TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Jun 01 ADC Direct

Volume Number: 17 (2001)
Issue Number: 06
Column Tag: ADC Direct

Beyond QuickDraw: Quartz

by Travis W. Brown

A Brief Introduction to Mac OS X's New Imaging Model

For nearly two decades, Macintosh graphics have revolved around QuickDraw. QuickDraw was revolutionary, offering a unified imaging model that could be used for application drawing, printing, and providing a platform-wide graphics format. Unfortunately, today's applications frequently require graphic fun-ctionality that exceeds QuickDraw's reach. Developers frequently have to work around issues such as the lack of spline-based curves and text rotations. With the introduction of Mac OS X, a revolution-ary new imaging model—Quartz—is ready to meet the needs of cur-rent and future applications.

This article is a brief introduction to Quartz and will focus on its architecture and functionality. Where appropriate, this article will also call out various technical resources that will help you take advantage of what Quartz has to offer.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is a set of powerful graphics services that form the graphics component of Mac OS X's application services layer. In this role, Quartz pro-vides the rest of the system with a powerful 2-D render-ing engine that supports advanced vector graphics (complete with anti-aliasing and transparency support.) Quartz also implements the windowing system for Mac OS X and provides low-level services such as system-wide event handling. Quartz plays a key role in Mac OS X's printing architec-ture as well and provides rasterization and conversion services for print jobs.

The Quartz Architecture

As noted in Inside Mac OS X: System Overview, Quartz is actually composed of two separate parts that perform different functions: Quartz Compositor and Quartz 2D.

Quartz Compositor

The Quartz Compositor (formerly Core Graphics Services) is responsi-ble for providing windowing services for the Classic, Carbon, Cocoa, and Java application environments. These environments interact directly with the Quartz Compositor to automatically bring advanced windowing features, such as double-buffering and live window drag-ging, to applications. OpenGL and QuickTime rely on the Quartz Compositor to seamlessly mix hardware accelerated 3-D and multime-dia into a single visually consistent windowing environment. Finally, the Quartz Compositor helps create the hallmark Aqua user experi-ence by generating dynamic drop shadows and transparency effects for each open window.

Quartz 2D

Quartz 2D (formerly Core Graphics Rendering) is a two-dimen-sional graphics engine that allows any Mac OS X application to create graphics that were previously limited to high-end applica-tions. Quartz is based on the Portable Document Format (PDF) graphics model and features a rich set of drawing functions. These drawing functions are fully accessible by both Carbon and Cocoa developers.

Core Graphics API Functionality in Quartz 2D

The full power of the Quartz 2D engine is exposed through the Core Graphics API. What follows is a breakdown of the advanced features you can use to create new and exciting Mac OS X applications.

Drawing Functionality

The Core Graphics API contains a comprehensive set of functions that give you access to PostScript-like drawing features. Some of these features include path-based drawing operations (such as

Beziér curves), clipping paths, and transformable coordinate spaces that allow easy access to rotations, scales, and skews. The Quartz 2D engine draws using an advanced sub-pixel anti-aliasing algorithm that significantly enhances the visual appeal of both vectors and text. Additionally, Quart 2D's alpha compositing ability allows for trans-parency effects for vector shapes and supports alpha channels when drawing bitmaps. Detailed information on the Core Graphics API can be found in Inside Mac OS X: Drawing With Quartz, available from the Apple Developer Connection web site at:
http://developer.apple.com/quartz

PDF Support

The Quartz 2D engine is based on the PDF specification and is therefore able to parse and render most PDF files. Using the Core Graphics API, it is easy to add the ability to display PDF files to your application. This PDF support also allows applications to create PDF files by redirecting drawing calls into a file. The resultant PDF file can contain all types of graphic content, including fonts, text, vec-tors, and bitmaps. These capabilities make the PDF file an excellent replacement for the well-worn PICT file.

