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BIGFLIX: A new user experience for your HTPC

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On 10/17/2017 at 10:36 AM, Klopjero said:

I have another question.. the Nintendo DS Video's are squished. could video's be scaled the a certain width but keep the aspect ratio ? what i mean is, nintendo DS video's are 480 x 720 but are displayed as 480x360.

I really like this theme. and I'm just making suggestions that would in my opinion make it better. same goes for the boxart being used as fan backgrounds,  that I mentioned above.

I'll fire up photoshop this evening to illustrate what i mean.
@SNAK3ATER

Hello @Klopjero sorry for the lat e response but an illustration and some visual feedback from your side would give me a better understanding on your requests. I'll try and incorporate your feedbacks whenever possible unto Bigflix 1.1 Alternative theme

 

On 10/28/2017 at 7:09 AM, psych0matt said:

Is there a way to disable the autohide feature? I have mine start directly into playlists, and if possible I'd like the horizontal list of consoles to stay on screen. I didn't see a setting for it.

@psych0matt  Yes there is, as a matter of fact I created a horizontal platform Alternative view with disabled autohide feature to save you or anyone the trouble of manually messing with the theme codes.

Platform Wheel 1 (Alt).zip

Unzip the file and place it in ...\LaunchBox\Themes\BIGFLIX\Views and replace when prompted.

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

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On 17/12/2017 at 4:44 PM, SNAK3ATER said:

Hello everyone,

It's been a while since I was active and after a long hiatus from theme development I decided to resume my work again.

Launchbox and Bigbox have seen a rapid development the last few months and I have alot to catch up to and familiarize myself with...here is something I created today after messing around with the new wall view:

Desktop_Screenshot_2017_12.17_-_22.03_12_63.thumb.png.b4bccea2107160e3ed89031954b78fd7.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2017_12.17_-_22_07_47_66.thumb.png.6589b9df0613399785c898b7c24a698b.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2017_12.17_-_22_19_36_67.thumb.png.61894125d7e4138ca1c4e388a10b341b.png

What do you guys think :)? any feedback in further improving this theme and my other projects are appreciated and just for your information here is a roadmap for my upcoming projects:

1- Bigflix 1.1

2- Bigflix 1.1 Alternative (This version will implement some of the requests I received like keeping the original aspect ratios of videos and wallpapers, removing timer/buffer animations, etc)

3- RetrAO Cafe 1.7 (I promise this will be a major update will lots of added features and views)

4- RetAO Cafe 1.7 Lite (As the name suggests this will be light on system resources but will enjoy the added features of the original theme)

5- Project X Zone (WIP new theme i've been developing for a while)

 

Stay tuned for new updates!

You can create an horizontal games view 3 only to larger box cover?

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2 hours ago, sagaopc said:

You can create an horizontal games view 3 only to larger box cover?

@sagaopc Sorry I could't understand your question, can you elaborate more please?

 

Now i'm aware that some people asked me that some of the views in this theme are not compatible visually with some odd shaped box arts as the boxes would overlap each other (i.e. Dreamcast, PS1, SNES, etc) such as the case with Horizontal Wheel View 2 which was designed specifically for vertical DVD style cover platforms such as PS2. See example below of the Horizontal Wheel View 2:

Example with Dreamcast covers platform

Desktop_07_25.2017_-_21_14_47_01.png.130903d033fee4bbd89de100e54c05f3.thumb.png.7183fac78707602ee6e6ad4f4ef2ae95.pngExample with Vertical DVD style cover platform 

Desktop_07_25.2017_-_21_22_46_11.png.c311265c2b8da0ea6fddcb7c6d13629a.thumb.png.90a43f615813150732274bbbf118c85f.png

Now since Bigbox can save theme and platform specific view for each platform I will remedy this problem by sharing my personal settings on how to use each view for a given platform optimally (i.e. Horizontal view 1 for Windows and steam platform, HV3 for Wii U platform, etc) with the release of Bigflix 1.1

But that's not all, I also completely overhauled the look and feel of the new Wall View for maximum compatibility with most platform box arts!

Here is a sneak preview of the new wall view in action:

It's still a work in progress as i'm still experimenting with new ideas and tweaking the code for a smoother experience but as you can see this view works well with most Box art covers even the odd ones such as PS1 boxes

Any ideas and thoughts are welcomed!

