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EZ GUI - Powerful, Low draw call GUI solution

Discussion in 'iOS and tvOS' started by Brady, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. John-B

    John-B

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    Yes, the problem I'm talking about persists after rebuilding the atlas and playing. I can also just look at the atlas and see which buttons are not included -- it's either the list and one button or all the buttons except the list.
     
  2. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    And you are double-plus sure you have everything as a prefab?

    I have a prefab for my scroll list (just one that I change the text on), and I load the scroll list with a combination of code where I instantiate a number of the prefabs and then add them into the scroll list as I need them, then clear the list when I'm done...

    (Largely irrelevant, but...) ... this guarantees that I'm using a prefab with the texture set in the prefab.

    Are these textures set in the game and not the prefab? I could imagine a single prefab that is being used with for a variety of buttons, each with a custom texture in the game world/hierarchy window? This would mean the prefab in the project window wouldn't see these?
     
  3. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    Ok, this may seem pretty obvious to those who actually know what they are doing, but it made me happy.

    Maybe someone else will be made happy as well...

    First off, I'd like you to know, that tho' I really appreciate all the work that has gone into making things in Unity drag and drop, there are times when it's a right PITA!

    So - I have a number of prefab'd objects instantiated in the game that are "clickable" objects and use 3D Buttons. These invoke a method from a script attached to the same gameObject. A prefab can remember the name of the method to invoke as it's a string, but it can't (understandably) remember a reference to an uninstantiated prefab... This means a lot of mindless dragging... and dropping... and if anything either changes or goes wrong (which it will) it means dragging ... and ... dropping ... all over again:

    Unless you do this:
    Code (csharp):
    1. var thisUIButton3D : UIButton3D;
    2.  
    3. function Start() {
    4.     thisUIButton3D = GetComponent (UIButton3D);
    5.     thisUIButton3D.scriptWithMethodToInvoke = this;
    6. }
    It makes me tingle.

    -

    And heck, you could even doll it up with:

    Code (csharp):
    1.         thisUIButton3D.methodToInvoke = "myMethod";
    ... tho' that's really taking the piss...

    -

    But if you were to add this to your script:

    Code (csharp):
    1. @script RequireComponent (UIButton3D)
    ... you'd be completely OTT!
     
  4. Brady

    Brady

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    Yes, it can be as LittleAngel described, or the other cause could be that your other controls/sprites aren't prefabs. If you're using Unity iPhone, and use "Only Scan Project Folder", *only* the project folder will be scanned, which means your other controls/sprites must be in prefabs too. That's why I mentioned the alternative of just dragging your item prefab into the scene for the build, apply the changes to the prefab, and then delete it again from the scene.

    On Unity 2.x and up, however, you won't have this dichotomy since it allows the atlas builder to detect which scene objects are prefabs and which are not, so that both can be updated without a problem.
     
  5. Lokken

    Lokken

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    Is there any way to make list items not center in a scroll list?

    Like if the width of the scroll list is wider than the item you put in it, can you align the items to the left or right?
     
  6. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    I did this:



    primarily with offsets.

    I used the Offset on the button and then I used Transform on the text.

    Then I made a custom box collider to encapsulate all the prefab.
     
  7. Lokken

    Lokken

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    My Prefabs have more than one sprite in them. I guess I can adjust all of their offsets but it would be nice if i could just tell it to move all the way to the left.
     
  8. Brady

    Brady

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    It will center the GameObject itself, so you could use a left anchor for all your items and it would have the apparent effect of left-aligning them. Would that do what you're wanting?
     
  9. Lokken

    Lokken

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    I guess I am not clear on where to set this left anchor?
     
  10. Brady

    Brady

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    Set the anchor on the item itself to <something>_LEFT, where <something> is UPPER, MIDDLE, or BOTTOM.
     
  11. John-B

    John-B

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    It looks like I was using prefabs incorrectly, changing the texture on the instance not the prefab itself. And, if I understand things correctly, all controls must be prefabs or not, they can't be mixed.

