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Creating the Screen Saver


This tutorial created by ZuAtHome

Now it's time to take the images you've created and put them into a screen saver. To do this, you'll need to download and install the Axialis Screen Saver Producer. You can get it here.

Open Axialis Screen Saver Producer. Click on the splash screen to close it, be careful not to click on a link though or you'll be surfing. If you register your copy, no splash screen will be displayed.

Very quick tour: You should see two windows, Librarian and Explorer.

The Librarian allows you to store and organize your projects and contains some samples.

The Explorer is just your Windows explorer inside the program. It helps you find files

Since we don't have time to explore all aspects of this powerful little program in one lesson, we are going to close both of these to clean up our work area. Please go back and check them out later... especially the sample screen savers in the Librarian.

For now, click on the X buttons in the upper left of these windows to close them.

Now that our workspace is clear, we can create a new screen saver to work on.

Click on the "New" icon, upper left to do this.

You will get a window with the default gradient blue background.

The large image on the right displays your screen saver.

The area on the left functions much like the layer palette in PSP.

Right now, the only thing displayed in this list is the background, because that's all we have.

Our first step is to change this to our starfield.

Double click on the thumbnail image of the background. This will bring up an options box.

Click on the tab marked background.

Select "Image Wallpaper." The Pathname box will become available. Click on the file folder button to browse and find your starfield background image, then click open.

If you made your starfield to match the size of your screen, check "center." If not, check "tile" to completely fill the background with the starfield image.

Click OK.

Your starfield should now display as your background. The file path should also be displayed next to the thumbnail image.

Now we need to add some objects, or "sprites," to make things more interesting.

Go to Project || New Sprite. A box will appear to allow you to browse and find your file. Locate one of the galaxies you created and click open.
Your galaxy should appear in the screen saver view and be added to the thumbnail list on the left.

You can click and drag this sprite anywhere in the screen saver you like. Use the square "handles" to adjust the size of your planet as desired.

I made mine fairly small, so it appears to be way off in the background.

Once you have the sprite positioned and sized to your liking, click anywhere in the empty starfield to deselect it.

Ok, now lets add a planet. This time, click on the small, blue globe with the sun behind it in the tool bar. This is the "new sprite" icon. Again, you will get a box... go find your planet and click open.

Position and size your planet as you did your galaxy.

Now you've probably noticed that the black background is blocking out our starfield. Let's fix that.

Double click on the planet sprite to bring up the sprite options box.

Click on the tab labeled "Transparency."

Check the box for "Using a transparent color." The boxes for setting the color now become available.

However, the easiest way to set the color is to simply click in the background of the image example. This automatically sets the values to the color you clicked on.

Leave tolerance set to 1 and click ok.

Now you can see the stars. Click in the background to deselect the sprite.

Our screen saver is looking a lot better but it's still kind of boring because everthing is still. Let's add an animated sprite.

Click on the new sprite icon or go to Project || New Sprite.

This time pick one of your paneled comet images.

The comet will appear showing all of the panels. We will fix that now.

Double click on the comet sprite to bring up the options box.

Click on the Animation tab. Here are the options for animating a sprite.

Set animation speed to 20 (you can change it later if you want) and number of images to the number of panels in your comet image.

Click on the transparency tab and set the transparency to the background color as we did for the planet. This time set tolerance to 7.

Click ok.

Now, to see your animation you need to play the screen saver.

Do this by clicking on the play icon (triangle pointing right).

Voila... 16 million color animation.

Of course, our comet would be even more interesting if it moved across the screen in addition to being animated. Let's try that.

Double click on the comet image.

This time click on the motion tab. Set as follows:

  • type = straight line
  • motion links = pass over and over.
  • speed: horizontal = 50; vertical = 0
Click OK.

Now you have a moving, animated sprite. Cool, huh?

As you've probably guessed, this program can do a lot more that what we've covered tonight. However, I think that's enough for one session.

However, in the interest of time, we are going to compile now, so you know how.

You can always go back and add more sprites and recompile later.

Click on the large "compile" icon toward the top of the window. A dialog box should appear.

Give your screensaver a file name.

Checking the box to place it in the Windows System folder will put the compiled file with your other Windows screensaver.

If you like, check the box to set this as your current Windows screen saver.

Click next.

Fill out the desired description boxes. The only one you HAVE to fill in is title.

Click next.

Leave display a splash screen unchecked. (You can play with that later, if you want.)

Click next.

You should now see a Ready to Go! compilation summary. What are you waiting for... Go and Compile!
It may take a few seconds (or longer depending on your computer speed) to compile. When its done, click on "Test the Screen Saver Now...

Your screensaver should have played until you moved the mouse or hit a key.

When your done viewing your masterpiece, simply close the box.

If you did not set this as your active screen saver, you can do so by right clicking on your desktop, choosing properties and clicking on the screen saver tab. Your screen saver's title should be listed with the other screen savers.

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