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The Wall View is a hard one to pin down. I haven't really messed with it to much. I am going to go for a flat look with as little as animation as possible with just a small color outline to show what is highlighted. If that is possible anyways.

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On 12/21/2017 at 9:17 PM, keltoigael said:

The Wall View is a hard one to pin down. I haven't really messed with it to much. I am going to go for a flat look with as little as animation as possible with just a small color outline to show what is highlighted. If that is possible anyways.

I believe that's doable but haven't tested the code yet. I will try and add a color outline for the highlighted game but as you mentioned the wall view is a bit tricky to code.

Thanks @keltoigael and if I managed to nail the color outline i'll definitely share it with you, and for any stuff related to theme development we're all here to help each other out, you know 6 months ago I had zero knowledge in XAML and if it weren't for great guys like @eatkinola @Grila @CriticalCid and all the good folks in this community this theme wouldn't even exist today so thanks to my launchbox fam :)

 

@Jason Carr I tried adding a video snap to the wall view but it looks like this view does not support it yet. My idea for this wall view and Bigflix in general is to have a 4K theme that is made for 4K tv and HTPC users thus the UI should be clear, crisp and couch friendly (thus why i'm requesting video snaps as my idea is to have a user highlight a game, gets all the information they ever need in one page and press start to head directly into the game AKA Steam Big Picture mode). 

Desktop_Screenshot_2017_12.19_-_23_40_34_56.thumb.png.3dd0cb91bfc2bddff8e7ee353dba594f.pngSince the snaps doesn't work I added the game screenshot as a placeholder until video support is added so can you have a look into it for me if possible? i'm also testing color outline for selected game and will report back if it's supported in this view or not.

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30 minutes ago, SNAK3ATER said:

I believe that's doable but haven't tested the code yet. I will try and add a color outline for the highlighted game but as you mentioned the wall view is a bit tricky to code.

Thanks @keltoigael and if I managed to nail the color outline i'll definitely share it with you, and for any stuff related to theme development we're all here to help each other out, you know 6 months ago I had zero knowledge in XAML and if it weren't for great guys like @eatkinola @Grila @CriticalCid and all the good folks in this community this theme wouldn't even exist today so thanks to my launchbox fam :)

 

@Jason Carr I tried adding a video snap to the wall view but it looks like this view does not support it yet. My idea for this wall view and Bigflix in general is to have a 4K theme that is made for 4K tv and HTPC users thus the UI should be clear, crisp and couch friendly (thus why i'm requesting video snaps as my idea is to have a user highlight a game, gets all the information they ever need in one page and press start to head directly into the game AKA Steam Big Picture mode). 

Desktop_Screenshot_2017_12.19_-_23_40_34_56.thumb.png.3dd0cb91bfc2bddff8e7ee353dba594f.pngSince the snaps doesn't work I added the game screenshot as a placeholder until video support is added so can you have a look into it for me if possible? i'm also testing color outline for selected game and will report back if it's supported in this view or not.

That's gorgeous @SNAK3ATER. Yeah, the wall view backend is still pretty rudimentary, so I still need to flesh it out. Hopefully I can get video support in there soon. Are the videos the only thing that you're missing?

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12 minutes ago, Jason Carr said:

That's gorgeous @SNAK3ATER. Yeah, the wall view backend is still pretty rudimentary, so I still need to flesh it out. Hopefully I can get video support in there soon. Are the videos the only thing that you're missing?

I believe the color outline might be missing but I can't confirm it yet as i'm still messing with the codes.

Example of highlighted color outline:

5a3d8b221d33b_DesktopScreenshot2017_12.23-02_39_39.81_LI.thumb.jpg.3cf3f534e2dea319e294dc2aa13a7db3.jpgThanks for looking into my request, much appreciated Jason!

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I've modified your theme a bit. 
Nothing mayor.. I set stretch to UniformtoFILL and set the vertical allignment to center. That way I can use box art as fanbackgrounds. without looking at squashed boxes. 

Hoep you don't mind.... 

lynx.png

NEC PC Engine.png

NES.png

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12 hours ago, Klopjero said:

I've modified your theme a bit. 
Nothing mayor.. I set stretch to UniformtoFILL and set the vertical allignment to center. That way I can use box art as fanbackgrounds. without looking at squashed boxes. 

Hoep you don't mind.... 

lynx.png

NEC PC Engine.png

NES.png

That looks great @Klopjero! May you share your amended codes here so that I can test them for myself?

