EECS 183 Project 4: CoolPics

Project Due Friday, March 22 2024, 11:59 pm

In this project, you will create a program that reads in a description of shapes, draws those shapes, and saves the result to a file. You will represent the different shapes using classes. Here are some examples of images created by students in past semesters:

alcz luyuchen madyaw mengyliu nihalsid hanqing

By completing this project, you will learn to:

You will apply the following skills you learned in lecture:

Getting Started

Starter Files

Download the starter files using this link and create a project using them in your IDE.

You will be working with the following files:

FileRoleWhat you will do
pics.cppDriver for applicationWrite code here and submit
test.cppTest casesWrite code here and submit
Circle.cpp, Color.cpp, Graphics.cpp, Line.cpp, Point.cpp, Rectangle.cpp, Triangle.cpp Member function definitionsWrite code here and submit
Circle.h, Color.h, Graphics.h, Line.h, Point.h, Rectangle.h, Triangle.h Class declarationsDo not modify!
Shape.h, Shape.cppProvided support codeDo not modify!
bmp.h, utility.hProvided support codeDo not modify!
.txt filesInput to generate picturesUse these as input for testing pics.cpp
.bmp filesOuput from .txt filesUse these for testing the output of pics.cpp

We suggest writing the code in the following order:

  1. test.cpp (ongoing as you develop each class)
  2. Point.cpp
  3. Color.cpp
  4. Graphics.cpp
  5. Line.cpp
  6. Triangle.cpp
  7. Circle.cpp
  8. Rectangle.cpp
  9. pics.cpp

Writing Function Stubs

The first time you try to run the starter code, you will see many compile errors. They will look something like the following.

Rectangle.obj : error LNK2001: unresolved external symbol "public: __thiscall Point::Point(int,int)" (??0Point@@QAE@HH@Z)

These errors are due to missing function definitions for most of the class member functions. In previous projects in EECS 183, you were provided with all of the necessary functions for each project. The shell of the function definitons were given and you had to finish implementing them. For this project, you will be required to complete all of the shells of the function definitions. This must be completed for all classes before you will be able to compile your code. Each function declaration must have a corresponding function definition once any call to the function exists. This is called a function stub. You must write all of the stubs for each function definition immediately after creating your project in Visual Studio or Xcode.

A function stub for the Point class non-default constructor would look like the following, and appear in the file Point.cpp

Point::Point(int xVal, int yVal) {
    // to do - implement

While a function stub for the Point class checkRange function would look like the following:

int Point::checkRange(int val) {
    // to do - implement

    // to do - replace with correct return statement
    return val;

Submission and Grading

Submit your code to the autograder here. You receive 4 submits each day and your best overall submission counts as your score. You will submit 11 files, which must be called Circle.cpp, Color.cpp, Graphics.cpp, Line.cpp, pics.cpp, Point.cpp, Rectange.cpp, Triangle.cpp, test.cpp, data1.txt, and data2.txt

The data1.txt and data2.txt files can contain any content you wish. They are to help you write test cases for file I/O in test.cpp. You might use data1.txt with shapes you have added for reading in your test.cpp, and data2.txt to test writing.

If you submit by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, March 20, you will earn 5% extra credit on the correctness portion of the project. If you submit by 11:59 PM on Thursday, March 21, you will earn 2.5% extra credit on the correctness portion of the project.

Working with a Partner

Collaboration Policy

We want students to learn from and with each other, and we encourage you to collaborate. We also want to encourage you to reach out and get help when you need it. You are encouraged to:

To clarify the last item, you are permitted to look at another student’s code to help them understand what is going on with their code. You are not allowed to tell them what to write for their code, and you are not allowed to copy their work to use in your own solution. If you are at all unsure whether your collaboration is allowed, please contact the course staff via the admin form before you do anything. We will help you determine if what you’re thinking of doing is in the spirit of collaboration for EECS 183.

The following are considered Honor Code violations:

The full collaboration policy can be found in the syllabus.

Suggested Timeline

For this project, you will be implementing a variety of classes. You will be approximately on schedule if by each date you have written tests for, implemented, and submitted to the autograder each specified class.

Solution Overview

Your task in this project will be to write a program which can read in a .txt data file, process the data, and create and write a .bmp file for the corresponding image.

