Xion Audio Player

Configuring my own skin

Skinning Questions, Suggestions and Ideas

Postby the_man550 » March 27th, 2010, 6:05 am

Hi,

This is the second time I'm trying with all this, though this time I won't be demanding help from everyone but rather want to learn how to do it myself. Then again, I have next to no experience with Gimp (I assume it works as good as photoshop to make a skin?) and no experience what so ever with skinning. That means I'm bound to require some help to get moving.
    These are my goals:
  • Getting the visualization to become transparent and without any kind of border.
  • Getting the playlist transparent, as well as removing as much of the (for me)unnecessary objects as possible.
  • Alternatively (if possible), ability to change color on the visualization. Not necessarily by pressing a button, but at least by changing the properties of the skin.
  • (NEW!) Add a layer with 'triggeron_songchange track title artist album' (possibly album art as well) properties
Not much I guess, but for a newbie like me it appears difficult.

I am going to take it one step at a time. I appreciate help with any of the steps, but I prefer if the help comes at the time I'm working with the mentioned step. The 'help' I want to have is tips and indications rather than anyone actually doing it for me. If someone really wants to do it, I won't say no - but I want to understand how it was done.

Step 1:
Getting the visualization transparent.

I once got help from someone (a very nice someone!) here to get it transparent and all, but there were still some problems that bugged me. I figure it'll be better to do it myself and understand how to configure everything rather than relying on others to be available when I want to change something.

So, here we go. From what I've understood, the visualization window isn't part of a skin but rather a programmed module (excuse me if I'm using the wrong words here). Still, the visualization can be used in a (smells delicious here atm!) skin by adding it as a layer. Either that, or by having the playlist as a separate .psd file. I'm guessing the latter version was the one used when I got help the last time, as he also gave me the possibility to toggle it on and off. This is however not needed, while still being a nice touch.

This is what I've tried:
Putting the 'layer reference' word "visualization" on a layer of appropriate size in a separate .psd file from the skin itself, then putting it in a common .xsf and loading.
Well, that went fine I suppose. Just that it doesn't appear when I load the skin. Anywhere. And I don't know how to make it appear.

I tried adding a separate layer to the skin I'm using, named visualization, but it still didn't appear.

This is where I stand questioning. What should I do? Could anyone point me in the right direction/link me to the right guide? Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you, and I hope this somewhat unusual way of expressing myself isn't a problem.

TIA,
Jacob
Last edited by the_man550 on March 28th, 2010, 2:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby xonenine » March 27th, 2010, 7:01 am

Hi Jacob,
"Viswindow" layers are to create a button which opens an external windowed vis, moveable, resizable but currently can;t be skinned, other than to change border options.
Viswindow result:
Image

"Visualization" allows you to open the same visualization as an unmovable unsizable part of the skin.Visualization result:

Image


If you turn off random colors in visualization settings, the vis will then reflect the color of your "visualization" layers.Visualization layers can show all the time OR be toggled.

Try to open a very simple skin to look at, like tutskinhaven.Have fun, make sure you read the layer reference chart a few more times, you are getting it.xonenine. :)

Any workarounds or effects you'd like to try will only work on "visualization" layers currently. You can't add the vis to the skin seperately.:)
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Postby the_man550 » March 27th, 2010, 7:31 am

Hi Xonenine, thanks for your answer.

I've decided to try both methods to see which one suits me the best. Starting with the second one.

I think I want the ability to toggle the visualization, at least if it isn't too difficult.

To spare myself a little time of Trial & Error, a few questions;
  • As, using this method, the visualization is a part of the skin, could it be put absently from the player itself in the same .psd file? What I more precisely want is that the player itself is at the top of the screen while the visualization covers the bottom the screen. The problem I foresee with my limited knowledge is that in order to do this, I have to increase the overall size of the skin to cover basically the whole screen. When I've done this, will I be able to click through it?
  • Second question would be what the the id (action name? layer name?) of the layer I add to toggle the visualization is. Is it this one?;

    Keyword: action_layer_switch
    Alternate Keyword: aclaswch

    If it is, how do I use it more precisely? I'm guessing it won't just know that it's the visualisation I want to 'action layer switch' automatically, but that I have to specify it somehow. How?