I'm planning to further test it with different views (for both Fanart backgrounds and videos) and might incorporate it in the next update if it suits the overall theme

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11 hours ago, SNAK3ATER said:

That looks great @Klopjero! May you share your amended codes here so that I can test them for myself?

I'm planning to further test it with different views (for both Fanart backgrounds and videos) and might incorporate it in the next update if it suits the overall theme

Thank you!
I will post the code in the near future, is there a way to define alternative art sources for that element? right now I copy box art to the fan background folder, which works fine but is redundant.
Have you had time to look at view of the Nintendo ds? regarding squished videos.

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19 hours ago, SNAK3ATER said:

That looks great @Klopjero! May you share your amended codes here so that I can test them for myself?

I'm planning to further test it with different views (for both Fanart backgrounds and videos) and might incorporate it in the next update if it suits the overall theme

Line 252 is the one I changed. I will mark my changes FAT 
<Image Source="{Binding Path=ActiveGame.BackgroundImagePath}" x:Name="GameWallpaper" Grid.Column="3" Grid.Row="4" Grid.ColumnSpan="8" Grid.RowSpan="6" Stretch="UniformToFill" Panel.ZIndex="10" SnapsToDevicePixels="True" VerticalAlignment="Center"/>

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10 hours ago, Klopjero said:

Thank you!
I will post the code in the near future, is there a way to define alternative art sources for that element? right now I copy box art to the fan background folder, which works fine but is redundant.
Have you had time to look at view of the Nintendo ds? regarding squished videos.

Alternative art sources is a much requested feature that we hope @Jason Carr will add in LB 8.0+ iterations. Basically it's similar to @eatkinola AutopathVideoLooper control where a user or theme creators specifies a fallback strategy when setting ImageType element; let's take BIGFLIX as an example:

1- For Horizontal Wheel 1 ideally I would like to set the imagetype for the game boxart to be Steam Banner and Screenshot as a fallback path

2- What this means is that BigBox will look for the artwork of the selected game in Steam banner folder and if there is no artwork available alternatively it will search for the artwork in the secondary folder specified which is Screenshots folder

3- This way the number of default LB placeholders (missing artwork placeholder) will be reduced since the theme will have more coverage and resources to search for the game meta and artwork

 

Unfortunately, since there is no known method for alternative art sources my theme currently uses Imagetype Screenshots instead of the planned Steam Banner as not many platforms have enough content in that folder. My current workaround is copying steam banners into Screenshots folder which is redundant as you said but finger crossed that Jason will someday implement this feature in Launchbox at the near future.

 

With regards to the Nintendo DS squished videos, I did some tests and here is my initial workaround:

Desktop_Screenshot_2018_02.06_-_00_52_03_12.thumb.png.15e72a6455773112bc6a1b7a5bea86bc.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2018_02.06_-_00_52_11_09.thumb.png.707de7f37d500bdfb72139f2aa51ee92.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2018_02.06_-_00_53_03_59.thumb.png.2cc646002422ada31145b03eeb440480.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2018_02.06_-_00_53.12_02.thumb.png.b9c715110fe3dc2d2fbc96e8b1d2e94e.png

What do you think does this answer your question? 

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It's as can be expected.. given the videos.. (vectrex to btw) I forget what the view is called but it's the one I modified where the video is played over the Screenshot. .. could you play it there without stretching? I suspect it would fall of the screen... maybe align it to the top screen and mask the bottom part? But then you'd have to add another static picture to your theme...  

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11 hours ago, Klopjero said:

It's as can be expected.. given the videos.. (vectrex to btw) I forget what the view is called but it's the one I modified where the video is played over the Screenshot. .. could you play it there without stretching? I suspect it would fall of the screen... maybe align it to the top screen and mask the bottom part? But then you'd have to add another static picture to your theme...  

I can have a look into it if I have a visual guidance of what to work on; please show me some screenshots of the current issue and ideally a visual mockup of how you would like to address the problem

As I mentioned earlier moving forward I will release two versions of this theme:

1- Bigflix 1.1 (Original build that will stay true to the source material i.e. Forced 16x9 fanart background and videos, autoplay feature, buffering animations, etc)

2- Bigflix 1.1 Alternative (This version will implement some of the requests I received like keeping the original aspect ratios of videos and wallpapers, removing timer/buffer animations, etc)----> Community feedback and suggestions are most welcomed!

