Late last month I was able to take a
bit of time to chat with
.Zer0., author of
XP Format and
Eminence for WindowBlinds over IM. We chatted about his two very popular skins, how
he got started in skinning, what he has coming up next for us, and of course
an obligatory Monty Python reference. As was announced last week,
.Zer0. is the first one to be featured in our Skinner of the Month series.
[Zoomba]First off, I just wanted to say how much I'm enjoying your skin,
Eminence. I'm a minimalist when it comes to my desktop, so your skin is
perfect for me.
[.Zer0.] Thanks. Care to see what I'm currently working on?
A "concept skin" under development
I really like the lighter look you have going in the first screen.
Tell me, how long now have you been skinning?
Four months. But I've been doing graphic design for two years.
Wow, so XP Format was your first attempt at a skin?
Well, XP Format was my first [posted] skin. There was one right before
that, but I didn't finish it, nor would I consider it a true skin. More of
a get-to-learn SkinStudio thing.
Was the original skin the same style of Eminence and XP Format?
Um, more Vista-ish. I think I was going to call it Vista XPed.
How hard was it to get the hang of SkinStudio?
I found/find SkinStudio a bit hard to navigate. It's buggy sometimes
when slicing images.
Were there any particular resources you used to learn the program and
overcome some of its oddities?
I used a lot of other popular skins and disected them to see how they worked.
That was the major way I learned. I already knew about transparencies and
things like that from doing web design. So I kind of transitioned into
skinning from web design.
Was the transition a hard or easy since you already had some experience
designing user interface elements?
The concept was easy, but learning to use the new software was frustrating at
|RJSmith2007's first layout design
Eminence looks a lot like XP Format in form and style. How many
elements from Format were moved over into Eminence?
A lot of the gloss was moved over and maybe the window button glyphs.
Was there anything on Eminence that didn't turn out as well as you had
Well, Eminence started out as a light and happy skin. But most of the
things I wanted came out. The shellstyle hasn't worked out yet.
Animations are needed, and I would like to work with the taskbar.
A light and happy skin? Why the change?
I was just messing with the skin and thought it [the dark coloring] looked
better than the white.
What's your favorite WindowBlind out there at the moment?
I like Thallos, Royale Vista and many others. I probably change my skin
every other day.
Do you have any particular skinners that you prefer?
I like kol's style most of the time, and JJ Ying's some of the time.
Dobee has some nice skins lately, but kol has been my favorite for a while.
The inner parts of his Thallos inspired Eminence.
What is the average air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
8 meters per second
You looked that up on Google, didn't you?
Yeah I did...
You obviously have an eye for aesthetics, and you said you've done web
design. Do you plan to pursue a degree and/or career in some area of
I would like to do software programming or interface design.
Coding huh? Have you considered combining your art skills and
interest in programming to try your hand at building DesktopX widgets?
I have, I just don't know the coding structure, so there is the learning
Last question. If you could change one thing about WinCustomize.com,
what would it be?
The theme. I don't like the baby blue.
Thanks to .Zer0. for agreeing to take the time and answer questions to
kick off our Skinner of the Month series. Be sure to check out his
XP Format WindowBlinds and keep an eye out for his upcoming skin
later this summer.
Expect to see a new skinner highlighted each and every month. If you're
a skinner (WindowBlinds, icons, ObjectDock themes, DesktopX etc...) and would
like to have your work featured, or if you know someone in the community who you
feel deserves more attention, drop me a line at
mikec [ at ] stardock.com with the subject "SotM