Skin artwork addons - what do we need?

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ghostelement Offline
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Post: #16
Media Info Icon sets - http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=81203

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KiSUAN Offline
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Post: #17
My 2 Cents

I think that the best thing would be if all Media (flags/weather/geners/other) is placed outside of the skin in a common folder and an option through normal settings is aveilable for users.

That way you avoid having multiple media packs repeated several times, like Studio Flags, also many skins uses the same Media Icons if I'm not mistaken, some are mixed, but skinners could submit the pack for their skin, that way the skinner only has to set it in addons.xml, and if present won't be repeated.

Of course this implies skinners have to replace paths, but that its easy once path and name of packs are establish.

In other words, something like special://media/ or whatever with subfolders for each type of Media (Studio/Weather/Media Icons/Moviegenres/Musicgenres and so on). If the Media of the folder, let's say Media Icons is changed through the setting the content of the same is deleted and replaced by the content of the cached packages Zip. I come to this conclusion as now the path to all this media or most has to be hard coded by the skinner, and this way user can change the desire media without rewriting any code.

Of course I don't know crap about Pyton, don't know how hard this could be (if possible) or if there is a "better way", don't even know if I'm making any sense. My thoughts were making the selection of different packs by end user easy considering my knowledge of how a skin is "coded" or "work", saving space and time in downloads and skin size, expanding user options.

As people are posting links to packs, I wasn't going to release this yet as I didn't finish doing all, but they are quite there, I've made a Repo with 2 Studio logos Pack, one for Movie-Film and other for Games. I took the one from ccMatrix and standardize all of them to 161x109 and white-grey scale, I also added 400 logos (200 from else and 200 I done myself). And the Game pack with 50 logos of HTPCGUY and 1600 logos I made myself all in 161x109 and grey-scale. Here is the link: git://github.com/KiSUAN/studios.flags.git. More flags to come...

Maybe this is the same jmarshall stated, sorry if it is.

Night [MOD] Purity

[url=http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=86759"]
Purity Media Flags & RD XBMC Icon
[/url]
[url=http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=99554"]
Film/Movie/Game Studio Flags Repository
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(This post was last modified: 2011-02-24 00:59 by KiSUAN.)
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #18
Right, it appears we basically have 2 types of artwork addons as far as I'm concerned:

1. Artwork which the user could expect to configure.

These would be user-installable, and skin independent. i.e. they should work across the board so if the user sets it for skin A it'll also work without any changes in skin B.

1.1. Weather fanart packs. Either multi or single image packs. Skinner uses Weather.Fanart info label and XBMC handles the rest.

1.2. Generic background packs. Either multi or single image packs. Skinner uses Background.Video info label and XBMC handles the rest. IMO it's best to wait on this until we've figured out what to do with the homescreen as far as making it editable and consistent across skins.

1.3. More specific background packs, such as Genre fanart. These would be set by XBMC during directory listing. Personally I'd be reluctant to include these, as they start cluttering the UI - we'd need a setting for them, and I'm not clear as to where this sort of thing makes sense. After all, are folk going to want Director fanart? Year fanart? Where does it stop? One way to handle this might be to to use anything the user has installed. If they have 5 genre packs installed, then we just use the first image we find by default, and allow the user to set it just like they can set thumbs or fanart for other items.

2. Artwork which the user doesn't need to know about, can't install, and can't configure.

These would typically be a <requires> in the skin, and would not be shown in the addons manager or be separately installable by the user. Essentially they're a way to pull out a lot of the common images most skins use into separate packs. Skinner would utilise a generic infolabel to grab these, eg Skin.Art(skinart.studiologos.glossy,logo_name)

2.1 Studio/Record label logos. I forsee a simple default pack (or two) that almost all skinners will use. Possibly also some other packs should separate aspect ratios or somesuch be required.

2.2 Media info logos. Personally I think we should just settle on one of them and use that across the board, but I can see uses for others that may be more tailored for your skin. I don't see a point in making this user-configurable, but also don't see any reason to stop you the skinner from doing so if you wish (you'd just <require> two separate packs). We may be able to make it easier on skinners by normalizing names of logos to save duplicating images.

2.3 Icon packs. The style of these is generally something the skinner should choose, but may be able to be shared across skins.

2.4 Skin-specific artwork packs. These would essentially give you a way to push out some of your artwork to separate packs, theoretically decoupling the media from the XML files. I'm not sure how far to go with this - after all, it's silly if you need to change them both as you mayaswell include them together and keep things self-contained. Then again, often you may have a small XML based fix that doesn't affect the media at all, so having all of the media completely separate from the xml files makes sense. Your opinions on this are wanted. There's technical issues to consider (eg will the packs be packed, and if so how will this affect performance? what to do with clashes and so on...) but that's primarily my job Smile

The key points to make:

* Skins either require art (section 2) and thus the user has no control, or they use it if available and the user has control (section 1).

* The goal is to make it easy on the regular user, not necessarily easy for the power user. Most users aren't going to even consider changing the look of the h264 logo!

Let me know what you think.

Cheers,
Jonathan

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ronie Online
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Post: #19
jmarshall Wrote:1.1. Weather fanart packs. Either multi or single image packs. Skinner uses Weather.Fanart info label and XBMC handles the rest.

i'd very much like to see this one moved to section 2.
if a skin has support for weather fanart, why not install it by default?

weather fanart certainly adds to the xbmc wow factor and if we don't install by default,
95% of the users (the non-forum ones) would miss out of it as they won't even know of it's existence.

jmarshall Wrote:1.3. More specific background packs, such as Genre fanart. These would be set by XBMC during directory listing. Personally I'd be reluctant to include these, as they start cluttering the UI - we'd need a setting for them, and I'm not clear as to where this sort of thing makes sense.

same as above really, imo a skin should be installed with all bells and whistles, giving the user the most eye-candy experience possible.

in case a user has no interest in one of the additional artwork packs, we can always add a skin setting to disable certain background/icons.

jmarshall Wrote:After all, are folk going to want Director fanart? Year fanart? Where does it stop?

for paperstreet we're looking into actor fanart...
so yes, i guess the sky is the limit.

