First skin and so many questions

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Gizzmo
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Germany

First skin and so many questions

Post by Gizzmo » Wed May 26, 2010 2:45 am

Hi!

I honestly tried to figure this out myself, but I can't.
I have a great idea for a skin and some of the artwork is already finished, but i want to do this right and have no idea where to start.
  1. I need more resources
    Is there some kind of blank skin, with nothing but all of the skinable objects in it?
    This reference is somehow missing half of the objects. Sure I can pick one skin and adapt it to my likings, but they seem kinda messy themselves, with many elements that apparently do nothing at all.
  2. Can I place anything anywhere...
    ...or are some (all) objects bound bound to their respective folders?
    Which leads us to the following question.
  3. I need to integrate the ControlBar into the Form caption
    Basically to fill up unused space, it would be awesome to get rid of the Form caption, without losing the ability to close, move and resize the window. So is it possible to interlace the Form and ControlBar somehow?
  4. Will it be future-proof?
    Will MM3 skins still work in MM4, or will the be a way to convert them?öä
  5. There is more...
    But I just decided to keep that to myself for now. I might be able to solve those problems myself anyway, once I know where to start a fresh, clean skin.
So please, if you have, or know where to find any more material about MM3 skinning, let me know :)

Thanks,
Gizzmo

DreadM
Posts: 1018
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Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by DreadM » Wed May 26, 2010 3:26 am

Greetings / moin

1: Did you take a look inside my Training skin ?
it contains all necessary objects for the theme, like scroll bars ,buttons etc...
and got for each object one extra bitmap ,that you can change easy

2:? well objects need the right name to work ,how you create them are not so important ,you can use bitmaps or code them ,
the most objects got a fix size ,so you can just fill them.

3:you can make the form caption very small ,but than you have not enough space for the sys buttons,maybe one option is to hide them and show them in the player :-?

4:There are less infos out right now,but like nohitter says there are not so big changes in the MM4 Engine,

5:
Gizzmo wrote:There is more...
Feel free to ask ,and screenshots are helpfull ! ( you can also pm me. (ist wohl einfacher :) )

Gizzmo
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by Gizzmo » Wed May 26, 2010 6:21 am

Hi!

1: Certainly not. Thanks! It is great. Although there are still lots of elements that are undocumented.
For instance _NavBar -> Node -> Selection -> Stretcher -> Stretcher just to name a random one.
Mapped to no Bitmap, undocumented and nothing but a black box inside a black box... how am I supposed to find out what it does?
In fact, I can delete the whole Selection part and guess what: Nothing happens :-?
If I remove the whole _NavBar part there is nothing to see either, but MM starts crashing after using some menus :(

2/3: Maybe I misunderstood the whole skinning process... is it even possible to move things around or can you just change their looks?
Basically I "just" want to be able to dock a ControlBar right next to the Form Caption:
Image
Since they are movable, the Caption needs something to snap them to... if that's not possible I have to rethink my design a bit.

4: On second thought, I don't even care if I have to redo my still imaginary skin, as long as they build a well running engine :)

5: Okay, one thing is bugging me right now. How can I move this little black arrow to the way right edge where it belongs?
Image
"Align" doesn't do much :(

I started the thread in the English forum to reach the whole range of skinning gurus out there, but we can take it to the germen one, if you want :)

Tschö,
Gizzmo

nohitter151
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Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by nohitter151 » Wed May 26, 2010 7:21 am

1: _NavBar is disabled, you need to rename to NavBar otherwise it won't do anything
2/3: Moving stuff is done from MM, not by skinning (for the most part, especially in the theme)
MediaMonkey user since 2006
Need help? Got a suggestion? Can't find something?

Please no PMs in reply to a post. Just reply in the thread.

DreadM
Posts: 1018
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by DreadM » Wed May 26, 2010 7:24 am

To keep the thread in English is ok ,so other interest monkeys can follow ,and maybe we see some more growing skins :wink:
2/3:
nice screenshot ,this we all try ,but don't works with the current engine
Gizzmo wrote:or can you just change their looks?
yes it is like this :-?
First comes the Form,with left,right bottom and caption objects,the last one contains also the button container for the sysbuttons and the sys menu.
follow from Control bar ,right under the caption.
So what you can do is to make the caption very small without bottom border and the control bar in the same color,than it look like one.

