Jump to content
Starship Krupa

Theme: Racing Green (and color preset) art updates 9/29/2021

Recommended Posts

On 1/14/2021 at 2:15 AM, solarlux said:

This mixer fader slider  knob from this theme  would be nice in the Tungsten theme

That's easily done. After you install Theme Editor, there's a collection of custom faders in C:\Cakewalk Content\Cakewalk Themes\Theme Editor Toolkit including these.

  • Great Idea 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just added a .clr color preset file to the Racing Green folder. This allows further "greening" of the theme, most notably including greater contrast for grid lines in the Track View.

A corresponding change to grid lines in Piano Roll View has been added to the theme, along with blue segmented meters for MIDI tracks.

The default Cakewalk colors for grid lines have always been too faint for me, so I turned them green and made them brighter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Updated to add Meter/Key Insert, Delete, and Properties images, various color updates, added F5-8 keystroke commands to Tools Module.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Major update to Racing Green (and EVA 01).

It introduces new images for Inspector and Browser, larger more easily visible single arrows instead of the small double arrows and +/- signs used most places in Cakewalk to expand track headers and show and hide panels. There are also new sharper images for the EQ graticules in Console/ProChannel. I also updated many images with sharper, more legible graphics.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ax7xeox3a5t003v/AABtPXXXSOxwJAkOH-fbyHRfa?dl=0

2006059935_RGcrop.thumb.jpg.dc945a2d6330441028252aabe3f79608.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Smaller facelift for the racer, some color changes for visibility and updating to new EVA 01-style buttons and arrows.

@Colin Nicholls, I'm especially interested to know what you think of my Explorer-style turny triangles on the folders and the changes to the Arpeggiator art.

Cakewalk's arpeggiator is really powerful, but the button layout has always confused me a bit. Specifically the Latch button, by default it looks like a menu more than a button and it has the arp on/off right next to it, with a separator bar between both buttons and the label.

I made a "real" button for the latch function and cut the separator bar between the text label and the arp on/off.

Edited by Starship Krupa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I'm especially interested to know what you think of my Explorer-style turny triangles on the folders and the changes to the Arpeggiator art.

You've put tons of work and care into this, and I get where you're coming from, so I really don't like to be critical. But the triangles don't quite work for me. I could get used to the Folder Open/Close, for reasons I've discussed previously, but I'm not a fan of changing the double-arrows on the track expansion/collapse. Along with the menu dropdowns, there are just too many triangles.

I honestly have never used the MIDI track Arpeggiator and so can't really comment on that. 

I respect your work on refining the Inspector/Browser docking controls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Colin Nicholls said:

the triangles don't quite work for me. I could get used to the Folder Open/Close, for reasons I've discussed previously, but I'm not a fan of changing the double-arrows on the track expansion/collapse. Along with the menu dropdowns, there are just too many triangles.

Being critical is good, how else would I know what elements work or don't work? The folder arrows were indeed your idea, and once I put them there, it felt "right." Unfortunately, the buttons for expanding track headers are on the right side, and when I tried that, it just made it seem backwards.

Yeah, I hear ya. I spent some time mulling that, believe me. You prefer the little double triangles to one big one. In the original scheme of the UI, the doubles are what they used to denote "this opens a panel," and my themes have replaced that with single sharper ones. The drop arrows in Track Headers was the stickiest wicket in the bunch.

The idea behind it is in the overall UI, the triangle/arrow says "click here to open something." I really like consistency, and the Cakewalk UI, with all of its Views and features added over the years, can be challenging in that department. In Track View and Staff View you can click on the track icon to open a synth UI, but not in Piano Roll View, that sort of thing. So going to single arrows (I tried to elongate them, make them pointier, maybe I can do more with that) seemed more consistent.

Basically, from an aesthetic standpoint, I think the tiny arrows make the UI look kind of spindly or fragile. They tried to cram too much icon into too few pixels. I'll pay attention to it as I use Cakewalk and see if I can think of something. If I had more pixels to work with, I could definitely come up with something more pleasing. I set aside the idea of keeping things similar to what people were used to and went with "how would I have done this."

Have you noticed how many menu buttons have the little arrow in the right hand corner vs. ones that have a larger triangle? I tried to figure out a logic for that, but it's inconsistent.

I studied the UI's of other programs, particularly Ableton Live. They are very triangle-centric. It's interesting to study various programs' UI's. People get drooly over Ableton, but their buttons are inconsistent too. Turny triangles in the browser, stacked lines elsewhere, flippy triangles elsewhere.

What did you think of my Markers module? Using the words on the buttons and labeling it with "Markers."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Have you noticed how many menu buttons have the little arrow in the right hand corner vs. ones that have a larger triangle? I tried to figure out a logic for that, but it's inconsistent.

I think it's intended to be right-hand corner triangle = Mouse Right-Click to open

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

What did you think of my Markers module? Using the words on the buttons and labeling it with "Markers."

Well, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or something like that 😄

It's a nice theme overall.

Edited by Colin Nicholls
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Colin Nicholls said:

Well, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or something like that 😄

The flattery is most sincere. Brace yourself for more: Your themes are the most "outside the box," and inspired me to head in that direction, beyond just changing colours. Steam Punk was the one that really hipped me to the idea that there could be some whimsy and inherent fun in creating themes. What you did with the buttons in FLIGHT DECK is inspiring (the "LED indicators").

Also, of course, YLIP, without which I would never have gotten to the point where I would have created something I thought was fit for others to see.

Mucho respeto.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

@Colin Nicholls: one thing I'm curious to get your opinion on is what I did with my default clip backgrounds and headers. There's a section in YLIP about clip backgrounds; it's more oriented toward light clip backgrounds, but (in service to the dark .sth) what I'm trying to do is make it so that the clip(s) I'm working on stand out as darker, hence more contrast with and focus on the waveform. I've also made the selected clip header a brighter shade of green. The one thing holding me back is that the fade curve line on selected clips is always none more black, so I can't go as dark as I would like.

