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We're excited to have adni18 for our Master Skinner spotlight this month! He joined WinCustomize way back in 2001 and is one of our overall top skinners on the site.

Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions for the community.

 

You are one of our original members way back in 2001. Can you tell us how you got involved in “skinning” and WinCustomize?

I was using an early beta version of Windows XP and I decided to do something beautiful with my new Windows OS. So, I did a wallpaper with the Microsoft logo full screen and perspective, with no real knowledge (less than basic) of creating graphics. Have in mind that those days Microsoft logo wasn't popular at all, even Microsoft was putting it aside and in a very small size. I was visiting the skinning sites then, looking for some icons and maybe a good wallpaper, one of these sites was WinCustomize. I decided to upload it there for fun, I didn’t even know what was happening with uploads. The other day I saw a medal next to it, indicating that it was no1 in downloads the day before as it was many days after. Someone informed me then, with links which I have checked out, that more than 65 sites were having my wallpaper in their front page!!! I was very happy about it.

One day, after about 10-15 days I have started receiving congratulations because Microsoft was having “my wallpaper” in their new version of Windows XP as an official wallpaper, but this time as a monochrome blue perspective glass logo, with no big success as you all know, they didn’t want to tell me “thank you for your idea and for making our logo so popular”, so they didn’t make it with the same colors as I did it.

The idea of the MS logo perspective in full screen it was mine and it was never made like this before, only after the great success of my wallpaper, came out hundreds of similar and better quality wallpapers…
The wallpaper I am talking about is here: https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/wallpapers/269/

This was my start, wallpapers and someday I made my first skin “XP Professional” without having Windowblinds or Skinstudio to test it!!! I did it by changing all the graphics of one of the Alexantrie’s skins. The most difficult part then it was the screenshot, without Windowblinds to apply my skin I couldn’t have any screenshot, so I composed the screenshot myself! This screenshot I may say it was more difficult as it was to make the skin…

This skin (https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/windowblinds/2156/) was meant to be the most popular/downloaded skin ever in skinning community for many years, then I did the “Vista Plus” skin (https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/windowblinds/5814/) which had more success, with more 1.000.000 downloads in the skinning community.

This was my start in “skinning” and WinCustomize.

You have created some of the top WindowBlinds skins on WinCustomize over the years. Do you have a favorite out of all of them?

Always the last one!!! :)

Well, I like many of my earlier skins which have good ideas and colors, but not perfect as skins, I was interest then about the new ideas and didn’t pay much attention for the script of Windowblinds, I didn’t have a lot of free time for that then.

I may say now that I really love all my Master skins.

 

Where do you get inspirations from for your skins?

I remember that when I was looking a beautiful sky, or a flower, or a car or a nice furniture etc. I was always thinking if what I was looking can be a good skin? The inspiration for my skin was and still is the beauty that surround us.

What tools do you use when creating a skin?

The only tool I use is Photoshop.

 

Do you have any other hobbies or interests besides skinning?

I love creating and learning!

Besides my profession as a dentist, I also had many other interests and too many hobbies in my life and I enjoyed all of them.

My latest hobbies from the beginning of this year 2018 are the digital paintings (yes, not wallpapers any more) and the skinning again, (after a long interval), and I am enjoying both of them very much!

Thanks for being a valuable member of WinCustomize and for taking the time to speak with us this week! You can see all of adni18's skins here.

Keep an eye out for more member spotlights!

7 Replies Reply 5 Referrals

Jul 3, 2018 11:35 AM by Discussion: WinCustomize Talk

Post those desktops!

43 Replies Reply 4 Referrals

Summer officially arrived recently and that is always a good time to change up your Windows desktop with some new skins and themes from WinCustomize. Since summer is typically associated with beaches, vacations, and warm weather, I think that is a great place to start in highlighting some skins for your summer desktop.

