Creating custom dashboard skins...
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03-24-09, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Yeah... they're an, ummm... interesting? bunch.
Anyway... it's really pretty easy to create textures for nUI's dashboard and upper console. For starters, the master graphic is 2560x512 -- it's a rule that the dimensions on all WoW textures have to be a power of 2... 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. The height and width do not have to be the same, but they do have to be powers of two on each dimension.
You're observation is correct... by default nUI does repeat the bottom texture flipped upside down on the top -- it saves size by using the same textures, but that is optional... you can have two separate sets of textures for the top and bottom.
There are is one more texture set you're probably not seeing, as well, and thats yet another copy of the bottom dashboard that's also flipped upside down and attached to the bottom the dashboard.
The top graphic and the "hidden" bottom graphic both extend off-screen... this allows them to "slide" up and down if the user has Fubar or Titan installed so that their buttons tie in seemlessly with nUI's artwork. If you have either installed, nUI will automatically detect them and "move" the upper console or lower dashboard to allow for them. Setting your Fubar or Titan bar background transparent causes their buttons to blend right into nUI.
Anyway, everything else that follows is true regardless of which graphic we're discussing...
The master graphic, once complete, is broken into five chunks from left to right across the graphic that are 512x512 in size. That's required because there's a "maximum" size for textures.
So, create your main graphic, then crop it into five square blocks 512x512 and save it as a transparent PNG. There's a free download app called "WoWImage" (you can google for it, I'm afraid I don't have a link handy) which you can then drag your PNGs onto and it will convert them to BLP which is WoW's native texture format. You can also drag a BLP onto it and it will convert it to PNG... neat little program.
After that, just look at the code for the "Thin Gloss Black" dashboard skin if you want to see how to do different top and bottom textures, or the "Gloss Black" skin if you want to use the same graphic just flipped.
I would be more than happy to help you with the Lua code if you need it when you get to that point.
What people don't get is that I am, ultimately, an artist at heart.
My brush has two colors, 1 and 0, and my canvas is made of silicon.
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