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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [Guide] Begginers guide to theming android (Windows7)

Index:
a. welcome/goal
b. tools/requirements
c. preping

I. basics

II. user apk's

III. system apk's
a. awareness

IV. Framework/SystemUI

V. testing your product

VI. ADB push/pull

VII. Building a flashable zip

---------------------------------------------------
a. Welcome & Goal

ok guys this is just the basics i know of and how I do my theming, it's not 100% official but i get the job done!!

the goal of this guide is to help out the girls/guys who want to make some changes of their own, or maybe learn more and start giving us some good themes

---------------------------------------------------
b. Tools & Requirements

this is a guide for windows 7 64/32-bit so tools & requirements are as well.. sorry im not a mac guy

first your system will need to have java jdk 32-BIT installed!!! you can have 64 bit too but you NEED 32 bit for something

now these are the tools:
1. APKTool
2. Android sdk
3. Dsixda kitchen (cygwin or VM with lynux)
4. Auto-sign batch file
5. Gimp/photoshop for advanced image editing
6. Notepad++
7. 7Zip
8. A LOT of patience

Thank You justainchoe for the links

---------------------------------------------------
c. Preparing for the ride of your life!!

I personally consider this a requirement, KEEP a backup of all stock apk's your theming, i mean stock stock!! lol dont use one of my themes as a base or you will be fighting png errors the whole time lol

now with that being said make sure all the tools listed above are installed and properly working

---------------------------------------------------
I. Basics

ok in any normal situation the easiest way to make a quick change to a theme is to open the apk with 7zip/winzip program, pull out the drawable folder containing your desired png/image files.. make your changes push em back in and boom your good to go i will explain below how to do this in detail..

first...

1. if you have 7zip installed you can just right-click the apk, highlight 7zip option and select 'open archive' option in secondary menu

2.once you have the apk's contents in view, double-click the 'res' folder and you should see the res archive open up

3.now depending on what your theming you'll want to pull out the 'drawable' folder or 'drawable-hdpi' folder (DO NOT edit ANYTHING in 'drawable-mdpi' folder because you wont do anything for your device lol)

4. After extracting the desired folder, open it up and do your changes.. ( be careful if you manually edit some images you may have an issue with FC's so try to keep track of your edits)

5. Once finished, push the folder with edits back into apk with 7zip and you are good to go

Now for the more advanced stuff..
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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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II. User-Apk's

ok user apk's are apk's you can safely remove without corrupting your system, so 90% of them are what you download from the market.. the other 10% is stuff that comes on stock phones but are removable

the reason these get a special chunk in the guide is because these apk's dont require a signature meaning you can edit them easily with the required tools

of coarse you can do the basic edits with 7zip and image pushing, but you can also decompile these apk's and make font changes and ui changes like a smart person i will explain (as best as i can) how to do this below:

WARNING: Use the Stock apk from Stock rom, DO NOT use themed rom as a base for decompiling apk's

1. you will need apktool setup and a xml editor such as notepad++

2. place the desired apk in same directory as your apktool files

3. now open up cmd prompt and get yourself to the apktool directory as well

Quote:
Your cmd will probly look like this..

C:\users\yourname>


so type in

cd.. (yes include the '..' and press enter after you type each command)

this will get you to back directory so now you will see

C:\users>

so type again

cd..

you should now see this:

C:\>

now type in:

cd 'apktoo'l/'directory'

for me it looks like:

cd android/apktool

now you should see:

C:/android/apktool>

and you are in the apktool directory
Decompiling

now to decompile the apk you want to edit.. type this:

apktool d music.apk music

music.apk is the apk your decompiling
music is the folder you're creating for the decompiled apk

now make your edits DO NOT Change/Edit ANY PNG's

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recompiling/Finished Product

now to recompile your new apk type this:

apktool b music music-new.apk


music is the folder with your edited files
music-new.apk is your new apk file

Now we are NOT done... we cannot use the new apk's... we have to take what we did and add it back to the original apk file to keep proper signature

use something like 7zip, take the 'resources.arcs' file and any other xml files you edited out of the "-new" apk and copy them into Original apk

now the apk is ready to flash with your new changes


III. System Apk's

ok now here's the hard part

system apk's is a very sensitive part of the rom so to decompile it you must first install the framework into your computers system!! after that than its basically as easy as editing user-apk's mentioned above, i will explain how to do this below:

WARNING: Use the Stock apk from Stock rom, DO NOT use themed rom as a base for decompiling apk's

Getting to CMD directory



Open up a Cmd Prompt (terminal) and get to the 'apktool' directory ie:


Quote:
Your cmd will probly look like this..

