UI Element. There are 2 major parameters for it:

• Max FPS - defines maximum refresh calls per second. For invalidating AltSketch Paint you must to call its function Invalidate(). Without this call AltSketch Paint will redraw only on start or when it resized. But if you call Invalidate() on every Update, it will redraw self no more then MaxFPS times per second. So you can call Invalidate so often, as you want - it invalidates not often than MaxFPS times per second. It's useful for the most UI controls, because it's state changes not so often, but can contain many drawing operations. By default we set this parapeter to 60 fps (just the middle of 30 and 120). You can change it to any other value per control.



• Render Type - Software or Hardware. As you could understand we use buffered graphics for controls. You can draw any compound graphics with just 1 draw call per frame. All control render makes to a Texture. In Unity AltSketch can render in 2 ways: Software rendering to Texture2D using AltSketch powerful and fast internal Software render, or Hardware rendering to RenderTexture. Software Render in many cases faster than HW (because it’s no reason of triangulation and other addition procedures). Also no HW Draw Calls used. So SW render used by default for controls. You can change it in the Object Inspector per control. Also you can change it on the fly.

You can attach script to AltSketch Paint control and connect to onPaint event to process painting process. In Update func of script you can call Invalidate() func of AltPaint when you need to redraw your AltSketch Paint element. In the AltGUI SDK look at AltSketch Paint example - it's very simple.

The second major element is AltGUI Control Host. It uses AltSketch Paint for render itself and can process the most variety of UI events (keyboard, pointer, etc.). And it serves as host for AltGUI controls. The main property of this control is 'Child'. You can put AltGUI Control Host control to the scene, attach script that creates AltGUI control and set its instance to AltGUI Control Host 'Child' property. AltGUI control don't know anything about AltGUI Control Host, but can live in it usefully receiving all events.

Code:
public class MyScript : MonoBehaviour
{
    void Start ()
    {
        gameObject.GetComponent<AltGUIControlHost>().Child = new MyAltGUIControl();
    }
}

Another way is to create Unity UI or NGUI control is to derive it from AltGUI Control Host and initialize 'Child' property in Start() function of it. Also you can add some cross-calls and Unity Editor properties to it to make this UI control more professional and useful. AltGUI SDK contains several such controls ready to use dirrectly in Unity UI & NGUI (menu structure equals for the Unity UI & NGUI):



So we already know all about host controls for the both UI systems. The last thing we must to do is just to create a new AltGUI control. It's very easy:

Code:
    public class MyAltGUIControl : Alt.GUI.UserControl // or can be derived from Alt.GUI.Control
    {
        public MyControl()
        {
            //  your code
        }

        protected override void OnPaint(Alt.GUI.PaintEventArgs e)
        {
            base.OnPaint(e);

            //  your code
        }

        protected override void OnPaintBackground(Alt.GUI.PaintEventArgs pevent)
        ...
        protected override void OnResize(Alt.GUI.ResizeEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnKeyDown(Alt.GUI.KeyEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnKeyUp(Alt.GUI.KeyEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnKeyPress(Alt.GUI.KeyPressEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseDown(Alt.GUI.MouseEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseUp(Alt.GUI.MouseEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseMove(Alt.GUI.MouseEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseWheel(Alt.GUI.MouseEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseClick(Alt.GUI.MouseEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseDoubleClick(Alt.GUI.MouseEventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseEnter(System.EventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseLeave(System.EventArgs e)
        ...
        protected override void OnMouseHover(System.EventArgs e)
        ...

        //  And hundreds additional event overrides...
    }

In addition to overrides of event hadlers AltGUI cotrols contain events in the same notation:

Code:

        Alt.GUI.PaintEventHandler Paint;
        ...
        Alt.GUI.KeyEventHandler KeyDown;
        ...
        Alt.GUI.MouseEventHandler MouseDown;
        ...

Almost all properties/events/functions of each AltGUI control is <summary> documented and can be viewed by intellisense or Assembly View. All functionality and API is like Windows.Forms controls, so it's easy to understand it's work.

Let's try AltGUI and enjoy it! Wink


ANNOUNCE:

AltGUI has a wide variety native controls (Docking Windows, Menus, Advanced Editors, Lists, Trees, Data & Property Grids, Buttons, Tabs, File/Font/Color/Other Dialogs, etc.), Data bindings, hundreds of properties, events and funcs. All AltGUI controls can have HTML4/CSS2 backround. XAML, Animations, View Models, and pther functionality is under develop. Any AltGUI control can be used in Unity UI & NGUI.

All that will be demonstrated soon in new demo with new AltGUI tool AltOS. AltOS is an like Virtual Environment for AltGUI native applications like SilverOS but more functional and flexible. All AltGUI applications working in AltOS in cooperative multitasking - all AltGUI applications working in one thread. Preemptive multitasking (each app working in its own thread) is in the roadmap.

Also the most amazing AltGUI tool is AltStudio! It's the first developing tool based on absolutely Virtual GUI. AltStudio will be integrated into Unity Editor and will have a powerful Designer Tools for AltGUI and source code editor. And it's coming soon too with new AltGUI examples and applications!

And of course AltOS and AltStudio tools will be the part of AltGUI SDK.

So let’s make the Unity World better! Wink

AltSketch demonstration video (all features are available in AltGUI Controls and represented in Demo):




Some screenshots are represented below. Look more in AltSoftLab Screenshots Gallery

AltGUI Unity NGUI Integration - Vector Text Double Path Transform


AltGUI Unity UI Integration - HTML Panel


AltGUI Unity NGUI Integration - GMap


AltGUI Unity UI Integration - ICSharpCode TextEditor


AltGUI Unity NGUI Integration - NPlot


AltGUI Unity UI Integration - OxyPlot


AltGUI Unity NGUI Integration - 3D Pie Chart


AltGUI Unity UI Integration - SVG


AltGUI Unity NGUI Integration - QuickFont


AltGUI Unity UI Integration - Geometry Sin Transform


AltGUI Unity NGUI Integration - Farseer Physics


AltGUI Unity UI Integration - Geometry Boolean Operations

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