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Rad_ Offline
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Post: #20
jmarshall Wrote:2.4 Skin-specific artwork packs. These would essentially give you a way to push out some of your artwork to separate packs, theoretically decoupling the media from the XML files. I'm not sure how far to go with this - after all, it's silly if you need to change them both as you mayaswell include them together and keep things self-contained. Then again, often you may have a small XML based fix that doesn't affect the media at all, so having all of the media completely separate from the xml files makes sense. Your opinions on this are wanted. There's technical issues to consider (eg will the packs be packed, and if so how will this affect performance? what to do with clashes and so on...) but that's primarily my job Smile
Forgive my ignorance because I have to assume this has been discussed elsewhere, but why are the skins being pushed to end-users as zipped files when the repo is already a VCS (presumably git)? I'm confident the technical hurdles to have XBMC issue a pull request natively are non-trivial, but if you're considering doing the above (which is slightly awkward and requires technical consideration as you say), would it be worth solving the git problem instead? Would save heaps on bandwidth, streamline and simplify the maintenance in skins, and possibly open the door to other interesting use-cases (auto-update/hotfix all or part of XBMC itself, etc)....
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spiff Offline
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Post: #21
Kiss.
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #22
ronie Wrote:i'd very much like to see this one moved to section 2.
if a skin has support for weather fanart, why not install it by default?

weather fanart certainly adds to the xbmc wow factor and if we don't install by default,
95% of the users (the non-forum ones) would miss out of it as they won't even know of it's existence.

Simple really - it's a 75MB download, and isn't something absolutely required to make the skin what it is. After all, if we assume that separate fanart packs will become available, then it's the users choice which one they choose to use. Even so, there's no particular reason that a skinner couldn't just stuff it in <requires>, assuming they have a skin-tuned pack (I would strongly recommend that said pack would be minimal though!)

Quote:for paperstreet we're looking into actor fanart...
so yes, i guess the sky is the limit.

My point with Genre or Actor (or foo) fanart/icons/whatever is that all the skinner needs is a way to say "give me the fanart for item _foo_" and XBMC should take care of the rest. I just don't see how we can realistically incorporate reasonable settings for these - you don't want a list of 25 different possible artwork sources that the user has to set up. You also don't want a pack of these (genres maybe you can get away with) as almost all users will have actors that virtually noone else has (after all, there's tens of thousands in just about any modest collection). Scraping those images, therefore is more productive.

Basically I'm trying to minimize the impact on the user interface (and thus minimize user settings and confusion) while still giving as much as we possibly can in terms of flexibility and reuse of images across skins.

In the addons manager for instance, I can see a category for "skin artwork" that would pretty much contain things from section 1 above (i.e. backdrop packs basically). Then we'd need a way for the user to select it. For now a setting in Settings->Weather to choose the fanart pack seems reasonable. We can probably set that up automatically on install of the weather fanart pack (eg if one pack, assume user wants it at install time - they can disable or turn it off via the setting otherwise). In the future when the homescreen is redone to be more user-centric then we'd have ways for them to choose the backdrops for each item there.

Cheers,
Jonathan

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pecinko Offline
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Post: #23
I'm really curious how this will end. Half of my friends don't care about those and want easy to use thing. The other half keep adding/changing fanart stuff on week basis, as they want something "fresh".

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Amber
Quartz

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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #24
The first half of your friends are by far the majority of XBMC users, so ensuring they have a good experience first and foremost is the priority. Ideally we allow for the second half as well, as long as we can do it in such a way that it doesn't make it more difficult than it has to.

I'll see if I have some time over the next week to improve what I currently have so that it can handle both cases.

Cheers,
Jonathan

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mcborzu Offline
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Post: #25
Just saw this THREAD and got me thinking what about TV channel logos. Do you guys have a plan/standard on those yet? Are they going to be handled in the same fashion you plan to handle studios - meaning one standard skin.art pack? I know nothing about PVR yet or follow those threads, just curious...

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ghostelement Offline
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Post: #26
pecinko Wrote:I'm really curious how this will end. Half of my friends don't care about those and want easy to use thing. The other half keep adding/changing fanart stuff on week basis, as they want something "fresh".

Can we add support to the XBMC core to enable rotating art from the database? That would satisfy some of the "freshness" aspect. I know by default in mediabrowser, artwork is scraped to a database and then auto rotates (fanart). The user can define if the order of rotation is random or not. There are no file locations for art that need to be defined by the user, it's all automatic and very clean.

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pecinko Offline
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Post: #27
When browsing images, folder thumbs are shown as 4 photo combination, based on images from folder. Could this be used for genres, and similar - e.g when on Metal genre in Music, genre thumb would be generated from 4 randomly chosen albums of that particular genre?

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igotdvds Offline
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Post: #28
@jmarshall

What do you think about this:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?p=7...post770076
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #29
I think it's somewhat unrelated to this topic. That is skin-specific art, so shouldn't be in an art pack shared by more than one skin. I have no problem with the concept of offering previews in the addons manager, but it's not skin-specific. It should apply to all addons.

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MarcosQui Offline
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Post: #30
Sorry, maybe my request is offpic, but has to do with fanart and is good for all skins.

jmarshall, it would be possible to separate the Fanarts in folder Thumbnails/Video/Fanart in three parts: Movies/Music Videos and TVShows?

Many people like to have random fanart in the main menu and can make by default, without script, would be good. Wink

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