C:\users\yourname>


so type in

cd.. (yes include the '..' and press enter after you type each command)

this will get you to back directory so now you will see

C:\users>

so type again

cd..

you should now see this:

C:\>

now type in:

cd 'apktoo'l/'directory'

for me it looks like:

cd android/apktool

now you should see:

C:/android/apktool>

and you are in the apktool directory

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Installing Framework


Now that you are in directory we need to install the device's framework to your system for it to compile correctly so type this:


apktool if framework-res.apk


this will install the devices framework to your system (need to do this)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Decompiling


now to decompile the apk you want to edit.. type this:


apktool d music.apk music


music.apk is the apk your decompiling
music is the folder you're creating for the decompiled apk


now make your edits DO NOT Change/Edit ANY PNG's

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recompiling/Finished Product

now to recompile your new apk type this:


apktool b music music-new.apk


music is the folder with your edited files
music-new.apk is your new apk file


Now we are NOT done... we cannot use the new apk's... we have to take what we did and add it back to the original apk file to keep proper signature


use something like 7zip, take the 'resources.arcs' file and any other xml files you edited out of the "-new" apk and copy them into Original apk


now the apk is ready to flash with your new changes
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hope this helped some of you new themers out there!!!
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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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IV. Framework/SystemUI

OK lol guys i made a section in here for these 2 apk's just for the people who dont really understand how the android system works.. i dont even fully understand it lol but basically these 2 apk's are where most of your work will be done, the good news is they are classified under system apk's so just follow steps above for theming advice lol

just wanted to give out some warnings first

1. If this is your first time, keeps your theming/edits to a minimum the first few times..

Nothing sucks more than doing a whoooole bunch of work, then flashing to find yourself stuck in a boot loop lol

2. ALWAYS use stock image files for decompile/recompiling these two apk's

you can use the apk's from MT, PG and my roms to decompile, just be sure to switch out the themed images with stock before you decompile or you may have errors..

if you decompile framework with battery mod (1-100%) do not delete those battery images, only replace the images you have stock copies of, dont just swap 'drawable-hdpi' folders lol


V. Testing your product

This is very important!!!!

testing your poduct is KEY!!! never push out something your unsure of.. it's not nice to push out a brickme.zip lol

there are a few different ways to do this, will deiscuss in next section. for now i just want to give you all some warnings and things to be cautios about

1. MAIN thing, lol like mentioned above you dont want to give someone a zip file that will ruin their device..

2. you want to be sure it works before you release it lol

3. you want to realize how awesome you are before anyone else does!? lol

k, now below are the 2 KNOWN methods of testing your own work
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Old March 31st, 2012, 01:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old March 31st, 2012, 06:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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will finish the rest tommorrow, im tired lol
A very nice start brother!
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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If I'm making changes to only the images in framework-res.apk, can I just unzip it to a folder, make the edits, copy the edited png files back into the apk and then push it back into the \system\framework folder?

Also, I know I'm skipping ahead to part VII, but if I wanted to make my theme flashable, briefly, what is that process like? Is it as simple as just putting the new files into specific directories of a zip file, or do I need to decompile and recompile the files with signatures? OR is there something else I have to do?
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Old April 9th, 2012, 01:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm a FAILURE!!

As my FIRST newbie attempt at theming, I just wanted to change 1 little thing to test if it works. Using Android Commander, I pulled the framework-res.apk file, I unzipped the framework-res.apk into a directory, opened a png file in gimp, edited the png, saved the png, dragged the png into the framework-res.apk file using winzip, and then I used Android Commander to push the framework-res.apk file back into place. FAIL! My background changed, everything is unstable, the icon I changed actually did change! SUCCESS!! But ahhh!! everything is freezing up and lagging, and.. Restoring..