Thanks!
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Postby xonenine » March 27th, 2010, 8:49 am

1.) Increase your canvas size, first, to extend as large as you need so that the visualization layer can be added to your existing skin.It has to be a layer in the same .psd, not seperate.

2.) Put all the layers of the skin up top and the vis layer low, as you want it.

Now, you either have to make the vis passthrough, or the user will use a button on your player part of the skin to toggle the vis.

3.) Name the Visualization layer
Code: Select all
id(myvis) visualization


It is much more practical to have a button.

4.)The button on your player would be in a layer coded like this:

Code: Select all
button id(anyname) modify(myvis,notmyvis) aclaswch


I do it with aclaswitch (aclaswch) instead, because you can do more w this, you will see. :)

The names can be changed to protect the innocent, hehe. :)

For instance you can switch from no vis to vis to vis2 or album art w aclaswch w 1 button.But try the first part out. :)
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Postby the_man550 » March 27th, 2010, 11:11 am

Hi,

That took some time. Quite some dang time. Lots of frustration. Why? I used .rar instead of .zip :lol:

Thanks anyway! This got me moving.
Here's how far I've gotten so far. Happened to take a rather ugly picture but meh.
http://swcteam.com/images/TLC/xion.jpg

The nice li'l red button up there is my, obviously not permanent, button to toggle the visualization. Works splendid. Even added comments and a second 'over' layer to make it go green when you put your mouse over it. We're talking high-tech here.

These are the things that have been confusing me;
  • From what I'd understood, the visualization is supposed to take the color of which the layer is. Well, whatever I do, it's always black. My goal is to get this image...;
    http://swcteam.com/images/TLC/bgORIGINAL.jpg
    (made smaller as well as some black removed)
    ... to be the base of the equalizer, and the EQ 'sticks' to have different color according to that background.
    Is that possible or have I misunderstood the concept all together?
  • The skin I'm using, XionFlux, can change background-lightning through a button (the one furthest down to the left). Thing is, once I get the vis there, it does no more. If I press the button to change, nothing happens. Do you have any idea of what might cause that? All other buttons work. Too many buttons?
  • If I want to use the layer preference 'moveable' on the vis. area, so that I can move the whole player by pulling it, how to I integrate the command? Do I just add 'moveable' in the end of the layer name?

Once again, thanks a bunch. It really helps with a little guidance.
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Postby xonenine » March 27th, 2010, 11:58 am

You can only use one color for the vis.If there is more than one, the most prevalent color seems to get chosen, so stick w a solid color. :)

Adding moveable will work fine, other issues, you'll have to upload a version of the skin. :)
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Postby the_man550 » March 27th, 2010, 11:50 pm

It would indeed be great if you could take a look. I've checked but I can't really seem to find the problem.

Here's a download:
http://swcteam.com/images/TLC/xionflux+playlist.xsf
Done a few changes here and there but nothing major. Going to work more on the toggle button...

One thing though; I decided to use 'passthrough' and remove 'moveable' on the vis window, as it works better for me, but now for some reason the 'moveable' property seems to be there anyway? Is it somehow related to 'passthrough'?

Thanks again
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Postby xonenine » March 28th, 2010, 12:27 am

Here ya go Jacob.The LCDs switch color now so take a careful look at how I named the colored layers and the button.

Passthrough for vis works now, you just had 2 spaces inbetween the keyword stead of 1.

I put your VU Meter animations in a layer set for you, so they will work.You can't do this in Gimp, but you can see how it's done.

In Gimp you'd have to merge all the left VU Meter layers into one layer, then name it:
Code: Select all
lvumeterbt
, then do the same for the right.Gimp is adding support for layer groups, don't believe it is implemented yet.

Give this a good going over, these techniques will work in all your skins...

Have fun, xonenine. :)

http://www.mediafire.com/file/zjyhrndzz03/xionflux2.zip
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Postby the_man550 » March 28th, 2010, 9:47 pm

Thanks a bunch!

Just checking in to say that I have been drenched in a rather lot of work at the moment, so I have to put the project on ice till Wednesday, or in worst case Thursday.

/j

edit: btw, how come there's been no updates since last year?
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