    Now my problem is I would like my list to be prefabs so I can just change their text and won't have to make lots of separate graphics for each. Sliders can be prefabs too, since they all look alike. I'd like to do that with my buttons too, but as far as I can tell, there's only one text color. I need light text on a dark background for my up buttons, and dark text on a light background for my active buttons. That means I need a separate graphic with text on it for each button. I guess I could make a prefab for each button, but that kind of defeats the purpose of prefabs. So I'm not sure how to proceed.

    A couple of other things: When I make all my controls prefabs (the correct way), the sliders and some buttons don't draw correctly. They are in the atlas, but appear as dim gray rects on screen. The second thing is that when I click an item in the list, it jumps down and to the left so it no longer lines up with the rest of the list items.
     
  12. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    I'm getting the grey text as well, and it's something that confuses me a little.

    I can't say whether this is a EZ GUI thing or a Unity thing, but when the prefabs are used, it seems that the orientation of the PreFab to the Rendering Camera becomes vitally important. If the texture is dead on, it can appear grey. But if I tilt the plane of the sprite (for me along the x-axis) just a little (0.1 or -0.1, can't remember) it shows white.

    Oddly, this also seems to be related to the way that they are being activated/deactivated, in that when I was using panel controllers, they tended to appear grey more often then if I set the active toggle in code...

    More as I find out, but I bodged my panels with the 0.1 rotations and moved on. It's on a sticky somewhere to follow up...
     
  13. John-B

    John-B

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    I tried changing the rotation of both the prefab and the instance, and they're still gray. Interesting that all the gray controls are in a group with the same parent, while the ones that draw are not. Doesn't matter if I rotate the group or the individual controls, they're still gray boxes.

    I'm starting to think for this particular app, this is not the way to go. I really only need EZ GUI for the scrolling list. If I can get that working, I can go back to standard OnGUI controls for the other buttons. The standard controls support different text colors for different states, so in this case they are actually simpler and require fewer graphics.
     
  14. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    Grey Boxes?

    Oh...

    I read that as grey text.

    What I'm getting this:



    When the camera is at a 0* angle with the screen, the text (usually) goes grey. In my test, it went black. As I crank it around, it begins to effect the other items. Not sure what the issue is. Shouldn't be mip-mapping, but like I said, I've just quickly worked around it and will get back to it later.

    A grey box sounds like a misplaced texture.

    [EDIT]

    Which is probably all due to co-planar existence...

    Like I said, I'd not put much thought into this. The accompanying builtin text meshes are automatically offset by -.01 within EZ GUI, but this may not be enough. I also noticed that the list items seem to be coplanar by default...

    Just a followup.

    [/EDIT]
     
  15. Brady

    Brady

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    On Unity iPhone (1.7) that is correct.

    Technically, you can do this currently using a FadeText transition element so as to change the text color when the control changes states. However, I wouldn't recommend doing this at the moment since that will cause said text to stop batching with other text. But have no fear, this should all be addressed with the next (free) release which will have integrated text which will be WAY more flexible than Unity's built-in text.

    That sounds like they don't have the proper material assigned. Double-check that they are set to the correct material. If so, I'm not sure, you may need to send me a sample package privately that I can look at.

    Make sure the item in question doesn't have a lingering transition on one of its states. If you are playing with the transitions, it is easy to create a couple of transitions, and then when you hit "-" to remove the one you have selected, if there are others that differ from that one, they will still exist on the other transitions. So you need to either check each one to see if they have any lingering elements, or else just click "Clone" on the empty one, which will force the others for that state to be empty as well.

    @LittleAngel

    Yes, your text issue is because it is co-planar with your other graphics. Just offset it a bit so that it isn't "Z-fighting" with it. If you're using an ortho camera, it shouldn't take much offsetting at all.
     
  16. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    A workflow question...

    I have a UIScrollList and I have several buttons associated with the panel:




    But I find that when I open the panel, the associate "text hider" activates the text mesh.