 

Wallpapers

Life's a Beach by c31marius


Summer Solstice by Whalecore


Costa Maya by Island Dog

 

Animated Wallpapers for DeskScapes

Tropical Beach II by AzDude


Dominican Republic Beach 2 by rlphwshr


Island Scenery v2 by AzDude

 

 

Cursor Themes for CursorFX

Net Surfer by Libardo


Clown Fish by the lord set 1

2 Replies Reply 2 Referrals

Multiplicity KM - 50% Off
Control 2 PCs with one keyboard and mouse using a seamless connection

Reg. $19.99   Now $9.99*
Buy from Steam

[video]https://youtu.be/STiuM94lKXM[/video]

Instantly connect 2 PCs and control them all with a single keyboard and mouse, copy/paste formatted text and images, send data easily between computers, and more. If you run more than one computer at home or at work, Multiplicity is the tool you need to get the job done.

Share the heavy lifting of intense programs and keep virtual activities separate, but connected seamlessly between two computers. This versatile, secure, and affordable software solution lets you control two machines using one keyboard and mouse without the hassle of extra cables or the hardware needed for a traditional switch.

 

Creatives love the ability to retain their formatting when they use Multiplicity to seamlessly copy and paste content from one PC to another. Designers and editors alike use seamless mode to run editing programs alongside their intense graphic design applications without experiencing lag, stutter, or drop in frame rate. Audio sharing lets you listen to sound from both PCs without switching headsets and speakers.

 

Multiplicity's seamless mode allows you to establish a keyboard and mouse connection between your two computers while they're adjacent to each other and on the same network. You can stack your displays and move easily between them, or create a virtual “docking space” that will easily reconnect every time it comes back within proximity.

If you use multiple PCs on a regular basis, Multiplicity is the efficiency solution you’ve been looking for.

Features

  • KM: Control 2 PCs with one keyboard and mouse

  • Preserve formatting on text and images which are copy & pasted between two PCs

  • Lock & unlock all PCs at once from one keyboard

  • Audio share from multiple PCs and listen through one PC

  • Seamlessly switch between PCs using a mouse, hotkey, and touch (for touch-enabled monitors)

  • Hot key or touch to a specified field in an application or form

  • Supports OSes: Windows 10/8/7

Reg. $19.99   Now $9.99
Buy from Steam

 

*Sale ends July 5, 2018 at 1PM ET and valid when purchasing through Steam only. The Steam client is required to run this software when purchased through Steam.

1 Reply Reply 2 Referrals

DeskScapes lets you have cool animated wallpapers right on your Windows desktop. Whether you’re looking for a subtle landscape animation or a 3D rendered animation of the solar system, there are Dreams (animated wallpapers) available. Not only does it apply both animated and static wallpapers, it also lets you add effects to them, which gives you even more customization options.

Here are a few tips to get you started!

Try DeskScapes for free!
To purchase DeskScapes, click here.

 

Download more animated wallpapers from WinCustomize
DeskScapes includes several animated wallpapers, but you can download many more from WinCustomize.com. The Dream gallery there has thousands of animated wallpapers available for download. You can find anything from smooth tropical beaches, all the way to sci-fi animations from skilled 3D artists.

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Apply effects to your backgrounds
DeskScapes allows you to apply one of many cool effects to both animated and static wallpapers. Once you select a wallpaper, just click the Effects button and you will see the variety of effects you have available. You can also adjust the coloring on static wallpapers!

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Apply any wallpaper as a screensaver
Do you have a favorite wallpaper? Well, you can easily make that into your screensaver with DeskScapes. Just select the wallpaper you want to use, and click the ‘Apply as my screensaver’ button.

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DeskScapes is available individually for your Windows PC, but you can get that and more with a low-cost membership to Object Desktop. While you're a member, you'll get free updates, access to all betas, and any new apps for one year. You’ll also get access to other great programs like Groupy, Start10, WindowBlinds, Fences, Multiplicity, and more!

Visit the Object Desktop site for more information.

0 Replies Reply 5 Referrals

We have another Master Skinner spotlight, and this time I'm happy to have had the chance to speak with DaveBax!

Dave has been a member of WinCustomize since around 2007, and he has made a variety of contribution to the site over the years. He is one of the top WindowBlinds skinners on the site, and was promoted to Master Skinner in 2016. 

