Aero Glass

Jcee
2012-11-18
2013-01-05
1 2 > >> (Page 1 of 2)
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-11-18

    Aero Glass, is a modified version of smoked glass featuring modified background texture and adjustments to the username and picture elements.
    Screenshot
    Along with matching the color of your Taskbar/Windows Theme, this skin currently has the following Options:
    -Two Columns
    -No Icons in Second Column
    -Show User Picture
    -Show User Name
    -Small Icons
    -Reduce Glass Color
    -Center Username
    -Taskbar On Top
    -Dark Side Column
    -More Transparent
    -WhiteBackground

    Latest Version: Jan,05,2013

    Please post any bugs, suggestions and request below.

     
    Last edit: Jcee 2013-01-05
    Attachments
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-11-18

    3 screenshots

     
    Last edit: Jcee 2012-11-18
  • Walt Connery
    Walt Connery
    2012-12-08

    I do like this skin--I especially like the fact that once you disable the "reduced color" option (transparent black) in Classic Shell's Options, the color format of the menu changes to very closely match the color the user has selected for the task bar from the Win8 "personalize" option. Works well.

    One favor to ask, though...! Since my Amiga days in the 80's I've been used to placing the task bar at the top of the screen instead of the bottom. While your menu is designed to fit perfectly flush with the task bar when the task bar is positioned at the bottom of the desktop--it doesn't fit so well when the task bar is positioned at the top of the desktop screen. I'm sure you know this already...;)

    It would be very nice if you could adjust menu placement relative to the task bar to be flush even when the task bar is at the top of the desktop screen. It's just a matter of changing the Y coordinates by a few pixels it seems to me. My user picture could even slightly overlap the task bar to make the menu fit flush, and that would be fine with me.

    I'm using your skin at the moment because I like your idea here a lot. If you say "no can do," it's no biggie and I'll live with it. Thanks again for your efforts!

     
    Last edit: Walt Connery 2012-12-08
  • ZoNi
    ZoNi
    2012-12-08

    Very nice skin! :)

    Few suggestions:
    1. Username is over userpicture, I guess because search is disabled here. Can you fix that?
    2. Can you make somehow more modern frame around userpic?
    3. Maybe add blue hover effect on start menu items? :)

    screenshot

     
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-12-10

    @modern frame, whatd you have in mind?, im not that great of an artist, but if you can make/find something ill be happy to throw it on there for ya.., i origionally wanted to use the frame windows has by default but i couldnt find a higher resolution one that didnt look blocky at this size

    @ the name over the picture, i should be able to fix that yea.., but a temp-fix would likely be the short names on all the items you have in the left bar (add about 10 spaces to the end of one of there names to stretch things out a little, untill i do get to fixing it)

    @ blue glow effect, id like to keep the colors neutral, so it can fit every theme better, are you saying you would prefer a glowish effect over the current one? i MAY add an option for that, but not as high on the list.


    @taskbar on top;, actually i didnt think much about it, but ill see if i can get to adding a 'taskbar on top' option to it, that will re-arange some of the items to make it more flush.., and maybe some 'taskbar on left or right' options to

    --

    EDIT/UPDATE:
    -Adjusted names positioning so it wont overlap as easily
    -Added "Center Username" option, and defaulted with aligned right name
    -Added "Taskbar On Top" option
    -updated the "small icons" option a little, to properly reduce the user images size..

     
    Last edit: Jcee 2012-12-10
  • Walt Connery
    Walt Connery
    2012-12-10

    Jcee--Just in case I didn't mention it--my choice for your top taskbar placement is your Aero Glass .skin! Thanks again!

     
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-12-10

    glad you like it :P

     
    • Walt Connery
      Walt Connery
      2012-12-17

      Hate to be a bore, JCee...but with the taskbar at the top of the screen (and locked), the aero menu is still not flush with the bottom of the taskbar.

      Note your screen shot in the first post in this thread. That's just how it looks except for the fact that the taskbar is above the menu (just out of sight) instead of below it, as in the screen shot. My idea is that the picture frame in the menu for the user picture could overlap the task bar allowing the top edge of the menu username bar to line up flush with the bottom edge of the task bar.

      Please let me know if this is in any way unclear. Thanks again. I could simply use the standard "Windows Aero.skin" but I prefer your modifications and I like the fact that your color scheme for the menu changes with user changes in the color of the taskbar--so that they correspond.

       
      • Jcee
        Jcee
        2012-12-18

        im pretty sure i cant make it overlap, unless the developer allows a skin to set x/y offsets for the menu.. (the only thing i did/could do was remove the transparent part from the top
        as far as it still not being flush, have you: downloaded the new skin to your skins folder, changed the skin, and went into classic shells skin tab, and checked the "taskbar on top" option?

        heres a screenshot of me using it (if yours still doesnt work please let me know and post a screenshot)

         
        Last edit: Jcee 2012-12-18
        • Walt Connery
          Walt Connery
          2012-12-19

          Jcee, actually your screenshot would serve perfectly. I've been trying to figure why I don't have the "taskbar on top" option under skins/options! I've reinstalled 3.6.3 twice to see if that may have been the problem--just don't have this option...

          note: I only install Classic Shell and the updater--don't install explorer or IE, so I'm wondering if the option could be tied in there. Oh, well. Thanks for looking!

