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Changing button image colors

Starship Krupa

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I would like some help with using GIMP or Paint.Net or whatever to change the colors on buttons.

I used to do software QA on a photo editing program, so I know there are tools for replacing one color with another, but that was almost 25 years ago and I've forgotten.

Where I run into trouble is on buttons that have a gradient or shadow or 3-D effect, where the original color isn't consistent across the whole image.

For instance, let's say I want to alter the Tools Module buttons from Mercury so that they are bright green instead of bright blue. If they were flat, no problem, but they have a gradient. What do I do? I have been using GIMP, but I'm open to other free tools if they are more suited to the task.

This is the biggest issue holding me back from doing themes of my own.

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Are you wanting to keep the gradients, just with different colors/shades changed with minimal effort (other than changing the image pixel-by-pixel)? Or do you want to just change to a flat color?

If the latter, I just use MSPaint, I draw a box (squared or rounded); but with your experience you probably know how to do that already, so I'm guessing you want to keep the gradient/3D.



Edited by User 905133
to fix typos
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I've used Hue shifting in Paint.NET, but in my latest theme I started building up a library of multi-layer  button sheets, with Background, Icon, Tint/Gradient, and Overlay layers, only flattening and exporting to paste into the Theme Editor.

Paint.NET has some nice gradient tools that can do the circular 'bloom'.

After a while it is is not as tedious as it sounds. I still leave a lot of ActiveBlue untouched where possible, though.

Edited by Colin Nicholls
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  • 1 month later...

I'm doing one based initially on Tungsten, but with green taking the place of where Tungsten uses orange, and using hue shift in Paint.NET has delivered.

I got a rhythm to it after a while.

I will soon be posting the results of this, my first full theme for public consumption. It's sort of evocative of an old school country club, rich greens and browns.

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