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Root [HowTo] Theming icons using NinjaMorph ... FASTER method!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by messenger13, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. messenger13

    messenger13 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Dec 8, 2009
    Director of IT
    Cleveland, OH
    Warning: Make sure you do a nandroid backup before attempting this! ;)

    I've just began experimenting using the NinjaMorph app. I used to theme all of my DROID's icons the old skool way (i.e. creating a new framework-res.apk file, creating a theme and signing, then installing like any other theme using ClockworkMod Recovery), but I wanted to see if I can make this process faster. I like learning the manual methods because it teaches you what is going on 'behind the scenes' ... but faster is nice, right?. Especially since I'm installing a new ROM almost every night now ... due to UD's "Nightly" releases (CLICK).

    I have all of my favorite icons already, so I just wanted to put them into the drawable-hdpi folder of the framework-res.apk file which is located in /system/framework folder. When I tried NinjaMorph for the first time, I found the process to be rather cumbersome because that app only let's use replace one icon at a time. When you're replacing 55 icons, that can take as long or longer than the manual process. But I found a shortcut that makes it pretty speedy!

    Note: This HowTo assumes that you already know how to get to the drawable-hdpi folder of the framework-res.apk file using WinRAR or the like, then editing the icons you want using Photoshop, GIMP, or the like. It also assumes that you have installed NinjaMorph from the Market, and know how to navigate file on your sdcard using Astro or the like.

    Here's what to do:

    1. Once you've edited the .png files that you want changed on your PC, put all of those icon files into a folder and then onto the root of your sdcard. I called my folder, ".Theme_Icons". The period at the beginning assures that the folder will appear at the top of the folders list in ASTRO and NinjaMorph.
    2. Unmount your DROID from your PC.
    3. Open NinjaMorph, tap on 'Start Checks', then on 'New Project'.
    4. Tap on the "system" folder, then "framework", then "framework-res.apk". (All of the files will be extracted.)
    5. Tap on the "res" folder, then the "drawable-hdpi" folder.
    6. Tap on a .png file that you want to swap.
    7. Navigate to your icon folder and find the new .png file that's going to replace the one you just tapped. (At the top of the screen, NinjaMorph reminds you of what file you are replacing.) NinjaMorph will ask you to confirm if that's the swap you want to make.
    8. Once you've done just one file ... Press the Home button on your DROID.
    9. Now open ASTRO (or the like) and navigate to your themed icons folder (mine is called, ".Theme_Icons".
    10. Select all of those files and copy them.
    11. Navigate to the "AndroidThemes" folder, then the "workspace" folder, then the "framework-resapk" folder, then the "res" folder, and finally the "drawable-hdpi" folder.
    12. Then paste your copied files into that folder. You may be asked to "overwrite" each file depending on the app you're using.
    13. Long-press the Home button and open NinjaMorph again. Tap the back button at the bottom.
    14. Now tap "Existing Project"
    15. Tap the "framework-resapk" folder at the top.
    16. Tap "Copy Files" at the bottom.
    17. Tap the back arrow at the bottom.
    18. Tap "Finish Project" at the bottom.
    19. Tap the "framework-resapk" folder at the top again.
    20. Tap "Yes" to confirm action
    21. Tap "Yes" to ZipAlign (optional).
    22. Tap "Ok"
    23. Read the next dialog box and choose Yes or No. (I choose "No".)
    24. Just wait and let NinjaMorph do it's thing and your DROID will reboot automatically.

    You may have to reset your wallpaper. (Silly NinjaMorph!)

    24 steps sounds like a lot, but I assure you this only takes a couple/few minutes once you do it once or twice.


    Matt31, georgepink, cleopete and 5 others like this.
  2. i have been growing to love the ninjamorph app but it had always annoyed me to have to create like 10 different projects.

    just to verify, your essentially taking the temporary ninjamorph framework res, and editing it before ninjamorph finishes it correct?
  3. messenger13

    messenger13 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Dec 8, 2009
    Director of IT
    Cleveland, OH
    That's correct. I let NinjaMorph create the workspace folder, then I dump the rest of my files in there using ASTRO or RootExplorer. Then finish in NinjaMorph. Saves a ton of time.
  4. gwwjpd

    gwwjpd Well-Known Member

    Bump for the nice step-by-step write-up.

    Nice hacking job Joe.
    This saves a lot of time, and makes it so much easier to change multiple things in the statusbar.

    BTW, you can also change the default_wallpaper.jpg to your wallpaper of your choice, then when you reboot it's already set.
  5. DesertDude

    DesertDude Member

    Aug 29, 2010

    Quick note to let you know that I followed your instructions to the letter and I now have some very cool looking 3G icons on my Droid X.

    Thanks much for your very detailed directions! :D
  6. carassius

    carassius Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Great post!

    Anyone (joe) have any idea if these steps will change when we get some full fledged 2.3 ROM's on our droids?

    That is, does 2.3 make any dramatic changes to the file structures or locations which will alter how we use ninjamorph or metamorph?
  7. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Oct 28, 2009
    Graduate Research Assitant | That part time IT guy
    3rd Rock
    From what I am reading now, 2.3 is not changing things significantly on the back end, but I still cannot say definitely that it will not.
  8. iBowToAndroid

    iBowToAndroid Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2010
    Twin Cities MN
    If anyone still follows this thread, I'm having issues modifying my framework with NinjaMorph. I can do the changes, but when it goes to apply the changes, it just sits there and spins forever- I've left it for up to half an hour before and it always just sits there on the Please Wait.... screen. Then I tried following these directions to do multiples, just in case it gave me a different result, but it didn't. I'm on a stock rooted Incredible- any ideas??

  9. anee77

    anee77 New Member

    Mar 9, 2012
    @messenger13.....i have a few questions and need some experienced guidance. 1. Do the size and dimensions of the new .pngs have to be exactly same as that
    of original .pngs....?
    2. What about the xml files, do they need to be editted....?
    sorry for silly questions......if they are.
    thanx in advance

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