In computer 2D graphics, it is common to represent an image in a coordinate system where the x axis directed to the right, but the y axis is directed downward, so that the origin is in the top left corner. And so if the image is of size 100 pixels × 100 pixels, the pixel at coordinate (0,0) would be located in the top left corner, the pixel at coordinate (99,0) would be in the top right corner, the pixel at coordinate (0,99) would be in the bottom left corner and the pixel at coordinate (99,99) would be in the bottom right corner, as this graph demonstrates:


Color is often represented with three numbers in computing. Red, green, and blue are the primary colors that are mixed to display the color of a pixel on a computer monitor. Nearly every color of emitted light that a human can see can be created by combining these three colors in varying levels. And so we can represent colors by specifying the amount of red, green and blue we want. If we use 8 bits to represent each of the three colors in a pixel, there are 28 = 256 possible values for a color. And so the intensity of red, green and blue ranges from 0 to 255, 0 meaning “no color” and 255 meaning “lots of that color”. Thus was developed the RGB representation of color: first the intensity of red is given, followed by the intensity of green and the intensity of blue. If you wanted to represent the color red, the value of red would be 255, the value of green would be 0 and the value of blue would be 0 and you’d have an RGB triple (255, 0, 0). The table below illustrates how red and some other colors are represented in the RGB model:

Color Red value Green value Blue value
Red 255 0 0
Yellow 255 255 0
Green 0 255 0
Aqua 0 255 255
Blue 0 0 255
Magenta 255 0 255
White 255 255 255
Black 0 0 0

Incidentally, this same representation is used for the colors in HTML and CSS on the web. If interested, take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors for more details.

Graphics class

The Graphics class holds a representation of pixels in an image and provides some functions that can be used to do things such as setting an individual pixel or writing an entire image to a file. One of your tasks is to finish implementing these functions.

Notice that the pixel information is stored in pixelData, a two-dimensional array (100 × 100) of objects of class Color. This array thus defines “intensity values” of red, green and blue for each of the pixels in the image of size 100 pixels × 100 pixels. Recall that valid x and y coordinates range from 0 to 99 and allow the image below be an illustration of how you could access pixels in each of the four corners of the image.

Shape classes

There are multiple classes that represent shapes. Each of these classes contains a draw member function that is used to draw that shape in a Graphics instance.

Your application will create instances of these classes based on instructions in the input .txt file.


A point is a representation of a single coordinate on the image. In the input .txt file, it starts with a left parenthesis and is followed by an x coordinate, a y coordinate and then by a right parenthesis, for example, (1,2).

Points in CoolPics are not used to define a single pixel of color, instead they are used to define the coordinates of other shapes that can be seen, including Line, Triangle, Rectangle, and Circle.


The input .txt file asks for a line using the following format: the input line will start with an L and be followed by the start point, the end point, and the color.

L (10,10) (90,20)  255 150 0
L (x1,y1) (x2,y2)   r   g  b

The line will go between the start point to the end point and will be of ‘color’


A triangle starts with a T which is followed by the three points of the triangle. Following the points, there is a color for the Triangle.

T (15,50) (15,90) (40,80)  0 140 20
T (x1,y1) (x2,y2) (x3,y3)  r  g  b

Triangle also has a second form where a color is defined for each vertex. In this form, triangle starts with a T and is followed by a point, color, point, color, point, color.

T (90,60)   0 0 255  (90,90)   0 255 0  (40, 80)  255 0 0
T (x1,y1)  r1 g1 b1  (x2,y2)  r2 g2 b2  (x3, y3)  r3 g3 b3

The three points determine the vertices of the triangle. The fill is a gradation of the three colors of the points (meaning that it will blend between the three colors based on the distance from each). To achieve two different forms of triangle input, we recommend creating two different constructors for the Triangle class.


A circle starts with a C, followed by a center point, radius, color.

C (50,50)  25   235 230 0
C center radius  r   g  b


A rectangle starts with an R and is followed by a start point (top-left), end point (bottom-right) and color.

R (20,20) (40,40)  80 30 200
R  start    end     r  g  b

The two points will be opposite top-left and bottom-right vertices of the rectangle and will fill between them with the specified color.

