burnsplayguitar's avatar


Life's not to live by default
190 Deviations
Hey everyone. 

is still someone following me?! 

thank you for the support over all that years - the golden age of custo (yes, i was there). 

Now that many things are done, i think i can play with some skins again. What do you think about? Re-work on updates, or start new ones? I'm still not running visual styels on my windows (10, on last update. My job needs that). But i started running ElementaryOS at home, so, maybe i can bring something to that corner of world. 

Who are the new guys now? Who is still working alone on the shadows?? 

I'm very happy the be here again. 
See you soon guys. 
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DeviantArtist Questionnaire

  1. How long have you been on DeviantArt?

    Since Jan 1, 2008. Was a boring morning, a new year. So DA came up to my screen

  2. What does your username mean?

    Some friends call me burns, and I play guitar. That's why is burnsPLAYguitar, and not "plays" :P

  3. Describe yourself in three words.

    Dreamer, loyal and simple

  4. Are you left or right handed?


  5. What was your first deviation?

    Ah, really?
    It was a screenshot worst than this one (fortunately i did a clean up before this question)
    Ashen II Setup by burnsplayguitar

  6. What is your favourite type of art to create?

    Definitively are the skins, Yes, you can customize almost everything to have your "touch"

  1. If you could instantly master a different art style, what would it be?

    Digital Painting. I get stunned with some works a see

  2. What was your first favourite?

    Is a vector Art from the friend who presented me to DA. The girl in picture studied with us
    Gislene by thiagovector

  3. What type of art do you tend to favourite the most?

    Digital Art, related to customization. 

  4. Who is your all-time favourite deviant artist?

    Oh, there's a lot of guys i follow close to them. But lately, if a guy in customization say that don't follow neiio's work, he is outdated

  5. If you could meet anyone on DeviantArt in person, who would it be?

    Maybe not a person, but my little group
     :iconlukaskokoska: :iconneiio: :iconrissol: :iconcathycatchy: :icondanlosant:

  6. How has a fellow deviant impacted your life?

    Changing the interface i see all day long is valid here? 

  7. What are your preferred tools to create art?

    My computer

  8. What is the most inspirational place for you to create art?

    My home Office

  9. What is your favourite DeviantArt memory? 

    Every time you are recognized for you work

#DeviantArtist Questionnaire

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Tips `n` Tricks + FAQ

I`m starting a series with some FAQ to my works and general stuff and a Tips and Tricks about custo.
Many times I`ll link you to great Tips journal from another deviants. remember to thank them too.
I hope you can use some of that. ;)

I would like to ask help from the whole community to complete this article. Lets make things easy and bigger. Send me your knows


Follow here our content
_ __ ___ ____ ______________ ____ ___ __ _ 

Visual Styles and Hacks
_ __ ___ ____ ______________ ____ ___ __ _ 

Q. Why are you doing this? Are you crazy?
R.: I see many people suffering when starting on customization field. Some of them, leave custo for thinking everything too complex. Remember, you were a "noob" once too 

Visual Styles and Windows Hacks

Q. How to install one of your Visual Styles 
R.: Why not take a look to THIS great tutorial made by Nobody?
The process to installing themes are always the same. you`ll have success if follow that. 

Q. Can I create my own Visual Style? 
R.: Of course. Once you have a good idea, you can use WSB (Windows Style Builder) software to create your own. And please, share it to us.
A fantastic additional to you, when skinning your first themes is a complete tutorial made by Dave from virtualcustoms.net.

Q. Can i use your Visual Styles as base to modding mine? 
R.: Yes, you can do. I only ask a simple amount of U$400,00, donated in points here on dA - Nah, i'm joking. Not only my Visual Styles, but any of my skins are free to edit and redistribute. I really want to see the result and the proper credits. 

Q. I applied Visual Style and it changed all my navigation buttons back to the standard ugly blue and the overall theme back to a windows 7 classic look
R.:  - Make sure you have your Windows patched with any of the UX patchers.
       Check for Windows Updates, and if available decide to install or not to install them.
       Stop Windows Update service from task manager when applying themes.
       Make sure you have required fonts that VS use.

Q. I applied navigation buttons in Windows 7 with Nav Buttons Changer by Kishan. But I want to replace x64 ExplorerFrame too!
R.: Get Resource Hacking software - ResHackerRestorator..
Backup your x64 Explorerframe.dll located in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ by copying and renaming to a batch file (.bat)
Open the .dll in Res Hacking software, then find the images and replace them

Q. I want to edit Shell icons in Windows 8 x64. Anything?
R.: Get CustomizerGod by Nobody

Q. It looks like some of the theme files are missing. Is this usual practice to skip some features to speed up the process or am I doing something wrong? I use high DPI display
R.: To support Hi-DPI displays, skinners need to adjust HUGE amount of images, margins and properties. Change in DPI can even make some features unavailable. Thus, many of them don't support other than regular DPI settings in Windows. Keep in mind that DPI changes in Windows don't work like in OS X, as the scaling is different and not everything changes according to DPI. In short, most of the themes don't support hi-dpi setting unless stated.

