Looking back at ThaImpact, Cellular RooLa, AbandonOtis and further back to YouCAD & ThaSceenario, you see a collection of work that simply never fails to impress. The attention to detail in each skin is exquisite every time - but it's much more than just that: He always manages to capture The Big Picture. The various elements that make up Otis' skins always fall into place, everything from the buttons to the shading, from the font settings to the animations - and how it all plays out on your desktop - it all just works together in the most perfect harmony.
Searching through his previous work & now "amakrits" - his 28th CAD deviation at dA, you can see he's still developing his style. Sure, the guy likes the sleek, dark look ("Damn, Otis, open the curtains, dude - it's 3 in the afternoon!"), but there's definitely a direction in his work. Every time he pulls something new out of the box that no one's tried before - it could be a new animation, an awesome font setting, or a new way to make your CAD interact with your desktop. The envelope gets pushed every time.
So - let's take amakrits for a spin. Here's it playing Miles on my desktop:
In this skin, he's getting back to a more "flat" background and instead of beefing up the png's, he settles for a more subtle icon style, letting the gorgeous flourescent blue colour of the time/progress bar play out against the white text/icons& dark background - which it does like a charm. The extended mode (clicking "+i") gives the wonderful cross-screen display we also remember from his "Subject Matter" theme, but the animation for opening this is just simply wonderful: not a millisecond too quick or slow, all the elements making up the animation fitting perfectly together. It just seems so effortless, but must have involved a lot of testing to get it just right.
Critique? Well, this time he's using Segoe Bold & Segoe Caps, the latter giving a few problems if for the Danish letters å, æ & ø, but I suppose I can survive... Another little gripe is the text size: for this font, the text is pretty difficult to read, especially the album text in the extended mode. He's solved this before by using Arial Rounded MT Bold as his font of choice, but I guess he opted against it this time because it might feel too "bulky" against the more flat background. I'm telling you, folks, this is a guy that takes his skins seriously...
Oh, and Otis dude, don't forget a 180° version...
Of course, this is just minor stuff & being grown-ups, we all know how to edit a CAD skin, right?...
Rating? Funny as it sounds, it doesn't feel right to give top ratings over the board for this deviation. Simply out of fear that if I do, he'll get all fat & complacent.
However, I just can't for the life of me see how he - or anyone else - can make a skin better than this.
Well, this is my first advanced critique here on DA. And a pleasure, I'm doing it for one of your skins.
Preview: As usual phantastic work here! I know, you spend a lot of time in creating your previews. Amazing presentation!
Installation: Not much to say here, because the .cskin file (which I miss in most new skins) does its job here. You provided the necessary fonts (Great!). A good and informative solution to install the right resolution skin follows.
First appearance: When I have chosen my style, the skin starts without the panel. All visible parts are self-explanatory here. Except the "+i" icon. Maybe you should have told in the preview or the description, that it reveals the animated panel. On the other hand, it's a surprising effect, when you click it and the animation starts. Just wanted to mention it, because I noticed that not every user discovers such features.
Design: You both chose a minimalistic style which is fine and offers max clarity. Transparency is too high here in my opinion. And because you did the corresponding graphics this way, there is no room to change transparency in the skin editor. The skin and all of its elements appear very clean. I like the large time display and the textinformation next to it, just as I like the toolbar and the progressbar beneath. The animation (which is absolutely smooth!) and the revealing cover graphic is a class of its own. Perfectly done! In my opinion, you could have altered the font size on the larger resolution styles. Especially because there is a lot of unused space left in the middle of the skin. The title "Satellite (Live in Hammersmith" for example, starts to scroll. In consideration of the width of the styles, that shouldn't be necessary. Also the informations on the right side aren't readable very good (at least for me on 1920x1200). You followed the minimal style with your nocover.png (...) and I must say it looks very good. I must confess, less is more sometimes.
All in all, this is a very good skin, which I truly like. Most of my so called "Critique" is a matter of taste. Other users may have a completely different opinion here...
you mean the program or the skin? if it's the program, then please tell me whether you're on windows XP or 7 and also which player (winamp, iTunes, WMP etc.) you're using. that'll make things easier for me to explain.
aww, what can i say? it's so nice reading that you like and used my skin this much. you know, i am also using a 2560x1440 sized screen and i can tell you that i really miss using that cool amakrits skin, too.
well, it's not that it isn't possible to create and add a 2560px wide version, it's more that the task of creating that animation sequence (we're talking about a couple of hundred still images here) is so causing me to procrastinate that in the end i just didn't do it.
i could say that i don't have the time, but that would only be partially true. truth is, it takes quite some effort to persuade myself doing it, because when i have the time, then i'm often enticed to do other stuff.
i'm so sorry, but i can't promise you anything. i'm not saying that i won't create and add a 2560 version. but i can't tell you when i do it, either. maybe in 6 months, maybe in 6 days.
the trouble is, that once you'd say that it's okay to take my time, then i will most likely forget all about doing it all together.
so hey, why don't you come back some time and text me something that reminds me of a skin i have to update? that'd be okay and there's a good chance that you'll catch me in a different state of lazyness (or lack thereof) then.
sure. rightclick the skin and select "Skin Editor", then click the "Edit" tab and from the icons on the left select the 5th from the top. you're now in the skin's "Text Style" settings in which you now should click on the "Font" hyperlink. there you can adjust the font size, as well as select a different font face if you like. please note however, that it's necessary to make the adjustments to each textline individually, because there's no option to change the font sizes of all textlines all at once.
i hope that was helpful.
for more informations you can take a look at the Skin Editor: settings explained thread [link] or at just the Text Style setting explanations [link] .
I love this CAD skin, I use it all the time only switching it of with Subject Matter. But there is one little problem, I don't seem to have the green timer like in the preview. Its just blank space. [link]
well, it seems like you haven't installed the required fonts that are used by this skin.
please close CAD and check this skin's "Fonts" folder and then copy/paste any ttf file you'd find to your systems fonts-directory. after that you can launch CAD again and everything should be fine.
in case there are no ttf files in that "Fonts" folder, please download the skin again and rename the included amakrits.cskin file to amakrits.zip. unpack the newly created zip file and you'll find the above mentioned "Fonts" folder plus the according ttf files.
Ive recently been finding CAD skins that have aero enabled. What are the chances of getting some aero in the BEST CAD skin by far (Amakrits)?? Would doing it locally be difficult, like adding a line of code or something, or is it a headache?
hmm.. frankly, i think the blur effect would ruin it. well, not so much in either of the two slide in or -out states, but during the actual sliding itself, because CAD's not capable of maintaining the blur during animation sequences. so yeah, it's pretty much a headache. sorry.
but hey.. thanks for referring to my Amakrits as the best CAD skin by far.
thanks otisbee! much appreciated, i'm sure i can wait a little longer for it, just have to remember to come back to download this awesome skin once it's completed - and kudos to all the hard work you put into this!
well, you know.. i also have a 2560px wide screen now and i definitely want this skin to support that screenwidth, so i can use it myself. but unfortunately i won't have that much time to add 2560 versions at any time soon. sorry. to be honest, i don't think that i can add them any earlier than july or august 2011. i tell you what.. i'll inform you when it's done and we'll see if you're still interested then. that's all i can promise right now.