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Uix Skinning

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#1 Odb718


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  • Xbox Version:v1.0
  • 360 version:v1 (xenon)

Posted 21 October 2005 - 04:29 PM

UIX Dash skinning 101
Note: This tutorial is not for any other dash except UIX v0.0

In order to creat a new UIX skin you must have a folder located in the "skins" folder of UIX with an xbx of the same name inside the folder. ( user.interface.x.dash/skins/blue/blue.xbx ) This xbx file controls the color preset of the skin and the skins creation details. Your skin's folder will contain 3 types of files; an .xm file ( a 3D object ) an image .xbx file ( the background picture ) and a text .xbx file ( the skin's color preset ). As always, if you're going to eit a file or folder used on your xbox, make a back up of the original incase something goes wrong!


WordPad and Winxip

Using WinXip, extract the default.xap out of default.xip

Search for Background Background in the default.xap using wordpad. It should bring you to something very similar to

DEF theBackground Background
skycolor 0 0 0
// backdrop ImageTexture { url "xboxlogo.xbx" }

JbOnE left a note letting you know you're in the right spot to edit in the background image. wink.gif
Edit url "xboxlogo.xbx" to url "background.xbx" and then delet the // in front of backdrop ImageTexture { url ' xboxlogo.xbx } so it looks like

DEF theBackground Background
skycolor 0 0 0
backdrop ImageTexture { url "background.xbx" }

Save the edited default.xap and insert it back into default.xip. Transfer the edited xip, overwriting the original. Now any skin with background.xbx in it should display a background image. If it doesn't, delete your UIX cache/saves and reboot to it. If you're still having trouble getting it to display check to see if the edit and save went correctly and make changes if it hasn't.


MSPaint(or any art program) Bundler.exe, Fastxbx2dds2img

The fun part of skinning... Making your own. First things first. The screen out put is 640x480 but, the xboxbg.xbx needs to be sized 1024x512.
All the .xbx files are different sizes. I suggest you use a program that will let you paste over an image for a refereance.

Now comes time for Fastxbx2dds2img. When you first download Fastxbx2dds2img it IS NOT ready for use! You must download Bundler.exe and put it in the tools folder inside Fastxbx2dds2img.
On top of that, you must unregister and reregister kixforms.dll. This is easy enought from any dos promt.(cmd)
type in regsvr32 -u kixforms.dll to unregister the .dll.
then type regsvr32 kixforms.dll to reregister the .dll.

Now your Fastxbx2dds2img is ready for use. Atleast it should be. If it isn't don't ask me I don't know what the problem is. Try redownloading Bundler or something.
In order to use Fastxbx2dds2img the file type has to be in it's matching folder inside Fastxbx2dds2img.
Like the xbx you want to convert has to be in the xbx folder, otherwise you wont be able to see it.
Select the image types of images to convert / output to and hit the convert button. You should see a green bar go across the bottom of the app., and it should say complete when it's finished. The xbx file you created will be in the xbx folder inside the fastxbx2dds2img folder.


Material Configurer Professional (MCP) or Notepad

The Easiest way to make a new color preset for your skin is, in my opinion, with notepad. (which isnt easy at all) The Replace all function in it makes editing everything of the same color a snap. But MCP does have a lot of advantages over notepad. For now this tutorial will only focus on the notepad method of preset editing.

Now, one advantage MCP has over note pad is the fact that it can creat a color preset. To start with a blank notepad, it woul be near impossible to create the color preset for your skin. The best way to go about making a new preset is to edit an older one. The first thing you'll need to do is rename the preset to the skin name you want. Second is the preset's creation details. At the very top of the skin is the creator's notes on how and when the skin was created along with some other info. Edit this to fit the skins info that you're creating. Under that you'll see the info the UIX dash uses to find out and display the colors the creator wanted. The sets of numbers you see are the RGBA (A being the alpha value) values for that particular material. As you scroll down the list you'll see some sets of numbers are used more then once. This is a good thing. You can use the Replace all function in notepad to change every set of rgba values making it go by way faster then to edit them all by hand and it insures that your skin will have a uniform color. When you first start out editing the skin's xbx you'll find you wont get the colors exactly the way you want them. It's basically trial and error untill you get it displaying the color preset you want. Save it and that's that. ( not a lot of focus I know blink.gif )

All the fine details are here.

Once you have all of the parts of your skin you want to edit completed, put all of the parts into a folder named after the color preset. Transfer that skin file over to the xbox and enter the skins list. If you have enterd the skins list before you transferd the skin you'll need to reboot the xbox before the skin will display.
If the skin doesn't display even after a reboot the skin maybe transferd to deep in the skins folder or there may be a problem with the color preset xbx.
If you want to share your UIX skin with other people xbox-skins and allxboxskins?www.allxboxskins.com will be happy to host the skin for you unless it contains nudity. Upload the skin following the sites' instructions and link it in haxjester's UIX skins thread beerchug.gif

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