           
  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev
    2012-12-19

    Reinstalling Classic Shell won't help because this skin is not part of the main installation. You need to redownload the skin and place it in the Skins folder.

     
  • Walt Connery
    Walt Connery
    2012-12-20

    Yes, thank you Ivo...I did see that...;) The skin options are tied to the skins--I was just trying everything I could think of. I downloaded the skin directly from Jcee's link above and immediately put it into the skins folder, but when I run CS and flip to the "skins" tab--the option for "taskbar on top" is not there. I shall try it again momentarily and check back with the thread to report.

     
  • Walt Connery
    Walt Connery
    2012-12-20

    jcee...still no luck, alas. No matter what, the "taskbar on top" option isn't there for me. The options I'm offered, under "all settings," are

    two columns
    no icons in second column
    show user picture
    show user name
    small icons
    reduce glass color

    ...All of them work as advertised, but that's it. I'm using your link in your first post in this thread to download the Aero glass.skin. Am I perchance getting the wrong file--an older file prior to the option, perhaps?

    Don't mean to cause so much trouble--I must be the only remaining human on earth who moves his taskbar to the top of the screen...;)

     
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-12-20

    theres 2 things i can think of, maybe your copying it to the folder and still using the origional (try changing the skin to aero_glass_copy or whatever it is)
    or your copying to the wrong directory? default would be : C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\Skins

    if that doesnt help, i would be happy to try teamviewer to resolve your issue, give me an email at Bloody_T@live.com; im usually online 8am-10am central US, other than that i might be on 10am-4pm central US, or 7pm-10:30pm central US.

     
  • Walt Connery
    Walt Connery
    2012-12-21

    At long last, the Eagle has landed...;) Success! Here is what I am pretty sure was happening:

    In all previous attempts to install the upgraded skin, I was simply clicking on your link above to download the updated file directly into the C:\program files\classic shell\skins directory, and, as I expected, I was asked if wanted to overwrite the file already in the directory with the same name--to which I said "yes," of course, and watched as the file downloaded (2-3 seconds) and "overwrote" the old skins file. After that I kept coming up with no "taskbar on top" option. I repeated these steps several times as you know.

    Your last reply above made me think of doing it a bit differently. I downloaded from your link above into a separate directory on C:\ root this time, and then when I opened the c:\program files\classic shell\skins folder to copy the updated skins file directly into the skins folder--instead of attempting to download it directly into that folder as I did before--for the first time the program asked for administrator permission before it would allow me to copy the file into c:\program files\classic shell\skins! I am the admin and I gave permission and the file copied--and this time it overwrote the older file and the "taskbar on top" option became accessible.

    So...every time I attempted to download directly into the skins folder it appeared as if the old file was being overwritten by the new when in fact it was not. I would think that as far asking for administrator permission goes, Win8 would ask it of change to any C:\program files/c:\program files(x86)-located file, whether the overwrite was the result of a download or a copy. But in this case, the OS handled a direct download much different from a copy even though the result was identical in that the old file was to be overwritten by the new. Weird, eh? Can't recall anything similar happening before--but I've only been inside Win8x64 for a few weeks at this point--this may be some obscure bug that I simply stumbled across.

    Anyway--thank you again for taking the time to help with this and to write in the option--which works fine, btw! Glad to report this resolved.

     
    • Jcee
      Jcee
      2012-12-22

      glad you got it working, what browser are you using?, and yea the program needs administrator rights (not just the account) to save in a protected directory (ie every time you start your browser a prompt would come up, if u had UAC on)

       
  • Walt Connery
    Walt Connery
    2012-12-22

    I'm using Firefox 17.01 mainly; and am also running IE10 (64-bit version) when the mood hits. A few things I still prefer about Ff, but the list is shrinking rapidly and I like 64-bits from a security angle. But Ff is still 32 and it seems they are even quitting their nightly build of Ff 64-bit for Windows--which doesn't make much sense to me considering they do Ff 64-bits for OS X, if memory serves, and Windows is far more lucrative for them.

    I started using UaC in Vista years ago and have never had a problem with it. I've got Ff set to ask me where to save my downloads, and with IE I always use "Save as" and then put the file where I want it. I'm not a freak about uac, though--I leave it set to the default position, a step down from "always notify"...;) I get no uac prompt when running either Ff or IE.

    Which is what was weird about my former problem. Using Ff, I'd attempt to save the aero glass.skin download right over the old version in the c:\program files\classic shell\skins directory. I'd actually watch the operation complete. (But it never did.) When I finally just copied it on over there to overwrite the old file I finally got the administrator prompt and was actually able to overwrite the file for the first time.

    You're thinking maybe something's hosed in how Ff is saving download files in protected Win8 Pro x64 directories? Generally, I make it a habit to install and save just about anywhere except c:...will always install to another partition if possible because I don't like the protection angle. However, I let Classic Shell go where it wanted, which of course is c:\program files.

