New skin creator here.

By on June 2, 2011 11:50:40 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

MallyMcGinnis

Join Date 04/2011
+29

Hello, all; I've been reading this forum for a while, and have been studying the excellent tutorial found here.  I'm on p. 5 at the part where the author talks about slicing the start menu for reassembly in SS.  My start menu isn't exactly square like the illustrated one is, so I'm not very sure about how to go about slicing it.  Is it safe to publish an image here of a work in progress, or is that not recommended for security reasons?

peace,

Mally

 

Edited to correct link

243 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 6, 2011 7:44:15 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting navigatsio,
Just saying 'tho, bud.
Thanks. You're most capable too, Navi.

 

On my first blind, I had the help of at least 6 skinners. Yoda voice---> The more questions you ask, the more skinners will help, and the more you learn. 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 7, 2011 11:25:43 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I hear a new apprentice you have, Emperess. Or should Jedi Xiandi I call you?


Powerful you have become, navigatsio. The light side sense I in you.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 8, 2011 10:14:22 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I've decided to take Xiandi's direction, and make my start menu (see post #2 of this topic) with 2 cut layers or 10 pieces.  (2 layers x 5 pieces per layer = 10 pieces).  They look like these two images:

.

The first image is stretchable, the second is tileable with a small area near the top that can be used as the area to be tiled.  The cuts will be made using a third semi transparent layer as a template, like this:

Anyone see any problems with this once I have SKS and WB installed?

peace,


Mally

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Sign Up or Login and this ad disappears!
There are many great features available to you once you register. Sign Up for a free account and browse the forums without ads.
June 8, 2011 12:17:52 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Just by looking at it, it looks like it will work (you never truly know until you put it in). There were a couple things that jumped out at me right away.

The shadows on your second layer don't match up very well. Some are very dark (gauge on bottom right), and some are cut off (gauge on bottom left). Seeing it on a white background really makes it visible, and it's always a good idea to look at your images on different background colors ... it reveals flaws you may not see any other way. Try to keep your shadows consistent throughout the entire blind.

Second thing : This bar might be a problem. It might not stretch very well, because it's angled.  So ...

... you have a few options.

1. Leave it like it is and wait until it's put in to see how it stretches (who knows, you may get lucky).

2. Straighten the bar to be perfectly vertical.

3. Put the bar on the second layer and hope you can find a perfect spot to set the margins so it tiles decently (not very likely, but there is a chance it could work).

4. Put it on a third layer, so you have a bit more freedom with where and how that margin is set (it looks like a spot in the center of it might work, but it still might look funny on larger start panels.

5. Get rid of it.

 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 8, 2011 1:51:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The Emperess is so helpful. K for the Emperess!!! 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 8, 2011 4:08:26 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Isn't she, RedbeckDude?  She's all knowing, and all seeing, too.

Empress Xenia, You beat me to it. although you caught some things I hadn't noticed.  I had some layers out of order when I put them in groups, and then there was the drop shadow issue I hadn't noticed.  They looked fine on the grey checkered transparent background, but I hadn't studied how those bits looked against a white background.  I moved around a couple of other things while I was rummaging around, changed the coloring of the text, and here's where I am now:

I think it's time to bite the bullet and install my trials.  I want to see how things really will look.  Thanks again for your direction! 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 8, 2011 4:20:44 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting MallyMcGinnis,
I think it's time to bite the bullet and install my trials.
 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 8, 2011 6:52:16 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Xenia?

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 8, 2011 11:15:49 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

In Post #5, neone6 suggested I'd need to use "painting margins".  This seems to have been confirmed by Empress Zenia in post #18.  In a v.6 tutorial, I found a reference to that tab near the bottom of the page, under "Vertical Taskbar", but nothing in the v.7 tutorial by Vampothika.  I've only just started looking at the SkinStudio app a few hours ago, but my eyes are burning, and I may have overlooked something obvious.  Could someone please tell me where that tab is?

peace,

Mally

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 8, 2011 11:35:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The image list is on the left side, the tabs run across the bottom. Each tab does something different for the image. When you are less bleary eyed, click on a category on the left and then go through each tab to see what they do (you will not see the Code Editor tab in the trial version, I believe). Once you've gone through them and are somewhat familiar with them, start asking questions. I'm sure you will have a few.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 3:03:59 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Xiandi,
I'm sure you will have a few........

......thousand!

 

Skinstudio is VERY daunting at first. We'll be here to help you along the way.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 6:38:02 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

[quote who="2of3" reply="36" id="2948903"]
Quoting Xiandi, reply 35I'm sure you will have a few........

......thousand!

 

Kerplunk

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 1:03:22 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting 2of3,



Quoting Xiandi,
reply 35
I'm sure you will have a few........


......thousand!

 

Skinstudio is VERY daunting at first. We'll be here to help you along the way.

This must be why mine isn't finished...lol!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 1:43:27 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Here we go with a couple of what I'm sure will be many questions...more at the beginning, I hope, than later on as you kind folk help me to progress.  Here's my stretchable layer in PS just prior to cutting the pieces using the colored sections as a template.  By switching layers in my PSD, I also cut the tileable layer into same sized pieces.*

Assembled into SKS 7.2, we see:



As you can see, there are some problems.  Most of them involve moving the pieces into their correct positions; is this done with the margins somehow?  I didn't find out how to do it if so.

Another thing is that there is a gap between the bottom bar, and all programs.  It looks like SKS calls for 31 pixels, while Vampothika says to keep it at a max of 30 for the sake of Vista.  Mine is 30, and I'm using XP.