5:Object/Header/SortGlyphAsc and SortGlyphDesc = Algin :saRight or saLeft I think this arrow can just be showing left or right side from text

you see we have to be a bit creative to ship around the limitations from engine :lol:

DreadM
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Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by DreadM » Wed May 26, 2010 8:15 am

Gizzmo wrote:Basically I "just" want to be able to dock a ControlBar right next to the Form Caption:
To better understand ,it can look like this:
Image

Caption hight is 8px

Gizzmo
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by Gizzmo » Wed May 26, 2010 10:39 am

nohitter151 wrote:1: _NavBar is disabled, you need to rename to NavBar otherwise it won't do anything
1: Okay, so MM only recognizes Elements only by their name in the ThemeEditor?
And does a Skin need all elements, or is there some sort of fallback mechanism that makes it use default elements if something is missing?
The strange thing is, that it crashed when I deleted the _NavBar folder, which was (as you say) deactivated anyway.
DreadM wrote:To keep the thread in English is ok ,so other interest monkeys can follow ,and maybe we see some more growing skins ;)
Good thinking ;)

2/3: As from what I have learned by now, it is impossible to move the system Buttons out of the Form, it is also impossible to move a ToolBar up there... and you also can't make other elements capable of moving the application-window around. That's sad.
I will try and live with that, but it will not be easy. Remember that when you building the new engine, MM developers!! ;)

5: Seriously? *grml*
Well okay, one more for the road and then I start building and I'll just see what happens.
I have tried everything in VirtualTree to get the list elements (the grey and white alternating ones) a little higher. Not the font size, but the top and bottom padding.
Is it at least possible to get a tiny bit more space between these rows??

Gizzmo.

DreadM
Posts: 1018
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Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by DreadM » Wed May 26, 2010 11:11 am

Hm,
1:
you can deactivated any object when you set ( _ ) before the name,and look what happend,but the most objects are necessary.
The only objects i know ,who can be delete are Buttons,ScrollBar and Tabs,when these are missing the engine will use the OS ones( like in glided skin )
A good way to learn such things is to open other skins an look how the skinmaker handle these things you like.

5:
the default hight is 18 pix ,and like i know this can't be change.

Don't lose your energy :wink: :D

rovingcowboy
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Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by rovingcowboy » Wed May 26, 2010 1:16 pm

only thing that might happen with mm 4 is that we have to recompile mm 3 skins in the new engine to get all the new codes it requires. i had to do that before on some old mm 3 skins when they added new features to the theme engine we make mm 3 skins with.

as nohitter151 said. the objects are controlled by the developers for the theme.mskn which is basicly the same layout as windows shell. since that is what they use a shell made like windows shell or the windows shell?

only thing you need to do in the theme.mskn is what i said in the fast newbies walkthrough, that will change all the images in the theme.mskn for your own looks.
and get your foot in the door for skinning.

only things that need to stay in their folder if you make them seperate like suggested in the walk through. is the icons in the icons folder or the no album art images also in the icons folder. that is the only folder you need to zip up in the msz file.

there are a few images that you need to zip up. and the rest are the ini files and the mskn files.
monkey uses the ini files to know where to place the controls for the player, monkey already has the locations hard coded in to his programming code for the object locations in the theme.mskn file
and again yes you need all the objects in the theme.mskn file the only ones you can remove are what dreadm told you.

never getting his trainning skin i don't know if he put in all the loacations for bitmaps in the text areas or not. but if you get my " Jade monkey " skin that has all the locations for bitmaps in the text areas placed in to the skin and i've even put images in them so you never type on the flat gray images in that skin.
so go ahead and check that skin i made to find the loaction of what bitmap you might want.

yes you can change the color of the fonts in the theme engine. but not all the fonts will change color in real world use.

some of the locations of the bitmaps are not able to be checked with the checking button in the theme skinning engine.
so you would have to make the skin and compile it then open it and test it in monkey to see if the images fit the wanted areas, or are in the proper locations.

if you look around the skin pages at the wiki you will see just about every combo locations of button controlls the is.

now if you want to get a skin with the player only on the left side and the rest is blank then you should use the 3 section player skin and make the center and right use the blank color of pink or magenta depending on what your image program shows it as. mine show a pink background.
also make the center or the right side the part that is used by monkey for the sliding part of the skin. this can be seen in my screen shot of the "silvertone" skin the sliding section has a image in it. and the player is in the left section.

also remember that on the theme.mskn there are some blank buttons that still work as blank being the one to use for its one to show when clicked on. but the player needs either a white or black image button in that location for making it a clicking or non clicking area of the button image.