Q. How can I edit font in Visual Style?
R.: Windows Style Builder - easiest and safest way
Resource Hacking - troubling way of doing it, but still safe if you know what you're doing and don't screw up margins or images
SOME font settings can be edited by turning off aero and going into windows classic settings. These DO NOT include all fonts and you end up having a messy desktop.

Q. I applied "borderless" version of Visual Style but the explorer window has a thick dark border around it with blur. What to do?
R.: Download Windows 7 Aero Blur Tweaker by Nobody and disable Aero Blur. MAKE SURE you run aero though! You can check that by opening task manager and see if themes and desktop window manager services are running.

Q. I want explorer Tree View/Sidebar to have only icons and no text. Can you help me?
R.: You will need Windows Style Builder or Resource Hacker and registry editor or other way of changing the icons (Librarian tool, iPack, IconPackager, editing system dlls..) and a blank font file - you can find it in many themes or just google it man! First change icons to whatever you want. Then, find TreeView properties with your tool. If you are using Windows Style Builder it's in Explorer&Shell\Explorer\Tree View\Tree Item and change font to Blank. Save and apply VS, then move the sidebar right border all the way to the left to get same padding around icons on all sides.

Q.How can I make themes for Windows Classic Shell?
R.: This was the first way to really customize Windows OS way back in Win98, however since both 7 and 8 support the shell it's still skinnable. To do this you'll need Jasmins 3D Color Changer, preferably a color picker tool or opened GFX software/vector GFX software, and Font Manager + Font Creating software (f.e. Font Factory). Using Jasmin's 3DCC you can customize colors of the shell UI. Use customization window from personalization to change the fonts - these are all you need in classic Shell. To customize caption buttons or other glyphs in classic Shell you need to edit Marlett font. Since Microsoft never finished it and it's a corrupted font regardless of what Windows OS you are using, make sure to back this one up! Then open it in any font editing software and replace the glyphs. Keep in mind that fonts use either bitmap or vector graphics so you won't be able to replace the glyph with regular png image. Best practice would probably be to use vector graphics software like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. In a very weird case you are doing it on OS X, Sketch.

Q. Is there a way to set font case properties in Windows Style Builder?
R.: No. To use uppercase or lowercase you will need to edit font itself - PAY ATTENTION TO THE LICENSING.

Q. Can you have explorer with tabs similar to web browsers?
R.: QTTabbar - Customizable & skinnable. Should work with x64 too!

Another app our friend Nobody noted is Cover. Another interesting extension to ably tabs in your explorer. 
Hints to use it: Just remember that Ctrl + T to open the page, and Ctrl + W to close the page, Ctrl + Tab to switch pages, the work efficiency far more than doubled! New 

Music Players

Q. What is the easiest player to start skinning?
R.: Sorry, but i can`t tell it yo you. each person has your abilities. but here goes some tips
  • If you`re a photoshoperXION Player will be awesome and pretty easy. XION Player uses your .PSD file to build skin and name of shapes of attributes. 
    Is a interesting way to skin
  • If you`re a coder, two awesome options to you: Winamp and Foobar. Maybe the harder of the list
  • If you like to use software to render your skin, the better choise is AIMP3.  

Q. Where to start to skinning Foobar?
R.: As I said, i recommend you skinning Foobar, if you`re a coder. You`ll need many line to get a good presentation. 
    Foobar uses components (.dll) to ably you do cool things. but you don`t need to have all them installed so, lets follow 3 tutorials for beginners made by Nobody, Nobody and Nobody
How to skin foobar2000 - Part 1
How to skin foobar2000 - Part 2
How to skin foobar2000 - Part 3
    Jan Cairns wrote a simple but complete Tutorial. you can find it here. Is another good page to follow when starting. 


Q. Where to start to skinning winamp ?
R.: The first place to take a look, (for every application is the own forum. Winamp Forum have large content to help you in each step of your skinning process. 

Q. How to create a one click installer for winamp skin ?
R.: After finished skin, select your skin folder, righr click and (having winrar instaled), go to "add to the file..." change the extension of file to ".wal", then Ok. 


Q. Where to start to skinning Xion ?
R.: Xion Player uses your .PSD file as skin. yes, you can do (almost) everything you want, if you follow the rules. Each layer Must have a specific name to work, or skin won't load. 
I suggest you start modding some skin, you can use one of mine to try. 

All controls and layer names you can find here.


