OPL Ps2 Loader


Creating Themes




OPL is very customizable for even the most extreme themes. You can use your own icons, backgrounds, cover art and move elements around the screen to create anything your imagination can think of. OPL even allows you to use a different background for each game/app display, but lets start with theme creations first.


Display Icons
 Not all icons are customizable to keep general comprehensiveness of the GUI and prevent slow theme
loading time. For this reason the common "actions" buttons are fixed, that include: circle,square, triangle, cross, up, down, start, select, L1, L2, R1 and R2.
For the other buttons, the format for icons is PNG with alpha only, as we need transparency support. The resolution size is  64x64.

  • app.png =  Applications list
  • config.png =  Settings menu
  • disc.png =  Items displayed in a list
  • eth.png = Network Games list
  • hdd.png =  Internal Hard Drive list
  • usb.png = USB Hard Drive list
Each file must end with the png extension, and the whole name must be in lowercase.


Loading Icon
The loading icon is the element displayed when OPL is loading something, network, art, etc. You can use your own loading icon animation using a set of frames in an infinite loop.
Each frame is a PNG with alpha icon, size is  32x32.  Each file must end with the “.png” extension and the whole name is lowercase. Frames  start at zero and a max. of 8 frames can be used, using the following filenames:
  • load0.png
  • load1.png
  • load2.png
  • load3.png
  • load4.png
  • load5.png
  • load6.png
  • load7.png


Custom Background

You can specify a custom background picture to be displayed as background instead of the default "Plasma" background. This picture can either be in JPG or PNG format (background images don't use transparency,the result would be unpredictable), a .jpg image is recommended. The picture will be resized to your screen resolution (640x512 for PAL, 640x448 for NTSC) and we recommend using a resolution  of 640x480 that would best fit for both modes, allowing the same theme for every console region when sharing your themes.

Cover Overlay
This is a special feature to enable a 3D effect (or any "overlay" effect, frost, dust on the covers, etc..) applied on your Cover Art.
The overlay is a simple PNG picture (with alpha) named "cover_overlay.png" that will be drawn on top of the actual cover. All the magic is to make extensive use of alpha
transparency to apply some kind of effect to the cover.
Example:


You provide the overlay picture and then you have to define the insets coordinates where the cover will be resized and drawn, using the four points of the bounding box: upper left, upper right, bottom left and bottom right.
Lines to put into your conf_theme.cfg file:
  • cover_blend_ulx=14
  • cover_blend_uly=16
  • cover_blend_urx=153
  • cover_blend_ury=16
  • cover_blend_blx=14
  • cover_blend_bly=215
  • cover_blend_brx=153
  • cover_blend_bry=215
The cover picture will be transformed (stretched) to fit into the above polygon. That also implies you should use some slightly bigger overlay file, so you don't loose quality of your cover.

     +         =   

Thru experience, you will see that the coordinates of the insets points are not exactly respected, so you may need to adjust their position by a few pixels.


General settings
Here we will describe every general parameters that can be set into the conf_theme.cfg file.
  • use_default          
A value can be 0 or 1, default is 1.
This option will determine the behavior of the customizable icons (see the list above). By default if you don't add customized icons, the default embedded one will be used. But if
you set this parameter to 0, then any missing icons will not be replaced.
  • items_list_icons
A value can be 0 or 1, default is 0.
This option defines the visibility of the small disc icon in front of every game name in the game list. If your game has an icon art, it will be used instead of the default disc icon.
  • use_real_height
A value can be 0 or 1, default is 0.
By default, OPL work with a virtual screen size of 640x480. When you define X or Y coordinate, width or height value, it must range within this 640x480. Then depending on your PS2 mode, either NTSC or PAL, OPL will adapt these virtual screen size and placements to 640x448 or 640x512 respectively.
Usually the default mode (not using real height) is what you want, as it allows your theme to be correctly displayed on both mode NTSC/PAL.
In the event you want to deliver a theme specifically designed for NTSC or PAL, and prefer to work with the real screen resolution then you can use the real height mode.
  • displayed_items
Set the number of items you want displayed in the list 1 to 20. This can be used to reduce the size of the list, if needed for a specific theme background/layout.
  • background_mode
The  default value is 0.
This option defines the type of background for the item lists (games and applications list) screens.
The value is one of:
  • 0 = Picture Mode  - If your theme contains a background picture, it will be used. If not, the “plasma” mode will be used instead.
  • 1 = Plasma Mode  -  
  • 2 = Color Mode  - The background will use a solid color, as defined by bg_color. See below
  • 3 = Art Mode  - This allows background art to display for any BG art in your collection. (see Download Gallery > Creating Art )
When the value  3 is used, background art will display for the game currently highlighted in a list. If no BG Art is available for a game, the Theme background is displayed instead or the default plasma if no Theme background is found.

