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Colin Nicholls

Young Lady's Illustrated Primer to Theming Cakewalk

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On 6/25/2021 at 5:23 AM, Matthew White said:

Here's one that's listed as 'Not yet identified' in YLIP, Page 48- Track view / Track View Menu Bar Background. As far as I can tell, it just affects the corners at the top of the track pane.

Track View - Track View Menu Bar Background 1.png

I finally got around to checking this one out and I want to thank you for snagging it. It's very helpful for those who create themes using colors other than black for Global / Sizing Bar Background. I ran afoul of it while doing the original version of Racing Green, which had a lighter color for Sizing Bar Background. For intents and purposes, if your Sizing Bar Background isn't black or close to it, make Track View Menu Bar Background the same color or your Track View Panel will look like it has sloppy joints between it and the Browser and Inspectors.

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Found another place where Console View / Background #1 is used. There's a border/background in the Tempo Track Inspector:

image.png.6c511ac085c9004d7d604f0f82e32f7a.png

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I've been fiddling about with the images used in FX Rack, and I have a suggestion for an addendum to YLIP p. 38-39, if you care to.

Details about what "ACT Focus" means, which is that it's the effect plug-in that currently has Cakewalk's attention or "focus," whether one is using ACT or not. It tripped me up because I thought it only applied when an ACT controller was enabled, but as it turns out, Cakewalk  always lets you know (via switching these images) what plug-in has focus. And a plug-in can have focus and be bypassed at the same time.

Also, as far as I could tell, the middle cell (or cell 2, "pressed") of Open Plug-In UI (in all its forms) isn't used because it seems to switch over to the appropriate Name Background (ACT Focus) image as soon as I press it.

As I say, "as far as I could tell." This is about the trickiest area for sorting out button states. There's enabled, bypassed, focused, unfocused, regular, narrow, plus the hover and pressed states, so I may have it wrong. You must have gone through a lot of coffee figuring this stuff out!

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I've never used ACT (that I know of) and therefore I deliberately glossed over (well, ignored) how ACT is handled in the UI. I agree that it could be reviewed and expanded. Or at least, re-factor that section slightly to make it clear that ACT is not being covered.

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In a nutshell, what I figured out was that those images just indicate which plug-in UI has focus, regardless of ACT. So they should indicate it as such by being lighter or a different colour. It's a useful indicator in cases where you're controlling plug-ins with the computer keyboard or whatever.

As you know, once I started fiddling with those images it opened a can o'worms with all the different images. I changed a couple of them, and it was like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube to back out, so I forged onward. It helps to have Amazon Prime Video running on monitor 2.

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Some notes:

pg.17,  2. Control Bar:

Control Bar / Collapsed Vertical Background: 

There is no reference in YLIP for each modules' "Icon", which is editable.

 

Control Bar / Collapsed Vertical Background Left Grip:

Control Bar collapsed & not locked.

 

Control Bar / Collapsed Vertical Background Left: 

Control Bar collapsed & locked.

 

pg. 19,  2.2. Tools module:

Track view / Focused Track Text:

Resolution button text when Smart Tool & Draw Tool are active.

You can add here or on pg, 15:

Global / Alternative Text #2:

Resolution button text when Smart Tool & Draw Tool are NOT active.

 

Control Bar / Menu Button:

State 1 = Smart Tool & Draw Tool are NOT active.

State 4 = Smart Tool & Draw Tool are active. (HUD = as described on pg. 20 & when Draw Tool is active :S)

State 5 = no project loaded. ( all "disabled" button states are used when no project is loaded)

 

HUD text color not changeable?

Edited by sjoens
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One for Plug-In Property Page, should you wish to include it. For Preset Name drop-down menu, the first cell in the image is its standard state, the second is what's displayed after the user double clicks on it to change the preset name. It persists until the preset is saved. Whatever color you use for both cells should have good contrast with View Menu Text.

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@Colin Nicholls For some reason the HUD Menu button only turns blue for the Draw Tool, not for the Smart Tool. This is probably by mistake since the main CB button turns blue for both.

Edited by sjoens

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Not a huge grab, but I was curious. Global|Menus/View Menu Text determines the color of the description text at the bottom of the plug-in browser:

image.png.b42a721c97eccb7502421fac1cf64480.png

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I have some more information on Control Bar/Menu Button's use in Tools/HUD Module (Large).

Cell 1 is used when the Smart Tool or Draw Tool are not selected. This cell should be a color that will contrast well with the "default" white text color.

Cell 2 is used on the HUD in that odd case where after you click on the duration menu, it flashes briefly as the HUD closes. It also acts as a "pressed" state button in the case where you have neither the Smart nor Draw Tool selected, but press on it. A brief flash again.

Cell 3 is not used.

Cell 4 is used when the Smart or Draw Tools are selected (which is appropriate, because note duration is meaningless for tools that don't draw notes). It should be given a color that contrasts well with Focused Track Text. For whatever reason, the HUD uses Cell 1 for the Smart Tool.

Cell 5 has the usual Control Bar cell 5 duty of getting displayed when no project is loaded.

