Contents of the PVDOC.TXT file
An alternative picture Viewer
Copyright 1989 by Greg Thomas & Brad Mettee
What is PicView?
PicView is an alternative picture viewer that offers features
not found in any other Picture viewer elsewhere. This is not the end
all program (yet). Other viewers do offers some features that PicView
does not, such as graphic conversion. Some of the 'deficiencies' of
PicView will be added to later releases.
Currently PicView will read and display 2 graphic formats.
These are GIF and MAC formats. We are currently working on
implementing more formats, notably RIX SC? files, PCX and Deluxe Paint
LBM files. Other formats are being looked into, and will be
implemented as we accrue information on them. (As well as a
proprietary format that contains information for PicView.
What makes PicView different than these other viewers?
Ahh glad you asked that question (you did ask that, didn't
you?) Well, for starters, our biggest pride with this product is the
superb ADJUSTABLE palette animation. A picture can be animated
through the entire palette, a portion of the palette, and through a
range of colors in the palette. The effects of the animation must be
seen to be truly appreciated.
It also sports a very easy to use window interface that if not
for the complex animation abilities, would preclude the need for docs
at all. It uses very easy pop-down windows for all parameter setting
and selection very similar to the environments used in Borland's
Language's (Guess will have to look out for the look and feel police.)
Currently, it supports the SVGA (or EVGA if you prefer) modes of
the ATI VGA wonder and small wonder. It will auto detect if these
adapters are installed, and adjust the mode selections (screen size)
accordingly. Other chip sets such as Vega, Tseng, Paradise, etc. are
on the way, and should be ready shortly. Also, for you True Blue
users, a special 360x480x256 mode is in the works for you to get
almost SVGA performance out of your motherboard VGA (expect this to be
in release 1.0 shortly). PicView currently (and most likely won't
ever) does NOT support standards less then VGA. There are several
viewers on the market that support EGA and below, so it seemed rather
pointless since PicView's animation abilities are best done on VGA.
Files contained in PicView.zip
PV.EXE PicView executable file
PVDOC.TXT PicView documentation
REGISTER.TXT PicView registration form
PICVIEW.GIF PicView.gif is a gif file which
demonstrates the viability of partial
palette animation. Using the random
palette (any palette will do, but works
best with random or plasma) set starting
register to 92, and end register to 112.
WAVE.GIF Wave.gif and boxes.gif both have
BOXES.GIF continous smooth palettes making
experimentation of the default palette's
In the Works
Some of the features that PicView will be incorporating in
future releases are:
360x480x256 for IBM and all register compatible VGA cards.
A script language for slideshow presentations.
Support for other SVGA cards.
Support for more file formats i.e. PCX, LBM, etc.
Hot key access to menu choices.
Getting Started with PicView
To start PicView, simply type pv at the dos prompt. A credit
screen will pop up, and after a short pause, will take you to the main
menu. From the main menu, you have 5 choices, detailed here.
Pops up the opening credit screen. (In case you get bored, or
want to know who wrote this contraption.)
Pops up a sub menu used for file selection.
Pops up submenu for options pertaining to environment.
Brings up a submenu to select PicView's options.
Exits the program. (That's a hard one to figure out, eh?)
Submenus have a varying number of selections that either pop up an
additional submenu, prompt you for data, or display a selected file.
Submenu options will be detailed here.
This selection pops up a file selection window which allows
you to select the file to be viewed. The window sports a scroll
bar to give you an indication of how far along you are in the
list of files. There is a real file limit of 16,000 files that
can be read into the directory (assuming you have a 640k
machine). You can use first character selection to speed you
through your files. Hitting 'T' once will take you to the first
file beginning with T. Hitting it again will take you to the
next and so on. The list can be scrolled beyond the end or
beginning if scrolling in reverse. When you find the file you
want to display, Hit the 'ENTER' key and it will be displayed.
After the file has been displayed, strike any key to return to
the file selection window. When you return, you will have the
last file displayed still highlighted.
This selection will pop up a little window that allows you
to select which type of file you wish to have in the selection
window above. Currently you have two choices, GIF and MAC.
This will be expanding in the near future.
