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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2007, 6:10 pm
by ForceField
Hello guys!

Some of you may remember this skin.However I only released screenshots of it on the net but never released the skin itself.

TechX2 is an old sonique skin that I redesigned especially for Xion.This is actually the skin that I was trying to imitate when I was doing VTech.

By 'magic' I found some layers of it when I was digging in my backups(I really like this word)!So I told myself why not remake this skin for Xion.

TechX2 has two modes:

a small mode :


and a big mode :


However,this skin is still not perfect and the 'Show/Hide' button wich shows the above layers is not working properly and it forget always the current state of the layers.I still don't know how to fix that and I need your help.I tried everything(svst also) and sometimes we must double click the toggle button for the 'show/hide' option to work.

So,what do you think?

PostPosted: August 2nd, 2007, 10:28 pm
by SLoB
-i would add contour lines with perhaps maybe a small round depression to house all the buttons but for the flow to be more shallow curved (and move prev,next buttons down a bit), would also help to make that brushed metal section a bit more warmer so the buttons dont look just placed there
-also try and smoothout the small jaggies with a .2/.3/.4 gaussian blur
-the bottom curved bit looks slightly thin, perhaps also following that curve with the carbon type bit on the bottom
-lcd looks good :)
-the backpart in the full mode, perhaps make it more like an embedded type section rather than the main player is just plonked on top
-some more highlights both dark and light would also help give it more depth

double clicking on the toggle button says to me that you have a paused keyword on an animation possibly, if there is a paused keyword on the toggle animation loop, ditch that and put in a dummy 1st layer to stop that animation on startup

svst should pretty much work on this skin, all your wanting to do is hide/show layers, put svst on all layers that need to save their state and also the toggle button animation

PostPosted: August 3rd, 2007, 4:17 am
by ForceField
Thanks SLoB for the 'show/hide' toggle tip. :D

I noted all your remarks and will begin to make the modifications.However the only thing that I cannot do is to move the prev/next buttons down a bit because this is a skin that I did a long time ago and some of the layers where already rasterized :oops: .But I still can work on the contours by adding round layers and playing with the transparency.

You'r right about the backpart in full mode:I didnt like it either and it should be easy to redesign especially the borders.The original skin didn't have a backpart and was specifically designed for sonique.

Here is a screenshot of the original that I posted a long time ago at skinbase(sorry for the name) :


Ok,let's begin.

PostPosted: August 3rd, 2007, 6:10 pm
by ForceField
SLoB! look at the difference!



I am still working on it.But what do you think till now?

And for the toggle button I followed what you said and now it's working perfectly.

PostPosted: August 4th, 2007, 4:31 am
by SLoB

would the Xion text at the top look better in the middle on the brushed metal section and keep the top clear of anything?
just an idea

I can see what the bottom middle section is supposed to be like (under the playpause button) but it just looks too thin/sharp at that point, what about adding more carbon parts to the bottom to enhance the slight curve going on?

needs more white line highlights in places such as either side of the lcd on the black edges to give the lcd more emphasis, also needs some darker edge highlights on the main body to help give it more depth
also try a reflection in the glass for the lcd (I always put those in as I think they look cool, not everyone does tho but this is looking a bit more conventional/lifelike so would suit it)

top lcd section looks ok too, again more white line highlights to put more emphasis on the shape you've introduced at the top
those side bars not really doing it atm, also perhaps make the base metal part have less of an edge at the sides

for the attachment between the two parts go for a side projection set of bars/arms which would also help to give the whole set some more depth, sort of a pivot type thing with 2 discs such as O---o---O idea?

PostPosted: August 5th, 2007, 6:48 am
by ForceField
Ok,SLoB.I am trying as much as possible to follow you and I fixed most of your remarks.

Here is the new skin's look:


I tried to play a little with the Xion text but I found that the best place is above:If you look very well in the brushed metal area,you will notice that the middle is lighter than the two sides and this effect gives the skin some depth.When I placed the text in the middle,this not only flattened the skin but also gave an impression of 'overloading' in the below section.It's like this skin was heavy in the below part and light in its above part.The effect wasn't very good.I even tried to put the text in the LCD at the place of the balance slider but the name 'Xion' is small and it didn't goes well.

But I was able to make modifications for everything else you told me about:
1-Added two white lines(highlights) in both sides of the main LCD.
2-Darkened the above section of the top LCD and added some highlights on the sides.
3-played a little with the edges of the two parts of the skin to give it depth.
4-changed the design of the side bars so they appears to be fixed with four screws in the above section and pivoting in the below section.
5-Deleted as much as possible of the below curve.I tried to add some layers but the result wasn't satisfying.

PostPosted: August 7th, 2007, 6:14 pm
by SLoB
i think just try and sharpen some things and play a bit more with some highlights, here's a few quick highlights added to try and add a bit more realism/depth, its a little rough but the idea should come across
if you wanted the png of the half highlights I can put that up for you

so you can see there is some high/lowlights there ;)

PostPosted: August 7th, 2007, 10:40 pm
by ForceField
Wow,How did you do that SLoB!

