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03-05-05 Highlights at Skinartistry

Written by Old Sapphire

Monday, March 07, 2005 by Skinartistry | Discussion: OS Customization

Sunday Skin 'N Art Wrap-up


A weekly article to summarize what's goin on at Skinartistry, and what's hot.


Main Attraction


Reciprocity v1


Skin:
Reciprocity
Type:
Windowblind
Author: pictoratus
Website: http://www.pictoratus.com/
Email: pictoratus@pictoratus.com


Reciprocity - try saying that one five times fast! It's not just a tongue-teaser - but also the newest Windowblind skin from long-time skinner pictoratus.
I love a skin with lots of flare, eye candy, tricks, flaming hoola-hoops, and all other what-have-you's - but sometimes, all of the do-hickeies and widgets can get to be somewhat irritating, redundant, and often are overdone. When I'm suffering from skin overload, I want something to calm my nerves a bit, and keep things simple, but not too simple. That's exactly what I find with Reciprocity. This skin is simple, sleek, and modern - and surprsingly easy on the eyes. The color does a lot of things for the skin: it adds some interest and flash, and really brings out many darker-schemed websites and highlights them well. Don't be turned off by the color - it's minty freshness is comfortable and unique.
It's difficult to decide whether to consider this minimal or not - the start menu is compact and simple, and the window buttons are kind and dainty, yet you still get that gently fattening feel as you would from a normal skin.
Whether you're looking to satisfy your favorite color fetish, try something new, keep it 'minimal', but not too minimal, or just want to wear something comfortable and sheik- Reciprocity should be the first choice on your list.

Other Parts


  • Wallpaper


  • Rainlendar


  • Toolabr Icons (for use w/o WB)




    "Cool Stuff" Highlights



    Skin: GwE101
    Type:
    Windowblind
    Author:
    geyster
    Website: none specified
    Email: geyster5@neo.rr.com

    An attempt at something different that has been well carried through. The colors are different, and they combine and flow perfectly. It's something dark; something rugged. An attractive theme, to be sure.

    Skin: Abstract-XX
    Type:
    3D Abstract Wallpaper
    Author:
    MillaMeter
    Website: http://www.millameter.com/
    Email: millameter@gmail.com

    How is it that such a seemingly simply designed abstract be so perfect and wonderful? The answers are render quality and textures. Toruses and spheres can be brought to life with heavily reflected material, and when a grueling two days of rendering is added into the mix: the product is art. With a hint of blue light, Abstract-XX sets an example for all Bryce abstract artists to embrace.















































    Hot Stuff
    from all around the net


    • WinCustomize.com! -------------- Stealth OS by MikeB314


    • deviantART.com -------------- TWS_Sunburn by c-spector


    • Skinbase.org -------------- FBlackMak by Butch123


    • Skinz.org -------------- mcEgl by zrco




      Worth Checking Out
      old & new stuff


      Elsdee_EZ by maddox4u Crystallisation by mackalexda black and gray by storm347
      ColdSteel_sys by maddox4u P160 4SMX by PluGGz Fusion by Valhalla





      See ya next Sunday



      Old "Highlight" Articles:



Icon-A-Day, Icon # 65, Program Group Folder

Not as simple as I planed it to be.

Sunday, March 06, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 65 (Program Group)

I wanted to do another simple icon today, but it turned out a bit more of a project then I had expected. So here we go, lets make a Programs Folder.
 
Step 1:

We will start with a copy of our Active X folder. I remove the X and its shadow and reflection.

Step 2:

Now I want to make a little Explorer Window with some programs in it. So I draw the simple shapes with boxes.

Step 3:

I take those boxes and group them, then I slant them back against the folder with the perspective tool.

 
Step 4:

Now I take some new boxes and with the
Mesh tool start going over the title bar area of my Explorer window. I give it the same sort of look we are using on the folders.

Step 5:

You can see here that I end up with 5
Mesh fill objects, "Skinning" my Explorer window.


Step 6:

Now I copy a few of my earlier icons and make a sort of "List View" to go in the icon area of the Explorer window.

Step 4:

To save a bit of time I convert my new "List View" Into a bitmap. Using The Bitmap Effects I give it a bit of perspective. Then I tweak it a bit with size and skew to make it fit in the icon Area.