I have figured out how to put the second layer (the tileable one) on top of the existing one.  I tried with one piece, but wasn't successful in locating a way to delete it again.  I didn't think to try Ctrl+X.  Eventually, I closed SKS without saving, reopened it, and it was gone.

I can't find it now, but someone suggested that I change the name from Steampunk (a blind with such a name already exists, and I'm wearing it now) to something like Mally's Steampunk, or Steampunk1.  As of a few days ago, this skin will be known as...(drum role, please)...ProfMcGinnisSteamLab.  I only had 20 characters with which to work, or it would have been Professor McGinnis' Secret Steam Lab.  Now, come on...that's funny, isn't it? 

peace,

Mally

*Using a colored, mostly transparent template to cut any number of layers at the exact same places:

Select visible template layer, individual section. 
Using Magic Wand Tool, select one of the 5 colored sections.
Select visible stretchable layer (tileable layer is invisible at this point, or visa versa)
Ctrl+C (copy) that piece from whichever layer is visible
Ctrl+N to open new image document, Ctrl+V to paste image to correctly sized document.
Save as something like "All Programs - Stretchable.psd"
in a new subfolder called something like "ProfMcGinnisSteamLab PSDs\Start Menu Pieces"

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 1:51:12 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Looking at your screeny, I'm firstly curious as to:

1. Why you have your image count set to 2 frames.

2. Why you have the stack vertically box checked.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 2:03:41 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I think the wood needs to be grunged up a bit i perhaps.. isn't that one of the trademarks of steam punk?

Also are u making ur images urself, gauges, pipes etc?

Looking nice and creative, Id help out some, but looks like your in good hand with this bunch...

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 2:08:13 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

First thing to do is this:

In the extras tab for each image, you need to add the dimensions of the image. If you've cut your images right, this should correct most of what you are seeing.

 

To delete a layer:

Select the layer you want to edit, and just click the minus button.

Since you are using PS, I will show you how to cut pieces flawlessly without a template. But I will need a little while to get it together for you. See you in a bit!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 3:33:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

OK, here it is. It's not complicated, I just tried to be as detailed as I could. I know you may know some of this stuff already, but figured someone else might be able to follow it too.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 3:54:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Cyndie, ur such a class act

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 3:59:13 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

100 Pts for helping him Xiandi !!  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 4:12:35 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting 2of3,
Looking at your screeny, I'm firstly curious as to:

1. Why you have your image count set to 2 frames.


I was taking a stab in the dark.  I saw that the image count layer was a variable, and I thought since I was using two layers at each part of the whole start menu, this looked like the most likely place to make that setting.

2. Why you have the stack vertically box checked.

For the same rational, I suppose...I thought I'd need to tell SKS that I wanted to stack layers.  I'll uncheck that box, and change the 2 back to the 1, the default.  Thanks for pointing that out, 2of3.  Good catch, by the way.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 4:30:50 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting vStyler,
I think the wood needs to be grunged up a bit i perhaps.. isn't that one of the trademarks of steam punk?


That's a good observation.  I'm gonna mull that over and try to find a way to do that, but that won't interfere with my old eyes' ability to read it. Some grunged backgrounds are very difficult to read, and they cause a lot of eye strain.

Also are u making ur images urself, gauges, pipes etc?

So far, I think all the images used are sourced images, pieces of things from other photographs.  Some of the gauges came from the inside of a late 19th century locomotive.  The brass pieces at the bottom came from the same locomotive; they decorated the "corners" of the boiler.  The black shapes at the top are from the dashboard of a 1987 Jaguar.  The gears are made by using a brush that someone else made (obtained at Deviant Art) and adding some of that same shiny brass for a texture.

While we're on that subject, and before I go too deeply, am I in anyway "cheating" by using either bits of other people's photography, or by not making the graphics 100% on my own?

Looking nice and creative, Id help out some, but looks like your in good hand with this bunch...


Thanks for the compliment, and you've helped already by having given me food for thought.  I welcome anything you have to say, vStyler.

peace,

Mally

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 4:48:07 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Xiandi,
First thing to do is this:

In the extras tab for each image, you need to add the dimensions of the image. If you've cut your images right, this should correct most of what you are seeing.


I didn't do that.  I will the next time.

[/quote]To delete a layer: 

Select the layer you want to edit, and just click the minus button.[/quote]

This seemed kind of intuitive to me, but it didn't take away the 2nd layer image.  Now that I know this is where I need to be, I'll spend some more time fiddling about there.

[/quote]Since you are using PS, I will show you how to cut pieces flawlessly without a template. But I will need a little while to get it together for you. See you in a bit![/quote]

Wow-wee!  I hadn't gotten back here to read any of these posts since I wrote mine with the questions, and already you're finished with this beautifully illustrated and described mini tutorial.  I read through the whole thing, and understand a lot from just that, but am going to put it to practice and will be remaking my cut pieces using this procedure.  I'm always eager to learn a new way to use PS.  Thank you so much again!

peace,

Mally

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 4:51:30 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting vStyler,
Cyndie, ur such a class act

Yes she is, vStyler.  Seems to be a contagion of class acts around here.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
June 9, 2011 4:53:52 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting neone6,
100 Pts for helping him Xiandi !!  

Amen, and amen.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108431  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000750   Page Render Time:

Home | About | Privacy | Upload Guidelines | Terms of Service | Help
WinCustomize © 2014 Stardock Corporation. All Rights Reserved.