Old 04-28-2018, 10:03 AM   #1
adXok
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Default Rant ! .: New Reaper Themes :.

OK, so it won't be exactly a rant. I just use the word 'rant' to get some attention. It will be more like a questions from a noob on WALTER, themes and related Reaper functionality.

In Reaper many (if not all) things have related functionality depending on 'right mouse click'. Thus, the GUI is customisable as well.
I have noticed that those 'right click' options on the GUI elements work properly only with White Tie's Default Reaper themes (or maybe with his additional themes, for which I can not speak; haven't tried them).
Have tried some of the new themes like "I Logix NeXt", "Solaris LCS" etc. and they seem to have many things not corresponding to 'right click' toggles. For example: Show Playrate Control, Center Transport Controls, mismatched icons (or buttons in text mode, no image).

I am aware that theme creation and code is very tedious and time consuming task. But can we at least have some meaningful workflow or guide on that, because it is really disappointing to have installed a fancy crazy beautiful looking theme, which doesn't relate to Reaper 'right click' functionality.
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:12 AM   #2
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Hi adXok
Thanks for checking out my theme.
regarding your questions, it's sometimes just a matter of the themer not being aware of that option since they've never used it themselves, as is usually my case.
If you like a theme, you can try posting requests or bug finds in the thread for the theme or in that theme's comment section in Stash if it doesn't have a dedicated thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post
Have tried some of the new themes like "I Logix NeXt", "Solaris LCS" etc. and they seem to have many things not corresponding to 'right click' toggles. For example: Show Playrate Control, Center Transport Controls, mismatched icons (or buttons in text mode, no image).
If you will post the specifics of which item or buttons have a mismatched icon or doesn't respond to the right click selection in Solaris_LCS, as you mentioned above, I will see if it's something simple or easy to address.
Please note that I am aware that the 'Center Transport Controls' option is not functioning.
This is a coding issue and I hope to address that in a future update.
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post

In Reaper many (if not all) things have related functionality depending on 'right mouse click'. Thus, the GUI is customisable as well.
I have noticed that those 'right click' options on the GUI elements work properly only with White Tie's Default Reaper themes (or maybe with his additional themes, for which I can not speak; haven't tried them).
Have tried some of the new themes like "I Logix NeXt", "Solaris LCS" etc. and they seem to have many things not corresponding to 'right click' toggles. For example: Show Playrate Control, Center Transport Controls, mismatched icons (or buttons in text mode, no image).
adXok

I mentioned one of the possible reasons for this in an earlier post, here it is again.

Mouse modifiers that are based on mixer control panel and track control panel clicks respond when you click the panel background image.

Some themes that cover the entire panel with a image like say...

overlaying a large section of the the panel with the trackidx image to create a certain look,
hides the actual panel background and does not accept the mouse click...
therefore you can not initiate a mouse click in these locations.

Try my simple theme and you can see what I'm talking about.
When the track is in record mode I've overlayed an image to create the color on the bottom of the mcp panel.
(Hopefully it's still the version that's like that;-)

A Double-mouse-click in that area when the track is armed will not work.
If the track in unarmed it will.
Other themes might have different limitations.
So you must find the areas in the layout that are allowing you to click on the panel background.

Got it?
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Old 04-28-2018, 12:38 PM   #4
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Hi, AdXok

You are right, in a way. There are indeed themes that don't take enough attention about how the transport bar should work, with all its options available. But saying that only the Reaper default theme provide the 'right click' options in different context, especially the transport bar, is wrong : there are themes that provide also these and I will NOT name them...

For almost each and every theme uploaded in the stash, there is a dedicated thread concerning it : why not post in it, when you see these kind of limitations ?

As an example, I have seen one of your post, recently, blaming the fact that there are no visible dB scales for the master meters in some recent themes. Indeed, in mine, they are not visible. Why so ? Simply because they can't be hidden by the user and often clog the meters display in an unacceptable way : I have done a thread about this recently and am still waiting for an answer. Seems that it's a Reaper bug and we, themers, have to do with all these kinds of limitations and quirks that should have been fixed since a long time.