Step 4:

To polish off our Explorer Window I give it 3 Command buttons and some boxes to flesh out the Shellstyle area. I also give the frame of the window some texture, copied from the folder. Last I give the Window a little
Gloss.

Step 4:

I don't think it is showing up well, so I go back in with the Mesh tool and darken some of the colors for a bit more contrast.
I also give the icon our standard
Reflection.

Step 4:

To finish up we go in and give the new Explorer window a nice
drop shadow.

 

Finished Icon design.

 




Click here to download the finished icon.

Well, that's one more folder down, tomorrow we will try and finish up another. See ya then.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
(Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the
Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 64, Workgroup

The last of the "Other" Icons.

Saturday, March 05, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 64 (Workgroup)

Well, I spent all day moving so I am quite beat, but luckily there is a pretty simple icon that needs to be done. I'm in luck.

This is the last of the icons in the "Other" section of IconPackager; we will have the satisfaction finishing up anther section. So lets do it.
 
Step 1:

We will start by copying yesterdays "
Entire Network" icon, and removing the globe and cable, as well as the reflections.

Step 2:

Now since this is a "workgroup" I want to ad one more computer. So I copy the front computer, and put a new picture on it. In this case a copy of our globe.

Step 3:

Now I size the new monitor down a bit, and place it behind the two monitors. I also give the new one a bit of
Gloss on its screen.

 
Step 4:

Now we give the monitors a new reflection. I copy the two front most monitors and mirror them for our Reflections.

Step 5:

Using the Interactive Transparency tool, I I fade out the two reflection bitmaps. See the
Reflections Video for more on this.

Finished Icon design.





Click here to download the finished icon.
 

There we go, one more lose end tied up. I will be doing more moving tomorrow so we will be doing another simple icon tomorrow night as well. Not sure which one yet.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
(Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the
Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 63, Entire Network

This one is really the last of the "Network" Icons.

Friday, March 04, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 63 (Entire Network)

Since it is Friday night, and I have just gotten home from a nice date with my beautiful wife, I am going to once again cheap out and do another simple icon. Yesterday we did the Network Services icon, today we will finish off once and for all the "Network" icons by doing the Entire Network icon.

This icon used to be more important, but you almost never see it anymore, unless you poke around in your My Network Places folder for a bit. But it is supported, and therefore we need to take care of it.

I like to do this one as a few computers, and a globe, this is to represent that the entire network can consist of just about any size of network, form a LAN to the entire Internet. Having said that, lets do it.
 
Step 1:

To start with I will simply copy the My Network Places icon.

Step 2:

Now I copy the monitor, flip it, and remove the shadows and the screen image and gloss.

Step 3:

Now I copy our "Bliss" like image form our my Pictures folder, and use it as our wallpaper for this monitor. I also give the monitor some new gloss.

 
Step 4:

Now we make a new shadow for the monitor, with the shadow falling off to the left, to match our other objects.

Step 5:

Now I take the original monitor from the Network Places icon and size it down a bit, and place it in front of the new monitor.

Step 6:

I move the globe and cable back in front, and make sure it will fit. I tweak the cable a bit to make it longer.

Step 7:

Now we forgot to make a new reflection for the front monitor, so I move the globe away again, and give it a nice new reflection.

Step 8:

Now I move the globe back, and clip the cable a bit to make it look like it is going behind the front monitor.


Finished Icon design.




Click here to download the finished icon.
 

That was pretty simple. I used to spend a lot more time on this icon in the old days, but now I seam to have settled on this formula. It works well and conveys the meaning I want. Besides, how often will it be seen?

I will be moving all day tomorrow, so I will most likely be doing another simple one. Check back to see what it is going to be. I'm still not quite sure. ;)

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
(Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the
Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 62, Network Service

Loose ends.

Thursday, March 03, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 62 (Network Services)

Yesterday I said I would be be doing the Printer icon tonight. However I am running late today do to the fact that I am in the process of moving over the next week or so. So tonight I am going to cheap out and take care of some lose edges.

A while back we did a series of network icons, now that we are getting closer to the end of the pack I realized that we skipped a few. The first of these is the Network Services icon.
 
Step 1:

Lets start by copying the Internet icon.

Step 2:

Now I size the globe down and tweak the cable to make it stretch further around the edge of the icon area.
Step 3:

Now we take a copy of the gear from the admin folder and place it in front of the globe.

