View.UpdateAreaPart of View module

Syntax   View.UpdateArea (x1, y1, x2, y2)

Description   The View.UpdateArea procedure updates a rectanglular area Run window, specified by (x1, y1) - (x2, y2) from the offscreen bitmap. It is used with the command View.Set ("offscreenonly") which prevents the Run window from being updated until the View.UpdateArea or View.Update command is given.

Because the entire screen is not updated each time, the animation can be much faster, especially on slow machines. This procedure does take more effort to use than View.Update as it requires the programmer to calculate which portion of the screen must be updated.

Example   This program moves a star back and forth across the screen. To compare the speed up View.UpdateArea with View.Update, replace the calls to View.UpdateArea with View.Update.

        View.Set ("offscreenonly")
        var SIZE : int := 50
            for x : 0 .. maxx - SIZE
                Draw.FillStar (x, 100, x + SIZE, 100 + SIZE, brightgreen)
                View.UpdateArea (x - 1, 100, x + SIZE, 100 + SIZE)
                Draw.FillStar (x, 100, x + SIZE, 100 + SIZE, colorbg)
            end for
            for decreasing x : maxx - SIZE .. 0
                Draw.FillStar (x, 100, x + SIZE, 100 + SIZE, brightgreen)
                View.UpdateArea (x, 100, x + SIZE + 1, 100 + SIZE)
                Draw.FillStar (x, 100, x + SIZE, 100 + SIZE, colorbg)
            end for
        end loop

Details   If the entire screen is being updated each time through the animation loop (for example if the background image is changing), then use View.Update instead.

When using View.UpdateArea, it is important to correctly calculate the region to be updated. This region must not only contain the item being drawn, but also any area where the background should be replaced. For example, in the program above, the area updated included the one pixel to the left of the star when the star was moving right-ward and one pixel to the right of the star when the star was moving left-ward.

Execute   Here is an example program that allows you to compare the speed of animation using View.Update with View.UpdateArea. The program animates an object on a background of stars. Pressing any key switches between the two calls.

Details   All Turing Run windows have both an onscreen visible window and an offscreen window. Whenever any output is sent to the screen, both the onscreen window and the offscreen window are updated. When the Run window needs to be updated (for example when another window is moved over top of it and then removed), Turing copies the offscreen window onto the onscreen window.

When the View.Set ("offscreenonly") command is given, Turing no longer draws to the onscreen window when any drawing command is given. However, it does update the offscreen window. When the View.Update command is given, the entire offscreen window is copied to the onscreen window.

This can be used to provide smooth, flicker-free animation. Animated objects flicker when the object being animated disappears from the onscreen window for a period of time. By using View.Set ("offscreenonly") / View.Update, the onscreen window is never blank. Instead, the offscreen window drawn over top off the on screen window, replacing it. This means that the on-screen window is never blanked out, eliminating the flickering found in the animation.

Details   It's very easy to forget that no output will appear in the Run window when using View.UpdateArea. Remember to use View.Set("nooffscreenonly") to turn off this feature sending output for debugging purposes.

Details   View.UpdateArea should not be used in conjunction with the Sprite module. Sprites can be considered a limited version of this technique. View.UpdateArea also works well when the entire background is changing.

Status   Exported qualified.

This means that you can only call the function by calling View.UpdateArea, not by calling UpdateArea.

See also   View.Set for the "offscreenonly" and "nooffscreenonly" options.

View.Update for procedure to update the entire screen at one time.