We appreciate him taking the time to answer some of our questions for the community.

 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in “skinning” and WinCustomize?

I have lived all my life in Southern New Jersey and was married for 44 years. I started working as an apprentice in welding when I was 19. Was in the industry for 46 years and worked my way up to a welding engineer. Retired July 2010 and never looked back.

First got involved in skinning when I was looking for an email program. Found I wanted to try Incredimail somewhere around the year 2000. I liked it because it could be customized and began to make my own images. I built my own web sites to show case my graphics. I was looking around and found Stardock in late 2004. Also the same time we found out my wife had cancer. So I had no time available but go to work and give all the support I could give. In 2007 while my wife was in the hospital after a major stroke I found Stardock again and at that minute joined. I had very limited time between working and taking care of my wife as she couldn’t talk or walk after the stroke. Managed to find a little time to make wallpaper or little things. I wanted to move up to docks and with all the help from (Steve)WebGizmos I became pretty good at it. Started making windowBlinds and the rest is history.

 

You have a great variety of skins going back to 2008 including a ton of WindowBlinds skins. What do you like about creating skins for WB?

They truly help me pass the time. Real enjoyment is seeing how many people like using them and enjoy reading the comments I receive. Without being able to share them I don’t think I would be making them anymore. As far as how long a skin may take I pay it no mind. They are all valued to me whether it’s simple or complex. None of this would be possible without the great people here and also the ones no longer here. I would ask a question and the answers would come. I help as many people here as I can now and enjoy it.

 

How do you start the process for creating a skin? Do you have an idea of the overall design, or does that evolve during the actual design process?

Sometimes I have an idea and sometimes it evolves. So many things one sees for ideas. TV commercial, driving in the car seeing a billboard design, looking at a car dashboard, etc. There are shapes of all types to see if one just looks. I make a full size Startmenu image template. Adding layers for top, bottom, sides, program and places list, design points, etc. as needed. Startmenu is first followed by the complete taskbar section. Now I have a very good visual and from there I mold the rest of the skin. Hardest thing for me is color. They have all been used so I try to use colors in different places. Again as I said before, I just enjoy it and the people here.

What tools do you use when creating a skin?

Started with Paint Shop Pro and moved to Photoshop. Found it was useful having .psd files for sharing with ours. The majority of people here seemed to be using PS. There are some talented people here using PSP. My real opinion is whatever works best for the person using it is the best program to use.

 

You do a lot of skinning.  Do you have any other hobbies or interests besides skinning?

Even with the cold weather here I walk often. Would say from April to November I walk with my dog 3 times a day for 4 to 5 miles total each day. The rest of the year I will walk depending on the weather. Just gave up bowling last year only because of the lack of leagues. I was 72 last time I bowled and retired with an average of 202 and really enjoyed it. Like skinning, bowling has taken a big hit and lacks a lot of interest by people now. I still golf each week and it can’t get any better than getting out there at 7AM with the birds, animals, and friends for true enjoyment. I still enjoy going to Atlantic City for some slot fun but only go about 3 or 4 times a year now. Been to Las Vegas 20 times and would love to make one more visit but finding someone to go with doesn’t seem to happen and I don’t want to go alone so doubt I will be back.

Thanks for being a valuable member of WinCustomize and for taking the time to speak with us this week! You can see all of DaveBax's skins here.

Keep an eye out for more member spotlights!

14 Replies Reply 6 Referrals

In my previous article, I described how I was setting up my new work PC with a variety of productivity apps. I’ve gotten most of the software I use on there, so it was time to start adding some customization apps to personalize various aspect of Windows 10. Sometimes I might want to completely change the look of Windows, and other times I might just want some minimal customization. Either way, the options I talk about below are perfect for customizing my PC however I would like to.