    Now, I could just take the out of the tree that contains the UIScrollList (it offends my OCD, but hey!). It just means I have two trees to deactivate (the panel and the button group) rather than just one tree (the panel including the button group). I guess I only bring it up as I'm curious what your intentions were, workflow-wise, with panels and buttons.
     
  17. Brady

    Brady

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    I'm not sure I fully understand the issue. Could you explain in more detail how you want the buttons to appear, and how the current use conflicts with that?
     
  18. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    I'd like to have the buttons appear and disappear with the panel, however, depending upon content, I want to activate 1 or 2 out of a set of 4.

    I have one panel that I push text to. The content of the text depends upon the player's progress. The content needs 1 or 2 buttons displayed (currently out of a set of 4). Right now, I have Accept, Decline, OK, and Complete as buttons. I set these active recursively when I push the text content to the panel.

    What I'm finding is that since all four buttons are UIButtons, and each text child has it's own text hider, when they are in the same family tree as the parent panel, the text is set on regardless of the settings of the immediate parent button when the panel opens.

    I can get the buttons out of the family tree by moving the buttons into another part of the hierarchy:



    ... then save a reference to their parent and turn off the group or individual.

    I'm just curious if I'm using buttons properly. I was just getting the feeling I was doing things upside down and backwards...
     
  19. John-B

    John-B

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    I double checked, and all buttons, those that draw and those that are gray, have the same material assigned.

    There are no transitions.
     
  20. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    I withdraw all my comments about buttons...

    I may have done something wrong, and I may have been confused by what the Text Hider does. It may have been *my bad* and in ignorance blamed the Text Hider! (Ah, human behaviour!) I don't know for sure, but I've got something working, and that's fine for me.

    In general, there are times when I wonder if I'm approaching my GUI challenges the wrong way. Having come from an OnGUI and SpriteUI background, I may be approaching my game and EZ GUI like the man with a hammer trying to hammer screws... I guess that's why I ask so many questions...

    I should SHUT UP, let you work, and wait for more tutorials as when I go away, take a nap, have some popcorn and a beer, solutions do slowly appear out of my ignorance.
     
  21. Brady

    Brady

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    @John B
    Could you send me a sample package privately that demonstrates this? I'll see what I can figure out about what's going on. Thanks!

    @LittleAngel
    No problem. There is one issue that when SetActiveRecursively() is called, it travels down the hierarchy in sequence, and so if an intermediate object responds to being activated and activates/deactivates its children, unfortunately the previous SetActiveRecursively() will come to these children only AFTER the intermediate object did what it wanted with them, meaning they'll get set active/inactive according the initial SetActiveRecursively() and not according to their parent. That's a limitation in Unity's SetActiveRecursively() that must be kept in mind.

    In situations like this, I'm still coming up with work-arounds to get around how Unity handles activation/deactivation.



    In other news:
    I just wanted to take a moment to announce the birth of my first child, Connor, who was born today. Thank you to everyone for supporting Above and Beyond Software and its middleware. You, my customers, have greatly helped me to support my new family, and for that, you have my deepest, humblest, and most heart-felt thanks.[/i]
     
  22. Lokken

    Lokken

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    Congrats Brady!
     
  23. Malveka

    Malveka

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    Congratulations Brady! You are about to become an even busier man than you were before, if that's possible. Good luck with the whole sleep thing. I can reassure you that it will improve. My youngest daughter, who just turned 21 (years, that is) no longer wakes us up in the middle of the night at all! Of course, she's not living at home either, so that may have something to do with it. :p

    My very best wishes to you and yours...

    Cheers!
    Mal
     
  24. Imari

    Imari

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    Oh my, you're a dad! Raising two little boys myself, has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Congratulations, Brady!
     
  25. defjr

    defjr

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    Congrats, Brady! :D
     
  26. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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  27. alewinn

    alewinn

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    Hello !

