Animating a Nokia Cell Phone Theme with Carbide.ui
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This three-part series of articles takes a comprehensive look at the process of developing themes for Symbian S40- and S60-based Nokia cell phones using the powerful Carbide.ui software. This is the third part of the series, and will focus on some of the more advanced effects.
Part one introduced the software, and discussed the interface in some detail as well as providing an overview of the Symbian S60 theme architecture on Nokia cell phones (the S40 architecture is very similar but simpler). Part two looked at the theme editing process of Carbide.ui, including modifying component properties, vector and bitmap image editing, and the use of layers and masks to add complexity and transparency to theme design. Part three will cover the use of animations and effects, the creation of audio themes, and how to transfer a completed theme to a cell phone.
Animations and effects
A Nokia cell phone theme often contains a number of animated components, such as the Wait and Progress bars, Note icons and the Browser Connecting icons. It is possible to add animation to a number of further components, including highlights, backgrounds, the settings item list and the navigation bar. Carbide.ui has a built-in effects and animation editor that can be used to create effective layer-based animations. However, you will need to create any images you want to use on each individual layer in an external image editor, such as Adobe Photoshop.
To create an animation - say for the active Main Area Background - you need to locate this element in the Resources pane. Right clicking the background component brings up the context menu, which contains an Edit/Animate option. Selecting this option in turn opens the built-in animation editor. This presents a series of new panes that contain the tools necessary to animate the blending of a series of different layers, including a timeline pane with playback controls, a selection of blending and transition options, and a pane for the creation and management of the animation's layers.
A simple animation can be created on a single layer using Carbide.ui's built-in effects, which are available in the Properties pane.
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