Learning to theme

I am trying to learn how to theme. I am pretty good with photoshop and I have no issues there. I have read the thread here that pertains to the lines of some xml code and what each does. However, i am still struggling with what each xml file does rather than each line of code yet. I guess what I am still trying to do is get a firm grasp on the terminology for all of the various views. Some sceenshots of the various views labeled with there respective xml file names would be extremely helpful. I know you guys are very wrapped up with things but this would be a great help. If that’s too much to ask ( and I completely understand if it is) then is there a site or some good video (or other)  tutorials out? Thanks so much for all you have done here. I only hope that at some point I can return the favor…

No, there’s no tuturials out there right now.  But I can help you a little. 

The files that you mostly want to consentrate on are the ones that start with “rv”, like this:




These xml’s are the one’s you want to edit and tell which view they control in their name.  You will also want to look inside these xml’s and see which “inc” files are in them.  You may also want to edit these xml’s if you need to move around the arrows, weather & time or page counter depending on the view.

Thanks so much for that. I’ll poke around and see what I can come up with. THANKS!!!

Is there some way to view the changes on my pc or am I gonna have to load it to the hub each time?

Nope, you have to load it on the HUB.  There’s no simulator to plug it into.  But what I do is to plugin everything into photoshop (well GIMP for me) to get an idea of the layout.

hey tinwarble, how do you use photoshop[or gimp] to lay it all out?

Great idea about using photoshop…I am working on using patatazor’s moviesheet theme and revert the main dashboard back to the original and change a few elements here and there. I already have it working but I need to make sure that I can figure out how to get permission to release it later as well as how to document the theme properly so as to give proper credit to all of you guys for doing most of the work. Also, how to get the screenshots…:wink:


Just open your backdrop (RV-BG.jpg) in Photoshop, then copy the icons you need to that image as Layers.  Then use your xmls x, y postions and match them up for each icon using Photoshops x, y. 

It isn’t always perfect, but it does get you within a few pixels of what you need to input into the xml.  It will also show you how big your icons can be, just remember that if you are doing a theme for public use, to allow some room on the sides, top & bottom for overscanning.  If you push everything to the extreme top, bottom or sides, it may look fine on your TV, but it may be cut off on others (if they have older TV’s) do to overscan.