As with the Triangle class above, the Rectangle class must also be able to interpret a second form of input where four colors are specified (one in each corner), and the color is blended. In this specification, the first color corresponds to the top left corner of the Rectangle, and the other three colors are specified in clockwise order. Note that this is different from the way that blended Triangles are defined.

R (45,20) (85,49)  220 5 5   180 51 255   180 15 255     220 5 5
R  start    end   top-lt rgb top-rt rgb bottom-rt rgb bottom-lt rgb

Sample Input

Here’s an example of what an input file might look like:

L (10,10)  (90,20)  255 150 0
T (15,50)  (15,90)  (40,80)  0 140 20
T (90,60)  0 0 255  (90,90)  0 255 0  (40,80)  255 0 0
C (50,50)  25  235 230 0
R (20,20)  (40,40)  80 30 200
R (45,20)  (85,49)  220 5 5     180 51 255     180 15 255     220 5 5

It would ultimately produce this image:


operator» and operator«

In the distribution header files (Line.h, Color.h, Circle.h, etc.) you will notice a couple of lines of code very similar to the ones shown below, which are taken from Line.cpp.

istream& operator>> (istream& ins, Line& line);
ostream& operator<< (ostream& outs, Line line);

These are special function declarations that are used to “overload” the functionality of the << and >> operators so that you can read and write class instances to and from streams.

Here are a few notes on how to interpret the first declaration:

  1. The function returns a object of type istream (the & means that you are actually returning a reference to an istream).

  2. operator>> is the name of the function. However, this function name is special because it tells C++ that you want this function to be called whenever a developer uses the >> operator like cin >> x;.

  3. Notice that, when you use the >> operator, there are two operands involved (e. g., cin and x in the previous sample statement). The two declared function parameters (the first of type istream and the second of type Line) let C++ know that these are the left and right operands to be used, respectively, when calling >>.

  4. The implementation of these functions looks like the following. More details will be covered in lecture:

    istream& operator>> (istream& ins, Line& line) {
        return ins;

Setting up File I/O

File Locations


Follow along with Emma to set up your Xcode project the right way.

  1. Condensed walkthrough to set up your Xcode project.
  1. Full, detailed instructions and troubleshooting guide to set up your Xcode project.

There are a few things that must be done for Xcode. First, ensure that Derived Data is stored relative to your project folder. Select Xcode > Preferences in the menu bar, click on Locations icon at the top on the window and choose Relative next to Derived Data. This will ensure that executables are saved in your Project folder.

xcode relative

Then, tell Xcode to look for files in the folder where all other project files are stored. From the menu bar, choose Product > Scheme > Edit Scheme.

xcode edit scheme

Select Run on the left, Options on top and then select the checkbox Use custom working directory and navigate to your Project folder where you will store input files.

xcode working directory

Now you can place input txt files right with your .h and .cpp files. You’ll find bmp files created by your program in the same place.

If you move your project folder, you’ll have to reset the project’s working directory.

Visual Studio

Following the instructions for Setting Up Project 1 in the Getting Started with Visual Studio document will put the starter files in the correct folder. The only difference from Project 1 is that there are more starter files to add. These steps are replicated for project 4 in the video below.

Verifying File IO and Project Setup

It is imperative that your Xcode/Visual studio project is set up correctly to read and write text files. Be sure to edit the scheme for Xcode and that the files are in the correct directory in Visual Studio.

Here is a test case that you can add to your test.cpp to check if your text files, like data1.txt and data2.txt, are in the correct directory. Be sure to call file_check in your start_tests function!

void file_check() {

    // open one of the text files that are part of the starter code
    ifstream ins;

    // if the file was not in the correct directory, the stream state is fail
    if (ins.fail()) {
        cout << "Could not open data1.txt" << endl;
    else {
        cout << "Success! Text files are in the right directory." << endl;

If you get the message "Could not open data1.txt" try editing the scheme again (Mac) or checking that you have the project files in the correct directory (Windows).

If you cannot get the text files in the correct directory, then try adding the following to your file_check test.

// if the file is not in the right directory, try this:
ofstream outs;
outs << "find the file named crazyfilename in windows explorer or finder";

Then open Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) and search for the file named crazyfilename. Once you find the folder with that file name, copy all of the .txt files from the project starter files to that directory. Then try the file_check test again.

