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Thread: Skin Designer Images

  1. #16
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    well if we look at "png" and it's cousin "mng" maybe something could become of one of these two formats into the skin engine?

    http://www.photodex.com/png/

    http://www.libpng.org/pub/mng/


    the info on what png does

    http://www.photodex.com/png/pngintro.html
    Last edited by Razgo; 06-06-2003 at 08:00 PM.

  2. #17
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    Hi all,
    Have noticed that wa3 uses .png. The possibility to create color schemes with it is highly interesting and the fact that it doesn't compress - destroy the image appearance - is great. The .mng looks as if it were an even better choice looking at the PR-talk about it, but then what image editors will handle the format? My PS v6.01 didn't...
    Now this may be a VERY hypothetical discussion since the implementation into dAP is something I for one have noooo idea whatsoever about the difficulties of... but as I said highly interesting about color schemes!!!
    Just hoping this is not turning out to be a nightmare discussion for Spoon...:confused: ...but the concept of a Skin Designer with more parameters passable into dAP and the skins is a dream come true scene
    Hopefully could also attract even more advanced skinners to dAP as well as giving wannabees a really powerful tool to have loads of fun with.

  3. #18
    Unregistered
    Howdy all,

    I'm curious to hear that people have to constantly resize images?.. I've not had to do that with the skins I've made.

    However what I prefer to do, is completely design the skin in Adobe Photoshop using layers, and then once completed just save each layer out as a .bmp file.

    All i then have to do is add objects and align them in the Skin Designer.

    There is another huge benefit, if you don't like something you can modify it very easily (ie change font size (not label font but fonts in .bmp images).

    I also try and re-use objects as many times as possible, this makes building the skin faster and also reduces the filesize. So if you look at most of my latest skins, you'll see that for buttons I don't put the label (such as << > >>) on the button, but next to it, that way I can use the same button.bmp image. So when I goto add buttons, I don't have to re-select the image. So i'll say create 6 buttons, then I'll select the first button, Click on Normal Image, select the bmp then click open, now when i select the second button/normal image, i instantly click open (bmp filename is still there). So after i've done this for the last button. I reselect the first button, click on Mouse Down Image, select the bmp click open, then select the second button/Mouse Down Image and instantly click open. etc.. you can see how much time can be saved.

    I really wouldn't make skins if I couldn't use the Adobe Photoshop Layer features. You can do anything you like to each layer without affecting any others, so if you need to resize just that layer, you can, or rotate, flip... etc.. totally awesome.

    If I had to ask for new features for DAP Skin Designer It would be as follows.. These mainly relate to making skins easier/quicker rather than adding new features to DAP. these are Skin Designer mods only:

    • A way to see small buttons easier, the 6 box highlight sometimes cover the whole button image. Same goes for Trace, some times its very hard to see where the blue line terminates.
    • The ability to Cut/Copy and Paste, especially for doing multiple objects, such as EQ sliders, just being able to build 1 slider, then duplicate it 19 times would be a real relief.
    • If you are resizing a spectrum, and then you click on a move icon, all your resizing is cancelled, so if you need to resize a spectrum, and then move it, you have to resize, then click on another object, click back to the spectrum and then move it?. Yes i'm sure someone will say just move it first. But you'll find that until you get it the size you want, you don't know if you have to move it or not. Spectrums are picky, just one pixel to small and the bars won't allign themselves to fill the whole area, and instead leave large portions vacant.
    • The ability to Save and UNDO. So you can try something, if it doesn't work, just click UNDO, or re-load the skin. But with having NO Save option, the instant you do something you have to manually undo it.


    Now a few features that would be nice to DAP and Skin Designer

    • Why is there no Roll Up or Roll Left ?.. (there's only Roll Down and Roll Right) ?
    • The ability to lock a skin (window) to any skin(window) you choose, rather than having to lock everything to <IsAmpWindow>. This also effects the USER Defined skins. If you hide (minimize) DAP, but have a onscreen remote or tray control, and you want to open just one window (say the EQ which is defined under USERDefined *1) it won't appear, because DAP is minimized. You have to show DAP before any other appears. (and no I don't want to make every skin <ontop>)
    • The ability to trace objects as well as skins, so you can have non square/rectangle buttons.
    • I really want a save option in MMC, there's nothing worse than accidently deleting the wrong file, only to find MMC has automatically updated the collection file, so you have to hunt around and add that file back. Having a save option would mean you could close MMC and be prompted do you wish to save collection Y/N and you could say NO, then reload MMC and everything would be back to what it was.