 
Step 4:

Now using our reflection techniques I give the gear a new reflection.

Step 5:

Now using the Shadows techniques I give the gear the new shadow.


Finished Icon design.




Click here to download the finished icon.
 

Well, I still want to get to the printer icon, hopefully we will be able to take care of it tomorrow.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
(Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the
Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

 

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 61, Subscription Folder

lets polish off the obscure folders.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 61 (Subscription Folder)

    As we move through the rest of the folder icons, there are a few obscure icons left, one of which is the Subscription Folder icon. So I thought we would get it taken care of tonight.
 
Step 1:

We will start with by copying the
web folder, and removing the globe and cord.

Step 2:

Now we are use a few circles and triangles to make a "sync" symbol.



Step 3:

Now using the Perspective tool, we lean the symbol against the folder.

 
Step 4:

Now with the contour tool we do a "poor mans bevel".  See the
contour video for more on this.

Step 5:

Once more using the
contour tool we fade the inside of the symbol to a lighter green.

Step 6:

Now we quickly give the symbol a little
gloss.

Step 4:

Now using our
Reflection Techniques I give the symbol a reflection.

Step 5:

Now using our
Shadow Techniques I give the symbol a shadow.


Completed Icon Image.





Click here to download the finished icon.
 

Tomorrow we will tackle the Printers folder, which will be a bit of work. So check in then.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
(Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the
Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

 

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 60, Scheduled Tasks Folders

lets use our clock on last time.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 60 (Scheduled Tasks Folder)

    Today we will once more re-use our clock from the last two days. We will need a new Calendar graphic, but other than that we have everything we need already.
 
Step 1:

First thing is to copy the Admin Folder and remove everything but one gear, and the folder itself.

Step 2:

Now using a series of boxes we make a simple calendar.



Step 3:

Now I fill in the cells of the calendar, with some colors to make it look more "calender-ish". I also Group it, and use the Perspective tool to lean it on the folder.
 
Step 4:

Now I move the calendar inside the folder.
I then copy the Checkbox from the Folder Options icon and shrink it a bit, and set it in front of our folder.
Step 5:

Now we copy our clock one last time and place it in front of the folder, but behind the checkbox.


Completed Icon Image.





Click here to download the finished icon.
 

    This should be the last of the "clock" icons, at least the ones I can think of at the moment. Tomorrow we will finish off another folder.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
(Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the
Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

 

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 59, Recent Documents Folder

Let us reuse our clock form yesterday.

Monday, February 28, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 59 (Recent Documents)

Yesterday while we were doing the
URL History folder we made a nice clock face. Today we will use it, as well as some elements from past icons to make a new one with only one new graphic.
Step 1:

First thing we do is copy the
My Documents folder, and remove the file and pen.

Step 2:

Now we take our clock, and its reflection and shadows from the
URL History folder.

Step 3:

Now we will make our one new element and create a new reflection of the folder. Using our
Reflection Techniques.

Step 4:

Now we move our clock in front of our folder.


Step 5:

For our finishing touch we copy the pen from our
RTF File icon, and place it on the floor in front of the folder.

Completed Icon Image.




Click here to download the finished icon.

Well, I thinkwe will find more uses for our clock as we move though the latter half of our pack. Check back in tomorrow to see what's next.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles:
(Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the
Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

Icon-A-Day, Icon # 58, URL History Folder

Back into the folders.

Sunday, February 27, 2005 by mormegil | Discussion: Icons

Icon 58 (URL History Folder)

Today we will start back up on the folders. In the process we will make a clock that we can use in several other places in our Icon Pack. Here we go.
So with no further ado, I give you the URL History folder.
Step 1:

We will start by copying the Web Folder, and removing the globe and cable.

Step 2:

Now I use traditional drawing tools, a few circles and the Bezier Drawing tool to make a clock face.

Step 3:

Now I group our clock together and lean it back with the perspective tool.

 
Step 4:

I use the Interactive Transparency tool to make the body of the clock appear like glass. 

Step 5:

With a series of gradients I fill out the hands. I also give them some standard drop shadows to give them some depth.

Step 5:

Now using our Shadow techniques I give the clock some shadows.

Step 6

Now I simply move the clock in front of the folder, and give it a new reflection.
 

Completed Icon Image.

 



Click here to download the finished icon.

