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 Post subject: Blur not working?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:26 pm
Posts: 8
Hello. New Nexus Ultimate user here. Love the software. A real labour of love, I can see!

Edit: blur now working. Not sure what changed, but it looks okay now. Next challenge is to work out how to make it clear/white/grey rather than a sort of brown that I get currently. Added mock-up of the look I'm after.

Windows has that acrylic/fluent thing nowadays, but I'm assuming that enabling it for a bit of software like this is non-trivial. Start10/Fences seem to use it [edit: and it is smooth when dragging items under the taskbar), but I realise that doesn't mean it can be done in Nexus.

I'm trying to get rid of Fences and just use Nexus, but I like a clean/simple interface. So I'd like to get the Office theme working with transparent blurred drawers rather than the patterned background. So on a related note, is it possible to edit an existing theme or would I need to persuade the author to help me out? I can't work out how one goes about creating a theme from scratch, but I'd like to give it a go if there is a good place for me to start. Editing an existing theme seems like a good way to get going.

Thanks for any suggestions.


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2020-01-02 blur mockup2.jpg
2020-01-02 blur mockup2.jpg [ 37.23 KiB | Viewed 1601 times ]


Last edited by justposted on Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Blur not working?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:26 pm
Posts: 8
Following up my own post here, so that I don't end up spamming the forum.

I've tried mucking about with the image files in the Office theme folder, but I can't work out which file changes the background texture.

There are two things going on here:
1. I'd like to make the background texture transparent (with blurring)
2. The texture that is currently used seems to get very stretched out, so that I see a sort of low resolution stucco effect. I think the intended background is a subtly textured bluey-grey colour, not stucco, so perhaps there is a scaling issue in the theme config files.

I've seen that a theme builder is probably somewhere in the works. So for now I'll leave any theme tweaking/creating to the professionals.


Attachments:
File comment: Intended
wsFullBody.png
wsFullBody.png [ 55.33 KiB | Viewed 1599 times ]
File comment: Stretched texture in practice
2020-01-02 stucco.jpg
2020-01-02 stucco.jpg [ 7.97 KiB | Viewed 1599 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Blur not working?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:26 pm
Posts: 8
I've hit a dead end with colour of the blur effect. In order to get it working blurring nicely, I have to drop the RGB and Alpha Thresholds to the minimum ('Little') in the Blur Settings dialog. As soon as I do that, I get blur but the colour changes to a sort of pale brown.

The colour change happens whether I make an opaque theme 99% transparent or take a natively transparent theme (e.g. Windows_7_Xtreme) and make it 0% transparent. As soon as blur kicks in, the colour goes brown.

I can Color/Tint it in the Color Settings. But if I do that using a white tint then it actually makes the brown a bit darker than with Colorize turned off.

I'm assuming this is just a limitation of the way blur is implemented in Nexus, but if anybody knows a trick to get a nice white or grey blur then do let me know.


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File comment: Nexus on the left. What I'm after on the right.
2020-01-02 blur brown.png
2020-01-02 blur brown.png [ 53.04 KiB | Viewed 1594 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Blur not working?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:26 pm
Posts: 8
The saga continues!

I uninstalled Aero Glass, as I wasn't getting the effect I was after anyway. But I've noticed that Nexus does in fact already have a nice blur effect that you can see on the menus (image below). This would be a lovely alternative to the stretched/stucco background of the Dark Tech drawer.

Presumably there is some reason why the coding side doesn't work like that, but seeing as I spotted it I thought I'd leave it here as an end to this rather lonely thread.


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2020-01-06 native blur (Custom).png
2020-01-06 native blur (Custom).png [ 30.76 KiB | Viewed 1560 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Blur not working?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:51 pm
Posts: 155
That picture is rather tiny...it's hard to see the blur effect you're talking about.

Someday, Jorge will get back on here and participate again. He's normally very active. But, Winstep is a "one-man shop", so he does need to take breaks from time-to-time to get away from it all.

I'm sure he'll be back and participating on the forum soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Blur not working?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:30 pm
Posts: 10928
Under Vista and Windows 7, semi-transparent dock/menu/etc backgrounds would be automatically blurred by Windows (provided the option to blur semi-transparent backgrounds was enabled in the Winstep application, which was by default) so that wasn't a problem.

Blurring the background of semi-transparent windows is not something that can be done without the OS and the Windows Desktop Composition Manager (DWM) being 'in' on it.

With Windows 8 Microsoft decided to get rid of the Aero Glass effect. It actually deprecated the API functions used to create blur regions so they would no longer work. First time I saw a relatively new and important feature in Windows be completely dropped like hot coals from one version to the other.

Windows 10 brought blurring back with Acrylic, but there is a MAJOR problem with it in relation to what could be done before: unlike in Windows 7, you cannot blur ***irregular*** regions - it's a **fully rectangular** region or nothing (this is why some elements in the Winstep UI **do** appear blurred using Acrylic, but if you look closely you will notice ALL of those elements are fully rectangular in shape).

Furthermore, unless an area of the window is 100% solid color, it will get Acrylic applied to it - even if the area is FULLY transparent, which completely rule out rounded corners, etc... Both these limitations make Acrylic completely useless for using blur on Winstep themes.

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Jorge Coelho
Winstep Xtreme - Xtreme Power!
http://www.winstep.net - Winstep Software Technologies


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