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ingvarai

How to get back the R13-R20 GUI look?

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14 hours ago, ingvarai said:

I found out how to do it - sort of.
In the folder C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\MAXON\MAXON Cinema 4D R21_64C2B3BD\prefs

there probably  (not always) is a file named dark.col

 

Well-l-l...

 

The way C4D organizes its interface is a bit complicated. You may want to start with the installation directory and look how it's set up.

1. Under resource\modules\c4dplugin\icons you will find a .tif that contains the majority of the function icons. This file is interface_icons_2x.tif. There is also a text file interface_icons.txt that contains the function IDs the icons are assigned to; partially with cutouts.

2. Under resource\modules\c4dplugin\schemes there are directories for every scheme that C4D provides. Namely, Light and Dark. Within these, you find the .col file (with the basic colors for interface and viewport), the .res file (which tells C4D at what coordinates to find certain graphic elements), and finally the images with the graphic elements themselves, normal.tif, focus.tif and disabled.tif. These provide button snippets, borders, arrows, checkboxes, scrollbars and other things that are not icons and/or can be resized.

3. Note that the R21 has these three files also in a double resolution version marked as "x2". I suppose these are for the hi-res monitors.

4. Also note that the R21 has a new format for the files with two layers, whereas the R19 was working with transparencies. I could get the R19 files to work but no guarantee for the future (also, I didn't yet test it in depth).

5. Now, if you want to build your own scheme, that will go into the Home directory, not the installation directory: Cinema4D V21_xxxxxxxx\library\schemes

6. Copy the scheme you want to start with from the installation directory (either Light or Dark) by copying the full directory thus named, and put it into the schemes subdirectory of the Home directory. Rename the directory, the .res and the .col file appropriately - the new scheme will appear under that name in the Preferences dialog. Now you have a clean setup for a new scheme. Always work in this copy, and never change the files in the installation directory.

7. If you need to modify the icons (for example if you want to modify the background color - several icons appear directly on the background and must have sufficient contrast) you can copy the interface_icons_2x.tif and the interface_icons.txt directly into your scheme directory (e.g. Dark2). The original Light scheme does this for example.

8. If you are reusing a scheme from a previous C4D version: There is NO GUARANTEE that the graphic element files are still usable. There may be new elements needed, or old elements deprecated.

9. If you modify the colors: Some colors are just references to other colors. Some colors depend on each other (e.g. text color and textfield background color). There is no tool that shows the dependencies in an easy way, or would show all GUI elements that are using a certain color, icon, or graphic snippets. It's easy to get lost in the plethora of settings.

10. You can theoretically edit the .col file with a text editor. This will help you seeing what colors you changed and what colors were in the other version's .col file. However: Always start out with a .col file from the current version's scheme to make sure all needed colors are defined. Other than with the shortcuttable.res file, missing an entry will cause errors.

11. If you decide to NOT edit the .col file manually, but use the Preferences dialog, upon exiting the program a new .col file under the scheme's name will be created in the prefs folder in your Home directory. This has the advantage that you keep the original color settings in the schemes directory. Comparing these two files is also the only way to find what colors you have changed, because C4D will not just store the changed colors in prefs, but the full set. If you want, you can use the prefs version to overwrite the schemes version but I'm not sure whether this is advisable.

12. Should you ever get into a situation where C4D crashes on start because of that, shows error on start, or gives you a totally unreadable interface, first try deleting the .col file from the prefs folder; if that doesn't help delete the current scheme folder from the schemes directory.

 

Now have fun ruining your GUI 😁

 

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  • 2 hours ago, Cairyn said:

     

    The way C4D organizes its interface is a bit complicated.

    ...
    Now have fun ruining your GUI 😁

    Hi Cairyn!
    Thanks a lot for this!
    As a matter of fact, I now have a R21 user interface I am very satisfied with. I have neither touched the icons, nor any real colors. It is just the grey-scale I have tweaked, not the gorilla. I did this, both by playing with the preferences editor, and by editing the dark.col file in a text editor. I started by copying over the dark.col file from R20, edited out entries that cause R21 to crash on startup, and then using the Preferences editor to fine tune the gray shades.
    I spent several hours on this, in fact a whole day. 
    Now - the final step was to customize my new.c4d project which has to be saved to the same folder where cinema4d.exe resides.
    I set the Default object color to Gray-Blue

    defaultobjectcolor.png.60bab1f618beb3a790d4935262de7809.png


    And voila!!!
    I now have a super duper user interface almost the same as R13-R20, and with all the new features of R21.
    The reason I put so much emphasizes on this is that I just cant stand the new darkroom washed out poor contrast user interface. For me it was love at first sight when I fired ut C4D in 2012. Not the least because of the GUI. So I want to stay with this familiar workplace for me. I have 1920 x 1200 monitors, not 4K.
    The final dark.col file is attached, for those who want to try themselves. You can always revert back by pressing the Reset button under Preferences.

