Old 04-21-2024, 05:36 PM   #1
synthesaur
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Default How to make a theme to look "crisp"?

I am having hard time getting used to this "milky" cast and overall "drabness" in the stock Reaper themes. In Logic and Ableton everything looks nice, crisp and well defined, easy to see everything. Pleasure to work with.
In reaper I always want to "rub" my eyes, lol.. Media items look dim etc. Adjusting the global setting makes no difference, it's either too dark or too milky again. What gives? Haven't found other themes to be practical either. . looking for something that would resemble Ableton or Sitala vibe.

TC Original kinda fits the bill but not quite, the grid lines are barely visible through the media items etc, and they turn white when selected....
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Old 04-22-2024, 06:13 AM   #2
Grim Jim
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I have made a few theme mods in my time and some of them might be close to what you're looking for.

For example, my mods of themes like RLive or Greyground or the Tracks Extended theme have a brightness and sharpness to them. the RLive theme is close to the Abelton Live aesthetic.
The link to my theme mods can be found in my signature.

As for the issue you're having with the TC Original theme, you could try taking the media item png image from another theme and paste it into the TC original theme's folder (after you've unzipped it of course) and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 04-22-2024, 09:03 AM   #3
ArKaDaTa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthesaur View Post
I am having hard time getting used to this "milky" cast and overall "drabness" in the stock Reaper themes. In Logic and Ableton everything looks nice, crisp and well defined, easy to see everything. Pleasure to work with.
In reaper I always want to "rub" my eyes, lol.. Media items look dim etc. Adjusting the global setting makes no difference, it's either too dark or too milky again. What gives? Haven't found other themes to be practical either. . looking for something that would resemble Ableton or Sitala vibe.

TC Original kinda fits the bill but not quite, the grid lines are barely visible through the media items etc, and they turn white when selected....
For what it's worth, I tried to make my reARK theme as crisp as possible following in the footsteps of modders such as albertxxxx, avoiding text aliasing as much as possible by pixel drawing text and many non curved elements by hand.

You can check the skin here, it's a Reaper 6 clone.

I dive a bit into the process of making it on the template page as well. But regarding the "crisp" / "sharp" aspects of elements, it mostly has to do with aliasing, and you can avoid aliasing in some cases when drawing elements or text.
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Old 04-22-2024, 03:18 PM   #4
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Thank you, friends.
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Old 04-23-2024, 03:12 AM   #5
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There is always the theme tweaker, which you can find in the Actions list (just type it in the search and it'll pop up). This little wonder lets you make changes to the color and density of the grid lines, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Change fonts, colors, basically anything not nailed down by an image.

It's worth the time, IMO, to go exploring in those things. May be exactly what you're looking for.
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Old 04-23-2024, 09:41 PM   #6
synthesaur
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Originally Posted by FearinLoathin View Post
There is always the theme tweaker, which you can find in the Actions list (just type it in the search and it'll pop up). This little wonder lets you make changes to the color and density of the grid lines, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Change fonts, colors, basically anything not nailed down by an image.

It's worth the time, IMO, to go exploring in those things. May be exactly what you're looking for.
ya man! that helped with the grid lines! Cheers!
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Old 04-28-2024, 07:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthesaur View Post
I am having hard time getting used to this "milky" cast and overall "drabness" in the stock Reaper themes. In Logic and Ableton everything looks nice, crisp and well defined, easy to see everything. Pleasure to work with.
In reaper I always want to "rub" my eyes, lol.. Media items look dim etc. Adjusting the global setting makes no difference, it's either too dark or too milky again. What gives? Haven't found other themes to be practical either. . looking for something that would resemble Ableton or Sitala vibe.

TC Original kinda fits the bill but not quite, the grid lines are barely visible through the media items etc, and they turn white when selected....
I feel you.
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Old 04-28-2024, 08:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synthesaur View Post
I am having hard time getting used to this "milky" cast and overall "drabness" in the stock Reaper themes.
It's en vogue, isn't it. I'm with you, I hate this very ubiquitous love of low contrast UIs.

If the theme supports it, you can use the Theme Adjuster improve the overall contrast of the theme by bumping up the highlights and lowering the shadows in the Global Settings page. For example, nowadays I use the ReaperTips theme and I use the Theme Adjuster to set highlights to 0.25 and the shadows to -0.07.

Naturally low contrast themes may require more extreme adjustments.

Anyway, there's no substitute for a properly designed theme with good readability out-of-the-box, but there aren't a lot of good looking options for REAPER IMO, so this might be an easy thing to try.
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Old 04-29-2024, 06:08 AM   #9
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It's en vogue, isn't it. I'm with you, I hate this very ubiquitous love of low contrast UIs.
Agreed. This low contrast trend is also embraced by a lot of websites these days. For some sites, I find myself having to use a high contrast browser extension to read the text (but not this site, of course) and so on.
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