Theming 101

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Bubba

Senior Member
Hello. I'd like to introduce myself. I am Bubba from the AT&T Note 3, Note, and Infuse forums. I have had several people PM me asking for help or information on starting to theme. So I decided to start a learning thread.

WHAT THIS THREAD IS: A place to gather the basics to get you started if you want to learn. A place to ask questions about theming and theming issues. A place to interact with Recognized and Unrecognized themers as well as people who are at your level or maybe the next level you will reach. A place you can learn from advanced, intermediate, and beginners, and maybe even yourself. A place where any theming question can be asked and hopefully answered. Keep in mind I am no expert. I will do the best I can, and I have enlisted the help of a few of my Teammates to help us out. We are all from Team Alliance.

WHAT THIS THREAD IS NOT: This is not a place to request themes or apps to be themed. This is not a place for flaming or negative opinions of others works.


WHO WILL HELP OUT: Myself,lacoursiere18, daveyannihilation, Tired Storeman, Mikeymopar, Nunhugger, sparky b, and hopefully a few others will be stopping in to help.


WHAT CAN I LEARN TO THEME? We expect to cover TW apps as well as other apps. 4.4 as well as 4.3


WHO THE HECK ARE YOU? A little background on me. I started learning to theme just over 2 years ago. I released my first theme (A theme chooser theme) as a gift for myself and anyone else on my 50th birthday .. (so you are NOT too old to learn) with the help and guidance of a great friend and fellow "The Family" member ppalbicke who is truly the most patient man ever created lol. I am now on the forever locked AT&T Note 3, so no more Theme Chooser. So I am continually learning to theme TW apks and I keep intergrating other apps into the theme I want to keep building.


IS THIS A STRICK ON TOPIC STUFFY THREAD? Hell no.I want this thread to run a like every "favorite" thread I have been involved in. Light humor is not only permitted.. but encouraged. Trust me ... you will need humor as a stress relief for this stress relieving hobby.

So ... if your in ... tell your wives/husbands, boyfriend/girlfriend goodbye .. this will soon become an obsession. You will want to do nothing but make every app you see "purty". Trust me .. my wife hates my phone. "Why can't you just leave it alone dammit".


OKAY BUBBA.. SHADDUP AND GET THIS STARTED: Okay then .. here we go. I have packaged up some basic tools and links you will need to get started. You will find the link in post #2
Some instructions in Post #3
 
Last edited:

Bubba

Senior Member
Tool Section


BASIC STARTER TOOLS

In this zip, you will find a few basic tools to get you started. I also have a Read Me in there that has link you will need. Download the zip and watch the video about SDK.

The apktool and the framework installer (thanks @zelendel ) should be placed in c:/users/whatever you named your pc .. and then place shortcuts on the desktop.

I included a link to Gimp because that is what I use. I had one Photoshop lesson from a master (Nunhugger) and have since failed miserably .. plus I am old and set in my ways. Some of the other guys use PS, so I will rely on them for those questions .... yours and maybe mine.


I will add more tools as we need them .. lets just see how this pans out.

ADDED TOOLS:

Theme Flash Zip

Syntax Highlighter

Android Color Converter

.9png Patch Suite



Instructional Videos:


Lesson in notepad++ by lacoursiere18



Bubba's Gimp Help Videos:

Frameworks Installer tool with Apk Decompile and Recompile.

Simple .9png editing

.9png Edit #2 using Gimp

Repair of a .9png using Gimp

Finding hex color with gimp


lacoursiere18 Photoshop Help Videos:

Finding Hex Colors with Photoshop

.9 image editing in Photoshop

Helpful Links

Some good insight into editing styles found by @lacoursiere18

Important Post Inside This Thread:


A Look Inside the Color Folder By @lacoursiere18

A look inside the Values Folder By @lacoursiere18
 
Last edited:

Bubba

Senior Member
INSTRUCTIONS:


First you will need to install framework-res, twframework-res, and SystemUI.

