How to successfully recolor skins with SkinStudio.

Originally posted on

I am aware that this article is partially redundant. I’ve written similar article in about a year ago but it was concerning icons. IconDeveloper is fairly similar in this term to SkinStudio since they share a great deal of their code base. However there I suppose there may be a significant number of people not realizing that – hence the article.

So we have christmas again. I tell you – I love Mormegil‘s great ChristmasTime skin pack. Though Christmas do not necessarily come in blues for me. It comes in reds, it comes in greens and in golds. Now let’s take a look at the skin:

Yup. definitely too much blues. But hey! I’ve got SkinStudio! So i load the skin into SkinStudio and enable recoloring.

as soon as you enable the recoloring (or any other of the tools from this menu) or activate it (if it’s tab is ot hidden), a red frame will blink around it to draw users’ attention to the activated featue.

now let’s select the color we want to use as the source color (meaning basically the color we wat to get rid of). Press the eyedrop button pointed at by the cursor on the picture above and select a lighter shade of blue on one of the icons like on the picture below:

ok… so SkinStudio adjusted all the sliders to transform the dark blue into the color that is shown below the source color (called “Target color”). “Target color” is the color we want the source color to become after the transformation. We have not set it up yet so the skin looks rather weird.

Notice that the skin preview changed according to the settings SkinStudio picked for recoloring. But I do not want the skin to look like that! It’s not looking nice because I have not yet specified what i want my source color to become. Let me do that now. I click on the eyedropper next to the target color (the one that is pointed at by the hand on the picture above) and i pick a color from the titlebar button as the target color. Like on the picture below:

Yay! Now I’be broken it! Look how ugly it now Looks!

What i need to do is to do is to limit the appliance of recoloring to only affect the “blues” and leave the rest of the colors alone. This is done pretty similar to how it’s done in Photoshop. You take that “Fuzziness” trackbar that’s been af 100% up until now (look at the pictures above) making skinstudio to recolor 100% of the visible spectrum and limit it only to shades of blue (the ones similar enough to “source color” we want to get rid of). Let’s drag it to 29%. Also as the skin has some colors slightly blue but to us looking like gray we want to filter out those as well. so we need to “uncheck” the “Colorize grayscales” checkbox. You may need to perform the previous step again (setting the target color) after you check the checkbox as SkinStudio will reset the target color for you. I have also discovered that when i had the Brightness set to the value detected by SkinStudio – the Start panel did not look quite right. The best thing to do in such cases is to set Brightness adjustment to 0% and instead lower the Gamma adjustment slider.

As you can see the skin looks much nicer now. I have tinkered a bit with the Fussiness and Tollerance a bit so that only those colors that I wanted ended as recolored. those settings will vary from skin to skin. A word of clarification. The “Tolerance slider appeared as I unchecked the “Colorize grayscales” checkbox and it basically means “How much the color must differ from being a shade of gray to be considered as non-grayscale”. So basically what have I done in this step is to preserve all the colors I like from recoloring.

Now that we have the skin looking as we want let’s save it so that we can apply it without breaking the original skin. I want the skin to become a substyle to the original skin so I need to select this option:

and fill in the dialog as following:

It is imperative that you changed all of the fields pointed at by the cursor. The Name specifies that you want to give the skin another name. The checkbox specifies that you do not want to create aonther standalone skin but rather use the recolored version as a substyle for the blue skin. Now the prefix is really important! if you do not specify any prefix SkinStudio will overwrite the original skin’s blue images with the green ones breaking it (it will have some of the colors blue while using the green images). The prefix is not important (and will not be specifiable) if you will decide to make it a standalone skin rather than substyle.

Ok now… let’s press the OK button and apply the skin…

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This entry (Permalink) was posted on Friday, December 17th, 2004 at 6:38 pm and is filed under SkinStudio, WindowBlinds. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response , or trackback from your own site.