[Concept] Advice needed from experienced skinners!

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m404 Offline
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Post: #1
Hello !


This is a current idea I am working on in Photoshop (these are 100% pure mockups, I am very new to the whole XBMC skinning and wanted to ask a few questions here before I even start digging into it).

As you can see, I am posting a few views I've been thinking about, and I would like to know if some experienced skinners can already, like, by "instinct" say that some of the thing's I'm doing are either impossible, or very hard to achieve or anything ...

Since this will be my first skin ever, I think I should avoid to go ahead and try exceptional behaviour or "effects" before I even had a better look into the matter really ...

On a side note : any kind of criticism is welcome ... the main purpose may be to get some advice on the "technical" side, but if you want to say anything from the artistic point of view, feel free ... just keep in mind that these are mockups i quickly did today to get some technical feedback, and as such there's plenty of unpolished details (failures on quite some margins, font inconsistencies etc).

- Home view for Movies

[Image: KwX2y.jpg]

- Home view for TV Shows

[Image: UjlY4.jpg]

- Library view for Movies

[Image: YhJNP.jpg]

- Library view for TV Shows

[Image: LUgnb.jpg]

Again, any kind of technical feedback like "forget about the fading glow around the boxes, it'll be shithard to do this in XBMC" or whatever might be of use is HIGHLY welcome , I have absolutely no clue about XBMC skinning yet !

Oh, and for those that would like to say "hm, seen too many of these skins already" -> Yes I know, this is actually supposed to be a personal skin for myself Smile If it ever becomes reality, I will obviously release it somehow for the sake of the community / open-source spirit, but it's not meant to be a real addition to the already awesome amount of skins out there Smile Just trying to fit my own and my wifes wishes into a skin somehow ;-)

Thanks in advance !

Fractal Design Node 304 | Intel i3-3225 | Gigabyte H77N-WiFi | 4GB RAM | Intel HD 4000
Samsung UE55F6500 | Onkyo TX-NR616 | Infinity Reference MKII 5.1
XBMC 13.0 Gotham Beta1 | Arctic mk.ii
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ronie Offline
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Post: #2
i'll leave the artistic comments up to the pro's,
but from a coding point of view i think most (if not all) of what you've made
is possible to implement.

only thing i'm not sure of is if the tv show banner is available at episode level,
but that's just a minor thing...

don't worry about the glow around your boxes,
many skins use drop shadows there and glow would be just as easy to use.

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Ninjahblu Offline
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Post: #3
Love the fonts and how fresh the skin overall looks! I don't really have anything constructive to say. This is just a post to encourage you to continue making the skin.

You seem to hold your own on the design aspects. Are you savvy with coding as well?
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Jeroen Offline
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Post: #4
ronie Wrote:only thing i'm not sure of is if the tv show banner is available at episode level,

I don't think it is. I don't see anything else either that could not be coded. Seems like you're set to go Smile

Out of curiosity: what is the font you're using for the titles and homescreen menu?
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Jezz_X Online
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Post: #5
TV show banner is available at season and episode level PM3 has been doing it for ages its Container.TvshowThumb
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j0nd0e Offline
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Post: #6
I think it looks really nice, just one thing - on the TV show screen it maybe looks a little cluttered with the thumb and plot together. Maybe it could be made less so with the option to make the boxes more transparent? No big deal though, just my personal preference.

Great mockups though.
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m404 Offline
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Post: #7
ronie Wrote:only thing i'm not sure of is if the tv show banner is available at episode level, but that's just a minor thing...
don't worry about the glow around your boxes,
many skins use drop shadows there and glow would be just as easy to use.

Jeroen Wrote:I don't think it is. I don't see anything else either that could not be coded. Seems like you're set to go Smile
Out of curiosity: what is the font you're using for the titles and homescreen menu?

this is exactly the kind of feedback i was hoping for ! thanks alot !
i don't have much time at my hands, so trying to understand the skinning engine and how to realize my ideas with it will take up quite some time, which i wouldn't even have considered if my ideas would have been already too hard to realize Smile

( @ Jeroen : currently it's Helevetica Neue , I will obviously replace it with some of the known free plagiates, even tho i have the licence for it, because open-source spirit simply doesn't go along with a commercial font imho Tongue )

Fractal Design Node 304 | Intel i3-3225 | Gigabyte H77N-WiFi | 4GB RAM | Intel HD 4000
Samsung UE55F6500 | Onkyo TX-NR616 | Infinity Reference MKII 5.1
XBMC 13.0 Gotham Beta1 | Arctic mk.ii
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m404 Offline
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Post: #8
Ninjahblu Wrote:Love the fonts and how fresh the skin overall looks! I don't really have anything constructive to say. This is just a post to encourage you to continue making the skin.