 

Now this might be only me but something just doesn't look right aesthetic wise with original aspect ratios in this theme:

Desktop_Screenshot_2018_02.06_-_23_12_44_68.thumb.png.9f731bf9be623b09d8857183f21c7a37.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2018_02.06_-_23_12_53_67.thumb.png.619f1befc45c82b28bb961508a6edad3.png

In comparison here's how the videos look with the fading mask used to blend the edges into the background in the original theme (using old stock images of the original but they should illustrate my point):

5a7a029394b5a_Desktop06_14.2017-02_53_06_25.thumb.png.7e0228553281978c0199f7c4c15a7736.png5a7a03412052d_Desktop07_12.2017-02_01_55_09.thumb.jpg.ff6028eea4ff4e06728b657581848ac1.jpg

The videos looks very rough around the edges without the faded edges effect of the original theme so i'm not sure if there is anything that can be done to smooth the edges out, any thoughts are welcomed!

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12 hours ago, SNAK3ATER said:

I can have a look into it if I have a visual guidance of what to work on; please show me some screenshots of the current issue and ideally a visual mockup of how you would like to address the problem

As I mentioned earlier moving forward I will release two versions of this theme:

1- Bigflix 1.1 (Original build that will stay true to the source material i.e. Forced 16x9 fanart background and videos, autoplay feature, buffering animations, etc)

2- Bigflix 1.1 Alternative (This version will implement some of the requests I received like keeping the original aspect ratios of videos and wallpapers, removing timer/buffer animations, etc)----> Community feedback and suggestions are most welcomed!

 

Now this might be only me but something just doesn't look right aesthetic wise with original aspect ratios in this theme:

 

In comparison here's how the videos look with the fading mask used to blend the edges into the background in the original theme (using old stock images of the original but they should illustrate my point):

 

The videos looks very rough around the edges without the faded edges effect of the original theme so i'm not sure if there is anything that can be done to smooth the edges out, any thoughts are welcomed!

I'm not familiar with the limitations of Launchbox.. so I let my imagination run free. 
current.thumb.png.7066d24b79fff2d41833f6b176faac64.pngcurrent2.thumb.png.1945c2b90369f1d0edbcb50837af48f0.pngAbove is a current situation for non 4:3 /16:9 videos We've established that, 
Allignbottem_uniform_to_fill.thumb.png.3b6f801415e9f550e2ccf83915f2fe81.pngAllignbottem_uniform_to_fill2.thumb.png.eb308e8f45079148f9ef6260d6852ca4.pngnow if you set the video box to a set width and keep the aspectratio and align the video to the bottom of the element,,,in my head it would look something like above.The fact that it overlaps the background isnt very important.. (to me)

5a7ab694086e7_boxviewcurrent.thumb.png.6003a9b8ef19eb9c09be9d80dd4a665a.png5a7ab97deba87_boxviewcurrent2.thumb.png.a555efe886fd1b4d9a5d68b23944b357.pngThe boxview is currently like this.. 5a7ab6ba32d49_boxviewcurrent_keepaspect_rendervideotwicerenderblur.thumb.png.4b3ad71eedeef66ea2f8fd51ee8cd26f.png5a7ab97a9f27a_boxviewcurrent_keepaspect_rendervideotwicerenderblur2.thumb.png.1bbb18601337c7f0267cf13d79d49911.pngI wonder if it is possible to display a video twice and have one render in the background slightly blurred. or maybe have an image in the background slightly blurred.. 
and this ruse could be used for other aspect corrections.

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@Klopjero Having a blurry video displayed in the background is a neat trick but unfortunately I don't think Bigbox supports such a feature..btw are those above images from you a Photoshop illustrations or an actual working theme?

 

Good news is I found an alternative workaround that might tame down the rough edges for now:

Desktop_Screenshot_2018_02.08_-_02_37_54_62.thumb.png.d6ccdbd2aa3102527412465470653155.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2018_02.08_-_02_38_07_91.thumb.png.1dd85c10f829539c04784e59fd44f572.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2018_02.08_-_02.37_02_98.thumb.png.eff03c586d159c792a229e763a0aafe9.pngDesktop_Screenshot_2018_02.08_-_02_37_11_26.thumb.png.cb5130e8f461268cfa4adec99a6fa7d4.png

I still need to apply some polish here and there but let me know what do you think about this workaround 

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