Update splashscreen

The splashscreen is the first thing the user sees when running VisIt so the version number included in the splashscreen image should be up to date. Updating the splashscreen usually means just adding a version number to the current splashscreen images but in the event of a minor release (when the 2nd digit in the version changes), the splashscreen images should be redesigned to showcase new features.

In any event, updating the splashscreen consists of changing the version number in the splashscreen image .xcf file, regenerating new VisIt XPM files from it, and also creating a new MacOS X icon file including the new splashscreen images. All of the steps in this section describe how to update the splashscreen images and all of the steps should be performed on a release candidate branch.

Update the version

Follow these steps to update the splashscreen images’ version:

  1. cd common/icons from the top level VisIt directory.
  2. The splashscreen image’s .xcf file is called: VisIt2.7.xcf for VisIt 2.7.x, VisIt2.8.xcf for VisIt 2.8.x, etc. Typically, you can copy the file from th last version to a new name and add it to the repository.
  3. Open the .xcf file in gimp, which is a popular UNIX image editing program.
  4. Once you’ve opened the .xcf file in gimp, you’ll see that the file has several layers to it. There are generally about 4 layers that correspond to the splashscreen background images that were generated using VisIt. The layer that you’re concerned with is the Version layer. Use the text tool in the gimp to edit the version string.
  5. Once you have edited the version string, vary the visibility of the background image layers, copying the visible image and pasting to a new image each time. You will end up with 4 images that correspond to slightly different splashscreens although each will have the same VisIt information.
  6. Save each image into src/resources/images as VisIt1.png,...,VisIt4.png.

Create a new MacOS X icon

When VisIt starts on MacOS X systems, it adds an icon into the Mac application dock. The icon that we use is based on the splashscreen but is stored in MacOS X icon format. Here are the steps to create the MacOS X icon:

  1. Make a directory called src/common/icons/VisItIcon.iconset
  2. Copy the updated .xcf to a new, temporary .xcf file.
  3. Make sure that the version number is centered.
  4. Copy the visible layers and paste the merged layers into a new image.
  5. Select a square region in the new image and copy that square region into yet another new image.
  6. Change the new square image’s image size to 1024x1024 pixels.
  7. Save the image as VisItIcon.iconset/icon_512x512@2x.png.
  8. Undo the change to the image’s size.

You'll want to make several sizes of the image in the VisItIcon.iconset directory. The @2x versions of the files have twice the number of pixels.

icon_128x128.png	icon_16x16.png		icon_256x256.png	icon_32x32.png		icon_512x512.png
icon_128x128@2x.png	icon_16x16@2x.png	icon_256x256@2x.png	icon_32x32@2x.png	icon_512x512@2x.png

If you save a 256x256 png image, you can use ImageMagick to make the other images:

convert -geometry 16x16 icon_256x256.png icon_16x16.png
convert -geometry 32x32 icon_256x256.png icon_32x32.png
convert -geometry 128x128 icon_256x256.png icon_128x128.png
convert -geometry 32x32 icon_256x256.png icon_16x16@2x.png
convert -geometry 64x64 icon_256x256.png icon_32x32@2x.png
convert -geometry 256x256 icon_256x256.png icon_128x128@2x.png
convert -geometry 512x512 icon_256x256.png icon_512x512.png
convert -geometry 1024x1024 icon_256x256.png icon_512x512@2x.png


  1. Quit the gimp once you have made all of the files.
  2. Run the following command from src/common/icons directory:
iconutil --convert icns VisItIcon.iconset