User Commands

The user will interact with CoolPics program using the following commands:

Commands from the menu should not be case sensitive (e.g., Load, load, lOAd, or LoaD should all work the same way).

Sample Run

Here is an example of the way your program output should look, wherein red text represents a user’s input.

EECS 183 Project 4 Menu Options
1) Execute testing functions in test.cpp
2) Execute coolPics() function to make pics
Choice --> 2
            Welcome to CoolPics

Command:            Description:
--------            ------------
load filename       Loads data from a txt file
write filename      Creates a bmp image from data
quit                Quits the program

load snowman

[Loaded snowman.txt]
Command:            Description:
-------             ------------
load filename       Loads data from a txt file
write filename      Creates a bmp image from data
quit                Quits the program

write snowman

[Wrote snowman.bmp]
Command:            Description:
-------             ------------
load filename       Loads data from a txt file
write filename      Creates a bmp image from data
quit                Quits the program


            Thanks for using CoolPics!



When it comes to a class, getting it to compile is only the beginning. There are many errors that do not show up at all until you call the different member functions. Therefore, in your testing, make sure you call every constructor and every member function. The code we provide in test.cpp gives an example of this for the Point class.

Similarity of Images

One way to test your program is to view the results by opening the BMP image and visually analyzing it. But because files are essentially sequences of bits, diff programs will work too (though not the online ones).


One of the easiest way to check the similarity or difference of two images is visually, by double-clicking. This can be done in most image manipulation tools (e.g., Preview, Photoshop, GIMP). For a demo of how to compare two images visually in GIMP, take a peak at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjdCJ9t4VU.


When you installed Xcode on your computer, it came with a program called FileMerge. You can open it by right-clicking on Xcode icon in the Dock and selecting Open Developer Tool > FileMerge from the top menu bar. Drag and drop two files into Left and Right fields and click Compare. You’ll most likely see a message saying “Files are not ascii.” Click Proceed anyway. If files are identical, you’ll see status: 0 differences at the bottom of FileMerge window.


If you are using Windows, open the Run command, either by selecting it from the Start menu or by pressing Windows + R. Start typing cmd /k FC /b. Now you need to provide it with two paths for the two files you want to compare. You can either type the file paths by hand, or just drag the two files and drop them in the text box.

windows run

Press OK to start comparing two files. If the files are identical, you’ll see a windows similar to this one.

windows identical

If instead the files are different, you’ll see something like this:

windows differences

Bugs To Expose

For your test.cpp, there are a total of 26 unique bugs to find in our implementations. Your tests do not need to expose all of the bugs to receive full points for the lab. The autograder will tell you the names of the bugs that you have exposed, from the following set:

Extra Credit

Maximum of 5 points!

This is an opportunity to earn extra credit for interesting, artistic, or fun inmages . Submit a file called ec.txt to generate a BMP image. You must use at least 3 different shapes and adhere to the spirit of the extra credit.

The teaching staff will do the judging. The file must be submitted to https://autograder.io/web/project/2403 by Friday, March 22 2024, 11:59 pm Eastern.


Your code must follow the EECS 183 style guide.

Style Rubric

Top Comment

Must have name, uniqname, program name, and project description at the top of each file.

If all or part of the top comment is missing, take 1 point off.

Readability violations

-1 for each of the following:





Line limit




Coding quality

-2 for each of the following:

Global variables

Magic numbers

Egregious code

Function misuse


Optional Appendix: BMP Image Format

If you’ve ever taken a digital photograph, then you’ve seen a JPEG image. If you’ve ever taken a screenshot on your Mac, then you’ve seen a PNG file. If you’ve ever seen a moving image on a webpage, then you’ve seen a GIF. If you’ve ever looked at Windows XP’s default wallpaper, then you’ve seen a BMP. JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP are all different file formats that store graphical images. In this project, you will write a program that produces BMP images. Though the code to write BMP files is already written for you, it’s still useful to know something about how BMP files are formatted.

Perhaps the simplest way to represent an image is with a grid of pixels. A pixel is just a dot, a single picture element. For instance, a black and white image can be represented with a two-color grid of bits: a 0 would mean that the pixel is off (white) and a 1 would meant that the pixel is on (black).