Adobe's Portable Document Format, v1.3 Reference Guide is the authoritative source of information on the PDF format. The "Graphics" section of the reference guide is particularly useful for understanding the PDF drawing model upon which Quartz 2D is based. You can find the complete guide at:
http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/acrosdk/docs/PDFRef.pdf

Color Management

The Quartz 2D engine works in concert with ColorSync to ensure everything it draws is color managed. This tight integration allows your application to participate in end-to-end color management with minimal effort on your part. At the most basic level, your application can programmatically specify colors in a variety of color spaces via the Core Graphics API. Quartz 2D will automati- cally call on ColorSync to ensure the requested color is matched to the display or printer. Color management is also automatically used when drawing PDFs and bitmap images. Lastly, the Quartz 2D engine also has full support for ICC color profiles and render-ing intents.

More information on color management and ColorSync can be found at:
http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macos8/MultimediaGraphics/ColorSyncManager/colorsyncmanager.html

Fidelity

The Quartz 2D engine is resolution independent and is capable of rendering graphics for both screen and print. The Quartz 2D engine plays an important role in Mac OS X's printing architecture where it acts as the Raster Image Processor (RIP) for inkjet printers and other raster devices. The Quartz 2D engine is also capable of converting graphic streams into PostScript code for imaging on PostScript output devices. So, applications that use the Core Graphics API can easily output graphics to a full range of printers, from inexpensive inkjet printers to high-end PostScript devices, with excellent and consistent results.

Resources to Help You Take Full Advantage of Quartz

The Quartz technologies web site is the first place you should check for the latest information on Mac OS X's graphic technologies. The Quartz web site, which is part of the Apple Developer Connection, can be found at:
http://developer.apple.com/quartz/index.html

For compatibility with earlier versions of the Mac OS, Carbon applications use QuickDraw for two-dimensional graphics drawing by default. These applications can, however, access Quartz 2D's Core Graphics API. The Quartz Primer was created to help Carbon developers understand how to use this powerful tool. The primer is available at:
http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/SystemOverview/devessentials.html

Many Carbon developers have expressed interest in drawing text using Quartz 2D's advanced anti-aliasing. The Core Graphics API has basic support for text drawing, though. Higher-level services, such as ATSUI and MLTE, have been included in Mac OS X to draw text when working with Quartz. More information on Mac OS X's text services can be found at:
http://developer.apple.com/intl/index.html

Cocoa developers have a "free pass" to access the Quartz 2D engine. Three key classes–NSView, NSImage, and NSBezierPath– call through to the Quartz 2D engine. Developers may discover cases, though, in which directly accessing the Quartz 2D engine is desirable. To address this need, the Core Graphics API can easily be called from Cocoa and used in conjunction with a Cocoa View. Information contained within the Core Graphics header files is a good place to start. The header files can be found at:
/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/ Headers

Other Quartz APIs of Interest

In addition to the Core Graphics API, Quartz also contains some specialized APIs that may be of inter-est to you.

Remote Operation

This API interacts with Quartz Compositor to enable applications to capture screen contents and push keyboard/mouse events into the system. If you are designing a screen capture program, a remote access application, or an accessibility aid then you should check out the CGRemoteOperation API. A well-documented header file is located at:
/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/ Headers/CGRemoteOperation.h

Direct Display

This API allows applications to get direct access to the screen. Applications, such as games, can use this API to capture the display, set the display reso-lution, and gain direct access to the frame buffer. Information on CGDirectDisplay can be found in the header file that is located at:
/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/ Headers/CGDirectDisplay.h

Summary

Quartz is a powerful new graphics system that performs two vital roles in Mac OS X. The Quartz Compositor provides windowing services to all of Mac OS X. The Quartz 2D engine is responsible for creating visually rich graphic content on-screen and ensuring high-fidelity output to all classes of printers. Of primary interest to develop-ers is the Core Graphics API. This API offers devel-opers exciting opportunities to create new and powerful graphic applications by leveraging the Quartz 2D engine's PostScript-style drawing, color management, and PDF file support.