You will need the rom you are running or the one you want to theme. Use 7 zip to pull those 3 apks from it. Drag them into Zel's Frameworks Installer tool and click install .. If yoiu are wanting to theme an app from the playstore or some other place .. you will need that apk as well. .. step 1 done

Next lets decompile something

I use a basic apktool that always works for me .. although feel free to use whichever you like. To decompile place the apk into the tool ( just drag that puppy in there).
Commands are as follows:
Click on the command prompt and type apktool d name of apk.apk (inserting the actual name of the apk in place of my wording name of apk) lol.

So lets do frameworks ... drag into tool the framework-res.apk open command prompt and type
apktool d framework-res.apk
and hit enter. Let it do its job and finish.
It will create a folder named framework-res. This is where you edit. The Note 3 is xxhdpi although I have found some images in xdhpi need to be edited at times.

ANY IMAGE NAMED .9 NEEDS SPECIAL ATTENTION. These .9 images stretch and change size. They are bordered by 'Black Lines of Death" .. okay it ain't that bad, but they can be a *****. For these you must select the area inside the black lines and edit. If you mess with these lines .. they will haunt you. It's good practice to save these for last.

To recompile type
apktool b -d -f framework-res

It is always best to make one edit then try and build .. just to see. Your edited apk will be inside the framework-res folder in the folder named dist. System apps: Pull the new apk from the dist folder and place it on your desktop then open with 7 zip. Open the original folder and copy the manifest and META folder inside there. Then drop those into the open new apk and your ready.

It is not necessary to sign system apkswith the tool. The sign tool is used for third party apps. To use this tool place the built apk into the unsigned folder and back out .. click sign ... then the signed folder will contain your new edited signed apk which should install for you.
 
Last edited:

Bubba

Senior Member
Themed apks to Share


Non Specific apks

Updated Telegram App Jan 2015

Inverted Telegram Messaging By Bubba and Lacoursiere18

Inverted Seed Email By Bubba and Lacoursiere18

Inverted 8sms Text app

Root Browser


4.3 apks


Inverted Splanner By BubbaJoe Signed Install
uxYQnFlGDerb





4.4 Apps





Apps Done by Users

Themed Accuweather Stock Background by Note Crazy
EL0lquI3DQFDbTAK


ThunderKat Background Accuweather by Note Crazy
GbXBBgL1cyejhWiv
BXmYCujbjudptf2z
p4PkkHinQDDRTH91



SecMms_Batman by kevinoliva1134.4 From the stock NG2 Rom.
1412558653903.jpg
1412558670421.jpg





Projects:


SPlanner4.3
 
Last edited:

lacoursiere18

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2013
4,183
7,001
LbTs
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Videos~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a video of editing a ".9.png" in CS5 (photoshop)


Video on patching .9.png correctly for them to scale properly


Decompile to Modding a xml and drawable, then Recompiling..Tutorial

 

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Last edited:

lacoursiere18

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2013
4,183
7,001
LbTs
Reserved..
 

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Last edited:

mikeymopar

Senior Member
Jan 14, 2011
446
922
Awesome Theming Tutorial

i hate posting with meaningless drivel but...bring it on Bubba. you're not a recognized themer for nuthin'
while most users want things handed to them there are a LOT of very talented and imaginative people lurking around that just need guidance. i can't wait to see the stuff that's gonna come out of this thread. :D

enough chat....back to on-topic. i know how serious you are......heh

edit: not to post twice (not a post whore like some people :silly:)...this tutorial will work for devices other than the Note3. Images will be in different folders but the structure and ideas and ways to go about it are the same. just sayin'
 
Last edited:

phillymade

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2011
1,984
772
City of Brotherly Love
I have a question. I am looking to remove the icon text and page indicator on my TW launcher. I am on 4.4.2 and have modded the launcher to enable theme support and hide apps in app tray. Once decompiled, would my search begin in res/values?
Attemting to theme is new to me and i have learned a great deal from all of you here.
thank you for this thread and your knowledge.

This Post Is The Opinion Of A Washed Up Rock Star
 
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Reactions: Bubba

sparx

Senior Member
Aug 7, 2011
2,233
4,605
www.alliance-rom.com
I have a question. I am looking to remove the icon text and page indicator on my TW launcher. I am on 4.4.2 and have modded the launcher to enable theme support and hide apps in app tray. Once decompiled, would my search begin in res/values?
Attemting to theme is new to me and i have learned a great deal from all of you here.
thank you for this thread and your knowledge.

