SK Originals
The fusion of Fine and Graphic arts

Oct 9, 2008 6:31 PM by Discussion: Community preview

Its now official, I have launched a new site under a new domain, My previous domain,, was a bit obscure and a little odd. The move only made sense. I hope you enjoy the new site and stop by to give it a look.


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Sep 23, 2008 7:02 AM by Discussion: Forum Issues

Alright, just noticed this tonight for the first time. I'm recently and slowly converting to FF as v3 is growing on me. However, I commonly use the 'Right-click > Copy'  (or cut and/or paste) options. Just got used to doing so instead of the key short-cuts Ctrl+c (or x or p or whatever).

Now when using the key short-cut method everything is fine and dandy but when using the right-click method you get the following error (which I'll take a sceenshot of right now)....

Notice its a screenshot of me writing this message  ;)

ok, the link takes me to this page for an explination and 'fix'...

Well that just seems absurd that that even needs to be done, so if there is something that can fix that 'issue' on the sites end that would be a good idea I think.  :)


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Sep 3, 2008 7:56 AM by Discussion: WinCustomize Talk

This is a post about nothing, for nothing and holds no true purpose other then to do something with my absolute bordom at the moment. I don't even truely know what drove me to strat this thing. But, I'm going to keep writing and if you keep reading then you must be bored out of your mind as well. Why are you reading a post called 'The nothing thread' anyway? The title even holds little intrest. Come on already, stop reading this, your wasting time you could be doing something much more productive. Answer some of those thousands of questions and threads where people need some real help. Honestly, your doing nothing now too, that makes you as bad as me for writing this useless thing. Get out there and help someone, have some fun, download some skins, comment on those things, they want to know what you truely think. All those 'Nice' comments are cool but tell a skinner what you really think. Oh no, see it started to turn into something so I got to end this cause it is after all the 'nothing' thread.

I can't believe you read that [e digicons]X|[/e]

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Aug 30, 2008 5:22 PM by Discussion: Sneak Previews

"An apparition, living or dead, that may appear shortly before or after death. Their appearance is often considered to be an omen." -- Wikipedia, 2008 --

I've already previewed this to some and have been running a 'creation diary'' at for the last month plus. But, very soon this skin will be ready for consumption. The next edition to the beloved dark skins.....  Wraith


Preview size has been shrunk.. sorry about that but hey  ;)

This will be a master skin, will work for both Vista and XP, will have substyles, will include extra skins for free... there is even a mini Icon pack in the works.

Special thanks to Giz and TYCUS for their coming contributions and the many others who have layed out some input.


List of Wraith Skins

Wraith Master skin:
Wraith Xion Player:
Wraith Dock Icon Set:
Wraith Wallpack:
Wraith Side Docks:
Wraith Tabbed Docks Set 1:
Wraith Tabbed Docks Set 2:
Wraith Tabbed Docks Set 3:
Wraith (DX) Weather:
Wraith Rainy:
Wraith Righclick:

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A must read for WindowBlind skinners!!

Jul 30, 2008 9:15 AM by Discussion: WindowBlinds Tutorials

Ok so your a skinner, you make a skin with transparency and you've added a shadow to your frames and such. Now you want to add the blurring feature to your skin but you get something like this...

hum... now we have a problem cause that looks like hell.

But take notice, the image is square but the blur is effecting only SOME of the whole image area for that part of the frame. So whats happening here? This didn't just hit me till last night even though I've been dealing with it personally ever since the blur feature was added. After some discussion with another Master (Lasse, aka PixelPirate) skinner it dawned on us and here are some 'test' results for my working theory on this 'discovery'.

The Theory

The blur effect has a threshold point. At some point in the opacity of the image the blur feature no longer effects the image being used.

The Tests

I'm going to test this as I write this post so bare with me. For the test I'll make a white wallpaper with a 2 pixel stroke on it, make a 100 pixel long frame section gradiented with a 100% to 0% opacity set with a blur and at true size. This should give a 1% opacity change per line of pixels on the frame and we'll see where the blur stops taking effect. Here goes...

ok here is test 1... first is our 'control' (the plain stroke, no frame) then blue, red, green, black and last white. As you can see pure black has no blur effect at all. This isn't exactly what I expected. Lets try different shades of grey because it seems white does have an effect where black doesn't. there must be some point at which this changes.

