Skin support was introduced in an early version of Forte and has not change much since. The capability works fine but is admittedly cumbersome to customize. There are many individual bit of data to consider when designing a skin but the basics are just repeated over many times.
Skin authoring support is now deprecated. This article gives you some introduction to how it works but as Forte progresses, it will move to new UI technologies that do not support this skinning mechanism.
Skins are comprised of a folder containing one .INI file and multiple .PNG image files. This folder must be placed in the Forte program installation directory:
C:\Program Files\brainspawn\forte 3 Producer Edition\Skins\<yourfolder>
The .INI file must be named the same as the skin folder. So for example if your skin is called “Big Red”, then the path to the .INI file would be:
C:\Program Files\brainspawn\forte 3 Producer Edition\Skins\Big Red\Big Red.ini
Load the .INI file into a good text editor. The .INI file is formatted exactly as any traditional Windows .INI file with sections of name/value pairs.
The .PNG files can be edited in a good image editor and transparency is supported.
The contents include:
Description = <freeform description of the skin displayed in Forte preferences>
[Rack Skin - Bitmaps]
Rack Header images. Each name is unique and must not be changed and each value indicates a PNG file for that UI element name. By examining the default bitmaps is should be straightforward to figure out what each name means.
[Rack Skin - RECTs]
Rack Header UI positions in X/Y pixel coordinates. Note that these days Forte doesn’t actually honor the 3rd and 4th numbers (the right X and bottom Y) but instead calculates these values from the width and height of the PNG image.
[Synth Skin - Bitmaps] - Instrument Module images
[Synth Skin - Volume BMPs] – images for the instrument module volume fader
[Synth Skin - RECTs] – rectangles for the Instrument Module images
[Synth Skin - Display RECTs] – Instrument Module Name and Bus Output rectangles
[Synth Skin - FX Display RECT] – Instrument Module Insert Effects Bin rectangle
[BussOut Skin - Bitmaps] – Bus Module Images
[BussOut Skin - Volume BMPs] – Bus module volume fader images
[Audio LED - Bitmaps] – Bus module audio meters LEDs
[BussOut Skin - Btn RECTs] – Bus module button rectangles
[BussOut Skin - Disp RECTs] – Bus module name and hardware output rectangles
[BussOut Skin - FX Disp RECTs] – Bus module insert effects bin rectangle
[PropPage Skin - Bitmaps] – Plugin Property Page button images
[PropPage Skin - RECTS] – Plugin Property Page positions
[Rack Skin - Menu COLORS] – menu colors
[Rack Skin - Text COLORS] – text colors
[TreeList - Colors] – Tree colors