Ok, so all I tried to do is get rid of that ******ed GPS Privacy Icon. That stupid icon is on the notification bar all the time and it doesn't ever change and is completely useless to me. So I decided to edit the png so that it's just a completely transparent png. It'll still be there but you just can't see it. Pretty clever eh? Anyways..

What thing(s) did I do wrong? And don't just reply with "everything." lol

Someone help me. The png file is in the framework-res.apk file, and the location of the file is: \res\drawable-hdpi\stat_sys_gps_privacy.png.

So, can someone teach me how to change that to become completely transparent and then push the mofo back into the my Android \system\framework\framework-res.apk.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 04:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justainchoe View Post
I'm a FAILURE!!

As my FIRST newbie attempt at theming, I just wanted to change 1 little thing to test if it works. Using Android Commander, I pulled the framework-res.apk file, I unzipped the framework-res.apk into a directory, opened a png file in gimp, edited the png, saved the png, dragged the png into the framework-res.apk file using winzip, and then I used Android Commander to push the framework-res.apk file back into place. FAIL! My background changed, everything is unstable, the icon I changed actually did change! SUCCESS!! But ahhh!! everything is freezing up and lagging, and.. Restoring..

Ok, so all I tried to do is get rid of that ******ed GPS Privacy Icon. That stupid icon is on the notification bar all the time and it doesn't ever change and is completely useless to me. So I decided to edit the png so that it's just a completely transparent png. It'll still be there but you just can't see it. Pretty clever eh? Anyways..

What thing(s) did I do wrong? And don't just reply with "everything." lol

Someone help me. The png file is in the framework-res.apk file, and the location of the file is: \res\drawable-hdpi\stat_sys_gps_privacy.png.

So, can someone teach me how to change that to become completely transparent and then push the mofo back into the my Android \system\framework\framework-res.apk.
Everything!

Just take a copy of your systemui, framework, settings and Res-cap. Then using 7zip or winrar extract the apk. Then change the icon and then open the apk as an archive with 7zip or winrar and copy the whole Res folder over to the archive. Then take one of Ldriftas or my theme zip files replace all the apks with yours then flash it. I don't use Android commander at all really.

Sent from my LG-MS910 using Tapatalk 2 Beta-5
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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i cant find a stable download link to any of the required programs, i'd greatly appreciate it if you can link me up
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Old April 9th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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1. APKTool
2. Android sdk
3. Dsixda kitchen (cygwin or VM with lynux)
4. Auto-sign batch file
5. Gimp/photoshop for advanced image editing
6. Notepad++
7. 7Zip
8. A LOT of patience
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Old April 9th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justainchoe View Post
1. APKTool
2. Android sdk
3. Dsixda kitchen (cygwin or VM with lynux)
4. Auto-sign batch file
5. Gimp/photoshop for advanced image editing
6. Notepad++
7. 7Zip
8. A LOT of patience

^^+1 #8 to funny
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Old April 10th, 2012, 12:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justainchoe View Post
1. APKTool
2. Android sdk
3. Dsixda kitchen (cygwin or VM with lynux)
4. Auto-sign batch file
5. Gimp/photoshop for advanced image editing
6. Notepad++
7. 7Zip
8. A LOT of patience
dood you are the man!!! thank you for this saved me much time towards production!! thanks, imma use this in OP with thanks to you!!
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Old April 10th, 2012, 01:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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im using windows xp :/

soon will have 7 on a new laptop, soon
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Old April 10th, 2012, 01:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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im using windows xp :/

soon will have 7 on a new laptop, soon
you should be fine with xp... thats really just a warning for mac users to go buy an iphone and die somewhere hahaha im just kidding but xp should be fine!!
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Old April 10th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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the pc im on now, well it blows donkey junk. half of the stuff wont run properly on this pc that i try to install.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 06:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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the pc im on now, well it blows donkey junk. half of the stuff wont run properly on this pc that i try to install.
Go hereSpeed Up Computer with Auslogics - Safe Ways to Speed Up Your PC and download and run a few FREE tools to shape up your PC
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Old April 10th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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^^+1 #8 to funny
Quote:
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Everything!

Just take a copy of your systemui, framework, settings and Res-cap. Then using 7zip or winrar extract the apk. Then change the icon and then open the apk as an archive with 7zip or winrar and copy the whole Res folder over to the archive. Then take one of Ldriftas or my theme zip files replace all the apks with yours then flash it. I don't use Android commander at all really.