Edited by Starship Krupa
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On 7/16/2021 at 2:20 PM, Starship Krupa said:

In a nutshell, what I figured out was that those images just indicate which plug-in UI has focus, regardless of ACT. So they should indicate it as such by being lighter or a different colour. It's a useful indicator in cases where you're controlling plug-ins with the computer keyboard or whatever.

Amendment to this observation: it apparently does have to do with ACT in that the behavior is only exhibited when I have a control surface enabled.

So, in a revised nutshell, the images didn't have any effect until I plugged in my controller and enabled it as a control surface. As such, it's a useful indicator.

Edited by Starship Krupa

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I just spent some time (time that I will never get back) with the images and colors in FX Rack.

Here's what I found.

With no control surface enabled and the effect in its active, non-bypassed state

  • Normal: FX Rack/Name Background cell 1
  • Hovered:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI cell 3
  • Pressed:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI cell 2
  • Hovering the Bypass or Show Rack Menu button:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI cell 1

With no control surface enabled and the effect in its bypassed state

  • Normal: FX Rack/Name Background cell 2
  • Hovered:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed cell 3
  • Pressed:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed cell¬†2
  • Hovering the Bypass or Show Rack Menu button:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed cell 1

This is pretty much as expected. Things get more complicated when  we enable a control surface. Once a control surface is enabled, there is another condition a plug-in effect can be in, which is having focus for the purposes of controlling it with the surface. A plug-in gets focus by having its UI opened, and keeps focus until the next plug-in UI is opened.

I'll start with a plug-in that does not have what I'll call "ACT Focus."

With a control surface enabled and the effect in its active, non-bypassed state

  • Normal: FX Rack/Name Background¬†cell 1
  • Hovered:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI¬†cell 3
  • Pressed:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI (ACT Focus) cell 2
  • Hovering the Bypass or Show Rack Menu button:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI¬†cell 1

With a control surface enabled and the effect in its bypassed state

  • Normal: FX Rack/Name Background cell 2
  • Hovered:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed cell 3
  • Pressed:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI (ACT Focus) cell 2
  • Hovering the Bypass or Show Rack Menu button:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed cell 1

When the plug-in has ACT Focus, the behavior changes again as follows:

With ACT Focus and the effect in its active state

  • Normal: FX Rack/Name Background (ACT Focus)¬†cell 1
  • Hovered:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI (ACT Focus) cell 3
  • Pressed:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI (ACT Focus) cell 2
  • Hovering the Bypass or Show Rack Menu button:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI (ACT Focus) cell 1

With ACT Focus and the effect in its bypassed state

  • Normal: FX Rack/Name Background (ACT Focus)¬†cell 2
  • Hovered:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed (ACT Focus) cell 3
  • Pressed:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed (ACT Focus) cell 2
  • Hovering the Bypass or Show Rack Menu button:¬†FX Rack/Open Plug-in UI Bypassed (ACT Focus) cell 1

Since these images are used as backgrounds for the text colors FX Rack/FX Name and FXRack/Bypassed FX Name, care should be taken to make sure that whatever image is currently displayed should go well with those colors.

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Imma gonna just paste that into an appendix all of its own, Erik.

EDIT: Document has been refreshed at the usual URL

Edited by Colin Nicholls
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FX Rack gets my nomination for being the section with the most complexity. In addition to the stuff I already went over, there's also the matter of the bypass and show rack buttons on either side, which add 8 images to the stew pot.

There are 4 conditions, which are active (no ACT Focus), bypassed (no ACT Focus), active (with ACT Focus), and bypassed (with ACT Focus).

Fortunately, their behavior is consistent across all the conditions, for both the Bypass Plug-in and Show Rack Menu Drop-down buttons. One confusing quirk is the naming of the Bypass Plug-in images:

The Bypass Plug-in image is used in the plug-in's active state, with no control surface enabled. When the Bypass button is hovered, it uses Cell 3. When the center of the Open UI button is hovered, it uses Cell 1. When the Bypass button is pressed, it uses Cell 2.

Confusingly named,, the Bypass Plug-in Enabled image is used when the plug-in is bypassed. The cells are used same as described for Bypass Plug-in above.

All other images follow the above behavior: hover button=Cell 3, hover center=Cell 1, pressed=Cell 2.

Fortunately there are no curveballs when the center image is pressed. Of course, if you have a controller enabled, if you press the center, all buttons switch over to the ACT Focus versions.

What this means in terms of use of the other images is that you can do things like matching the color of the buttons that appear in the center hovered condition. I just poke around at the buttons and see if anything looks jarring.

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I'm lost after 6 button states. Don't know how else they could handle this one but to me there's just way too many variables to know what's going on with it.

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Even after having done all this testing and writing it up, there's still trial and error. It just started to bug me that my button images for the FX rack didn't match up.

My choice for indicating ACT focus would be a simple on/off "light" rather than changing the appearance of half a dozen different images, but I don't think this was designed with end-user theming in mind. It's great that it went that way.

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This is what drives me nuts:

Inspector  view

inspector.jpg

Edited by sjoens
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