Project Builder Tips and Tricks

  • The malloc library on Mac OS X has a bunch of features that can help you track down memory smashers, buffer overruns, and other Stupid Pointer Tricks(tm). Check out
    /Developer/Documentation/ReleaseNotes/ MallocOptions.html to learn how to use these features.
  • Don't put all your application's user interface into one nib. When a nib file is open all objects are instantiated at once. Breaking up your user interface among multiple nibs will make your application launch faster and use less memory. It will also be easier to reuse part of your application.
  • Interface Builder
    Option Drag knobs: Makes matrices in Cocoa
    Command: Inverts guide activation
    Double Click to open editors
    Shift-arrow: nudge widgets by 10 instead of 1 pixels
    Drag custom views into the document for use as accessory views
    Option drag views into New Palettes

New Mac OS X Related Releases

  • Mac OS X 10.0.2 and iTunes 1.1.1
    Mac OS X 10.0.2 and iTunes 1.1.1 together add the ability to burn custom music CDs to Macintosh computers with CD-R drives. Mac OS X also features improvements in overall application stability and the latest version of the Internet file transfer service (ftpd), which features important security improvements.
    http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n12181/
    http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n12186/
  • CarbonLib 1.3.1 SDK
    The CarbonLib 1.3.1 SDK (Software Development Kit) for Mac OS X is now available to all developers. This SDK provides all the files needed to begin Carbon development. Contact Software Licensing to distribute CarbonLib 1.3.1 with your product.
    http://developer.apple.com/sdk/
  • Disk First Aid 8.6.1 (US and Int'l English)
    Disk First Aid 8.6.1 (US and Int'l English) is a utility that verifies and repairs some problems that may occur on Mac OS Extended format hard disk drives. This version of repairs certain types of master directory block damage on Mac OS Extended format volumes. It also improves the compatibility of Mac OS Extended format hard disks with Mac OS X.
    http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n12187/
  • Software Update 1.3.1
    Software Update 1.3.1 is a multicountry update for the Mac OS X Software Update control panel.
    http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/n12165/
  • Darwin 1.3.1
    Darwin 1.3.1 is the open source core of Mac OS X. This open source project allows developers to customize and enhance key Apple software. The Darwin kernel is based on FreeBSD and Mach 3.0 technologies and provides protected memory and pre-emptive multitasking.
    http://www.opensource.apple.com/projects/darwin/

    Developer Documentation

    The following new and updated documentation is available to help with successful Mac OS X application and peripheral development at:
    http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/

    iBook Developer Note


    TN2018 - Importing animated GIFs
    TN2017 - Using Launch Services for discovering document binding and launching applications
    QA1034 - How to define a plst resource in a .r file
    QA1033 - Targeting DebuggingCarbonLib asserts
    QA1032 - Late breaking news for the MacsBug gdb plugin
    QA1031 - OpenGL Texture Sharing Between Contexts
    QA1030 - Getting NSWindow's toolbar actions to show up in Interface Builder
    QA1029 - How to get custom views to show up in NSToolbarItems
    QA1028 - ICLaunchURL, "file:///" URLs and Mac OS X
    QA1027 - Improving ATSUI text drawing performance
    QA1026 - Calling AppleScript from an Application
    QA1023 - The installer turns my application into a folder
    QA1022 - Where should I install my help book, and how does Help Viewer locate it?
    QA1021 - Cocoa-Java quit/cancel-quit header bug in Mac OS X 10.0
    QA1015 - Why am I drawing directly to the screen?
    QA1011 - How do I use QuickDraw with CGDirectDisplay?
    QA1010 - SynCGContextOriginWithPort
    QA1009 - Why are my Core Graphics calls drawing updside down?---

    Sample Code - More than thirty new Mac OS X code samples were posted to the ADC web site since the last issue. Please visit the URL below for a complete list of sample code.
    http://developer.apple.com/samplecode/


Did You Know?

Quartz Documentation

The technical writers at Apple are hard at work preparing Quartz documentation for software developers. Already available is the "Quartz Primer," a short document that summarizes Quartz features and concepts, discusses how to incorporate the graphics-rendering capabilities of Quartz into Carbon code, and includes examples of using Quartz APIs. You can get this document at
http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/macosx/SystemOverview/devessentials.html

In the works is Inside Mac OS X: Drawing With Quartz. This book is intended to be an essential resource for any software developer interested in learning about and using the advanced two-dimensional graphics capabilities of Mac OS X. It will discuss the following topics:

  • graphics contexts, coordinates, transformation matrices, graphics state, and transfer modes
  • transparency and anti-aliased drawing
  • drawing shapes with paths
  • drawing text
  • working with color
  • drawing images and PDF documents

Upcoming Seminars and Events

For more information on Apple developer events please visit the developer Events page at:
http://developer.apple.com/events/