So, here are a few of the desktop customization apps I’m installing on my new Dell XPS:

WindowBlinds
WindowBlinds lets you change the entire look and feel of the Windows interface to one of the thousands of custom skins that are available on WinCustomize. These skins can be customized further by changing the color, transparency, and texture to add as much personalization as you want. I usually prefer more minimally designed skins that are easy to work with on a daily basis, but there are so many to choose from in just about every style you can imagine.

Learn more about WindowBlinds here.

windowblinds_11

 

DeskScapes
DeskScapes lets you put cool animated wallpapers right on your desktop. It has over 40 special effects that can be applied to wallpapers in order to take your customization even further. You can download more animated wallpapers from WinCustomize, which has a wide variety of styles available.

Learn more about DeskScapes here.

 

IconPackager   
IconPackager uses an entire package of icons to change nearly all of them at the click of a button. You can also change the icons individually, but there are thousands of icon packs available that can apply a matching set across your entire Windows PC. These bundled packs of custom icons can also be customized and recolored from within IconPackager.

Learn more about IconPackager here.

 

Start10
I mentioned Start10 in my productivity article, but Start10 also has a few customization options that you can apply. You can change the Start menu button to a custom image, with many more available on WinCustomize.com. You can also apply colors, textures, and transparency to the taskbar and Start menu. Start10 is a great way to apply some customizations without having to change the entire theme.

Learn more about Start10 here.

windowblinds_05

Many of these Stardock apps are available individually for your Windows PC, but you can get that and more with a low-cost membership to Object Desktop. While you're a member, you'll get free updates, access to all betas, and any new apps for one year.

Visit the Object Desktop site for more information.

0 Replies Reply 9 Referrals

For the last few years, I've been using a Surface Pro 4 as my primary work PC. It’s been a good machine, but now it has a screen flickering issue and the screen is just too small for daily use, so it was time to upgrade. I found a great deal on a Dell XPS 15 with a 4K screen at the Dell Outlet, so that will be my new work PC going forward. It arrived this week and since I spent all day setting it up, I thought it would be fun to show what I put on my PC to use it most efficiently.

FedEx delivered the XPS early in the morning about 2 days after I ordered it. I was glad it came early, because that meant I had the whole day to get it all set up! Of course, the very first thing to do once it’s un-boxed is to apply all the Windows updates... that took a few hours, especially since it had to download and install the recent Spring update for Windows 10.

Once all the Windows and driver updates were applied, it was time to start getting my apps installed. I’m going to go over what I consider to be my essential productivity apps for optimal workflow.


Fences
When setting up a new machine, Fences is almost always the very first app I put on it. I don’t want my PC desktop to be a mess, and that is exactly what Fences is designed to help with. It allows you to create fenced-in areas on your desktop where you can keep all your desktop icons organized. You can set up rules to make cleanup more automated, and you can even create folder portals for quick access to frequently used folders right on your desktop.

I set up just a few fences to start with, but I’ll add some additional fences once everything else is setup. I have a work fence where I keep all my frequently used work items such as social images and videos, notes, screenshots, and anything else directly related to work. I have a folder portal set up to "my downloads" folder; I often download all types of things, so quick access to that is a necessity. Then I have another fence for my desktop that I put miscellaneous items in just to keep it organized. I have all these fences set to roll-up so that they take up a minimum amount of desktop space.

Learn more about Fences here.

2018-05-22_8-36-58



Groupy
Groupy is the latest Stardock app, but it’s quickly proven itself to be a valuable tool on any Windows 10 PC. Groupy works similarly to how you use tabs in web browsers, but allows you to do the same with applications like Explorer windows, Excel spreadsheets, Adobe apps, and just about any other apps you use. I move a lot of files around, so just having this just for Explorer tabs is worth it, but I also find this so useful when working in multiple Microsoft Office apps so I can easily tab between them in one convenient window.

Learn more about Groupy here.

[video]https://youtu.be/17_ErhXYXmY[/video]


Start10

Start10  is a Windows Start menu replacement that gives users the features and customization options to make the Windows Start menu look and function like you want it to. I really like that it integrates with Fences, and that I can also apply some customizations like coloring options and custom start buttons.

Learn more about Start10 here.

