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Windmill UI Example

NI Employee

Windmill Preview.png

At NIWeek 2009 we demoed the LabVIEW Web UI Builder with a very slick looking windmill blade monitoring application:

While this demo was obviously made using the in-development LabVIEW Web UI Builder the same visual effect can be created in your desktop LabVIEW applications today. 

The attached VI shows the same UI implemented using some of my favourite techniques (namely recoloring graphs, panel backgrounds, using PowerPoint to create decorations, and using transparent images in a picture ring). 

Other tips:

  • The key to getting the rotating animation is to rotate the image in PowerPoint and save each rotation as a new image.  Place each image in a picture ring and use the picture ring value to flip through the frames of your animation.  The speed at which you update the value determines the speed of the animation.  This is a very simplistic way of doing things and can bog down the CPU if you are updating the front panel too quickly (the human eye can only see ~10-20 frames per second, there is no need to update faster than that) -- a more advanced technique would involve only updating the image every 100 ms or so and calculating how which frame to skip to in order to simulate the "speed" of the rotation.
  • The Blade Failure!/Blades OK indicator is simply a button using the check mark and the warning icons as the true and false images respectively.
  • The velocity "meter" at the top is really a gauge.  I have edited the scale to only use 180 degrees of the dial and made the frame transparent.  I then made the ramp visible and colored it accordingly.
  • The graphs come from my ni.com inspired control suite

As always, I've attached the VI (LabVIEW 2010 format -- sorry, I have a small HDD and only keep the latest version installed) along with a zip file of all the source images (all images except for field.jpg were saved as images from the included .pptx file).  I also saved the windmill as it's own .ctl file if you care to reuse it (I'm not sure how many people work with windmills so this may be of marginal benefit to most of you).

Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

You do know you can do a File>>Save for Previous, right?

2010 should be able to save all the way back to 8.0, although there was a bug in 2009 which causes LV to crash if you have an event structure and try to save to 8.5 or earlier. I don't know if this was fixed in 2010.

Try to take over the world!