This Post Is The Opinion Of A Washed Up Rock Star

I think the easiest way would be to find the text color and make it transparent, the issue is actually finding it, could be in values/colors, values/ styles or even in an xml in drawables...
 

Bubba

Senior Member
I have a question. I am looking to remove the icon text and page indicator on my TW launcher. I am on 4.4.2 and have modded the launcher to enable theme support and hide apps in app tray. Once decompiled, would my search begin in res/values?
Attemting to theme is new to me and i have learned a great deal from all of you here.
thank you for this thread and your knowledge.

This Post Is The Opinion Of A Washed Up Rock Star

I have not touched the TW launcher because I am sold on Nova ..But you want to the app names?
 

Bubba

Senior Member
Who's a whore? Bubba? Where's my seed mail?

It's next .. got to conquer SPlanner .. almost there

correct. I prefer a clean look and don't mind using the stock launcher

This Post Is The Opinion Of A Washed Up Rock Star

Sparx's idea sounds correct. try and search out the color for them and make transparent .. invisible is the next best thing to gone .. lol
 

lacoursiere18

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2013
4,183
7,001
LbTs
correct. I prefer a clean look and don't mind using the stock launcher

This Post Is The Opinion Of A Washed Up Rock Star

I would look under res/values/styles.xml.. Look here:
Code:
<style name="HomeIcon" parent="@style/BaseHomeIcon">
        <item name="android:textSize">14.0dip</item>
<style name="HotseatIcon" parent="@style/BaseHotseatIcon">
        <item name="android:textSize">12.0dip</item>

You can just adjust the textSize to 0.0ddip.. I found this in values-sw359dp, but you may need to look in the other values folders as well. BTW Home is Home (like Home screen) and HotSeat is the dock
 

phillymade

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2011
1,984
772
City of Brotherly Love
I would look under res/values/styles.xml.. Look here:
Code:
<style name="HomeIcon" parent="@style/BaseHomeIcon">
        <item name="android:textSize">14.0dip</item>
<style name="HotseatIcon" parent="@style/BaseHotseatIcon">
        <item name="android:textSize">12.0dip</item>

You can just adjust the textSize to 0.0ddip.. I found this in values-sw359dp, but you may need to look in the other values folders as well. BTW Home is Home (like Home screen) and HotSeat is the dock
thanks for this. found an old guide that did it this way. Think this would be the best solution

This Post Is The Opinion Of A Washed Up Rock Star
 

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  • 61
    Hello. I'd like to introduce myself. I am Bubba from the AT&T Note 3, Note, and Infuse forums. I have had several people PM me asking for help or information on starting to theme. So I decided to start a learning thread.

    WHAT THIS THREAD IS: A place to gather the basics to get you started if you want to learn. A place to ask questions about theming and theming issues. A place to interact with Recognized and Unrecognized themers as well as people who are at your level or maybe the next level you will reach. A place you can learn from advanced, intermediate, and beginners, and maybe even yourself. A place where any theming question can be asked and hopefully answered. Keep in mind I am no expert. I will do the best I can, and I have enlisted the help of a few of my Teammates to help us out. We are all from Team Alliance.

    WHAT THIS THREAD IS NOT: This is not a place to request themes or apps to be themed. This is not a place for flaming or negative opinions of others works.


    WHO WILL HELP OUT: Myself,lacoursiere18, daveyannihilation, Tired Storeman, Mikeymopar, Nunhugger, sparky b, and hopefully a few others will be stopping in to help.


    WHAT CAN I LEARN TO THEME? We expect to cover TW apps as well as other apps. 4.4 as well as 4.3


    WHO THE HECK ARE YOU? A little background on me. I started learning to theme just over 2 years ago. I released my first theme (A theme chooser theme) as a gift for myself and anyone else on my 50th birthday .. (so you are NOT too old to learn) with the help and guidance of a great friend and fellow "The Family" member ppalbicke who is truly the most patient man ever created lol. I am now on the forever locked AT&T Note 3, so no more Theme Chooser. So I am continually learning to theme TW apks and I keep intergrating other apps into the theme I want to keep building.