i've tried to put every feature in my skins some skins that we can so they could be seen how to make them by others.
so if you want to make the mm 3 skin and you like the feature check the skin i made that has it. i don't mind others learning from them that is how i learned. i even left some images in the skins that i did not use so others could seen the trials of making a skin.

also if you want to make a really simple bare minimum images in the skin then check the tangerine monkey skin. it is very bare min.. on the main images for the player as in i think one image map? maybe 2? :)

8)
roving cowboy / keith hall. My skins http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... =9&t=16724 for some help check on Monkey's helpful messages at http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... 4008#44008 MY SYSTEMS.1.Jukebox WinXp pro sp 3 version 3.5 gigabyte mb. 281 GHz amd athlon x2 240 built by me.) 2.WinXP pro sp3, vers 2.5.5 and vers 3.5 backup storage, shuttle 32a mb,734 MHz amd athlon put together by me.) 3.Dell demension, winxp pro sp3, mm3.5 spare jukebox.) 4.WinXp pro sp3, vers 3.5, dad's computer bought from computer store. )5. Samsung Galaxy 5 Android 5) 6. Proscan tablet Android 4.3 ) 7. amd a8-5600 apu 3.60ghz mm version 4 windows 7 pro bought from computer store.

Gizzmo
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by Gizzmo » Thu May 27, 2010 6:23 am

1: That's what I am doing right now. Feeding my Editor with skins and destroying them. It's way beyond intuitive, but I might be on my way to getting the hang of it.

5: Noooooo...ooooo!
You're marking it very hard to see any fun in skinning the monkey. But finishing this skin is my duty now, and i will carry it out, no matter what. But instead of this beautiful piece of awesomeness, it will just be yet another MediaMonkey skin. Kinda boring.

So please do me a favour and kill my last hope, too: Is it possible to resize the Search-Box?


@rovingcowboy
Thanks for the book ;)
I will take a look at your skins, too.
Right now it seems like I will take 3 skins, paste my images in there and mix them all together... and it looks like this is the way all the skins out there where made.

Let's all take a minute now and pray to the mighty Monkey, that skinning Version 4 will be much less of a buzzkill :)

DreadM
Posts: 1018
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by DreadM » Thu May 27, 2010 7:09 am

Greetings

1:Thats the way the monkey goes,but to know whats possible you have to know how it works,and so this is a good way.

5:
Gizzmo wrote:You're marking it very hard to see any fun in skinning the monkey
Don't say this ,still i have fun otherwise I would not make any skins :lol:
maybe you have an image from your original design ? maybe we can help you with some ideas
Gizzmo wrote:So please do me a favour and kill my last hope, too: Is it possible to resize the Search-Box?
Soooory ,not with the current version,but maybe this are one of the new features Nohitter talk about in the Windows 7 skin thread.
Maybe this is also interested for you:
Skinning functionality wishlist
Some of the wishes are already included and some comes with MM4 ,and maybe some more,we will see !

rovingcowboy
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Re: First skin and so many questions

Post by rovingcowboy » Fri May 28, 2010 1:09 am

mixing your images in a skin is the way to do skinning but just make sure they are your images.

it is alot easier to use the same skin you did before and change the images and just move the controlls around.

which is how most the skins are made for almost any user skinable programs.
but mediamonkey is the only one i found that you can use very little as in the amount of images and get a full skin.

now take the jet audio program. i'll never skin that thing. they got a wopping 10,000 images needed in their skins. :o
unless they changed it but i don't think they did. 8)
roving cowboy / keith hall. My skins http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... =9&t=16724 for some help check on Monkey's helpful messages at http://www.mediamonkey.com/forum/viewto ... 4008#44008 MY SYSTEMS.1.Jukebox WinXp pro sp 3 version 3.5 gigabyte mb. 281 GHz amd athlon x2 240 built by me.) 2.WinXP pro sp3, vers 2.5.5 and vers 3.5 backup storage, shuttle 32a mb,734 MHz amd athlon put together by me.) 3.Dell demension, winxp pro sp3, mm3.5 spare jukebox.) 4.WinXp pro sp3, vers 3.5, dad's computer bought from computer store. )5. Samsung Galaxy 5 Android 5) 6. Proscan tablet Android 4.3 ) 7. amd a8-5600 apu 3.60ghz mm version 4 windows 7 pro bought from computer store.

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