Basic animation tutorial for CursorXP
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 by Island Dog | Discussion: Tutorials
Making a Custom Cursor with CursorXP Pt. 2
In the last tutorial we covered the very basics of creating your own cursor using Stardocks CursorXP. Now lets move on to basic animations. As mentioned in the first tutorial you will need some software to get your creations going. Just to recap, the first thing you will need is CursorXP. You can find the download and more information here. Next, you will some kind of graphics program to create or modify the graphics needed for your cursor.
For this tutorial I am using Photoshop CS2, but you can use pretty much any graphics or photo editing program you like. I always recommend Paint.NET for someone looking for a free solution. One more very important tool you will need is Aniutil. This utility is one of the most valuable in my collection. It allows you to make "animated" PNG or BMP images from multiple static images. Very handy for creating CursorXP animations, and even for DesktopX objects/widgets also.
Ok, I think we have everything we need, lets get started!
The first thing we need to do is create our animation. Now there are a couple of ways of doing this, but since this is a basics tutorial we will stick to the method I think is best for beginners. I'm going to use the same image used in the previous tutorial. The animation will be the "ornament" changing colors. This is as basic as you can get, but you can be as creative as you want for your animations.
I created 3 separate PNG's, each with its owned colored ornament, and saved them separately to a folder.
Now open Aniutil. Click "Process images" and select your animation images. Hold down the Ctrl button and select all of them at one time, and click "open". Now just put in the file name you want to use and click save. Now Aniutil will have saved a "strip" of your three images into one single image.
Open the CursorXP configuration window. If you are creating a new cursor then select "new theme" from the drop down menu, if you have already started and saved a cursor theme, then just select its name from the drop down list. Now click "configure" in the upper left side of the window just below the theme choices.
Select which cursor you want to change, for this tutorial we will change the Bush cursor, but you can use apply these steps to any of them. Once you have the cursor selected click "configure" that's in the bottom right of the window. From there another configuration window will open. As shown in the image above, select "Enhanced cursor", and click "Import". Just select the image strip you created using aniutil.
Since I used three different images, the "strip" will have three frames, so enter the number 3 in the frames box. Be sure to enter the correct amount or the animation will not work right. You should now be at the window below with your selected image. You should be able to the see the animation in the preview window at the top.
The first thing I notice is the animation is too fast, so click configure again, and adjust the animation interval to 300 ms. You will find that option under "animation". Click OK and the animation has slowed down a little, looks good. In the same way as shown in the previous tutorial you will now select the "click" point in the preview window. Just move the blue crosshairs over the spot on the cursor that will be your click point. Now you can click apply and save, and your cursor will be applied.
I have included a .zip of the image files, so you can experiment with them before starting on your own. Once again this is just the basics of animation. You can do some really cool animations with CursorXP, but we all had to start somewhere.
These two basic tutorials should give you a great start on making your own custom cursors with CursorXP. There is still more things we can do with CursorXP, but you will have to wait until the next tutorial. As always, feel free to contact me if you need any help creating your cursor.
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