    Hope that helps

    Doh darn unregistered. who ate my cookie ! :lustig3:
    Last edited by Narler; 06-26-2003 at 05:03 AM.

  4. #19
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    I agree with Narler with the resizing image problem. I do all of the design work outside of the skin designer using Paint Shop Pro (I actually create the basis of it in 3D first using Pro-Desktop!). Then when I'm happy with the entire look of it I import the bitmaps into the skin designer and all I have to do is just place the buttons in the correct place :D

    Paddy

  5. #20
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    Hi,

    I agree with you Narler about the possible improvements in Skin Designer. Here is my wish list:
    1. Motion through using a multi image file alike the font image files that can be used in dAP. Can be used for rotational movement and much, much more. It should be possible to be fed its values from music contents like scopes, spectrums and VU's are as well as from volume, balance and track control.
    2. The above-mentioned color change alike the one used in WA3.
    3. Shading against windows background... Your Billet Alloy skin would have been even more awesome with that feature
    4. I would like to add a point that would be really useful that I think you Narler mentioned earlier in some form. To be able to mark which specific Z-orders (layers) to display in the Skin Designer. It would make it easier to do adjustments on a specific layer without having to move around everything that has been added afterwards just to get to it... (something similar to how layers work in PhotoShop perhaps)

    The above points are in my preferred priority order.

    My latest skin dAPWIN2000 comes from a PhotoShop file that has around 460 layers... all components are completed in PhotoShop and I have macros to export the .bmp files needed.

  6. #21
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    1. Motion through using a multi image file alike the font image files that can be used in dAP. Can be used for rotational movement and much, much more
    This would be a good feature and is implemented slightly already in DAP so I guess Spoon shouldn't have too much trouble using it in the skin designer. On the Amp Menu there is the input selector dial and if you look at the graphics making up the dial he has done what you suggested with the image maps for each of the rotational positions. Now using this approach for a volume control would be sweet!

    Paddy

  7. #22
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    Hi Paddy,

    The Menu Amp turn knob is not quite the same; it consists of 4 separate files. If you open a font file from any of my skins (any except CDRed) or if you check the volume knob file from WinAmp MMD3 you will find an image that contains several images like in a filmstrip. In case of my font file horizontally aligned and in the WinAmp files the images are aligned vertically.
    Really hope this is an easy thing for Spoon to handle, because the number 2 in my wish list, I'm afraid is much more complicated... and may very well be a rather big remaking of the entire dAP program. To utilize the .png file format - whatever that may carry with it - all skins may have to be converted. Big task but not impossible, a PhotoShop macro to run... have a cup of coffee and it's done :lustig1: No just kidding... and exposing all of my programming knowledge. :supersmil

  8. #23
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    Hi All,

    Quote Originally Posted by BestRip
    4. I would like to add a point that would be really useful that I think you Narler mentioned earlier in some form. To be able to mark which specific Z-orders (layers) to display in the Skin Designer. It would make it easier to do adjustments on a specific layer without having to move around everything that has been added afterwards just to get to it... (something similar to how layers work in PhotoShop perhaps)
    Yes that would certainly make things nice. Photoshop does allow you to turn off (hide/unhide) layers very easily, which is a massive benefit. Thanks for the comment about Billet Alloy skin too by the way:.)

    Also on that similar topic, when you select an object from a previous built skin (such as spectrum), it automatically goes on-top, even though the skin it's linked to maybe burried..

    Still on that topic, it would be nice to sort the object list, rather than just have them displayed in the order they were created, ie so you could gather all skins together, or sort by type, name etc if required. (order of created can still be handy but so could others).

    Another way around this would be to allow USER Defined skins to be linked to <IsAmpWindow> rather than free-floating, so if you could lock them to the <IsAmpWindow> skin position that'd certainly help as we'd not have to build a skin which is 20+ layers deep then, we could use USER Defined *1, 2,3,4,5 etc and spread the workload out.

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