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Thread: Portrait Skin Editing Log/Questions - 800 x 1280

  1. #1
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    Portrait Skin Editing Log/Questions - 800 x 1280

    I drive a Cadillac Escalade which has a dash that screams for a 10" touch screen.

    Considering Driveline is optimized for Landscape display I have been slowly modifying it to work better for me. I have never done any XML work before, so it is all foreign but coming along.

    Here is the dash as it sits right now, I have a few things to button up which are more related to power adders and the drivetrain but also with the carpc.


    There is a Skin Editing thread that I had been polluting with my questions, but considering I am digging in a bit deeper now I thought making my own thread makes sense. This is the thread that helped me a ton so far:
    http://www.mp3car.com/driveline/1566...questions.html

    To keep things in one place, these posts in particular were really helpful.

    Album art resize in NowPlaying screen:
    Quote Originally Posted by rray View Post
    It's pretty easy, but for me a bit of trial and error till I get the size I wanted.

    Open and edit the Skin_Frame_Visualization.xml file. Change the percent size of the ImageWMPframe smaller in width, and your ImageVisualArt wider width. You can also disable the song file name, leaving the ID3 tag to populate album, artist, title, then have more space to increase your album art in width and height, by changing the height of that box.

    Here is the album art object:
    <OBJECT>
    <TYPE>IMAGE</TYPE>
    <NAME>ImageVisualArt</NAME> ;Album Art Panel
    <WIDTH>39%</WIDTH> ;was 36% rray
    <HEIGHT>90%</HEIGHT> ;was 52% rray
    <POSX>1%</POSX>
    <POSY>1%</POSY>
    <IMGFILENAME></IMGFILENAME>
    <FRAMESTYLE>3D</FRAMESTYLE>
    <BACKCOLOR>255,0,0,0</BACKCOLOR>

    <EVENTCOMMAND>
    <EVENTNAME>MOUSEUP</EVENTNAME>
    <EVENTACTION>
    CYCLEMEDIAART ImageVisualArt
    RedrawMediaArt ImageScreen2VisualArt
    </EVENTACTION>
    </EVENTCOMMAND>
    </OBJECT>



    Here is the WMP Visualization screen:


    <OBJECT>
    <TYPE>IMAGE</TYPE>
    <NAME>ImageWMPframe</NAME> ;visualizations while song plays screen
    <WIDTH>47%</WIDTH> ;was 50% orig 48% rray
    <HEIGHT>58%</HEIGHT> ;was 60% orig 52% rray
    <POSX>41%</POSX> ;was 37% orig 39% rray
    <POSY>1%</POSY>
    <IMGFILENAME></IMGFILENAME>
    <FRAMESTYLE>3D</FRAMESTYLE>
    <BACKCOLOR>255,0,0,0</BACKCOLOR>

    <EVENTCOMMAND>
    <EVENTNAME>DOUBLECLICK</EVENTNAME>
    <EVENTACTION>
    FillObjectWithVisualization ImageWMPframe
    </EVENTACTION>
    </EVENTCOMMAND>

    </OBJECT>


    I changed a lot of stuff on my screen to fit my tastes better, including widening the volume bar so I can touch it easier:
    Resizing the Main Skin for programming on my home pc versus in car:
    Quote Originally Posted by ClockWorK View Post
    modify Skin_Form_Main.xml
    look for:
    <WIDTH>100%</WIDTH>
    <HEIGHT>100%</HEIGHT>
    Where it is as of today:

    Main Screen -- obviously I need to do some re-organizing but I am trying to figure out how I want it to look. It is functional at the moment and not a screen I really spend much time on as I am either in the Playlist or NowPlaying screens


    Now Playing Screen:

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    I had asked a question about adding a favorite button to the Now Playing screen. Location was asked as the real estate was small. I have a spot just under the lyrics and mute button. I can surely resize those and move them around to make it make more sense. If there is something I can paste into the XML to make this easier or put the work/learning on me that is awesome. What would be important to me is to be able to add a Star to any song that is currently playing (not the one highlighted on the playlist). This I could then use as a dynamic filter to modify my playlists.

