Creating a HUD style check box

February 1, 2009


The check box is the next widget we’ll add to our HUD style component toolkit. Most of the painting happens in the custom icon I’ve implemented, which handles the rendering of the actual check and box. There are a bunch of hard-coded values (like 12 for the size of the checkbox) – I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to make the code more robust.

Also, you’ll probably notice a bit of redundant code from the post on creating a HUD style button. I’ve done this to keep the blog entries independent, but the code that will be incorporated into Mac Widgets for Java 0.9.4 will use a utility class to do most of the HUD painting.

Finally, as I noted in the HUD button post, for this widget to look “correct”, it must be added to a HUD style window, which I talked about here. The button is quite transparent, so it ends up looking a lot like what it’s added to.

public class HudCheckBoxUI extends BasicCheckBoxUI {

    /* Font constants. */
    public static final float FONT_SIZE = 11.0f;
    public static final Color FONT_COLOR = Color.WHITE;

    /* Color constants. */
    private static final Color TOP_COLOR = new Color(170,170,170,50);
    private static final Color BOTTOM_COLOR = new Color(17,17,17,50);
    private static final Color TOP_PRESSED_COLOR = new Color(249,249,249,153);
    private static final Color BOTTOM_PRESSED_COLOR = new Color(176,176,176,153);
    private static final Color LIGHT_SHADOW_COLOR = new Color(0,0,0,145);
    private static final Color DARK_SHADOW_COLOR = new Color(0,0,0,50);

    /* Border constants. */
    private static final Color BORDER_COLOR = new Color(0xc5c8cf);
    private static final int BORDER_WIDTH = 1;

    /* Margin constants. */
    private static final int TOP_AND_BOTTOM_MARGIN = 2;
    private static final int LEFT_AND_RIGHT_MARGIN = 16;

    private static final Color PRESSED_CHECK_MARK_COLOR = new Color(0, 0, 0, 225);

    protected void installDefaults(final AbstractButton b) {

        b.setIconTextGap((int) (FONT_SIZE / 2));
        icon = new CheckIcon();

        // TODO save original values.

        // add space for the drop shadow underneath the button.
        int bottomMargin = TOP_AND_BOTTOM_MARGIN + getHudControlShadowSize();
                LEFT_AND_RIGHT_MARGIN,bottomMargin, LEFT_AND_RIGHT_MARGIN));

    // Check icon implementation. ////////////////////////////////////////////

    private static class CheckIcon implements Icon {

        private final int CHECK_BOX_SIZE = 12;

        public void paintIcon(Component c, Graphics g, int x, int y) {

            AbstractButton button = (AbstractButton) c;

            Graphics2D graphics = (Graphics2D) g.create();
            // translate the graphics context so that 0,0 is the top/left of
            // the check box. this allows us to then delegate the painting to
            // the HudPaintingUtils method, which assumes 0,0.
            graphics.translate(x, y);
            paintHudControlBackground(graphics, button, CHECK_BOX_SIZE,
                    CHECK_BOX_SIZE, Roundedness.CHECK_BOX);
            drawCheckMarkIfNecessary(graphics, button.getModel());

         * Draws the check mark if {@link javax.swing.ButtonModel#isSelected}
         * returns true.
        private void drawCheckMarkIfNecessary(Graphics2D graphics,
                                              ButtonModel model) {
            if (model.isSelected()) {
                drawCheckMark(graphics, model);

         * Draws the check in the check box using the appropriate color based on
         * the {@link ButtonModel#isPressed} state. Note that part of the check
         * will be drawn outside it's bounds. Because this icon is actually being
         * drawn inside a larger component (a {@link javax.swing.JCheckBox}), this
         * shouldn't be an issue.
        private void drawCheckMark(Graphics2D graphics, ButtonModel model) {
            int x1 = CHECK_BOX_SIZE / 4;
            int y1 = CHECK_BOX_SIZE / 3;
            int x2 = x1 + CHECK_BOX_SIZE / 6;
            int y2 = y1 + CHECK_BOX_SIZE / 4;
            int x3 = CHECK_BOX_SIZE - 2;
            int y3 = -1;

            Color color = model.isPressed() ?

            graphics.setStroke(new BasicStroke(1.65f, BasicStroke.CAP_SQUARE,
            graphics.drawLine(x1, y1, x2, y2);
            graphics.drawLine(x2, y2, x3, y3);

        public int getIconWidth() {
            return CHECK_BOX_SIZE;

        public int getIconHeight() {
            return CHECK_BOX_SIZE;


    // Utility methods. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////

     * Paints a HUD style button background onto the given {@link Graphics2D}
     * context. The background will be painted from 0,0 to width/height.
     * @param graphics the graphics context to paint onto.
     * @param button the button being painted.
     * @param width the width of the area to paint.
     * @param height the height of the area to paint.
     * @param roundedness the roundedness to use when painting the background.
    private static void paintHudControlBackground(
            Graphics2D graphics, AbstractButton button, int width, int height,
            Roundedness roundedness) {
                RenderingHints.KEY_ANTIALIASING, RenderingHints.VALUE_ANTIALIAS_ON);

        // TODO replace with real drop shadow painting. see Romain Guy's article
        // TODO for more info on real drop shadows:
        // TODO

        // paint a light shadow line further away from the button.
        int arcDiameter = roundedness.getRoundedDiameter(height);

        // paint a dark shadow line closer to the button.
        int smallerShadowArcDiameter = height-1;

        // fill the button with the gradient paint.
        graphics.setPaint(createButtonPaint(button, BORDER_WIDTH));

        // draw the border around the button.

     * Creates a HUD style gradient paint for the given button offset from the top
     * and bottom of the button by the given line border size.
    private static Paint createButtonPaint(AbstractButton button,
                                           int lineBorderWidth) {
        boolean isPressed = button.getModel().isPressed();
        Color topColor = isPressed ? TOP_PRESSED_COLOR : TOP_COLOR;
        Color bottomColor = isPressed ? BOTTOM_PRESSED_COLOR : BOTTOM_COLOR;
        int bottomY = button.getHeight()-lineBorderWidth*2;
        return new GradientPaint(0,lineBorderWidth,topColor,0,bottomY,bottomColor);

     * Gets the number of pixels that a HUD style widget's shadow takes up. HUD
     * button's have a shadow directly below them, that is, there is no top, left
     * or right component to the shadow.
     * @return the number of pixels that a HUD style widget's shadow takes up.
    private static int getHudControlShadowSize() {
        // this is hardcoded at two pixels for now, but ideally it would be
        // calculated.
        return 2;

     * Gets the font used by HUD style widgets.
     * @return the font used by HUD style widgets.
    private static Font getHudFont() {
        return UIManager.getFont("Button.font").deriveFont(Font.BOLD, FONT_SIZE);

     * An enumeration representing the roundness styles of HUD buttons. Using this
     * enumeration will make it easier to transition this code to support more
     * HUD controls, like check boxes and combo buttons.
    public enum Roundedness {
         * A roundedness of 40%, equates to slightly rounded edge.

        private final double fRoundedPercentage;

        private Roundedness(double roundedPercentage) {
            fRoundedPercentage = roundedPercentage;

        private int getRoundedDiameter(int controlHeight) {
            int roundedDiameter = (int) (controlHeight * fRoundedPercentage);
            // force the rounded diameter value to be even - odd values look lumpy.
            int makeItEven = roundedDiameter % 2;
            return roundedDiameter - makeItEven;

One Response to “Creating a HUD style check box”

  1. […] Ken Orr posts code to demonstrate how to create a HUD style check box. […]

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