    (I've got to work on brevity. You ask me a simple question and I come up with a dozen answers. Thanks for having patience! And thanks again for the customization!)

    Edit: Speak of [url=http://thenextweb.com/apps/2012/12/22/mozilla-backpedals-on-firefox-64-bit-for-windows-will-keep-nightly-builds-coming-after-all/] [/url] the devil...saw this right after posting....

     
    Last edit: Walt Connery 2012-12-22
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-12-29

    Update: added a darker right column option

     
  • Squeedlejinks
    Squeedlejinks
    2012-12-31

    Jcee, can you (or anybody) tell me why my start menu is not as transparent as yours? I'm on Windows 8 - I hope that's not the problem.

    While I'm at it, does anybody know a way to give Firefox, IE, and Safari the Aero transparent look? I liked seeing my clock through the title bar.

     
    Attachments
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-12-31

    sadly yes it is windows 8, they removed a bunch of the aero stuff, i can only guess to make things run smoother (why else would they ditch a perfectly good feature)
    and for now there is a 'buggy' workaround (http://www.howtogeek.com/128630/how-to-enable-aero-glass-style-transparency-in-windows-8/), and hopefully a better one soon (preferably by Microsoft), ill see what i can do about increasing the transparency of the skin though since apparently some transparency shows through..

    EDIT/UPDATE: heres as transparent as i can get it (as far as i know how) hope its enough (note check the "DARK RIGHT COLUMN" option for it to work)

     
    Last edit: Jcee 2012-12-31
  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev
    2012-12-31

    The trick to a real Aero glass is the blur filter. The "workaround" only makes the window frame transparent, but not blurry. The only program I've seen that does some blur on Win8 is ViStart, and it does it by capturing the image behind the window and then blurs it in software. However this doesn't work in many cases as it is not a real-time blur.

    If a skin has glass, I'm trying to fake it by remapping the alpha using a non-linear curve (a power of 0.2 to be precise), which makes the alpha go up faster in the beginning and then level off near the end. I adjusted it to give a good transparency for the built-in skins. It may not work well in all cases. Maybe the best solution is to have 2 sets of backgrounds (for Win7 and for Win8) and switch them with a setting. I can look in future versions to add a hidden setting that is automatically set based on the OS version.

     
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-12-31

    oh hey ivo, yea i was aware the blur was missing, and honestly that part of it was never a big deal to me.., although i believe rainmeter has a blur effect and is open source if you wanted to scrap some code?

    also @ non-linear curve of transparency, i asume that means a bitmap thats 1% visible will apear 40% visible, and a 10% visible one will apear 63% visible?, why not make it linear?, or is there more to it?(im sure there is :P)

    @ OS specific options; im thinking that could help; windows 8 only seems to work with lighter themes, so the best option might be to increase the skins brightness in-program if possible (blend 20-50% white in there), i think would make most skins match windows 8 better, without the added resources in the skin file

    EDIT: i asume non-linear is for subtlty of blending, but maybe you could add an skin flag to make it linear (for skins that need more transparency, and dont need smooth transparency gradients that defaults to off)
    maybe: "Linear_transparency = 1/True"

    that wont push a requirement on skins, but skins that want it can add it..

    ALSO here is a pic of the edited skin in my last post

     
    Last edit: Jcee 2012-12-31
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  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev
    2012-12-31

    The reason for the non-linear curve is that with proper glass (Win7) a fully transparent image shows as a blank glass slate. It is a somewhat blueish (depends on the glass color) and blurry background. It is basically what you see in title bars on Windows 7. Since I want to reuse the same background for both Win7 and Win8, I had to do some shenenigans.

    It is not just the background. In case of a glassy skin like yours the whole menu needs to do the same because on Win7 the whole menu is blurry. So I'm doing the curve as a post-process after the whole menu image (text, icons, everything) is composited.

     
  • Jcee
    Jcee
    2012-12-31

    i think im a little lost, but ill look at it again when i get some sleep,

    also wanted to note 2 'bugs'

    1 it seems like glass color reduces linearly with transparency? (the area is gray, apearing to have maybe 2% color, but 40% visibility)

    and the 'shadow' you add to the skin goes all the way to the top of the image..
    personally i think the shadow should be part of the skin not added to the skin afterwards..
    im sure you assumed all skins went to the top of the image..
    if theres a reason its preferable not to have it as part of the skin, could you add a flag to disable it?

     
    Attachments
  • Ivo Beltchev
    Ivo Beltchev
    2012-12-31

    The way the glass color is mixed with the background color doesn't depend on the alpha channel of the background image. It depends on the R and G channels of the mask bitmap.
    You can make a 100% opaque menu that is 100% glass color.

    As for the shadow, that's a bug (or quirk?) of Windows 8. The shadow assumes all windows are rectangular. I do not draw the shadow myself. I just tell Windows that the menu has shadow.

    There is a setting to disable the shadows (the bottom of the Menu Look tab)

     
    Last edit: Ivo Beltchev 2012-12-31
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