[mythtv-theming] Resources for themers

Robert McNamara robert.mcnamara at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 20:27:41 UTC 2009

Hi Themers,

To add to some of the links I posted a couple of months back, I wanted
to address some of the more basic issues-- where do graphics in Myth
Themes come from?  Well, really, you can use anything, but I know all
of us (that I know personally) working on MythUI themes use Inkscape.

Inkscape is the "open source Illustrator," it's linux' full featured
vector editing software.  The great advantage of using Inkscape is
that you can create a document at the resolution of your theme and use
it as a "crib note" to do the layout in the XML.  Here's what I
generally use as a workflow:

1) Create a document and implement all of the widgets visually.

2) Create a second document for a myth theme screen.  Change the
document properties to the native resolution of your theme, and go to

3) Once you have your screen laid out, you can export each element as
an image.  What's even more helpful is you can use Inkscape's
coordinate system to accurately fill in the <area> and <position> tags
in MythUI.  One note of caution:  Inkscape's 0,0 origin is in the
bottom left-- ours is in the top left.  So the "Y" values are less
helpful, but you can still get them by selecting an object, and adding
the "Inkscape Y Value" to the object's height, and subtracting that
total from the height of your document.  So:

Inkscape reports Y = 430
Item = 30 pixel tall
Document = 720 pixels tall

720-(430+30) = 260 in Myth value

If you've never used inkscape, try these video tutorials.  They are
awesome and you can create some complicated effects very quickly.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask here, or even better, join
us in #mythtv-theming on irc.freenode.net.


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