Here,I reached my limits.

If I give you the .psd can you do what you have done in your first screenshot and fix all the bad layers?

You will have credits.Please How can I send it to you?

PostPosted: August 8th, 2007, 1:28 am
by SLoB
just experimented a little, it was just to give some ideas

wish i had time to work on the skin but I'm redesigning my site atm so I can use it as an online portfolio for future jobs, I'm now outta work so need to get a job!
heh I'll post up the psd I did for it, you can then see all the layers in the light and dark sets added
take out layers you don't want then if your happy with all the layers then merge them so u only need to chop 1 layer
then just mirror the half, some layers overlap the half side so you will need to chop on the halfway line
a couple of layers are also underneath the main, where the bottom black bit is added, I think it looks better with some kind of bottom on it so sort of followed the curves

the psd is not tidy but you should get the gist of the highlights added
grab the psd here

PostPosted: August 8th, 2007, 4:07 am
by ForceField
Sorry to hear that you are out of job SLoB :( .Me also,I lost my job 2 months ago when my company closed and since then I am searching for a new one.I was working as an ITM Assistant in a very big company.But here,in Lebanon,the country is so dead because of the continuous wars and the political crisis that it's very hard too find a new job when you lost your current one.(God!,if only you know how much I wich to leave this country).

I hope that you will find one very rapidly,believe me it's very hard to stay without a job for a long period of time.Good Luck

Thanks for the psd :D ,I already downloaded it and will try my best to fix those old merged layers.

PostPosted: August 8th, 2007, 6:03 am
by SLoB
heh yea lets hope both of us get a job :)

hope that psd helps, perhaps it might help give you ideas for the next skin on adding highlight layers, obviously when adding those sort of layers, subtle is better, use transparency and then merge them all when happy and give them a passthrough keyword

you can see from most of my psds i try to keep lots of highlighting both dark and light on a seperate layer, esp good when adding rgb colouring as the white light is not saturated with colour

PostPosted: August 8th, 2007, 7:53 pm
by ForceField
Yeah,good luck for the both of us :) We really need it.

Ok,here is the old look


And after your work SLoB:


The effect is amazing.The borders and everything else changed.
It's like this old used metal look gives to this skin 'Life'

For the below curve,I opted for a thin black layer:the thick one was giving a 'smiling' effect witch wasn't very pleasant(However I am still playing with those layers).
I am trying now to match the above section to the main one.
BTW,SLoB,how did you made all those layers?

PostPosted: August 8th, 2007, 8:15 pm
by SLoB
glad you liked it, it was just an idea, there was nothing really wrong with yours, I just highlighted some parts where you could get a little bit of detail and depth in, it does look good tho ;)
don't forget to adjust the mirror layer at the top text, just needs a small amount of erasing or putting text on top

i normally start with the main base layers, while also thinking what high/low lights i can add in to accentuate curves/shape/dips/raises, then i start building those highlight layers 1 by 1, sometimes incorporating a few lines here and there, others just 1 highlight, in the end all those highllight layers get merged once happy with it
during that tools used circular selection/fill,contract(mainly 1 pixel), gaussianblur, smudge/blur,transparency,duplication of layers to build up/inverse(white to black for dips/raises)
one trick i like using a lot is use of overlay on the same image, for example the main base metal, if you clone the layer and set the top one to overlay mode and adjust transparency to your liking it can help bring out a more metallic/highlighted look

checkout some of the psds in my skins, you will see highlight layers which bring the skin to life, Siris for example, those highlight layers really do bring a brightness

i see you reduced the transparency of the black line to seperate the bottom section, i left it purposely more solid, but it was to give a little seperation without going ott on a bevel, but yea looks good with that small bit on the bottom

i would possibly rework that main play button, you got plenty of space round there, it would probably look better with keeping the same look as the other buttons rather than going for the blue button/opposite bevel
I would also go for 1 middle icon rather than split the icons
if that button was inkeeping with the rest it would bring out that middle section

PostPosted: August 9th, 2007, 11:47 pm
by ForceField
SLoB Wrote:i see you reduced the transparency of the black line to seperate the bottom section, i left it purposely more solid, but it was to give a little seperation without going ott on a bevel, but yea looks good with that small bit on the bottom

Haha! you caught me :roll:
I told myself SLoB will never notice that!
I did that because I wanted to smooth the stair effect of the layer so I played a little with the transparency.

SLoB Wrote:i would possibly rework that main play button, you got plenty of space round there, it would probably look better with keeping the same look as the other buttons rather than going for the blue button/opposite bevel
I would also go for 1 middle icon rather than split the icons
if that button was inkeeping with the rest it would bring out that middle section

Hmm! I'm on it.
I tried a full layer metal long time ago but the result wasn't good.However,I am thinking of a button made with several layers and it could give some good looking effect. :)
Actually I love playing with those buttons(remember Symbiot:BIG BIG Play Button):it's my favorite pastime :D

PostPosted: August 12th, 2007, 9:47 pm
by ForceField
Ok,This Should be the final release: