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ThemePark How To?
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AlexMorgan
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Somewhere, Anywhere
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Mar 26, 2004, 11:48 AM
 
Hi GUI Folks!

I was wondering if you all would want to post some tips, tricks or how to's for making themes with ThemePark. Or point me in the direction of a forum that is specifically for that! I don't know of one so I'm posting this. I am attempting to make a theme from scratch and heh, heh well, I'm not entirely sure of what I'm doing. I've looked at some of your themes in ThemePark and pretty much get the gist of things. But like transparent menus and putting dividers in between the menu bar topics are things I don't quite fathom! I'm not asking for lessons, but if anyone has some advice it would be much appreciated. I'm hoping I can come up with a theme and share with all. I use so many from all you talented GUI Gurus and love them and would like to give something back sometime in the near, I hope, future!

TIA,
Alex
     
solidfox
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Sweden
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Mar 26, 2004, 10:34 PM
 
A good start is making a mockup in photoshop, Theme Park is for later.
I think the theme guidelines from the mockup contest site (http://www.macthemes.net/contest/) could be of some use if you've never done a mockup before.

Good Luck

For menu bar dividers you need to activate Menu Enhancer by pressing the options button in the second column of theme park.
     
AlexMorgan  (op)
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Mar 26, 2004, 11:16 PM
 
For menu bar dividers you need to activate Menu Enhancer by pressing the options button in the second column of theme park.


Thank You solidfox! Amazing things happen when you push buttons!


-Alex
     
dws
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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Mar 27, 2004, 12:22 AM
 
Mockups are fine, as long as you already know the labyrinth of limitations and special cases within the GUI. For example, many widgets consist of stuff at both ends with a fill in the middle. If you don't realize that this fill resource is going to be tiled across the widget, then you could easily design something that isn't actually possible to create in ThemePark.

Even though it might seem daunting to create a new theme in TP and instantly be inundated with the quadrillion resources that make up the OS, this really is the place to begin. Start simple. Pick one widget and work only on it. Copy the Aqua resources of that widget into your favorite image editor and let their sizes guide what you create (later, you can start experimenting with which resources can be resized without causing UI disaster!). Preview often. Let each new widget be a success (or failure, we learn from making mistakes) and forget the fact that there are so many other widgets waiting to be created!

Widgets to ignore until you have a little experience under your belt: progress bars and popup buttons. Widgets to explore for instant gratification: menubar & menus.

Learn to have fun with the minutia of creating the widgets, instead of only thinking of grand schemes; otherwise you will end up becoming discouraged. ThemePark isn't hard, it's just time-consuming!!!

Eventually, of course, you will design a total theme; and then mockups are invaluable. It's very easy to get so caught up in creating individual widgets that you don't realize that the theme you end up with doesn't look all that great! Let your mockup become an ever-evolving template that aids you in keeping your artistic vision pure.

Creating themes is a fascinating blend of pure artistic talent and mind-numbing repetitive grunt work.
     
   
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