Sent from my LG-MS910 using Tapatalk 2 Beta-5
Forgot to thank you. It worked so basically, I just need that META-INF folder in the zip?
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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Forgot to thank you. It worked so basically, I just need that META-INF folder in the zip?
yup! just that and a proper layout of folders for the system
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Old April 26th, 2012, 04:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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hey not tryin to bother but when will u finish this
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Old April 26th, 2012, 10:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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hey not tryin to bother but when will u finish this
lol dood im sorry, i promise i will finish this within the next few days.. just been reall busy and trying to keep up with the oms so people dont freak lol thanks for the reminder man!!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:34 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I must be Uber Noob I don't even know how to install the apktool. I read that you need to unpack the two files in the windows directory but I can't seem to figure that out. Jesus I hope I can get the rest of it ,:\{)3
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Old April 27th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #23 (permalink)
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alirght ur welcome man hope u finish fast am halfway done with all this just need the other part
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Old April 27th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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alirght ur welcome man hope u finish fast am halfway done with all this just need the other part
lol will start on it tonight
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Old April 27th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Aye ld. You know how to change pngs in a user app?
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Old April 27th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #26 (permalink)
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thnx
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Old April 27th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Aye ld. You know how to change pngs in a user app?
same way as any app.. lol 7zip
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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same way as any app.. lol 7zip
I read that they had to be the same size as the pngs there replacing?
I'm trying to change a clocks image but it doesn't want to install after I change them.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:05 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I read that they had to be the same size as the pngs there replacing?
I'm trying to change a clocks image but it doesn't want to install after I change them.
well size as in resolution, not mb's lol the only time thay may be an issue is if you change png's while the apk is decompiled and then try to re compile it.. than youll have errors up the * hole lol

they MUST be named the same though

but if you use 7zip you can pull the image out, edit it or swap it for a similar image and it should be fine.. if the image looks messed up on your device, than the resolution is wrong or it's a .9 patch which basically means it sometimes stretches in certain ways for certain things so it may not look how you wanted it to lol
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:19 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Okay. So can I just navigate to the drawables folder in 7zip and replace the pngs or would I have to extract the whole apk first?
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:27 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Okay. So can I just navigate to the drawables folder in 7zip and replace the pngs or would I have to extract the whole apk first?
yeah you can just replace them dont need to extract folder if you already know what your adding/changing
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:47 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Alright thanks. Ill be trying again.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:51 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Alright thanks. Ill be trying again.
k, good luck! i made i minor addition to the guide, will finish it up tomorow!!
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Old January 12th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #34 (permalink)
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5. Once finished, push the folder with edits back into apk with 7zip and you are good to go

how exactly do i do this? i cant get it to work.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 11:04 PM   #35 (permalink)
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5. Once finished, push the folder with edits back into apk with 7zip and you are good to go

how exactly do i do this? i cant get it to work.
how do you mean? lol you put it in the same way you took it out
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Old January 13th, 2013, 11:18 AM   #36 (permalink)
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how do you mean? lol you put it in the same way you took it out

Sorry. I was misreading the OP.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 04:33 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I open up the (framework and system-ui) PNGs in PS or GIMP and they look funky, colors are off and distorted. What am i doing wrong? I just want to change colors of icons for my gf because she needs to upgrade to #2 2.7 but won't let go of her pink theme.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I open up the (framework and system-ui) PNGs in PS or GIMP and they look funky, colors are off and distorted. What am i doing wrong? I just want to change colors of icons for my gf because she needs to upgrade to #2 2.7 but won't let go of her pink theme.
lol instead of manually editing the images, try using the colorize feature on gimp, it's under the 'colors' option in top toolbar of image editor window, but first make sure the images is set to RGB mode for proper editing located under Image>Mode option in top toolbar of image editor window
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Old January 14th, 2013, 07:30 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Thanks L, love your ROMs.

Even easier, i took the pink theme that already was made (i think by pnut or shinyside?) pulled the images from the framework and systemui and dropped them in to your rom. Worked like a charm!

Now i spent last night and this morning editing your icon's for my own purpose, just changing color. I love the style but i wanted a splash of color. About to flash it right now!
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