    -Ingvar

    dark.col

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    I just remember that in the past when I've copied pref files from old releases to new releases I've had some problems which, I was told, led to crashing, so I decided to stop and just redo whatever I could or what I thought was necessary… which also led me to the opinion that the less you mess with the default settings the better (true for any app IMO). It's not a bad practice anyway as it makes you re-assess what junk you wanna keep etc, bit like a refresh or a clean out!

     

    Yeah, I noticed that the R20 shortcut table file was a lot different to R21, so again I just took the view that it's best not mess with it and instead just spend an hour or two reinserting my most obvious shortcuts.

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  • Yep. But what I have done, is only the same as using the preferences editor inside C4D. When you use the preferences editor, you change entries in a text file (the dark.col file). Copying it over from R20 to R21 as a start, before I fine tune it in R21, is just for time saving purposes. Nothing dangerous here. 
    And for me, it was worth it. Pity that C4D doesn't have a Classic option for the color scheme. Which Windows has had since 1792, the French revolution.

    -Ingvar

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    6 hours ago, Cairyn said:

     

    Well... search for a file named interface_icons_2x.tif in your installation directory and see for yourself. No vector based icons here.

     

    If they were future proofing the icons for high res they should have made them vectors.  Guess doing things wrong is the way of the new MAXON. 

     

    Good news is if they are from that image file it should be easy to replace them with the old icons.  Take the old icons image file from R20 and replace it.

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    11 hours ago, benek said:

    I just remember that in the past when I've copied pref files from old releases to new releases I've had some problems which, I was told, led to crashing, so I decided to stop and just redo whatever I could or what I thought was necessary… which also led me to the opinion that the less you mess with the default settings the better (true for any app IMO).

    There was indeed a version in the past (I think it was R15) where the external prefs files were changed so much that it was necessary to start over. Since then I had no issues.

     

    It is true that it is a good practice to reassess one's workflow every now and then, though.

     

    My personal keyboard shortcuts are systematically ordered - the built-in ones have (partially) nothing to do with the names of the functions they represent. Due to the limited numbers of physical keys, I get a lot of multi-key-shortcuts, like S~P for Select Path or M~K~E for edge cut (modeling-knife-edge). The more functions I wish to put on keys, the less logical it gets (Q as first key for... quick?) so I am thinking about replacing a number of these by custom popup menus or simply by the "circular" menu. But I can see myself overdoing it again... 😁

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    10 hours ago, Fastbee said:

    If they were future proofing the icons for high res they should have made them vectors.  Guess doing things wrong is the way of the new MAXON. 

     

    Good news is if they are from that image file it should be easy to replace them with the old icons.  Take the old icons image file from R20 and replace it.

     

    I'm actually not so sure about the vector thing. Vectors are great if you want to size things up. If you need to restrict yourself to a few pixels, as icons on normal monitors tend to be, and at the same time have fine recurring structures to display, like linework or letters, vectors alone can leave you with lines that are antialiased to invisibility, ugly pixel-aligning artifacts, and rounding issues in the placement of similar structures. Fonts, for example, require a number of "hints" in addition to their vectors to ensure that the stems of letters are the same width, that line weights don't jump around, and so on. The effort needed to create icons that way is considerable.

     

    BTW, you should not just take the icon file and replace it with an older version - there will be all the new icons missing, and there is no guarantee that the icons are all in the same place. I have in the past changed the contrast of the whole sheet, and the colorization of some icons I found unpalatable, but I found taking old icon files being pretty problematic.

     

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    22 minutes ago, Cairyn said:

    The more functions I wish to put on keys, the less logical it gets

    Yes, so true!

    I think something I've begun to do more is restrict my own shortcut keys to my most essential things and rely more on adding commands to context menus or my own custom palettes, or just tearing off relevant menus as and when I need those commands. Something I'm trying to use more is the Commander as another method to keep my UI workspace clean.

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    9 hours ago, Cairyn said:

     

    I'm actually not so sure about the vector thing. Vectors are great if you want to size things up. If you need to restrict yourself to a few pixels, as icons on normal monitors tend to be, and at the same time have fine recurring structures to display, like linework or letters, vectors alone can leave you with lines that are antialiased to invisibility, ugly pixel-aligning artifacts, and rounding issues in the placement of similar structures. Fonts, for example, require a number of "hints" in addition to their vectors to ensure that the stems of letters are the same width, that line weights don't jump around, and so on. The effort needed to create icons that way is considerable.

     

    As you say it's possible.  Lots of work maybe, but possible.  As we all know from a lot of fonts we use everyday they do look good big and small.

     

    They could have also had all the icons made from a 3D file.  Imagine being able to open up the 3D file with all the icons in it and being able to modify any as you wish in 3D then hitting render at any resolution to get the new image map.  This would have been a second way to future proof the icons and make everyone happy.  They chose a third way.

     

    If we ask nicely for the photoshop file with all the icons maybe they will give it to us.

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