Q. Where to start to skinning Aimp3 ?
R.: Editing AImp3 seams to be easy when you point he's the only player to has a skin editor. You can start from two different models there. Single skin or a windowed one. Is very fast to understand how the skin editor works 
Unfortunately, after created skins, you can't edit it unless you have the project file. It means that modding skins are not allowed here. (you can ask to the author the project file)



Q. Is Litestep compatible to Windows 8/8.1?
R.: Yes, it is

Q. I want run Litestep on Windows 7! How proceed? 
R.: Nobody wrote a helpful journal step by step. Follow Aaron's letter New 

Go to the top

Instant Messaging


Q. How to use and skin Miranda?
R.:  First step is installing the software (uhh, really?). Grab it from Miranda NG site; Then:
  • Check if you have and if not download the following plugins: clist_modern, tabsrmm, IEView, PopupPlus (optional). HERE the full list of plugins
  • Download skin for any of the plugins. You'll have a large list here on DA
  • Apply it through settings and customize it how you want in Options\Message Sessions, Options\Icons and Options\Contact List
  • Ask author or any of the miranda skinners for certain option in case you can't find it

Q. How to make contact list skin for Miranda?
R.: Best way is to use clist_modern plugin and build from existing skin (although it's not that hard to make simple clist from scratch too). Clist_modern uses 2 types of images - regular image, and glyphs. While you can use regular images, glyphs are much more important as they carry the function and can change state, transform etc. At the beginning of clist skin, you load all your metadata, followed by loading images and glyphs you want to use. The basic premise for the loading process is:

$=Function=sGlyph,Image, VIEW FORMAT (f.e. Image)doge.png (your file), scalling (tilehor, tilevet, tileboth and same for stretch), Margins (4 values,  0,0,0,0)Alpha Channel (transparency)  

For example a background image with size 100x100px with 10px margins: 


After this, you need to declare skin rules. These control what the glyphs do. You can find whole list in clist_modern.dll (open with Reshacker or similar software). Here's an example for status glyph:


This gave the glyphs their proper ID and stated when they're shown. Now you need to actually display them on the clist canvas. Here's an example of that, a status glyph with 3 states that have the same image size and margins. Again information is in clist_modern.dll:

 # statusmenu=sPush,CList/ShowStatusMenu,-15,-50, 15,-25,CBCB-,0,0,Set Status

Rules conclude the ModernSkin section of the .msf file, which is all you need to load your skin. Usually, it's followed by CLUI (client margins, which you can set in options aswell) and other client settings that can be set for user, but many of those properties are no longer known throughout the community, which is why your skin still has statusbar, menubar and hideously misplaced group indent despite the fact preview has not. You can change ALL of these in Options window. Some skins don't include these declarations so that user sets them as he wants and they won't be overwritten by applying the skin.
In the end, there's a CLC section, which skins fonts and colors. Don't even try to read it properly in text editor. Go to Options\Message Sessions\Fonts and Colors and change the values. Hit Export and place the exported code at the end of the .msf file.

And that's it! Now you got your contact list skin ;p

Q. Alright, but I still need to skin conversation window. WTF is Tabsrmm?
R.: Tabsrmm is a skinnable plugin for Miranda that changes default UI to tabs view. 
When checking out downloaded skin you will find out that it's made of a folder with images, a .tsk skin file and .tabsrmm theme file. Deep, freeform skinning is done using .tsk file, and .tabsrmm controls fonts and colors of the message session. In case you're using IEView, you won't need a lot of stuff in .tabsrmm theme, but it's still good to include them as they also control group chats and protocols with special stuff. 
You can place your .tabsrmm theme directly into your clist_modern config aswell if you want. Tabsrmm is THE skinning Miranda plugin, and the hardest one to use. You can find documentation here, which is the best place to reference your ideas and code from.

Q. So, what is IEView?
R.: Don't worry about this plugin unless you have tabsrmm already set up and running. 
Miranda conversation window is made from 2 basic parts - a frame with tabs, toolbars and similar things controlled by plugins like tabsrmm skin, and a container with displayed conversation, input form etc. controled by f.e. tabsrmm theme file. 
IEView is a plugin to work with tabsrmm as an addition to tabsrmm theme file, and is skinned using HTML, CSS and Javascript. Note that HTML5, LESS and other things are not supported. As with tabsrmm, the easiest way to learn about it is using and modding existing skins. 
IEView is by far the most popular plugin to skin, so there are lots of them. The template of the HTML file is available in it's dll similar to clist_modern, and you can check it on GitHub aswell. You can switch different IEView configs between protocols, or disable the plugin for some protocols too. There's also a "Compatibility Mode" you can use if you work with other plugins controlling the container, but it disables lots of options.

Shouts to the people are helping directly to build this giving their hints 

Nobody , Nobody

A big thanks to all of the mentioned people too, who shared their knows to increase the custo field

C H A N G E L O G 

07.28.2015 - Added answers to Visual Styles and Hacks and Shell blocks

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