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The Power of 2

by Bernhard Klemenjak

Last time, Philip already told you about his GUI creations – and I’m also currently working on our user interface. When the creative work and painting is done, someone needs to bring the GUI to life. That someone is me.

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The title “The Power of 2” has two backgrounds (how fitting…). On the one hand, it’s a great example that you can achieve many things only as a team. Take Philip for instance, who can do wonders with his drawing tablet and pen. He conjures up his ideas on the screen with his creativity, a good eye (actually two) and talent. Then take someone like me, who may have at least average C++ skills and some logical thinking to offer. In this current constellation, we can cooperate very well and implement the Schein GUI together. If we would switch or merge the roles however, nothing good could be expected.

On the other hand, the “2” is also a symbol for a small “conflict” that Philip and I are facing. As a graphic designer you would quite understandably wish for an infinite amount of detail and a huge canvas to draw on. The result should look perfect – so why bother with counting pixels? However, the programmer needs to keep an eye on the performance. It will hurt the graphic designer when his artwork is scaled down and trimmed. But all players without a high-end-quad-128TB graphics card will be happy about the optimizations. And what does this have to do with “2”? One way to optimize is for instance, that all the images loaded into the graphics card have a power of 2 as horizontal & vertical resolution. For example: 1024×1024 or 2048×4096.
And that’s why the programmer teaches math to the graphic designer.