Use the Knowledge

to your benefit and the benefit of all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 by messiah1 | Discussion: Skinning

Hello folks.  I have something to say.  If you are a relatively new skinner, use the combined knowledge of the folks here at WinCustomize and other skinning community sites to help yourself.  Ask someone in a forum or PM if they wouldn't mind testing your skins out to see if there are any issues with them. 

 Some things just cannot be designed around in certain applications.  For instance, something I found out long ago, ObjectDock does NOT like graphics that aren't straight (either vertical or horizontal).  Curved corners are easy, curved graphics in the middle are not.  Once the dock starts to stretch, it begins to look, well, crappy.  You can set your borders to display some stuff correctly but OD stretches in the middle.

 Ex.  Your dock is 200 pixels wide.  RightWidth is set to 50, LeftWidth is set to 50.  The dock stretches between the right at pixel 51 and the left at pixel 51.  So anything in between there is getting stretched.  If you have a curve that area, it's getting distorted.

 You have to be mindful of this when designing stuff.  And you have to try and test it out as much as you can, in every position you can.  And still, you won't be able to cover it all, that's why it's good to pass these things around for testing.  Somebody else will have an insight that you don't.  In the end, you can't design the perfect element, somebody will always complain.  But you can catch the easy stuff.  And if somebody tells you how to fix it, you shouldn't blow them off.  They might just know what they are talking about.   

 We want to help.  Honest.

Reply #1 Tuesday, August 5, 2008 9:00 PM
Reply #2 Tuesday, August 5, 2008 10:14 PM
One of teh best things about being part of the community here is that everyone has somethign to offer to skinning.
I'll be the first to say that, while able to hack away at this or that, I'm not an artist.  My skins and walls and whatnot make me happy but will never be in the Top 10 anything.

However, I'm thrilled when the real artists send me a skin and ask me to give it a spin.  I can try to add some value to a skin by trying to break it or use it in ways it wasn't designed for.   It's also a thrill just to be part of the "select" group that an artist passes a skin to.  I'm always very flattered and thankful to be sought out for to help.

Great post buddy!  Thanks!
Reply #3 Wednesday, August 6, 2008 12:25 AM

Couldn't agree more. After I made my first few OD skins there were alot of things I noticed I hadn't thought of while making them.



Reply #4 Wednesday, August 6, 2008 12:51 PM
I've utilized the help from experienced members when starting to skin. People here are great! Also, I might like to add that there are awesome tutorials included @ the WinCustomize Wiki. Some OD+ examples are authored by none other than the creator of this thread There's info on how to skin many of the fine Stardock customization software apps
Reply #5 Wednesday, August 6, 2008 1:06 PM
Thanks mess!
Reply #6 Wednesday, August 6, 2008 1:36 PM
I have to agree with everyone here, but as a "noob" skinner working on their first wb, I'd just like to say that updated documentation for SKS6 would be a big help too, it'd even answer most of my "noobish" questions without the need to ask experienced skinners after I've beaten my head against the wall till I get a headache, or indeed, until I need someone to break-test it.

Thanks for the insight Messiah, OD skins will feature as a part of my "theme", so any info gleaned now is very much appreciated, as I'm sure it'll save time later.



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