I’m making my first Rainmeter theme. If you’re not familiar with Rainmeter, it’s an application that allows you to make widgets (or “skins”) for your desktop. It’s all open source, and there are huge repositories of themes on deviantART and elsewhere. It is a strangely addicting thing to sit down to a blank desktop and create your space.
All of the skins (which are written in .ini files) are easy to modify, which I generally do when I design my personal desktop, but I’ve never written my own skins from scratch. I’m challenging myself to create a completely uniquely designed theme, although, I’m not sure how this will play out since some of the skins I generally prefer to have on my desktop require additional scripts written in Lua that I am not ready to write myself yet. I’m not sure at this point if I will scrap the ones requiring additional Lua scripts (like the calendar, RSS feeds, and notes) and just stick with objects that only require .ini files (like clocks, system information, and music tracks), or borrow others’ scripts and put together a fuller package. The Rainmeter manual does have a section for writing Rainmeter functions using Lua, but we’ll see. I think I’ll stick with the simpler objects for now and see how that goes.
So the basic concept of my theme are paint blotches, which can be layered to create an artistic effect. To start, I needed art. Fortunately, I found a package of high (very high) resolution paint splotches by the artist Caleb Kimbrough on his blog “Lost and Taken”
Now I’m on to the next step of cutting out elements.
I have about nine of these so far, and to get a sense of what I’m doing, here is a picture of some of them layered:
I am anticipating a major headache getting the objects into position on the background blotches. The issue is that this has to be functional art. If the objects aren’t placed on their background images in such a way that the objects are usable and the images are able to be arranged aesthetically, then I’ve lost the point of the theme.
If all goes well, my next update should be the script and screenshot of a clock.