Test 2... I'm not going to post the pics of this but oddly enough black up to 3,3,3 does not blur and anything lighter does. The odd part is the white gradient (used as the inactive part) also did not blur at the same time. Need to run some different tests...

Test 3... Here I made something like a frame and added a pure black gradiented outer glow in frame 1. This blurred the frame but not the outer glow. In frame 2 I added a dark blue shadow to the outer glow as you can see where the dark blue shadow appears so does the blur. Additionally even though the inactive frame did NOT have the dark blue shadow it also blurred the same area. In frame 3 I changed the dark blue shadow to pure black and again the blur effect did nothing to it. See the image below.


My Conclusion (updated Aug. 2nd '08)

Window Frames - You must use pure black (or RGB 3,3,3 and lower) for the shadows to not blur. Blur will effect anything with color. Image for the frame must have a clear line of pixels on the outter rim for the widnow frame. Blurr effect is square, it does nto support odd shapes, you can use the settings under the 'Extras' tab to round off the corners.

Taskbar - untested

Start Menu - Not fully tested. Blur effect looks odd when 2 transparent parts are touching in XP, Vista is uneffected by this.


Now you might ask why I went through this trouble and why the big write up. As a skinner and an advocate to 'pushing limits' and finding out what those limits are these sort of things help both me and all you other skinners. Currently there is no 'Mask Layer' for the blur effect but this might be one way to (in some fashion) create one to an extent.

My conclusion is based solely on the above testing plus comments and further testing below. Please if you find some variation or the like, feel free to post your results here for others to see and read.

Thanks and happy skinning as always  :)

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By now maybe you have heard of the fires in California. Maybe you've even seen some pictures on the news. However you probably have not seen what exactly has been going on away from the fires.

Click for larger view.

The above shots are of the same spot. The top one was take awhile back early in the morning with the morning mist still present. The bottom is of today during mid-day.

This is our 5th day of the same smoke layer here in Nevada County.

So, wanna come visit, enjoy some beautiful cali sun and clean Northern California air?

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ok, recently Stardock has decided this...

From "MyColors Replacing Premium Suites"

"What does this mean for Premium Suites overall?  Well, they're being replaced entirely by MyColors Themes.  We've begun the process of upgrading older themes such as Omega to MyColors, upgrading the skins and icons to work under Windows Vista."

So here is my question (proposed to any Stardock employee or whatever who can answer this). Just how much Vista support is there in mycolors?

From screenshots I've noticed that there is little to no 'glass' features being used. I've noticed MyColors Vista screenshots that do not have icons skinned and some other sections. Now I have not installed or used MyColors yet so I can't make a complete list or even 'confirm' any of the above. These are just what I have noticed from the screenshots (even the latest of them).

Also, if there is a lack of support for some features then isn't Stardock actually taking a step 'backwards' by not showing off the full range of what the programs and their skinners can do? And, offer these things to people as premium content (not via MyColors)?

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a partial list of what they are

May 28, 2008 12:54 AM by Discussion: WindowBlinds

ok.. so i just recently noticed the 'Edit Vista Part Colours' in SKS6 under the 'Change Skin Colours' and though this (recently?) added feature is already proving (to me at least) pretty cool, its not actually 'labled' what each color is for.. just the RGB of the color.

So, I started a list of what the colors are and where they apply. However this is only a partial list as I could not determine what some of them actually changed.

If you can figure out what the missing colors (the light gray italiced numbers) are then by all means fill it in, I'll check back periodically on this thread to 'complete' the list as more items are found out as to what they actually pertain to... so... here is the list as of 8-13-08


Control Panel
1 - 'Recent Task' Title Text Color
2 - Page Title Text Color
3 - 51, 153, 255
4 - 51, 153, 255
5 - 126, 133, 156
6 - 0, 102, 204
7 - Sidebar Link Highlighted
8 - 217, 243, 243
9 - Sidebar Link Disabled
10 - Sidebar Link Normal
11 - Sub Section Link Highlighted
12 - 51, 153, 255
13 - 126, 133, 156
14 - Sub Section Links Normal
15 - Section Title Highlighted
16 - Section Title Normal
17 - 0, 102, 204
18 - Information and Help Text Color (IR Brainiac Contribution)

Task Dialog
1 - Title Text Color (IR Brainiac Contribution)
2 - Subtitle, Action Text Color (IR Brainiac Contribution)