    EZ GUI seems to be a very good tool, using it should save us a lot of time (watched the video and i've been very impressed !)

    before i buy i need some precisions :

    1- What are the main differences between single studio licence and single user licence ? (sorry, i may miss something but didn't see anything about this on the website)

    2- If i use EZ Gui in my game how will this be integrated in my dev environment ?
    are there some Dll to provide with the game ? If yes, will i have the source code with the studio licence ?

    Thanks in advance !
     
  28. Malveka

    Malveka

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    Hi,

    I'm thinking Brady may be a little busy right now :wink: (see above) so I'll have a go at these questions. These are simply the opinions of another EZ-GUI user.

    If you click the link with the price it says:

    Single User License - "This license covers a single user."
    Studio License - "This license covers an unlimited number of users at a single studio."

    Hopefully that provides some clarification.

    EZ-GUI provides its functionality through scripts. It has Editor scripts that run within Unity IDE to provide development time functions. Some of these scripts provide custom GUI dialogs to support EZ-GUI specific capability.

    Runtime capability is likewise provided through scripts, in this case that are attached to game objects in the Unity IDE and/or invoked from your own game scripts.

    To the best of my knowledge there are no additional dll modules or pre-compiled libraries provided by EZ-GUI. So, I believe you will have access to the source code (i.e. the C# scripts) regardless of which option you choose.

    If you are about to base a purchase decision on this information I do suggest you confirm its correctness first with Brady.

    Cheers!
    Mal
     
  29. Lokken

    Lokken

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    Everything you have posted is correct as far as I understand it as well.

    I have purchased single seat licenses of both EZ GUI and SM2
     
  30. Brady

    Brady

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    Thank you very much, guys, for helping me answer questions. It is much appreciated. Just to be clear, I fully intend to keep the level of support at the same high standards it has always been, so don't worry about that. But the help is definitely appreciated and does help ease the load. :)

    To confirm, yes, you get the full sourcecode with both licenses. The only difference is with one, you are licensed for a single user to use the product, and with the other (Studio license), you can have as many users as needed at your studio. For example, if you have a small two-man studio, it would be cheaper to buy two single-seat licenses. If you have a studio over 4 persons, it would be cheaper to get the studio license.

    I hope that helps. Thanks!
     
  31. alewinn

    alewinn

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    This is really great and congratulation for your son !

    Thanks a lot for all these precisions.
     
  32. ciaravoh

    ciaravoh

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    Hello Brad,

    Congratulations for both : your kid and your product. The time saved here is so huge...

    One thing could help : your own Forum. Whatever you need to get again a forum, don't hesitate.

    It's cool to have some support in the unity forum but every topic is mixed here and it's quite a mess now.

    Ciao from France,

    Hervé
     
  33. jmcclure

    jmcclure

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    Congrats on your son, Brady!
     
  34. Brady

    Brady

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    Thank you everyone!

    @claravoh

    Yes, I definitely plan to do this soon. I'm just having to churn through my To-Do list one item at a time. :) But I'll get there. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  35. John-B

    John-B

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    Congrats on your son!! I guess I better get my questions in ASAP, before you get too sleep deprived.

    Is there any limit to the size of a scroll list item? And in a vertical list, the items can be different heights, correct?

    Maybe not what you intended, but I'm trying to use a scroll list for scrolling non-interactive images. One list with one list item that is 380 pixels tall renders and scrolls correctly. But another list with two items, one of which is 1024 pixels tall and the other is 830, does not render correctly. The atlas looks correct, but what is drawn in the list is distorted. I also keeping getting a NullReference Exception in the UIListItem script whenever I scroll a list. Can't see any object reference not set.

    Maybe I just don't get scroll lists, as this is the second project I've tried unsuccessfully to use one in.

    FWIW, here's the error I get:

    Also, attached is a screen capture of the one-item list (top) that draws correctly, and the two-item list (bottom) that doesn't. The atlas shows the two list items side by side, but the list appears to combine the entire atlas into each item.
     