    IS THIS A STRICK ON TOPIC STUFFY THREAD? Hell no.I want this thread to run a like every "favorite" thread I have been involved in. Light humor is not only permitted.. but encouraged. Trust me ... you will need humor as a stress relief for this stress relieving hobby.

    So ... if your in ... tell your wives/husbands, boyfriend/girlfriend goodbye .. this will soon become an obsession. You will want to do nothing but make every app you see "purty". Trust me .. my wife hates my phone. "Why can't you just leave it alone dammit".


    OKAY BUBBA.. SHADDUP AND GET THIS STARTED: Okay then .. here we go. I have packaged up some basic tools and links you will need to get started. You will find the link in post #2
    Some instructions in Post #3
    26
    Tool Section


    BASIC STARTER TOOLS

    In this zip, you will find a few basic tools to get you started. I also have a Read Me in there that has link you will need. Download the zip and watch the video about SDK.

    The apktool and the framework installer (thanks @zelendel ) should be placed in c:/users/whatever you named your pc .. and then place shortcuts on the desktop.

    I included a link to Gimp because that is what I use. I had one Photoshop lesson from a master (Nunhugger) and have since failed miserably .. plus I am old and set in my ways. Some of the other guys use PS, so I will rely on them for those questions .... yours and maybe mine.


    I will add more tools as we need them .. lets just see how this pans out.

    ADDED TOOLS:

    Theme Flash Zip

    Syntax Highlighter

    Android Color Converter

    .9png Patch Suite



    Instructional Videos:


    Lesson in notepad++ by lacoursiere18



    Bubba's Gimp Help Videos:

    Frameworks Installer tool with Apk Decompile and Recompile.

    Simple .9png editing

    .9png Edit #2 using Gimp

    Repair of a .9png using Gimp

    Finding hex color with gimp


    lacoursiere18 Photoshop Help Videos:

    Finding Hex Colors with Photoshop

    .9 image editing in Photoshop

    Helpful Links

    Some good insight into editing styles found by @lacoursiere18

    Important Post Inside This Thread:


    A Look Inside the Color Folder By @lacoursiere18

    A look inside the Values Folder By @lacoursiere18
    21
    INSTRUCTIONS:


    First you will need to install framework-res, twframework-res, and SystemUI.

    You will need the rom you are running or the one you want to theme. Use 7 zip to pull those 3 apks from it. Drag them into Zel's Frameworks Installer tool and click install .. If yoiu are wanting to theme an app from the playstore or some other place .. you will need that apk as well. .. step 1 done

    Next lets decompile something

    I use a basic apktool that always works for me .. although feel free to use whichever you like. To decompile place the apk into the tool ( just drag that puppy in there).
    Commands are as follows:
    Click on the command prompt and type apktool d name of apk.apk (inserting the actual name of the apk in place of my wording name of apk) lol.

    So lets do frameworks ... drag into tool the framework-res.apk open command prompt and type
    apktool d framework-res.apk
    and hit enter. Let it do its job and finish.
    It will create a folder named framework-res. This is where you edit. The Note 3 is xxhdpi although I have found some images in xdhpi need to be edited at times.

    ANY IMAGE NAMED .9 NEEDS SPECIAL ATTENTION. These .9 images stretch and change size. They are bordered by 'Black Lines of Death" .. okay it ain't that bad, but they can be a *****. For these you must select the area inside the black lines and edit. If you mess with these lines .. they will haunt you. It's good practice to save these for last.

    To recompile type
    apktool b -d -f framework-res

    It is always best to make one edit then try and build .. just to see. Your edited apk will be inside the framework-res folder in the folder named dist. System apps: Pull the new apk from the dist folder and place it on your desktop then open with 7 zip. Open the original folder and copy the manifest and META folder inside there. Then drop those into the open new apk and your ready.

    It is not necessary to sign system apkswith the tool. The sign tool is used for third party apps. To use this tool place the built apk into the unsigned folder and back out .. click sign ... then the signed folder will contain your new edited signed apk which should install for you.
    17
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Videos~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Here is a video of editing a ".9.png" in CS5 (photoshop)


    Video on patching .9.png correctly for them to scale properly


    Decompile to Modding a xml and drawable, then Recompiling..Tutorial

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