I like the way the unfocused clips look in Mercury. Tungsten shares that, and makes the selected clip a "duller" version of the unselected state. This has always caused me confusion when working in Tungsten (and Tungstenesque themes). It's not intuitive, in a light theme like Mercury, going to a bright white background from a very dark one is exactly what should happen, it makes it easy to distinguish them. Tungsten just has various shades of blah to distinguish muted, selected, etc. The state that's most eye-catching is unmuted/unselected.

My goal was (is) to make a dark theme that would have similar distinctions. So aside from your taste in light vs. dark, whaddaya think?

Edited by Starship Krupa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I'm curious to get your opinion on is what I did with my default clip backgrounds and headers.

I like your style.  It would take some getting used to.
I normally run with "[X] Maximize waveform height",  though, and it doesn't work so well for that option.

 

She's a hard road creating the perfect theme, boy.
Good on ya, mate.

 

Edited by Colin Nicholls
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Colin Nicholls said:

I like your style.  It would take some getting used to.
I normally run with "[X] Maximize waveform height" =  though, and it doesn't work so well for that option.

Sure, you are a light theme guy.

I see what you mean with Maximize waveform height, the clip names are not visible, duh. Well do I ever appreciate your telling me. It's one of those things, y'haveta go 'round and try it in modes other than what yer usedta. The difference between a good personal theme and one fit for release into the wild.

(I don't drink, so I didn't notice the Speights issue)

Okaaaay, let's see. All right, then. See how ye like this:

Updated For Greater Track Name Legibility (color set also updated for greater visibility of measure lines)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Erik, your tweak for the clips is definitely working for the max.wave option. 

There's a lot to like in this theme, and as I've said before I'm loath to be critical but we all have to recognize the theming is intensely subjective and everyone is different. 

The clip background color is, to me, not quite right. In the context of the application UI, they seem "washed out" to me. If I wanted to use the theme, I would abandon the "dark on selected" goal and flip it so that the clips were normally quite dark, almost black, and then get successively washed out as they unsolo/mute/archive etc.

I find the PC EQ Grid on console view strips too bright, especially on strips that don't have PC enabled. I'd go darker on the grid lines.

But that's me. I'm not designing the theme, you are. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/26/2021 at 8:41 AM, Colin Nicholls said:

There's a lot to like in this theme, and as I've said before I'm loath to be critical but we all have to recognize the theming is intensely subjective and everyone is different. 

The clip background color is, to me, not quite right. In the context of the application UI, they seem "washed out" to me. If I wanted to use the theme, I would abandon the "dark on selected" goal and flip it so that the clips were normally quite dark, almost black, and then get successively washed out as they unsolo/mute/archive etc.

I find the PC EQ Grid on console view strips too bright, especially on strips that don't have PC enabled. I'd go darker on the grid lines.

But that's me. I'm not designing the theme, you are.

No, no, no, your critiques are most valuable. It's not possible for me to come up with a "public consumption" theme without feedback. Also, as I get better with Paint.NET, I can touch up things that were, at the time, the best I could come up with. Some of them are experiments anyway. And I can come up with a version for the public that is not the same as the one I use at home. Same with any creative pursuit, one can't please everyone with every aspect. Especially with all of the options and workflows available in Cakewalk. I had made it so that in one mode you couldn't even read clip names. And my poor clip fade lines, barely visible.

I'll take another look at the EQ grids; it may have come from my tendency to want to use the same colors wherever possible, which....doesn't always scale. The goal being coherence and consistency. However, as it is said "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." It's a fine line, isn't it, between foolish....and....clever.

As for the clip backgrounds, that's part of my idea to use Theme Editor to make the program more usable for myself (and maybe to others). To me, the high-contrast background says "active," while the other ones are "greyed out." I think it's appropriate for a "dark" theme. Tungsten's Clip Pane and Piano Roll have always looked to me like "Mercury with the brightness and contrast turned down." This comes out of frustration with Tungsten: why would unselected clips be higher contrast.

I get that if you're used to Mercury-derived themes and having the brightest color be your "active," that setting the darkest color as "active" seems counterintuitive. This one's supposed to be "a dark theme done right" and it might take being a daily user of dark themes for it to make sense.

There's a thing that I do where knowing which clips are active and which are not that is highly critical: acoustic drum editing and comping. I have 4 tracks of drums, each take grouped. If I mess up because one or more of the clips wasn't selected (which can happen even with grouped clips), it can louse things up pretty badly.

Since I darkened the active clip backgrounds (and went with higher contrast grid lines), I feel more confident about which clips are in what state, and I'm able to concentrate better and work faster, stay in the flow. I guess if there were demand I could do a "vintage" version with Tungstenesque clip backgrounds, but I have no idea whether anyone but me is using my themes. One kid on Facebook said he was using EVA 01 (probably an anime fan). That's the extent of my known user base😂.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've adjusted or added various bits of artwork thanks to working on Nickel Mint.

Lots of special iconography for buttons, greater legibility, much sloppiness cleaned up.

People who like working with a collapsed Control Bar or modules should especially appreciate the additions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just updated both of my dark themes with lots of work on Control Bar modules (as well as various other smaller tweaks). Here's the current complement:

image.png.06ac9467d28ef410ed28442b5da28273.png

image.png.b0bff888b8a371a512e1eb2baa49fb17.png

image.png.af04e3c40bcf3d683effd6ca12ac0e2b.png

image.thumb.png.480e3247696bd88d2d600514fc0a5c40.png

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...