    Attached Files:

  36. Martin-Schultz

    Martin-Schultz

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    Congrats Brady! Hope mum, you and Connor are both well. All the best to you and your family!
     
  37. IPete

    IPete

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    Hey Brady

    Congratulations to you and your wife, and welcome baby Connor!


    All the best from us at SL.
     
  38. Adam-Buckner

    Adam-Buckner

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    John,

    IIRC, the scroll lists are bound along one axis - which one depending upon the direction it is scrolling.

    If you have a scroll list that's going up and down, they need to be the same width, and if you have a scroll list going side to side, they need to be the same height.

    That looks to be like a scroll list going up and down, but with variable width, so it's getting crushed.

    Any reason not to push that as text, rather than an image? At this point, you'd have to write in hard carriage returns into the text, but I gather on of the next point upgrades will include better text.
     
  39. John-B

    John-B

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    It's a vertical list, and all the list items are the same width (different heights). It looks like they are different widths because it is drawing the list items incorrectly. That's the problem. In the atlas, the list items are side by side. When it draws the list, it is taking the entire width of the atlas for each item, rather than half for each item.

    I can't use regular text because I need formatting (bold, italic, indents, bullet lists, etc). This is the only way I've found to include formatted text (I've tried LOTS of different approaches).

    BTW, I solved the null reference problem. In this case I am taking list items from prefabs already in the scene using the Prefab Items array in the Inspector. I didn't realize it makes copies of those items to draw the list. I had the original scene list items in the same place that the list goes, and I ended up with those behind the list. My clicks were going through the list to the prefabs behind it, causing the errors. I just had to move the scene list items off screen and out of the way of clicks.
     
  40. Brady

    Brady

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    Thanks again to everyone for the kind comments! My wife and I really appreciate them.

    @John B

    List items can be both variable width and variable height, regardless of whether it is vertical or horizontal. However, there is, in a way, a limit to the size of an individual list item at the moment. Currently, sprites/controls can only be clipped/truncated on one side at a time, meaning for the item to be drawn correctly, it will need to be less than or equal to the viewable area. (Well, actually, it can be larger that then specified viewable area on the axis perpendicular to the orientation - i.e. the item can be wider than the viewable area if it is a vertical list, or taller if it is horizontal.)

    I suspect that is the cause of the distortion. I've got on my list to add the ability to clip on multiple sides to allow for things like bi-directionally scrollable panels.

    Yes, items in the prefab list will be cloned (since it is intended for use with prefabs in the project folder), while items in the scene object list will be added and not copied.
     
  41. John-B

    John-B

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    Based on what you said, I thought that giving each list item its own atlas might fix the problem. But it didn't. I no longer get that double texture, but they are still distorted and clipped incorrectly. The list items are however the same size as the viewable area. Their width is equal to the width of the viewable area, and this is a vertical list.

    Any idea what the size limit is? The list with one item 380 pixels tall works fine, but the list with two items, one 1024 and one 830 pixels tall, does not. Maybe I'll try breaking these textures up into smaller chunks, and see if I can determine at what size the problem starts.

    BTW, the best solution would be for Unity to support formatted text. But since it is primarily a game engine, I won't hold my breath. I think I'm a pretty small minority, trying to do educational content with Unity. In addition to complex simulations that require lengthy instructions, we also often include student activities which also require a fair amount of text. It's just not what Unity was designed for.

    Also BTW, I'm not criticizing EZ GUI. It is GREAT! It has so many neat features that I can't begin to tell you how useful it is, and will be in future projects.
     
  42. Lokken

    Lokken

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    I think it being a game engine is hardly an excuse for the poor text support.

    I cant think of many games that don't require much higher text manipulation than what unity delivers.

    Think of things like Final Fantasy or World of Warcraft. Can you imagine doing anything that comes close to that with Unity's current offerings?
     
  43. TMK

    TMK

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    Not sure if it's a bug or I'm not doing it how it should be done, but I have a UIPanelManager, with a few panel children, each with index 0, 1, 2, 3 etc., each with children UI controls.

