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KMRock

Creating Forum Skins/Themes

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Previously, say 2-3 years past I designed a few forum themes and used to know my fair share of CSS and basic HTML.

 

I'm just wondering how someone goes about learning to create more advances custom forum themes for say phpBB and MyBB. And if anyone here makes custom themes.

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If you know the basic of CSS and HTML, then the rest is basically practice

And also taking a look at other people's code
You see some themes that are not jsut color changes, but drastic Code changes, take a look at their code and how they did it, implement those into your design
Basically create alot of themes :)

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I've made themes for a few forums but I don't do it regularly. I'm currently creating a theme for Xenforo for my own forums to match my main site more closely. :) It's coming along well but I did need some help in some areas. :D I've skinned for IP.Board though (from 1.x to 3.x) as well as vBulletin. :)

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I have looked at some articles on skinning themes. There's a term there which I don't fully grasp. It's called slicing. So what do we actually do when we slice? And is the slicing standard or unique to each theme? I mean the size of the slice.

Edited by Victor Leigh
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I have looked at some articles on skinning themes. There's a term there which I don't fully grasp. It's called slicing. So what do we actually do when we slice? And is the slicing standard or unique to each theme? I mean the size of the slice.

 

As far as I understand it, this is a brief explanation of what is slicing -

We create a design which we need to be translated into the HTML/CSS so that it can become displayed on a Website. This design can be created using any design Application - Photoshop/GIMP/any other of your preference. Then, we cut out smaller sections of the image so that we can use these images as and when and where we need on the website.

 

As and example, take a look at this site's header (top part). You would see a dark background (on which the Name of the site, the menu etc appear) and just a few pixels beneath that there is a darker gray area where your username appears along with other things. Now, on the image for this site, it would have been a bigger image which would have been sliced into 1px wide and n px tall (and we would have 2 images one each for the header and the username bar). Using CSS these would have been set to background:repeat-x - and without any CSS these would have been n-px wide images. This chopping off of the big image into smaller images is slicing. And these smaller images are displayed to cover areas using the background repeat properties.

 

I know, this is not the best explanation but I think, it helps in having an idea. :)

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Thank you, Simplysidy. That helps. Now how is the image sliced? Is there some kind of utility to do it automatically? And how are the slices named?

In Photoshop (and even in Firewoks) there is a tool called Slice Tool - which helps in marking out the segments that are needed out. You start by plotting out the areas and then export them as the image formats you need. Photoshop also can help you export and create a webpage out of it.

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