Can't say a lot more, but be assured that we are doing everything we can with what is at our disposal...
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Old 04-28-2018, 03:15 PM   #5
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Hi, hwhalen
of course I am aware that some themes will use overlays (that might take a whole double or triple sized area) and the contextual menus won't appear or will give unexpected results.
Hence, maybe, a good idea could be creating a new modified Menus as some kind of config files that could be bundled with the theme. Reaper allows crazy amount of customisation to the point of breaking things big time. That i think is a bit of a problem.

cubic13,
Quote:
For almost each and every theme uploaded in the stash, there is a dedicated thread concerning it : why not post in it, when you see these kind of limitations?
It will take me a lot of writing (copy-paste-edit) this way.
About the meters... I really think they are... well... Measurement tools, not just jumping colours. That is why they are required to have meaning, relevance and not to be ambiguous. Hence the word meter is a unit measurement range.

Yes, you are right, pointing out those problems in your thread. Also they concern not only the Master track (if I am not mistaken Mixer tracks show only Peaks, Master track has settings about RMS and Peaks).

Seems like there are many things left hidden about proper theme creation, edit, layouts, overlay images, WALTER implementation and scripts, Reaper menus in correlation to that, etc..

To me it looks like it gets too complicated than it needs to be. With the upcoming of 4K and 8K monitors all those discrepancies will cause us even greater compatibility and customisation headaches.

Example: rendered fonts as letters on the screen should be readable (3mm height Capital letters, at minimum) regardless of the resolution of the display monitor. Many themes mess up big time with fonts for track labels, readouts (most of which almost unreadable in general even on 2K monitors).

My main concern is: why the waste of time and creative effort to make an eye-candy posh theme, which is not going to be functional?
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Last edited by adXok; 04-28-2018 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:24 AM   #6
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Sure, meters are measurement tools but I don't think that RMS scale on regular meters is that necessary, especially with a 64 bits audio engine... Beside this, they also suffer several limitations that make things difficult to set and force us to compromises that could be welcomed for some users and not for others. Few examples :
- Should we always make the peak value appear ? If so, we have to set the meters with a minimal width of 21 pixels, otherwise the value is truncated, due to the font used for its display. And we are not allowed to change it : it's hardcoded somewhere...
- Do we want to make the peak value appear a little over the meters strips to clarify their view ? Not possible, beside truncating its full range...
- Same thing for the scales themselves : if you want to make a narrow mixer strip with a meters width less than 13 pixels, you're out of luck : they simply won't be displayed, no matter how the 'show dB scales...' options are set.
And so on, this being only for the meters...

Now, the fonts : it's a real problem which is partially inherent of the system we use the develop a theme and its display resolution. I'm on Windows 7 with a 1920x1200 monitor, but maybe an user under Windows 10 with a 2880x1600 one doesn't have the same fonts installed or their rendering doesn't lead to the same result, etc. And I'm not even talking about OSX and the Retina mess... What to do ? The only thing, probably, is to stick with the most generic ones, hoping that the result will be acceptable for most. One thing is sure : a given themer will never be sure that what seems rightly displayed on his monitor will lead to the same result on every system. When you say 3mm, is it 3mm for a 1440x900 monitor or a 3840x2400 one ? All the problem is here, as we cannot adjust the font size used on a theme to the resolution of each and every user : Walter doesn't allow this. Maybe one day...

Finally, and to answer your question : I like theming so, for me, it's not a waste of time. It's a creative exercise, the aim being to get the thing that I had in my mind when I first start a theme. And indeed, Walter is not that easy to master, so it's also a way to solve logical problems and go over them. In one word, it's fun... After this, it's true, some themes are fully functional and some aren't. Concerning the transport bar, you are right : I indeed see too many themes that don't focus enough on it, which seems kinda strange, as for me, it's an essential part of a host. After this, I guess that the results depend about the way each themer more or less consciously uses Reaper : one will focus on a beautiful mixer, leaving a tcp management perfectible. Another will do the opposite, as he almost never uses the mixer, etc. We all have our weaknesses...
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