    This also brings up one other question. I have 2 folders of songs that are not in albums. The above shot is playing one. In these folders the album art is loose (ie not in the song....my normal structure is to keep the album art in the folder of the album [sorted by: Genre/Artist/Album/Songs & Album art]) and you can see that Driveline picks the wrong one. For all that are in folders with the album it works right, but not in this case. Windows Media Player when playing the folder does choose the right art though. Any ideas on why?

  3. #3
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    Nice work. Looks like you're getting the hang of editing the XML. Not sure if you're using notepad or some other program to edit the XML. I just use notepad, but there are probably much better ways of editing the XML.

    If you're editing the variables in the Skin_SkinVars.XML file, remember that you can also add new variables there, to create more complex themes.

    Also, obviously, the Default Skin was designed with a Landscape orientation in mind. Some screens will look alright or only require minimal fuss to look alright in Portrait. Others may require a complete re-design.

    Keep posting your updates. As a programmer, I focus more on the back-end (heh) than the UI most of the time. My mind is more technical than artistic. So it's good for me to see more people play around with the skins and show me new UI ideas.

    You've probably realized that you could completely re-design the entire UI in DriveLine. You can move buttons to other screens, add more indicators, adjust timer tick-rates, change images, control transparency, etc. But it would be tedious. I do sometimes want a graphical/ui skin-editing tool. It's just another undertaking, and then something else to maintain. It would be a bit of work. At this point, it's like I'm building my own Visual CarPC++. But maybe one of these days.

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    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I like to use Notepad++ to edit the XML, because I can keep multiple files open on different tabs, and do copy paste work between them.

    Also, I use mp3tag to embed album art into my mp3's, then I never have to worry about album art missing or mixed up.

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    I do a lot of xml file editing in my GPS tracking platform. I have found the best tool for editing xml files is Visual Studio Tools for Applications 2.0 part of Visual Studio 2008 SNO

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    A few questions from my foray into the skins tonight.

    1) Is there a way to see the changes without exiting and reloading Driveline. Or perhaps worded better what is the quickest/easiest way?
    2) Where is the size of the extra portions of the screens decided. I have looked like hell through the main screen, but I must be missing something.
    a) In portrait the bottom bar is taller than I need and I regularly run out of real estate in the long direction making names in playlists and such harder to read. I was going to re-orient everything such that I maximize my width.
    b) the subset question is where is the bottom bar defined?
    3) Last question which is a pipe dream but would simplify further questions. There is no documentation that states what nomenclature is used for what is there?
    a) That being said, the names are well thought out and logical but it always takes me a bunch of thinking to figure out where what is.

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    1. F7 will partially re-load the current skin. If you added or removed objects from the skin, you'll need to fully restart DriveLine (ALT+F4 and re-start it). But if you just modified some colors or positions of existing objects, F7 will just re-initialize the skin objects.

    2. Not sure what you mean by extra portions. However, check Skin_Form_Main.XML, as it is the top-level container. In there, you'll find an object called FRAMECONTAINER. I think this might be part of what you're looking for.
    a. The skin wasn't really laid out with portrait orientation in mind. Everything is specified in percentages (though you can also specify absolute pixel sizes as well). Using percentages allows the program to handle different screen sizes and resolutions, but assumes the aspect ratio will remain somewhat close to 16:9 or, worst case, 4:3.
    b. The bottom bar is usually referred to (by me) as the NavBar. As such, take a look in Skin_Frame_NavBar.XML

    3. The naming is extremely verbose, and there isn't really a standard to it, though I did try to be consistent. However, the names of objects are not hard-coded. You can change the name of any object. However, if the commands in any other object reference that one, those references will need to changed as well.
    a. Yeah, I'm sure this would be easier with a skin-editing tool.
    Last edited by ClockWorK; 07-22-2015 at 10:27 PM.

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    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I cant remember for sure, but I think F7 will reload a screen after an xml file is modified to view changes while still running Driveline. put an ; at the end of your changed line and make comments as to what the change does, and you will figure out what objects are and what changes do very quickly.

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    Also, just so you know, you can use sexier visualizations:
    Exit out of DriveLine.
    Go into Windows Media Player.
    Play something.
    Select a visualization. I recommend Battery Random.
    Exit Windows Media Player.
    That visualization will now be active in DriveLine.

    Maybe I should sticky this.

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    Just playing around instead of working...

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