You seem to hold your own on the design aspects. Are you savvy with coding as well?

thanks!

and sadly, no Tongue
i am not technically challenged ( Tongue ), so i am able to understand various script languages etc, but i wouldn't say i'm good at coding, no.
been already looking at some of the documentation tho, and i should be able to do most of the work myself (probably with a bit of help here and there, but i'll be getting alot of that just by simply reading in the forums).

Fractal Design Node 304 | Intel i3-3225 | Gigabyte H77N-WiFi | 4GB RAM | Intel HD 4000
Samsung UE55F6500 | Onkyo TX-NR616 | Infinity Reference MKII 5.1
XBMC 13.0 Gotham Beta1 | Arctic mk.ii
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m404 Offline
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Post: #9
j0nd0e Wrote:I think it looks really nice, just one thing - on the TV show screen it maybe looks a little cluttered with the thumb and plot together. Maybe it could be made less so with the option to make the boxes more transparent? No big deal though, just my personal preference.

Great mockups though.

hah Smile

_plenty_ of things i'm not happy with yet, the TV Show view being one of them.

As you can see from the 4 screens, it's obvious those panels kinda are the backbone of the whole concept, and as such they need to stay a main element of it ... but i am starting to wonder if i can keep up with it (we're only seeing the basic views here ... don't even want to think how many panels i would have to setup for some of the more complicated views, like source managing etc).
so removing some of the panels and making a completely different approach for some elements is definitely something i am considering at the moment.
(maybe i will remove the panel for the episode plot, and replace it by a darkenning gradient in the corner so that the plot is still legible, no matter what fanart is being displayed ... )

i also am starting to hate the scrollbars i've made, and i can already say they will completely be replaced by something else ...

expect a rework very soon, cause i am not happy with the layout yet ;-)

thanks for the feedback so far guys !

Fractal Design Node 304 | Intel i3-3225 | Gigabyte H77N-WiFi | 4GB RAM | Intel HD 4000
Samsung UE55F6500 | Onkyo TX-NR616 | Infinity Reference MKII 5.1
XBMC 13.0 Gotham Beta1 | Arctic mk.ii
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Jeroen Offline
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Post: #10
Jezz_X Wrote:TV show banner is available at season and episode level PM3 has been doing it for ages its Container.TvshowThumb
doh! of course Blush


m404 Wrote:( @ Jeroen : currently it's Helevetica Neue , I will obviously replace it with some of the known free plagiates, even tho i have the licence for it, because open-source spirit simply doesn't go along with a commercial font imho Tongue )
I agree. Unfortunately I find it very hard to find truly open source fonts which offer what I am looking for AND are unicode. The ones that are free often only allow embedded use, and since xbmc uses the actual font files, that's a problem. I am looking for something like you are using in your screenshots. If you happen to stumble upon an open source font that resembles it, please drop me a line Wink
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j0nd0e Offline
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Post: #11
m404 Wrote:hah Smile

_plenty_ of things i'm not happy with yet, the TV Show view being one of them.

As you can see from the 4 screens, it's obvious those panels kinda are the backbone of the whole concept, and as such they need to stay a main element of it ... but i am starting to wonder if i can keep up with it (we're only seeing the basic views here ... don't even want to think how many panels i would have to setup for some of the more complicated views, like source managing etc).
so removing some of the panels and making a completely different approach for some elements is definitely something i am considering at the moment.
(maybe i will remove the panel for the episode plot, and replace it by a darkenning gradient in the corner so that the plot is still legible, no matter what fanart is being displayed ... )

i also am starting to hate the scrollbars i've made, and i can already say they will completely be replaced by something else ...

expect a rework very soon, cause i am not happy with the layout yet ;-)

thanks for the feedback so far guys !

Cool, I do like the use of the panels. I think if done right it could get a good balance somewhere between the skins that focus on information excluding the fanart, and those that have just fanart and no info. Darkening the fanart slightly and having the plot in that corner sounds like an interesting idea - could work for sure. Removing the hard lines that you get with the panel would probably make it look less cluttered.

Looking forward to your re-worked screens. Keep up the good work.
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j0nd0e Offline
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Post: #12
Or could you maybe reduce the size of the episode list and have the summary above the list and below the banner, like you do with the movies screen? Just a random thought.
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