Training and Seminars

R/com Offers Mac OS X Developer Training Online
R/com, also known as Media School, has partnered with Apple Developer Connection to create online training for Mac OS X developers. The first cours-es include "Application Development for Mac OS X," "Carbon Development for Mac OS X," and "Cocoa: The Object-Oriented Application Solution." Check out to take a free virtual seminar, learn more about current and upcoming courses, and find out about the significant discounts offered to Premier, Select, and student members of the Apple Developer Connection.
http://www.mediaschool.com/adc

Apple iServices 5-day Cocoa Training
For application developers who want to learn how to develop Mac OS X applications using Cocoa, Apple iServices offers a five-day comprehensive, hands-on Cocoa training course. This course uses real-world examples and is perfect for developers who have a general understanding of object-oriented concepts and practical experience with the C programming language or a C-derived language (Object-C, Java, or C++). The course costs US $2,495
http://www.apple.com/iservices/technicaltraining/cocoadev.html

AppleScript Intensive Workshop
Four-day interactive experience for intermediate and advanced scripters June 4-7 in Chicago IL (DATES CHANGED) June 12-15 in Santa Monica CA
http://www.mainevent.com/intensive.html

Developer Related Conferences


QuickTime BootCamp Authoring Conference in Europe
Held June 6 and 7 in Cologne, Germany
http://www.qtbootcamp.de

MacHack Conference Dearborn, MI
June 21-23
MacHack, in its sixteenth year, remains centered around cutting edge soft- ware development. MacHack's uniqueness derives from the informal feel and the LIVE coding that occurs around-the-clock during the conference.
http://www.machack.com/

MACWORLD Expo, New York 2001
July 17-20 in Jacob Javits Convention Center, NYC
Discounted exhibitor packages available
http://developer.apple.com/mkt/mwny2001.html


