What is UltraKiss?
In some sense UltraKiss is a computer paper doll system, but it is perhaps better described as a full graphical development system for building drag and drop image applications that use a non-procedural event model. UltraKiss is a computer program that implements the Kisekae Set Kisekae Set System (commonly known as KiSS) is a blending of art with computers originally designed to allow creation of virtual “paper dolls”. Kisekae is short for “kisekae ningyou”; a Japanese term meaning “dress-up dolls”. Unlike “computer art” which creates or displays traditional art via a computer, KiSS uses the computer as the medium, allowing the art to be not only animated, but also interactive. system.
Really? Paper dolls? Do you remember doing this as a child? But now we do it on a computer and it is so much more interesting. Read on …
“Sandy and Sue” is a Whitman paper doll book published in 1963.
KiSS by Genie, 1999.
If you want to see what UltraKiss is all about, then try any of the demonstration sets shown here. UltraKiss is internet capable. Clicking on any of these examples will automatically access and run the KiSS set as a secure Java application in the Java sandbox if you have Java Software installed on your system.
Errata: March 1, 2013.
Java Plugin 7 update 15 and lower introduces a security risk for Java applets and applications run in your web browser. UltraKiss is a signed Java WebStart application that does not require the plugin. You can securely run these applications if Java content is enabled in the Java Control Panel on your system. For standalone use UltraKiss can be downloaded and installed as a permanent application on your computer. See the manual installation instructions here.
My library of KiSS sets from a decade ago is available for use with UltraKiss.
Use ‘File – Open Portal’ and go to the UltraKiss qualification sets.
Where does the name Kisekae come from?
Kisekae, or KiSS, was first proposed in Japan in 1991 as a graduate thesis. Kisekae takes its name from the Japanese term kisekae ningyou, which refers to playing dress-up with dolls.
What does UltraKiss do?
UltraKiss simplifies many of the technical details of building and viewing KiSS sets. For viewers, UltraKiss displays KiSS sets and lets users interact with the set using the mouse and keyboard. For developers, UltraKiss manages images of dolls, clothing, and many other media objects that are included in KiSS sets.
The original KiSS model defined a special image format called the KiSS cel format. The KiSS model also proposed separate image palettes for color variations. The paper doll images and other related files were traditionally packaged in the LHA compressed file format popular in Japan. UltraKiss implements integrated LHA, ZIP, and JAR archive file formats for file compression. UltraKiss extended the FKiSS programming language by implementing structured logic, local variables, and label parameters for recursive logic. Some media enhacements for MP3 music and video are also provided.
How does UltraKiss work?
UltraKiss reads and interprets KiSS data files. These files contain computer graphics images, color palettes and data control files. KiSS drawings often contain front and back layers such that clothing can be placed on dolls in a more realistic way. Objects are constructed from layered image components that usually show only parts of the complete image. These objects are manipulated through user actions or through a simple event processing model that enables timed animations or special actions when objects are touched or dragged across the screen.
The original KiSS development model required that artists and programmers develop their content in external tools and then test the work in a KiSS viewer. UltraKiss provides a graphical user interface so that the KiSS configuration file is automatically developed for the artist. UltraKiss offers an undoable edit-test process to simplify working with new objects and developing FKiSS program logic.
UltraKiss applications and games
The Kisekae concept became popular in Japan, most likely because of the anime connection. There was a small English speaking community of Kisekae artists from around the world that extended the KiSS model and contributed to the development of the art form. Some artists explored image movement and event control as a new application development methodology. Various games and other applications could be built with the system as shown below.
Where do I find KiSS material?
It’s difficult to find much material now as this discipline has essentially disappeared. The primary Japanese website for the World KiSS Project is still active. A North American distribution site for KiSS material is available through Otaku World.
The Scarecrow Sets
The Scarecrow games are not just a “kisekae”. They are very interactive quest games and fairy tales about magic, beauty, and love. The artist who created the Scarecrow sets extended the artistic implementation of the Kisekae model into domains that had not been originally conceived. These sets are very different from what you have seen before. To quote the artist: “The girl, you see here, talks, walks, jumps, falls… even she can fall in love… with YOU. But if you do not behave like a gentleman, you’ll lose her very soon! Well, she’s not easy, but she can do almost everything, what the real girl does, and even more! She can turn into other creatures. She can take you in some magic places… Because actually she is a fairy! Yes, she is that one! The Fairy of Your Sweetest Dreams…” Visit The Owl to see his work.
Software Installation: Windows Apple Linux
UltraKiss is distributed using Java Web Start technology. This requires Java Software. Not sure if you have Java installed? Click here to check your system. The examples all use a fully secure Java application that runs in the Java sandbox to protect you. Not sure if secure Java applications will run on your system? Click here to test your system.
For people who want to build and maintain KiSS sets, install the complete Web Start version of UltraKiss. This will install UltraKiss complete with online help, media support, and demonstration KiSS sets. This full featured version of UltraKiss is a signed secure Java application that operates as a stand-alone application on your computer. You may need to respond to security prompts to allow the program access to your system for full operation.
