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New skin creator here.

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

MallyMcGinnis

Join Date 04/2011
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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

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June 3, 2011 1:18:04 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Is it safe to publish an image here of a work in progress,

Yes it is safe to do 

 

Edit

also your link is bad not working

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June 3, 2011 3:39:08 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks; fixed and tested the link.

Here is my start menu.  It's what I need help figuring out where to make my slices.  This image is somewhat reduced from the original PSD.

Photobucket

Thanks for looking!

peace,

Mally

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June 3, 2011 3:59:17 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'm using paintshoppro but you'd think they're similar.

assume that your alpha channel is already made? select the appropriate area and crop that rascal, save it as the section named. the resized image should also maintain the alpha channel integrity for that area.

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June 3, 2011 4:21:50 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

I used to have PSP on my machine, but it became outdated when I bought a used copy of PS7 on eBay years ago.  I only recently upgraded from that, but yes, I think they are similar enough.  You're a little over my head, though I think my son knows what you're talking about (he's asleep...don't think I should waken him to ask, might not get a coherent answer anyway) when you ask about having already made the alpha channel.  The background of this image is transparent as a PSD.

You said, "select the appropriate area and crop that rascal".  I don't know what the appropriate areas in my start menu might be.  Also, in what format would you suggest saving the PSD from which to make the cropped sections; png?

Is there a switch to toggle somewhere so I can receive notice of when new replies have been made?

Peace,

Mally

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June 3, 2011 4:50:34 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I welcome you, Mally. It´s gonna be a wild ride...

However, one thing that you have to think about is that the image parts must be able to "stretch"....Mainly upward in the startmenue.

With something called "painting margins" in Skinstudio you can "safe" parts that you don´t want stretched, but I find it hard 2 see were your examplepicture could have that part...Otherwise -Great Art !!

Again Very welcome to The world of skinning

neone6 

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June 3, 2011 5:01:20 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

you'll want to save as a png to maintain the alpha channel integrity in the temppngs file folder. (sks will convert this to a tga). although your initial layer is transparent, when saved as anything other than a psd, the transparency will probably go to a solid color (usually white).

oh and I forgot to mention after a save you should be able to ctrl-z yourself back to the starting point and then do your next section.

not positive cause I don't use ps but I think you still need to make an alpha channel to designate what's transparent and what's not???

good luck.

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June 3, 2011 5:02:43 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Go back to page 3

I think this is what you want

Scroll Down to

The Elements of the Start Menu

 

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June 3, 2011 6:53:28 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting neone6,
I welcome you, Mally. It´s gonna be a wild ride...


Hahaha...yes, your post is beginning to show me that.  Hey, thanks for the welcome, neone6!

However, one thing that you have to think about is that the image parts must be able to "stretch"....Mainly upward in the startmenue.

With something called "painting margins" in Skinstudio you can "safe" parts that you don´t want stretched, but I find it hard 2 see were your examplepicture could have that part...Otherwise -Great Art !!

Wow,wow...that never occurred to me.  It doesn't appear that there is anyplace that I've left possible to stretch.  It's all quite stiff.  Even the background I used would look funky unless the whole thing could be stretched simultaneously.  I think I've got a lot more thinking to do.  Thanks for the compliment, though!  It was very encouraging.

Again Very welcome to The world of skinning

neone6 


Thank you again.  I plan to stick around a while.

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June 3, 2011 7:07:47 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting gmc2,
you'll want to save as a png to maintain the alpha channel integrity in the temppngs file folder. (sks will convert this to a tga). although your initial layer is transparent, when saved as anything other than a psd, the transparency will probably go to a solid color (usually white).


If I save my PSD as a PNG, the checkered background (indicating transparency) is maintained.  I think the same is true if I save it as a TGA.  If I save it as a JGP or BMP, the background is saved as white.  Is that how it works for you and your PSP?

oh and I forgot to mention after a save you should be able to ctrl-z yourself back to the starting point and then do your next section.