Travis W. Brown is the Imaging Technology Manager for Mac OS X in Apple's Worldwide Developer Relations. Travis has been involved in digital imaging for the past decade, working on various products, ranging from drivers for color printers and digital photographic imaging systems to PostScript interpreters.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Pack a magnifying glass and practice you...
Somehow it has already been a year since Torchlight: Infinite launched, and XD Games is celebrating by blending in what sounds like a truly fantastic new update. Fans of Cthulhu rejoice, as Whispering Mist brings some horror elements, and tests... | Read more »
Summon your guild and prepare for war in...
Netmarble is making some pretty big moves with their latest update for Seven Knights Idle Adventure, with a bunch of interesting additions. Two new heroes enter the battle, there are events and bosses abound, and perhaps most interesting, a huge... | Read more »
Make the passage of time your plaything...
While some of us are still waiting for a chance to get our hands on Ash Prime - yes, don’t remind me I could currently buy him this month I’m barely hanging on - Digital Extremes has announced its next anticipated Prime Form for Warframe. Starting... | Read more »
If you can find it and fit through the d...
The holy trinity of amazing company names have come together, to release their equally amazing and adorable mobile game, Hamster Inn. Published by HyperBeard Games, and co-developed by Mum Not Proud and Little Sasquatch Studios, it's time to... | Read more »
Amikin Survival opens for pre-orders on...
Join me on the wonderful trip down the inspiration rabbit hole; much as Palworld seemingly “borrowed” many aspects from the hit Pokemon franchise, it is time for the heavily armed animal survival to also spawn some illegitimate children as Helio... | Read more »
PUBG Mobile teams up with global phenome...
Since launching in 2019, SpyxFamily has exploded to damn near catastrophic popularity, so it was only a matter of time before a mobile game snapped up a collaboration. Enter PUBG Mobile. Until May 12th, players will be able to collect a host of... | Read more »
Embark into the frozen tundra of certain...
Chucklefish, developers of hit action-adventure sandbox game Starbound and owner of one of the cutest logos in gaming, has released their roguelike deck-builder Wildfrost. Created alongside developers Gaziter and Deadpan Games, Wildfrost will... | Read more »
MoreFun Studios has announced Season 4,...
Tension has escalated in the ever-volatile world of Arena Breakout, as your old pal Randall Fisher and bosses Fred and Perrero continue to lob insults and explosives at each other, bringing us to a new phase of warfare. Season 4, Into The Fog of... | Read more »
Top Mobile Game Discounts
Every day, we pick out a curated list of the best mobile discounts on the App Store and post them here. This list won't be comprehensive, but it every game on it is recommended. Feel free to check out the coverage we did on them in the links below... | Read more »
Marvel Future Fight celebrates nine year...
Announced alongside an advertising image I can only assume was aimed squarely at myself with the prominent Deadpool and Odin featured on it, Netmarble has revealed their celebrations for the 9th anniversary of Marvel Future Fight. The Countdown... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Every model of Apple’s 13-inch M3 MacBook Air...
Best Buy has Apple 13″ MacBook Airs with M3 CPUs in stock and on sale today for $100 off MSRP. Prices start at $999. Their prices are the lowest currently available for new 13″ M3 MacBook Airs among... Read more
Sunday Sale: Apple iPad Magic Keyboards for 1...
Walmart has Apple Magic Keyboards for 12.9″ iPad Pros, in Black, on sale for $150 off MSRP on their online store. Sale price for online orders only, in-store price may vary. Order online and choose... Read more
Apple Watch Ultra 2 now available at Apple fo...
Apple has, for the first time, begun offering Certified Refurbished Apple Watch Ultra 2 models in their online store for $679, or $120 off MSRP. Each Watch includes Apple’s standard one-year warranty... Read more
AT&T has the iPhone 14 on sale for only $...
AT&T has the 128GB Apple iPhone 14 available for only $5.99 per month for new and existing customers when you activate unlimited service and use AT&T’s 36 month installment plan. The fine... Read more
Amazon is offering a $100 discount on every M...
Amazon is offering a $100 instant discount on each configuration of Apple’s new 13″ M3 MacBook Air, in Midnight, this weekend. These are the lowest prices currently available for new 13″ M3 MacBook... Read more
You can save $300-$480 on a 14-inch M3 Pro/Ma...
Apple has 14″ M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pros in stock today and available, Certified Refurbished, starting at $1699 and ranging up to $480 off MSRP. Each model features a new outer case, shipping is... Read more
24-inch M1 iMacs available at Apple starting...
Apple has clearance M1 iMacs available in their Certified Refurbished store starting at $1049 and ranging up to $300 off original MSRP. Each iMac is in like-new condition and comes with Apple’s... Read more
Walmart continues to offer $699 13-inch M1 Ma...
Walmart continues to offer new Apple 13″ M1 MacBook Airs (8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) online for $699, $300 off original MSRP, in Space Gray, Silver, and Gold colors. These are new MacBook for sale by... Read more
B&H has 13-inch M2 MacBook Airs with 16GB...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs with M2 CPUs, 16GB of memory, and 256GB of storage in stock and on sale for $1099, $100 off Apple’s MSRP for this configuration. Free 1-2 day delivery is available... Read more
14-inch M3 MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM avail...
Apple has the 14″ M3 MacBook Pro with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, Certified Refurbished, available for $300 off MSRP. Each MacBook Pro features a new outer case, shipping is free, and an Apple 1-... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Systems Administrator - JAMF - Activ...
…**Public Trust/Other Required:** None **Job Family:** Systems Administration **Skills:** Apple Platforms,Computer Servers,Jamf Pro **Experience:** 3 + years of Read more
IT Systems Engineer ( *Apple* Platforms) - S...
IT Systems Engineer ( Apple Platforms) at SpaceX Hawthorne, CA SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is Read more
Nurse Anesthetist - *Apple* Hill Surgery Ce...
Nurse Anesthetist - Apple Hill Surgery Center Location: WellSpan Medical Group, York, PA Schedule: Full Time Sign-On Bonus Eligible Remote/Hybrid Regular Apply Now Read more
Housekeeper, *Apple* Valley Village - Cassi...
Apple Valley Village Health Care Center, a senior care campus, is hiring a Part-Time Housekeeper to join our team! We will train you for this position! In this role, Read more
Sublease Associate Optometrist- *Apple* Val...
Sublease Associate Optometrist- Apple Valley, CA- Target Optical Date: Apr 20, 2024 Brand: Target Optical Location: Apple Valley, CA, US, 92307 **Requisition Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.