If you do not want the help system or demonstration sets or media support then you should install the minimal Web Start version of UltraKiss. This is a lighter weight full featured version of UltraKiss that is a signed secure Java application that operates as a stand-alone application on your computer. You may be prompted to give the program access to your system for proper operation.
The Java Web Start ‘.jnlp’ file extension may not be recognized as a Java Web Start program on your system. You must associate the ‘.jnlp’ file extension to the ‘javaws.exe’ program in your Java installation directory. On a Windows system this program is found in ‘C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\javaws.exe’. As Windows operating systems differ, please refer to your system documentation to identify how to associate a file extension to an executable program.
Errata: March 1, 2013.
Java Plugin 7 update 15 and lower introduces a security risk for Java applets and applications run in your web browser. UltraKiss is a signed Java WebStart application that does not require the plugin. You can securely run these applications if Java content is enabled in the Java Control Panel on your system. For standalone use UltraKiss can be downloaded and installed as a permanent application on your computer. See the manual installation instructions that follow.
The UltraKiss JAR (Java Archive) files can be manually downloaded. UltraKiss can be installed by extracting the zip files into a directory on your system and started through the command line or by clicking on the JAR file name.
|UltraKiss Minimal Version||applet1.jar.zip||2.6 MB|
|UltraKiss Full Version||ultrakiss1.jar.zip||13.6 MB|
|UltraKiss Security||seigen1.jar.zip||0.3 MB|
|Java Help Extension||jh.jar.zip||0.4 MB|
|Java Media Framework Extension||jmf.jar.zip||1.8 MB|
|JLayer Extension||jl1.0.jar.zip||0.1 MB|
|Demonstration Sets||demo.zip||7.5 MB|
|Source Code||sourcecode.zip||1.7 MB|
Install either the minimal or full version of UltraKiss. For both the minimal and full versions of UltraKiss, the seigen1.jar file must be installed. For MP3 support the JLayer Extensions must be installed. For video support the Java Media Framework extension must be installed. For tutorial support the Java Help extension must be installed. To install local help files and the tutorial systems extract the zip file contents (ensure you retain folder names) to the same directory in which UltraKiss was installed.
Launch UltraKiss. View Help-About UltraKiss. You should see Java Help Version 1.1.3 installed. On the Help menu you should now see Demo Sets and Tutorials enabled.
COMMAND LINE PARAMETERS
The ultrakiss1.jar file can be run as a stand alone application and will accept the following command line parameters.
Parameter 1: Initial KiSS lzh or zip or jar or cnf file to load.
Parameter 2: Initial directory path for your KiSS sets.
Parameter 3: Initial URL for the UltraKiss Portal home page.
Parameter 4: Initial language to use. “en” for English and “ja” for Japanese.
Parameter 5: Initial URL for the primary web site.
Command Line Examples
java -jar ultrakiss1.jar “frkismi4.lzh“
This runs UltraKiss and initially loads the set ‘frkismi4.lzh’ from the default home directory.
java -jar ultrakiss1.jar ” ” “c:\My Kiss Sets“
This runs UltraKiss and sets the default home directory for file open commands to ‘c:\My Kiss Sets’.
java -jar ultrakiss1.jar ” ” ” ” “http://www.kisekaeworld.com/Hosted/index.html“
This runs UltraKiss and sets the home page for the UltraKiss portal to ‘http://www.kisekaeworld.com/Hosted/index.html’.
java -jar ultrakiss1.jar ” ” ” ” “file://c:/myhtml/index.html“
This runs UltraKiss and sets the home page for the UltraKiss portal to a local file on your computer.
java -jar ultrakiss1.jar ” ” ” ” ” ” “ja“
This runs UltraKiss and sets the initial language to Japanese.
java -jar ultrakiss1.jar ” ” “c:\My Kiss Sets” “file://c:/myhtml/index.html“
This runs UltraKiss and sets the default home directory for file open commands to ‘c:\My Kiss Sets’ and sets the home page for the UltraKiss portal to a local file on your computer.
java -jar ultrakiss1.jar “frkismi4.lzh” “c:\My Kiss Sets” “file://c:/myhtml/index.html“
This runs UltraKiss and sets the default home directory for file open commands to ‘c:\My Kiss Sets’. The set ‘frkismi4.lzh’ is initially loaded from the ‘c:\My Kiss Sets’ directory. The home page for the UltraKiss portal is set to a local file on your computer.
Note: Unused parameters should be specified as a single space within quotation marks as shown in the preceding examples.
The ultrakiss1.jar file in the UltraKiss installation directory can be run as an applet in your web browser. Note that UltraKiss is a secure signed application. The user will be required to accept the security certificate for full access to all UltraKiss features.
‘file‘ parameter : Initial KiSS lzh or zip or jar URL to load.
‘web‘ parameter: Initial URL for the UltraKiss Portal home page.
‘website‘ parameter: Initial URL for your preferred primary web site.