This will pop up a submenu allowing you to select which
screen mode you want the picture displayed in. Depending on
your video adapter, you may not be able to select all of the
choices. If you have an ATI VGA Wonder with 512k, you can
select from any mode, including the Auto select option which
will let the program select the best video mode for the picture
to fit in.
This will pop up a window prompting you for data to control
the animation facilities of PicView. The first data item you
are prompted for is whether or not you want animation on. If
you select 'N', the window is dropped, and you are returned to
the next level up menu. If you select 'Y', you are then
prompted for the direction, palette, starting and ending
registers, and depending on the palette selected, starting and
ending color data. More detail will be covered on this topic
This selection returns you to DOS. Optionally, you can hit the
escape key at any top level menu to return to dos as well.
OK, Let me go into some details on the animation options, as
some of it can be a bit confusing.
After selecting 'Y' to the animate prompt, your next prompt will
be for the direction to animate. View both, as the different
directions can have an entirely different effect. The direction is
relative, and can/will be different from file to file (dependent on
how the palette registers were laid out at the time the file was
The next prompt after selecting the direction, will be for you
to select the palette. You have 3 choices here, a random palette, the
default palette, and a plasma palette (based loosely on the demo
plasma). Use experimentation here, as different images work better
with different palette selections. The random palette will look
pretty good for just about any image (note: images with smooth
palette ranges animate the best). If the default palette is laid out
well without many 'holes', this one works well too. Although, I have
viewed some images that DO have 'holes' which enhanced the animation
effect. The plasma palette is based on a smooth transition of red,
green and blue and restricts the animation to the first 180 or so
registers (again, based loosely on the images created by the demo
If you select the Default palette, a window will pop up
prompting your for starting and ending color. This will be discussed
in the next section as it is related to registers, but only applies to
the default palette.
OK, I trust you've kept up with me so far. Here's where it can
get confusing. Your next prompt is for the starting and ending
color. If you've selected either the Random or Plasma palette, this
will tell the program which color register to start the animation at,
and which to stop it at. This gives you the ability to animate a
portion of the image, instead of the entire image. This works VERY
well for images that use a smooth palette range in a portion of the
Now, if you've selected the Default palette, your start and end
colors take on additional meaning in conjunction with the start and
end color window that popped up after you selected DEFAULT. To give
you a better understanding, picture your image like this. Every pixel
gets its color from one of 256 palette registers. The start and end
registers are exactly that, PHYSICAL registers in the machine. The
start and end colors are the color data contained in those registers.
When you select your start and end register, you are selecting the
physical registers that are scrolled. When you select the start and
end color, you are selecting the range of color data that you want
scrolled through those registers. If you select a color range smaller
than the palette range, the number of colors you selected will
determine the number of registers scrolled. However, if you select a
smaller range of registers than colors, then the registers will scroll
through the entire range of colors you selected
OK, are you thoroughly confused? I thought so, but experiment a
little after reading the docs (preferably with the images that came
with the PicView file since they have smooth palette ranges, it makes
it clear sooner what exactly is going on).
PicView is a shareware product. You are granted a limited 15 day
non-comercial use of this product. At the end of this period, if you
are still using PicView, you may license PicView for non-commercial
use on one machine by sending $15.00 to:
Greg Thomas & Brad Mettee
c/o Greg Thomas
344 S. Oldham St.
Balto., Md. 21224
PicView may be licensed for commercial use on up to 5 computers for
$50.00. A commercial site is defined as a business or individual
seeking to make a profit by selling PicView as part of a package,
either hardware or software, use of PicView as demo to sell hardware
Commercial site's requireing more copies, may contact the authors for
special pricing arrangements.
All rights are reserved.
PicView may not be changed, modified or reverse engineered in any way
except by the authors. PicView may be freely distributed as long as
it remains in its complete form. Regardless of how the copy is
obtained, all users are required to comply with the licensing
All warranties are disclaimed, including damage to hardware and/or
software from use of this product. In no event will the authors be
liable for any damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other
incidental or consequential damages due to your use or inability to
use the program, or any other claim by any other party.
Any suggestions or comments can be mailed directly to me, emailed to
me on CIS (user 73047,57) or left on my bbs:
GIF and Graphics Interchange Format are trademarks of Compuserve, an
H+R Block Co.
IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Inc.