The Shades System in SAC
Shades are Now Active
With the release of version 2.6 of the SAC software (07/12/2010) the scenes system has been activated. It has been possible to use shades all along by replacing the graphics file in the program folder, but the shade switcher had not been activated.
The developer wanted to be fairly certain that any major changes to the GUI were in place before officially supporting shades. Some users had produced alternatives before, but one had to rename or remove the default graphics and place the alternative graphics file within the SAC main folder.
What are Shades?
A Shade is the name that SAC and SAWStudio use for skins. A shade is the graphics file that controls the colors of the various elements in the program. Each element must be defined in the graphics file, so there is a bit of work to produce a shade.
Why Would One Want Shades?
Aside from the element of personalizing the software there are good reasons to have switchable shades. The work environment can make one shade more desirable. For a dark theater or club setting you may want a shade that masks much of the light produced by the screen. For a bright outdoor setting you may need as much contrast as you can get for readability and precision.
Here are some examples:
Outdoor Shade by Brett Brandon
Night Shade by Brett Brandon
Sun Shade by Brett Brandon
Lights On by HapHazzard
The Shade Switcher
The shade switcher is located in the file menu. There is the option to return to the default graphics or to pick a shade from those that you have available in the shades folder. If you are using one of the optional shades the file list will open, you select the desired shade and click OK. The new shade will load on the fly. Your preferred shade can be saved with your preferences, and SAC will open with your alternate shade in the future.
Where to Find Shades
There are not a lot of choices at the present time as the shades system has just been activated. Most shades are built by users of the software and are offered free to the community. These are and will be announced in the SAC Forum. You should be able to find most of the ones available with a search for SAC Shade.
In now appears that most of the shades that worked in SAC 2.5 will also work in SAC 2.6. The graphics file will need to be renamed to the new naming convention and file extension. The renamed file needs to be moved into the Shades folder in the SAC folder.
I am sure that there will be new options along soon now that the shades system has been activated. Some people with the inclination to build shades were waiting for the switcher to be activated.