[video]https://youtu.be/L8WhnveYUkA[/video]


SpaceMonger

This is a very useful app for either a new PC, or one that you have been using for a while. SpaceMonger lets you map and manage your storage space so that you can easily see what files and folders are taking up the most space on your hard drives. After I got all my software installed, I used SpaceMonger to see if I had anything taking up an unnecessary amount of hard drive space. I noticed that some installer and driver files were taking up a crazy amount of space, so I was able to delete those and got back several gigabytes of space.

Learn more about SpaceMonger here.

2018-05-22_9-21-35


Other PC Software
There's still a variety of other software that I need to install to get this PC ready for work. One of the other big ones if Microsoft Office. This was fairly simple, as it was already installed, and all I needed to do was associate my Office 365 account with it. I use Affinity Photo for image editing, Open Live Writer for writing my blogs, and 1Password for managing all the passwords I use.

I still have a few more things to setup, but for now my new work PC is about ready to go!

 

Many of these Stardock apps are available individually for your Windows PC, but you can get that and more with a low-cost membership to Object Desktop. While you're a member, you'll get free updates, access to all betas, and any new apps for one year.

Visit the Object Desktop site for more information.

3 Replies Reply 7 Referrals

DeskScapes is an application for Windows 10/8/7 that lets you apply animated wallpapers to your desktop. It also gives you the ability to customize and manage static wallpapers by adding effects or recoloring your existing wallpapers. 

Try DeskScapes for free!
To purchase DeskScapes, click here.

Quick Overview
The screenshot below shows the DeskScapes user interface. The left side of the window shows all of your animated and static wallpapers.  Choose which folders to display and add or remove folders from the "Settings" option.

Tip! Get more animated wallpapers from WinCustomize.com

2018-05-15_10-22-02

Tip! Animated wallpapers have a small filmstrip icon on their thumbnail preview so you can see which are animated and which are static wallpapers. 

Selecting a wallpaper will bring up a preview which is displayed on the right side of the window. If it's an animated wallpaper, it will display an animated preview so you can see what the animation is. 

 

Settings and Effects
Depending on what type of wallpaper you're using, there may be additional settings available. For instance, the "Expanding Shapes" animated wallpaper is dynamic, so it can be customized further. There are additional options to adjust the size of the shapes, how many shapes are used, and how fast the animation should be. 

Tip! The cool Expanding Shapes dynamic wallpaper is included with DeskScapes

2018-05-15_10-25-58

Clicking the "Effects" tab will bring up a large list of available effects.  These will work on both animated/static wallpapers, along with your images/videos.  Examples include; Grayscale, Motion Blur, Textured, and my favorite, Snow.  Selecting each filter will bring up a preview of the effect on your chosen wallpaper for a quick preview.  DeskScapes also allows you to combine effects so you can create a custom look of your own.

Tip! The Snow effect adds animated falling snow over your wallpaper for a very cool effect.

 

Applying Wallpapers
After you've selected a wallpaper to use, simply click "Apply" on the bottom right corner of DeskScapes and your selected wallpaper will apply to your desktop. If you use multiple monitors you will also have the option to "Apply to all monitors", or select which monitor to apply the wallpapers to.

Tip! DeskScapes lets you apply a different wallpaper to each monitor also!

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Learn more about DeskScapes here.

DeskScapes is available individually for your Windows PC, but you can get that and more with a low-cost membership to Object Desktop. While you're a member, you'll get free updates, access to all betas, and any new apps for one year. You’ll also get access to other great programs like Groupy, Start10, Fences, WindowBlinds, Multiplicity, and more!

Visit the Object Desktop site for more information.

 

1 Reply Reply 43 Referrals

Happy Friday! Today we are featuring a new WindowBlinds skin from Z71. Acadia has a dark, minimal design that is perfect for daily use on your Windows desktop. 

This is designed for Windows 10, 8, and 7, and I definitely recommend downloading this one today.

Download here: https://www.wincustomize.com/explore/windowblinds/8888/

3 Replies Reply 9 Referrals

 
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