  • background_alt_mode
The default value is 1.
This option defines the type of background for all other screens: all settings menu, dialog menu, etc.
Use caution when setting your own backgrounds or color, as the menu text might  make reading/selecting difficult.


Changing the colors:

  • bg_color - It defines the background color, which is used for the background in color mode, and for the plasma color.
  • text_color - Color used to render text on screen.
  • ui_text_color - Color used to render text of the dialog screens only.
  • sel_text_color - Color used for the current selected text item.
String value, starts with # and  6 hexadecimal digits. It defines the color  in the order R G B, using 2 digits per color.
Example:

bg_color=#2e5eb0
text_color=#009fff
sel_text_color=#e30000


Heres an example conf_theme.cfg file of the above settings:
use_default =1
items_list_icons=1
use_real_height=0
displayed_items=15
background_mode=3
background_alt_mode=2
bg_color=#2e5eb0
text_color=#009fff
ui_text_color=#00ffff
sel_text_color=#e30000


Customizing the layout of the display
You are able to move specific elements of the display to better customize your themes to suit just about any taste you have. With this flexibility, you can create backgrounds in any style you like.



The numbered elements on this screen can be customized, either in their position, size, visibility or color. Depending of their type (usually text or picture) you can specify a certain number of attributes by adding entries in the (conf_theme.cfg) theme configuration file.

List of elements
  1. menu_icon
  2. menu_text
  3. items_list
  4. item_icon
  5. item_cover
  6. item_text
  7. loading_icon
  8. hint_text


When an attribute is not specifically present in the conf_theme.cfg, then its default values will be used.
To specify an attribute, you must use this syntax:  element_attribute=value
Example conf_theme.cfg:
  • menu_icon_enabled=0
  • menu_text_x=195
  • menu_text_y=27
  • item_cover_x=129
  • item_cover_y=230
  • item_text_color=#2e5eb0
  • item_text_x=129
  • item_text_y=349


List of attributes and their values
  • element_enabled
A value can be 0 or 1, default is 1. When set to 1 it means the element will be displayed on screen. When set to 0 the element will not be present.

  • element_aligned
A value can be 0 or 1, default is 1. When this attribute is 1, the element coordinates are relative to the center point of the bounding box. That allows a perfect alignment in every mode, and every element size.When this attribute is 0 it means the coordinate of the element are relative to the bounding box's upper left corner.  The average user will not need to change this from its default setting, but advanced users can define positioning when designing very detailed themes.

  • element_x
The value can be positive or negative, it must be in the range 0 to 640. The X coordinate moves the element right or left on screen.
When the value is positive, it is relative to the left border vertical axis.
When value is negative, it means the positioning is relative to the right border axis. It is used to tie an element to the right border of the screen without doing math.
The reference point (origin x=0,y=0) is the upper left corner of the screen.
  • element_y
The value can be positive or negative, it must be in the range 0 to 480. The Y coordinate moves the element up or down on screen.
When the value is positive, it is relative to the top border horizontal axis.
When value is negative, it means the positioning is relative to the bottom border axis. It is used to tie an element to the bottom border of the screen without doing math.
The reference point (origin x=0,y=0) is the upper left corner of the screen.

  • element_width
The default value is undefined and allows the element's default size to be displayed. You can set a positive value or the special -1 value.
Set a value to what you want the element 's width to be. Your element will display this width and if an image is used, it will be resized to fit the specified value.
The -1 value means "unlimited" width. This specific value means your element will take as much space as possible, starting from the X coordinate until the right border of the screen. This value can't be used in conjunction with aligned=1, as to align according to the center, we need to know the element's actual size.

