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Ignored advice, am now in serious poo on graphics

P: n/a
When I started my current extremely graphics intensive project, I ignored
advice in this ng to use the Paint method, and used the alternate
CreateGraphics approach. I thought there were some good reasons for that,
which I won't go into.

Anyway, there has always been one tiny bug that has annoyed me - the code
that draws the initial graphic image into PictureBox1 will only work if wire
it up to a button, it doesn't actually do anything if I put into Form1 load.
I only see the black background. On a button, it works fine, but I don't
want the user to have to press a "go" button.

Through the debugger, I noticed that all the graphics commands executed
before the Form actually fully loaded. So I moved the routine to draw the
initial graphic into pictureBox1_Paint method. I cheated and put a condition
around it so it only fired off once at the start. No difference. Then I put
in a thread.sleep(1000), after the draw in the Paint method, and noticed a
strange thing - the image was shown for 1000 milliseconds, then disappears.
If I do the same thing explicitly on a button click, it doesn't disappear.

I am now in a bit of a mess. My only real problem was that the initial
graphic in the pictureBox would display on a button click, but not on simply
loading Form1. It looked like a timing problem, but neither DoEvents or
Thread.Sleep solves it. Is there some simple way of solving my original
problem? Can anybody tell me what is going on?
Nov 28 '07 #1
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3 Replies


P: n/a
Peter,

There might be a ^simple^ way, but it would more than likely be the
^wrong^ way.

What you want to do here is derive a control from PictureBox (or
whatever control you want to perform the painting on) and then override the
OnPaint method, calling the base implementation first, and then performing
your custom painting.

Of course, you would expose methods and properties on your derived class
which would provide your overridden OnPaint method the information it needs
to render itself.

Once you have that, just replace the PictureBox with your control.
--
- Nicholas Paldino [.NET/C# MVP]
- mv*@spam.guard.caspershouse.com

"Peter Webb" <we********@DIESPAMDIEoptusnet.com.auwrote in message
news:47**********************@news.optusnet.com.au ...
When I started my current extremely graphics intensive project, I ignored
advice in this ng to use the Paint method, and used the alternate
CreateGraphics approach. I thought there were some good reasons for that,
which I won't go into.

Anyway, there has always been one tiny bug that has annoyed me - the code
that draws the initial graphic image into PictureBox1 will only work if
wire it up to a button, it doesn't actually do anything if I put into
Form1 load. I only see the black background. On a button, it works fine,
but I don't want the user to have to press a "go" button.

Through the debugger, I noticed that all the graphics commands executed
before the Form actually fully loaded. So I moved the routine to draw the
initial graphic into pictureBox1_Paint method. I cheated and put a
condition around it so it only fired off once at the start. No difference.
Then I put in a thread.sleep(1000), after the draw in the Paint method,
and noticed a strange thing - the image was shown for 1000 milliseconds,
then disappears. If I do the same thing explicitly on a button click, it
doesn't disappear.

I am now in a bit of a mess. My only real problem was that the initial
graphic in the pictureBox would display on a button click, but not on
simply loading Form1. It looked like a timing problem, but neither
DoEvents or Thread.Sleep solves it. Is there some simple way of solving my
original problem? Can anybody tell me what is going on?


Nov 28 '07 #2

P: n/a

"Peter Webb" <we********@DIESPAMDIEoptusnet.com.auwrote in message
news:47**********************@news.optusnet.com.au ...
When I started my current extremely graphics intensive project, I ignored
advice in this ng to use the Paint method, and used the alternate
CreateGraphics approach. I thought there were some good reasons for that,
which I won't go into.

Anyway, there has always been one tiny bug that has annoyed me - the code
that draws the initial graphic image into PictureBox1 will only work if
wire it up to a button, it doesn't actually do anything if I put into
Form1 load. I only see the black background. On a button, it works fine,
but I don't want the user to have to press a "go" button.

Through the debugger, I noticed that all the graphics commands executed
before the Form actually fully loaded. So I moved the routine to draw the
initial graphic into pictureBox1_Paint method. I cheated and put a
condition around it so it only fired off once at the start. No difference.
Then I put in a thread.sleep(1000), after the draw in the Paint method,
and noticed a strange thing - the image was shown for 1000 milliseconds,
then disappears. If I do the same thing explicitly on a button click, it
doesn't disappear.