Explorer Flyout
1 - 87, 87, 87
2 - 0, 0, 0
3 - 87, 87, 87
4 - 19, 112, 171
5 - 176, 177, 179
6 - 0, 0, 0
7 - 0, 102, 204
8 - 0, 102, 204
9 - 0, 102, 204

Task Dialog Buttons
1 - Default Selection Highlight text color
2 - Default Selection Normal text color
3 - 126, 133, 156
4 - Pressed text color (IR Brainiac Contribution)
5 - Highlighted text color
6 - Normal text color (IR Brainiac Contribution)
7 - 165, 165, 165

Alt Tab Window
1 - Window Title Text

Drag and Drop text

Query Builder Text (explorer)
1 - 0, 0, 0

Aero Wizard Text
1 - 0, 0, 0
2 - Page Title Text (not Window Title Text)
3 - 0, 0, 0
4 - 0, 102, 204

Dialog Text in some wizards
1 - 0, 51, 153
2 - 0, 51, 153
3 - 0, 0, 0
4 - 0, 0, 0
5 - 0, 0, 0
6 - 133, 156, 0
7 - 153, 255, 0
8 - 153, 255, 0
9 - 102, 204, 0
10 - 0, 0, 0
11 - 0, 0, 0
12 - 133, 156, 0
13 - 102, 204, 0

Common Places Explorer
1 - Favorite Links text Color

Date / Time Picker Text
1 - Calendar Day # Current
2 - 255, 0, 0
3 - Calendar day # Highlight & Month Year Highlight
4 - 116, 144, 232
5 - 177, 197, 252
6 - 177, 197, 252
7 - 177, 197, 252
8 - Calendar Day # Current (when not on current month)
9 - 255, 0, 0
10 - Calendar Day # Highlight (for days not in current month)
11 - 177, 197, 252
12 - Calendar Day # Current (for days not in current month)
13 - 177, 197, 252
14 - 177, 197, 252
15 - 100, 100, 100
16 - Normal Text, Calendar, global

Link Text
1 - 68, 101, 162

Empty Markup text
1 - 68, 101, 162


Hopefully you find this useful :)

PS: This has been added to the Wiki Pages as well here

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A possible problem, possible feature request

Dec 21, 2007 3:57 AM by Discussion: WindowBlinds
Ok, my latest skin has been done completely in SKS6 (ok well close enough to say so, about 99%). And there are a few things I have seen that are driving me kinda crazy and wonder "What were they thinking?"

My latest is this... there is no way for WB6 to 'see' an included sidebar skin within a WB skin without an .sss (substyle file) in the skin. Out of everything I have tried and searched/looked into, this one thing seems to be the only way WB6 will see the sidebar skin. This is the line of code that has to be included...

[sidebarskin] File=***Skin folder name here***\***sidebar file name here***.sidebar

so, the question....

Why is this? Not all skins have a substyle. Can this line of code be included somewhere in the .uis file?(updated: a quick test of of adding this line to the .uis says no)

if not, the request....

Can WB search the .uis file to find this line of code or can WB just look for the .sidebar file within the WB skin.
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Idea for possible WC feature...

Sep 10, 2007 2:04 AM by Discussion: Community
Recently I got a new monitor and its big... making it not a typical wallpaper size. I had the idea that maybe a new feature could be added or created for browsing the wallpaper section. this could make it easier to browse the now 9000+ (and growing wildly) wallpapers here. Knowing it might be alot of work to set this idea up, I'm just 'throwing this out there' for possible feedback and so 'the powers that be' might see it and consider it... so here goes...

When someone uploads a wallpaper or pack of wallpapers to WC a new section can be added so that a list of say something like 10 (or whatever #) of the most popular sizes are available as check boxes that the uploader can 'mark' as being included in the submission. Maybe 7 sizes with a check box for 'Larger', one for 'Smaller' and and 'Other'. If left totally unchecked it can go into the 'Other' category.

Each member (or maybe this could be a subscriber feature) can set thier own personal 'size preference' in thier profile settings. Then in the wallpaper section there can be an option to 'Sort by Your Size Preference' much like the 'Sort by Last Updated' and so forth.

Thats it.. would make sorting through a crazy number of wallpapers much faster for people.

So what do you think?
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