  • element_height
The default value is undefined and allows the element's default size to be displayed. You can set a positive value or the special -1 value.
Set a value to what you want the element 's height to be. Your element will display this height and if an image is used, it will be resized to fit the specified value.
The -1 value means "unlimited" height. This specific value means your element will take as much space as possible, starting from the Y coordinate until the bottom border of the screen. This value can't be used in conjunction with aligned=1, as to align according to the center, we need to know the element's actual size.

  • element_color
String value, starting with # and with 6 hexadecimal digits. It defines the color of the element, in the order R G B.
Example:
  • item_text_color=#2e5eb0
  • menu_text_color=#009fff
  • items_list_color=#e30000
  • hint_text_color=#000000
By default the elements use the text_color setting if no element is defined.


Notes on file format
For your PNG icons , here are the recommended settings (usually picture editing software will allow you to set them when saving your file):
Max compression (it is lossless so no worry). When alpha is required, be sure that your graphic tool doesn't "optimize" the color palette and remove the alpha layer.
You can also use a tool named "optiPNG" to compress optimally (however compression level will never be very high) your file, with the following command line:

optipng -o 5 -nc *.png

For theme you will not have to work with JPG format, but for information, we recommend this settings for them (as used in Art material):

Quality level between 70-80, optimize, no progressive, subsampling pattern "2x2
1x1 1x1 (smallest file)", DCT integral, no embedded thumbnail.

The JPG quality level is the key for a good looking picture, and the result may differ a lot depending of the type of the picture. For smooth pattern you can go very low without visible degradation, on the opposite complex and grainy picture can't usually go beyond 70 without visible artifacts. So make some tests, and not only on your computer screen.


Note on Themes and Background Art

You should take consideration when creating your Themes and Background Art as to if they will use the default layout or a custom layout.  Its  most likely all background art will use the default layout of OPL. Users might not be aware that the elements in custom Themes will not display properly for Background Art  created for the default layout. I would suggest to everyone who shares a  Theme with a customized layout to NOT use the setting of background_mode=3, so the user will not be stuck with the different layouts if they have BG Art in their ART folder.




Using Themes


Open PS2 Loader can use themes to customize its look. These themes can be stored on all media: USB devices, internal HDD, Ethernet SMB share and a PS2 Memory Card. Themes are loaded and displayed from a folder name. The folder name must start with the prefix: thm_ in lowercase, what you put after that will be the name of the theme as displayed in OPL .

Example:
  • /thm_My New Theme/    (will display as My New Theme in OPL)
  • /thm_Theme 1/    (will display as Theme 1 in OPL)
The contents of the directory can be custom icons, a background picture, a cover overlay and a CFG text file defining the theme configuration.
These will be used for all the list screens in OPL,  with the exception BG Art will over ride a Theme background if enabled and present in the ART folder.  You can use an alternative background for other screens, see background_alt_mode above.
Example:
  • /thm_My New Theme/
/exit.png
/app.png
/config.png
/eth.png
/hdd.png
/usb.png
/background.jpg
/conf_theme.cfg

Themes must be inside a folder named “THM” in uppercase for any of the 3 devices, SMB share, HDD and USB
If (or when) the device is started, OPL will list the themes found at these locations:

SMB   ( Network  Share)
In the root directory or drive you set as your PS2SMB share, in a THM folder
  • PS2SMB/THM/thm_My New Theme/

USB device
In the root of the drive or partition set for OPL (where your games are located), in a THM folder
  • mass:/THM/thm_My New Theme/
HDD (Internal hard drive)
Place the THM folder in the OPL Partition of the HDD [+OPL], you can create the partition if it doesnt exist, by using uLaunchELF  [FileBrowser > MISC > HddManager]
  • HDD0:+OPL/THM/thm_My New Theme/
Themes stored on any of these devices will not display if that device is not enabled, so be sure you enabled the device you store your themes in.
Themes that are stored on a MC must be in a folder named "OPL" in uppercase and are automatically enabled to use.
* * * Use caution as Themes can use up valuable MC space * * *

PS2 Memory Card
You can put your themes  on a memory card , where OPL will search for  an  OPL folder instead of THM:
  • mc0:/OPL/thm_My New Theme/  or  mc1:/OPL/thm_My New Theme/






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