Hm!  Good idea.  Thanks for that.

not positive cause I don't use ps but I think you still need to make an alpha channel to designate what's transparent and what's not???

good luck.

There's something familiar about what you're saying.  Will ask my son to explain it to me after breakfast.  I've heard him mention something like that on some of the work he's done.  And thank you; really looking forward to digging into this more deeply.  Somehow, I think it's going to require more than luck.  I'll be dependent on you all at various stages.

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June 3, 2011 7:12:19 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting DisturbedComputer,
Go back to page 3

I think this is what you want

Scroll Down to

The Elements of the Start Menu

 

Yes, I see where you mean.  I may have glossed over that illustration too quickly, as I don't remember reading the image's tags before.  I'll blame it on my cheaters; they aren't doing their job so well anymore, and it's been easier to increase font size than go and buy another pair for 2 bucks at the Goodwill.

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June 3, 2011 7:55:02 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

When using PS, saving it as a .tga or .png will be just fine. Don`t bother your head about alpha channel (it`s in there)

 

Wild design, bud! You`re not making it easy for yourself on your first skin! You are going to have to use the sks layers function to pull it off, I think.

I would suggest getting in touch with a skinner named Xiandi here on WC. She is the layer queen and can make just about any design work!

 

you can mail her through this page:  xiandi.wincustomize.com

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June 3, 2011 7:57:28 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting neone6,
However, one thing that you have to think about is that the image parts must be able to "stretch"....Mainly upward in the startmenue.

With something called "painting margins" in Skinstudio you can "safe" parts that you don´t want stretched, but I find it hard 2 see were your examplepicture could have that part.

I'm trying to think of how to end up with something similar in appearance and style to what I have, but which has that ability to stretch.  Is there anyway I can bring some of the slices of my work into SS on two layers, one which can stretch, the other not (would include circular elements, etc)?

peace,

Dave

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June 3, 2011 8:01:05 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting MallyMcGinnis,
Is there anyway I can bring some of the slices of my work into SS on two layers, one which can stretch, the other not (would include circular elements, etc)?

Very do able, Dave. Read reply 11

 

Tim

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June 3, 2011 8:03:40 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

It`s also good to say which OS you are skinning. XP and Vista/Win7 act very differently

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June 3, 2011 8:08:20 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting 2of3,
When using PS, saving it as a .tga or .png will be just fine. Don`t bother your head about alpha channel (it`s in there)


 Cool.  That's good to hear.  Thank!

Wild design, bud! You`re not making it easy for yourself on your first skin! You are going to have to use the sks layers function to pull it off, I think.

I would suggest getting in touch with a skinner named Xiandi here on WC. She is the layer queen and can make just about any design work!

you can mail here through this page:  xiandi.wincustomize.com


 What can I say; I like a challenge!  I wanted a steampunk sort of skin, but never found one the way I imagine steampunk to look; I thought I'd like to make one instead.

I don't know what the sks layers function is yet, but I'm wondering if it's something like what I was asking about in my last message, the one posted at about the same time as yours was. Thanks for the contact information.  I have read her writing on this forum several times, I think.  It's a very familiar name.

peace,

Mally

 

PS LOL, Our posts keep crossing.  At least we're on the same page. 

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June 3, 2011 8:53:29 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting 2of3,
It`s also good to say which OS you are skinning. XP and Vista/Win7 act very differently

I only own a copy of XP Pro SP3.  I'll have to learn yet how to optimize it for Windows7 & Vista.

 

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June 3, 2011 4:59:48 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting MallyMcGinnis,



Quoting 2of3,
reply 14
It`s also good to say which OS you are skinning. XP and Vista/Win7 act very differently


I only own a copy of XP Pro SP3.  I'll have to learn yet how to optimize it for Windows7 & Vista.