    If I check "Deactivate non-default at start", then it doesn't work to do this on the Start() function of a scene:

    Code (csharp):
    1. UIPanelManager manager = (UIPanelManager)GameObject.Find("UIPanelManager").GetComponent("UIPanelManager");
    2. manager.MoveForward();
    The reason for this is that the first panel's subSubjects.Count is 0, and it returns without starting it's BringIn transition (most likely because the panel's SetupTransitionSubjects function has not been called or something?). If I de-check the "deactivate" check, then it works to call MoveForward.

    But, if I call it like this instead, using checked "deactivate", it works (I traced the code, and it runs the 'if' that checks if deactivate is true in the BringIn() function, calling the panel's Start function, which fills the subSubjects):

    Code (csharp):
    1. manager.BringIn("Panel1");
     
  44. Brady

    Brady

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    There is no limit, per se. They just have to be less than the viewable area of the scroll list. I might not have been clear in my earlier message, but it has to be less than the viewable area you define for the scrollable list. It might work to be equal to it, but to be safe, I would make it just a bit smaller.

    I'm working towards that with EZ GUI. It's not yet going to be full, word processor-like, text support, but it should be much more capable than what Unity currently offers.

    Yes, that's probably it. This is one of the catch-22's of Unity's startup method calling order (it would be nice if there were something like Start1() and Start2()). I'm not sure if this solves your particular issue or not, but as a possible work-around, you could try setting the first panel as the default, and then call that panel's StartTransition() method directly to play its BringInForward transition.
     
  45. zozogame

    zozogame

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    When I open the UI Control Editor on Unity iPhone, there's an error message

    "Unable to find required resource at 'Editor Default Resources/Builtin Skins/Lucida Grande.ttf"

    Any idea to solve this?
     
  46. Brady

    Brady

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    Yes, this is addressed in the Troubleshooting section of the EZ GUI docs. This is just a result of a harmless bug in Unity iPhone related to the use of custom editor windows. It does not affect anything and does not occur in later versions of Unity.
     
  47. matrix211v1

    matrix211v1

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    Hello All!

    I have been using EZ GUI for a little bit now and I have a couple of questions someone maybe able to answer.

    I am making a Login Screen. I need to have:
    1) Two Text boxes (done)
    2) Blinking Cursor
    3) The ability to use the Tab key to switch between the two Textboxes
    4) Display in the password field the "*" symbol

    I can do this in Unity GUI in seconds (because it's already built in), but I'm trying to wrap my head how I can do this in EZ GUI. Anyone have suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  48. Brady

    Brady

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Posts:
    2,321
    There isn't currently any automatic tab ordering yet. I'm hoping to include that with the next release with the integrated text support.

    Until then, however, you can "listen" for the tab key and set which text field has the focus directly using the UIManager's FocusObject property. Just assign the control you want to have the keyboard focus to this property like so:

    UIManager.instance.FocusObject = myTextField;
     
  49. ciaravoh

    ciaravoh

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Posts:
    252
    Hello,

    I probably miss something when trying to get the feedback on selecting an item in a scroll list.

    I set the "Script With Method to Invoke" to the GO.script I want
    Method to Invoke on Select to the function name

    and I get nothing during run time.

    the scroll list is working fine, I just want to be able to select an item.

    thank you

    Hervé
     
  50. Brady

    Brady

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Posts:
    2,321
    If the scroll list is working find, the only things I would suggest are:

    1) Objects with more than one Monobehavior attached will show up multiple times in the inspector's selection, so it can be hard to choose the right one using just the inspector. When this is the case, use the UI Control Editor which shows you which script you are selecting on the specified object.

    2) Make sure the method to invoke is properly capitalized, and also make sure it is only the method name (no parentheses). This works just like Unity's Invoke() (since that is what it uses).

    If that is all set correctly and the scroll list works, it should be working. Let me know.
     
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