In the first part of this series, we talked about creating football fields, and provided code that would create fields whose hash marks were at high school width, college width, and pro field width. We provided the code as a Windows Batch file that used the command line tool Image Magick to do the actual graphics manipulation. In this part, we’ll talk about taking a field and drawing offenses onto the canvas.

Most offensive players are drawn by using circles (and was done so even in the days of Dana Bible). Since the fields we have drawn are colored a light green, for contrast we’ll want the circles filled in white and with black as the paint color. There may be other circles you might want drawn, ones shaded on one side with black, and perhaps you want the offense going down the field instead of up. We’re not going to worry about orientation finesses, as you can use any number of graphics tools to flip and rotate the image however you want. But we will talk about ways to make other kinds of images.

Defensive code setups, to some extent, are going to be OS specific. That’s because people like to use fonts, and the fonts on Windows aren’t entirely mirrored by the fonts in MacOS or Linux.

We’re also going to start introducing some Perl into the mix of code we show. This is because Perl’s ability to create functions and subroutines will actually simplify the task of creating a graphics code library, for those skilled enough to use the approach.

line spacings

One of the nicer things about a graph where you have real correspondences between the size of a field and the diagrams you make is that you can introduce real line spacings. Those things can matter, especially if you’re comparing spacings between, oh, the single wing of Dana Bible’s day and the spacings of Mike Leach’s Air Raid or Paul Johnson’s Triple Option. In Dana’s day, the spacing between linemen was 6 inches, and perhaps 1 yard separated the ends from the rest of the line.

Most line spacings were much tighter back in the day.

Note: all football graphics are displayed at about half the actual size. Double click on the graphics to see them actual size.

You ended up with lineups something like this:

Single Wing ca 1945. Line spacing 6 inches, except for wingback and ends.

as compared to a modern triple option, which looks something (perhaps) like this:

Triple option, as Paul Johnson used at Navy and Ga Tech

Or the Air Raid, which (from photographs) may have set up at times like this:

Air Raid setup

And with a good field, you can get realistic line spacings in your images. The hash marks on the field make it easier to estimate distances visually.

A coded example.

The field below

A spread option setup

was made by code excerpted below

with a complete listing here.