 
Choose OS-type in Skinstudios preferences, choose ALL OS´S, Skin All, but since you can only see what actually happens on XP you can ask another skinner to try it and tell you what changes must be made...Kinda´

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June 4, 2011 11:09:19 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I just stumbled onto this... I like your style, and your attitude, lol. Just jump right in the deep end and go for it!

You are definitely going to need to use layers on that menu. Have you figured out how to do that yet? If not, let me know, cause you are going to need to know what parts go on what layers BEFORE you cut it up.

Keep in mind that the start panel stretches up and down, depending on how much stuff is in it. You see that by just adding things to your start menu, and taking stuff off. I recommend that the wood background be the only thing that you have stretch, everything else you can have on another layer and set it to tile instead.

The start menu has 5 pieces, each will have their own second (or third) layer, so you will end up with at least 10 different images that comprise the panel background. There does not seem to be a limit on how many layers you can have, but keep in mind that if you go crazy with them, it may slow down your PC because of how long it takes to draw all that.

I assume you are using Photoshop, or something similar,  since you mentioned PSD. Keep everything in layers! I can't tell you how many times I merged layers and regretted it later, lol.

Let me know if you need any help! You can reach me here in this thread, or can email me whenever you want. My email is xiandilee (at) yahoo (dot) com.

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June 5, 2011 11:15:29 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Hi, Xiandi & Disturbed; Your tutorials will come in very usefully, I'm sure.  Thank you for posting them here!

I did send you an IM, Xiandi, as suggested by 2of3 in his post #11.  I'm glad that you stumbled on this thread instead, though.  In that same post, Tim was explaining about using SKS Layer Function, and at the same time he was writing that, I was asking if such a thing were possible (post #12).  I've worked with graphics enough to know to leave all layers intact in PSD (yes, I use Photoshop) files.  Period.  I had to learn that the hard way on more than one occasion, but I did learn it.

It's kind of my nature to dive in head first at the deep end, as you say, before checking how deep it is, or even how cold it is.  There always seem to be a forum to which I can write with occasional questions, and this one is anything but cold.  So thank you for your encouragement.

As of this time, I haven't downloaded the Stardock Office Desktop Suite, but I don't think it's available as a trial anyway.  Neither have I done enough research nor asked if there is an advantage to buying the Ultimate version over the standard, or if that's a marketing tool.  Any suggestions?

I'm out of work, am 53 with little to nothing in the way of job prospects, so it'll be hard to scrape up enough for the software; my bills are usually late as it is.  Wah.     Anyway, for right now, I can use the various tutes I've found to work on the graphics, and to some degree, familiarize myself with the GUI, what does what, and where to find it.  Your fourth paragraph answers precisely what I wanted to know about grouping my PSD's layers.

Thank you, and everyone who has responded.  You've already been a lot of help.  If it's ok, I would like to keep posting to this thread so that 1. I can find, and refresh my memory all in one place, and 2. it might help another new person with a similarly voracious appetite to know how to do this.

peace,

Mally

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June 5, 2011 3:40:31 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting MallyMcGinnis,
If it's ok, I would like to keep posting to this thread so that 1. I can find, and refresh my memory all in one place, and 2. it might help another new person with a similarly voracious appetite to know how to do this.
It's definitely ok. 

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June 5, 2011 5:26:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

You´ll do fine Mally

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June 6, 2011 2:10:19 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums



Wow.  I'm only part way through the first section, but it's extremely well written, and doesn't seem to leave out any details.  Thanks again, DisturbedComputer.

 

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June 6, 2011 2:44:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting MallyMcGinnis,
Wow. I'm only part way through the first section, but it's extremely well written, and doesn't seem to leave out any details. Thanks again, DisturbedComputer.

 

Thanks glad you like them

the Thanks goes all to Vampothika she made them I just pointed you to them  just wanted to be sure, you knew I did not make them..

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June 6, 2011 3:37:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Yo, Mally ...if you need any help with anything (questions, testing, etc.) you're more than welcome to email or PM me anytime. Of course, with Xiandi, you're definately in the most capable hands here! Just saying 'tho, bud....

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