Tomorrow we will move on further through the folder Icons.

Read the other Icon-A-Day Articles: (Icon-A-Day Index)

Check out the CorelDRAW for Skinner Index, for links to all the related Video Tutorials.

And don't forget to check for all the Icon-A-Day icons as they get made, in the Miscellaneous Icons Gallery at Wincustomize.com
All Images and Text in this tutorial are � Paul Boyer, and may not be reused without written permission.

Blog: DesktopX 3, Photo albums, furniture, and ObjectBar 2

The calm before the March storm..

Sunday, February 27, 2005 by Frogboy | Discussion: Community

Tomorrow is a big day for us. It's the release of Multiplicity which we've been working towards for over a year. It's one of the most useful programs I've ever used and we made it! Hopefully with a trial version of it available, people will be able to see why it's not the same as some open source program or whatever alternative one might imagine. We'll see.  I'm using it right now to do this blog. I have one machine that doesn't have hardly anything on it (not even WindowBlinds) which I'm using to test things and then this one which is my "work" machine which is currently running the Dream theme update.

Spent a lot of time going over Galactic Civilizations II's alpha. Lots of good stuff but we have our work cut out for us. Luckily we have time but as a very lazy guy, I lament how much work is in store for me and the team to get through.

Hopefully tomorrow afternoon we'll be able to hand out betas of DesktopX 3 to key developers.  I've been trying out different things today to see what can be done.  I think one of the biggest features is the ability to have preferences dialogs in your widgets (and no XML is needed to do this). 

Personally, I wish more of the samples used JavaScript. I positively hate VB Script. It's so..yucky. But I'm biased since I come from the C++ world of things.

I got a new internal build of ObjectBar 2 to play around with. The Mini Skin editor for it is ready and I'm going to try to reproduce the OS/2 Control Center exactly - pixel for pixel.  DesktopX 3 widgets/gadgets can be seamlessly embedded into an ObjectBar bar.  And ObjectBar 2 can export its bars as EXEs as well.  So you could make your own Longhorn bar or Mac Finder bar or whatever and then have it be a program you can distribute with the user only needing the ObjectBar run-times to use it (i.e. you don't have to load up ObjectBar and fish for the .obtheme).  The combination of being able to use DesktopX 3 widgets and being able to export its content as a program should hopefully be pretty compelling.

Imagine it - instead of people having to write complicated plugins or wait for the "bar developer" to come up with some feature (RSS feed, MP3 player, weather, etc.) like you do with other bar programs, you can just stick in there a widget. Widgets, in essence, take on the role plugins do in other programs except anyone can make a widget.  And it's a lot easier to "Skin" a widget than it is to make a skin for some bar program.

The final touches on ObjectDock 1.11 and WindowBlinds 4.51 were finished up and we're just waiting to catch our breath to release those. We also have a fantastic new skin pack from Essorant that is about to be released. Same as the others, we're just waiting to catch our breath. March is going to be crazy.

My wife had a scrap booking party. Those primitives with their paper and scissors. ;) Canon bundles (or used to anyway) this wonderful program called "Photo Record". Has both Mac and PC versions (I have both) and it's just fantastic for creating your own photo albums.

Of course it doesn't have the social aspect of scrap booking parties or the tactile satisfaction of actually making stuff. But I still find it pretty neat to use and the results are fantastic.

I have a bit over a month to find a new car. No luck so far.  I currently have a Bonneville and they've discontinued that. So I'm off looking for something else. Want something with GPS, adaptive cruise control, and heads up display.  Not terribly price sensitive on the issue but I'm pretty cheap.

Speaking of being cheap, Stardock is going to be moving to a whole new office this May.  It'll have twice the square footage as what we currently have and we'll own it (we currently lease).  But the interior decorating bill..oye.  We're looking at around $150k to do what we want to do.  So we're going to be cutting out some things. Quite a few things.  Note that this doesn't include carpeting, wallpaper, acoustical ceiling tiles, natural lighting, and all the other fancy stuff we're doing to make our new office really slick.  The $150k range is just for the desks and other furniture.  We're going to get rid of some stuff that was mostly cosmetic and hopefully by the time we're done we'll be closer to $100k.  We want to get everyone new furniture since what we have now is kind of falling apart except for the central development lab furniture which we're keeping and the WinCustomize team will upgrade to that.




walnut1