I am now in a bit of a mess. My only real problem was that the initial
graphic in the pictureBox would display on a button click, but not on
simply loading Form1. It looked like a timing problem, but neither
DoEvents or Thread.Sleep solves it. Is there some simple way of solving my
original problem? Can anybody tell me what is going on?
Thread.Sleep would only help if another thread was making progress, but
you're blocking the GUI thread so no help.

Try using the HandleCreated event instead of Load, then all the right native
Windows infrastructure should be set up and your drawing code should work.
(Of course if you are in a derived class, override the virtual
OnHandleCreated instead of subscribing an event handler...)
Nov 28 '07 #3

P: n/a
On 2007-11-28 04:47:26 -0800, "Peter Webb"
<we********@DIESPAMDIEoptusnet.com.ausaid:
[...]
Through the debugger, I noticed that all the graphics commands executed
before the Form actually fully loaded. So I moved the routine to draw
the initial graphic into pictureBox1_Paint method. I cheated and put a
condition around it so it only fired off once at the start. No
difference. Then I put in a thread.sleep(1000), after the draw in the
Paint method, and noticed a strange thing - the image was shown for
1000 milliseconds, then disappears. If I do the same thing explicitly
on a button click, it doesn't disappear.

I am now in a bit of a mess. My only real problem was that the initial
graphic in the pictureBox would display on a button click, but not on
simply loading Form1. It looked like a timing problem, but neither
DoEvents or Thread.Sleep solves it. Is there some simple way of solving
my original problem? Can anybody tell me what is going on?
It's hard to say without seeing the code. From your description, you
seem to be now actually handling the Paint event. But you also write
that you only execute your code once. You need to always be prepared
to handle the Paint event, and always draw everything when it's raised.

But without knowing what your code looks like, it's difficult to say
for sure what you've done wrong.

For what it's worth, I don't really think a PictureBox is an
appropriate control here. If you're doing your own drawing, there's
nothing in a PictureBox control that is useful to you. Alternatively,
if you want to use a PictureBox then you don't want to handle that
PictureBox's Paint event. Instead you want to generate a Bitmap
instance that you can assign to the PictureBox as its Image, and let
the PictureBox deal with the redrawing issues.

The latter may actually be closer to what you're trying to do anyway.
After all, you seem set on only drawing things once. But it's hard to
know for sure without any real code examples from you.

If you do choose to go the "Windows-approved" route, handling the paint
message Windows sends the control, here's the basic idea:

* Create your own custom control. Unless you need some additional
behavior, other than the basic paint event handling, provided by some
specific control type your custom control should just derive from
Control.

* Override the OnPaint() method of Control. In this override
method, put all of your drawing code. Make sure that your drawing code
can _always_ draw. Depending on the architecture of your program, this
could mean nothing extra or it could mean that you need to synchronize
your data structures so that another thread generating data to be drawn
isn't accessing the data at the same time your main thread is using it
to draw to the screen.

* Any time that the data used to draw to the screen changes in a
way that would affect how the drawn data looks on the screen, call your
custom control's Invalidate() method. This will inform Windows that
the control needs to be redrawn to take into account the new data, and
will cause a WM_PAINT message to be sent to your control, resulting in
your OnPaint() method being called so it can draw.

For extra credit, you can do a couple of other things:

* When data changes, keep track of what area on the screen is
actually affected, and use that area as a parameter to the Invalidate()
method so that you don't waste time drawing things that haven't
changed. Your own code will still act like it's drawing those things,
but the parts that haven't actually changed will be "clipped" out of
your drawing, improving performance and reducing flicker (the flicker
happens because when you invalidate the control, the first thing
Windows does as part of the redraw is to erase what was there so that
you are starting with a clean slate...the repeated erasing and
redrawing causes the flicker)

* In your custom control's constructor, set the DoubleBuffered
property to true. This will eliminate flicker by causing all of your
drawing to take place into an off-screen buffer, erasing and all. Then
that buffer is copied automatically to the screen by .NET when you're
done.

Graphical rendering of data can actually be fairly complicated. It
would take a lot more than a single newsgroup post to address all of
the complexities of graphics under Windows. But the above really is
the basic starting point, and is all the detail one needs to know for a
great many kinds of applications. More importantly, no matter how
complicated the application, they all need to use the same foundation
described above.

Deviate from that foundation at your own peril. :)

Pete

Nov 28 '07 #4

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