Myservant Screen

MyServant - Floorplans


MyServant is a HAL add-on created by FutureTouch.
It adds a graphical interface that can be used to monitor and control your home from multiple PCs or touchscreen panels, plus many other advanced automation features

You can find virtually any possible information you need on the program and configuring it at either
the MyServant section of the FutureTouch website or on the HAL Forums


A quick guide to creating a floorplan image for use in MyServant

The floorplan can be anything from a simple rectangle representing the outside of your house to an exact, fully detailed plan - but remember this is a just a backdrop which will have icons overlaid on it when displayed in MyServant - simpler may well be better.

You can change the floorplan image whenever you want, you do not have to get it absolutely perfect and final before proceeding through the Myservant setup.

Start with a simple line drawing and see what it looks like in use, you may decide nothing more complex is needed.

You can work in stages or try different tweaks to your floorplans easily, just save each new version with a different filename. Switching floorplan files takes seconds from within the MyServant server manager, just click the 'Image' button next to the floorplan (in the Devices Layout screen) and select the image file you want to use.

You can use any image or photo editor than you like, as long as it will produce a .jpg or .bmp image of the correct size.

If you have a Home Design or CAD program of some kind, you may be able to export a suitable floorplan image from that.

The one program you are pretty certain to have is Microsoft Paint, as that is included with Windows,
so


Creating a floorplan image, using Microsoft Paint

(Found in Start -> All Programs -> Accessories in Windows)

Open Paint & maximise the screen.

Use the mouse to drag the lower right corner of the blank image (the white area) until the size as shown in the status bar at the bottom of the screen is 433x388.

This is now the blank floorplan, sized to suit the MyServant screen layout.


Next, draw the walls of the house - the details now naturally depend on your home layout.


Plan 1a

Probably the simplest way is to use the rectangle tool and draw a plain box for each room. Just estimate the size of each room in proportion to the house and draw a rectangle using the same approximate proportions in the blank floorplan.


Plan 1b

Add each room by drawing another rectangle, positioning the lines for the common walls over the 'wall' already drawn.


Experiment, draw things and get the feel of the program & how to position the cursor to put lines exactly where you want - anything you don't want can be easily removed by using Edit -> Undo in the menu (or just pressing Control-Z).


Plan 1c

L-Shaped rooms and other details can be added with either the line or rectangle tools, then erase the unwanted 'walls' with the eraser tool.

See the plans to the left and below

The 'L' corners of the rooms have been added using the Line tool, then the unwanted 'walls' blocking the hallway through the house removed using the eraser.

Plan 1d

To make it easier to work on details, use Zoom in the View menu and then use the scrollbars to get to the area you want to work on. When zoomed in, it's quite easy to draw and erase single pixels (Left- or Right-click with the Pencil tool) to get details as you want them.

Don't forget to save your work frequently! Use File -> Save As to give your floorplan a name to start with. It's a good idea to do a save every so often so you don't lose anything.

You can also use Save As and different names (or just add numbers/letter on the end of the name) to save different versions or stages of the plan. e.g. If two floors have similar outside walls you can save two copies of a plan with the outside walls, then work on both seperately to add the internal walls & details.


When you save your floorplan files from within Paint, these will by default be placed in the 'My Pictures' folder in 'My Documents'. You can either leave them there and navigate to that folder while adding the floorplan image to MyServant, or copy them to the Floorplans folder within the MyServant installation.

The default location for this is C:\Program Files\Future Touch\MyServant\MyImages\Floorplans

Either way, don't forget to save backup copies of your floorplan image files in case you ever want to use them on a new installation.


Plan 1e

Just about done!

The doorways have been 'cut' using the Eraser tools and doors added using the Line tool.


Plan 1f

As a final bit of trim & to give a more CAD-like appearance, a second line has been added around the ouside walls with a one-pixel gap.


Some possible refinements:

Use a photo editor to superimpose gardens.

Start with an aerial photo view and draw the floorplans over it.

Paste thumbnail photos of each room into the 'rooms' of the floorplan.


If you need any more info on this, you can contact me via the HAL Forums (username rajenkins). Or, as a last resort, email me

Copyright Robert Jenkins 2007 - 2010
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