(Image adapted from http://www.brackeen.com/vga/bitmaps.html)

In this sense, an image is just a map of bits. For a larger image, you would simply need a larger grid, and for a more colorful image, you’d need more bits per pixel, in order to store more information. Many file formats support “24-bit color,” which means they represent a pixel with 24 bits (24 zeroes and ones).

A 24-bit BMP uses 8 of those bits to signify the amount of red in a pixel’s color, 8 bits to signify the amount of green in a pixel’s color and 8 bits to signify the amount of blue in a pixel’s color. Thus was developed the RGB representation of color. Incidentally, this same representation is used for the colors in HTML and CSS on the web. If interested, take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors for more details.

Since each color (red, green, blue) in a pixel is represented by 8 bits, there are 28 = 256 possible values for that color, ranging from 0 to 255. A value of 0 for a color would imply “no color”, while the value of 255 would imply “a lot of that color.”” So if you wanted to represent a pixel that is purely blue, it would have a value of 0 for red, a value of 0 for green and a value of 255 for blue. On the web—and in the rest of this discussion—instead of representing this with the decimal numbers 0-255, we use the equivalent hexadecimal numbers 00-FF, and colors can be defined with a 24-bit triplet of these hexadecimal values (e.g., ff0000 is red ffffff is white and 0000ff is blue). The above link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_colors, has an extensive explanation of using hex (i.e., hexadecimal) for color description.

Since a file is just a sequence of bits, we can create an image file by sequentially placing each 24 bits that represent colors in a pixel. This is (almost) how a BMP (bitmap) file is structured. First, it contains some “metadata”, general information about the file, such as the format, width, and height of the image. This metadata is stored in the beginning of the file in the form of two data structures known as “headers” (not to be confused with C++ header files). Don’t worry about what exactly should go in the headers (besides the image’s width and height); the staff has taken care of writing them to a file.

Immediately following the headers comes the representation of the image in a bitmap (i.e., a collection of pixels). Each pixel is stored as a triple (1 byte for each of red, green and blue values). However, BMP stores these triples backwards (i.e., as BGR), with 8 bits for blue, followed by 8 bits for green, followed by 8 bits for red. And so if we converted the above black and white smiley to red, each white pixel would be represented by the triple (255,255,255), or ffffff in hexadecimal, and each red pixel would be represented by (0,0,255), or similarly 0000ff in hexadecimal. And we get

ffffff ffffff 0000ff 0000ff 0000ff 0000ff ffffff ffffff
ffffff 0000ff ffffff ffffff ffffff ffffff 0000ff ffffff
0000ff ffffff 0000ff ffffff ffffff 0000ff ffffff 0000ff
0000ff ffffff ffffff ffffff ffffff ffffff ffffff 0000ff
0000ff ffffff 0000ff ffffff ffffff 0000ff ffffff 0000ff
0000ff ffffff ffffff 0000ff 0000ff ffffff ffffff 0000ff
ffffff 0000ff ffffff ffffff ffffff ffffff 0000ff ffffff
ffffff ffffff 0000ff 0000ff 0000ff 0000ff ffffff ffffff

Now, a word on padding. It turns out that 24-bit BMPs are stored a bit differently if the number of pixels in each row is not a multiple of 4. m.bmp, for instance, is 11 pixels wide by 8 pixels tall.


The colors of the University of Michigan are Maize (ffcb05) and Blue (00274c). Each row in the image is composed of 11 pixels. And so the row is “padded” with zeroes to make up for the difference. In this case, 3 bytes (24-bits) of zeros are needed ((12 pixels needed11 pixels) ✕ 3 bytes per pixel). And so each row requires 3 bytes of zero values (or one hexadecimal 000000 value) appended to its end, and we could represent the image as follows (remember that BMP switches red and blue):

05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 4c2700 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 000000
05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 4c2700 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 000000
4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 000000
4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 000000
4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 000000
4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 4c2700 05cbff 4c2700 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 000000
05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 05cbff 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 000000
05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 4c2700 4c2700 4c2700 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 05cbff 000000

In the image above, the padding zeros are shown in gray.