Basic Workflow Tips - Backdrops and Layouts

This forum is for sharing patches created with the updated Combinator, as well as backdrops and any backdrop assets.
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This forum is for sharing patches created with the updated Combinator, as well as backdrops and any backdrop assets. If you would like to share a patch here as an attachment, you must zip it first. Otherwise you can host your patches elsewhere and share the links here.
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joeyluck
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Post 16 Sep 2021

I wasn't even mathematical with my early combi2 patches. I just kept adjusting the size until it was just right. Because the other thing is making sure your screenshot image is cropped perfectly to account per pixel when doing the math.

I found that at different zoom levels, a line here or there was a bit different. So regardless, I found there was a lot of trial and error moving things, exporting, trying again, until I find a good compromise.

In my TAL-Vocoder patch, if you load it up, you'll see. I think this is accentuated by the lines that point (or should point) at the center of some knobs...or when trying to line up my stepped knob that isn't stepped.

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Faastwalker
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Post 16 Sep 2021

joeyluck wrote:
16 Sep 2021
I wasn't even mathematical with my early combi2 patches. I just kept adjusting the size until it was just right. Because the other thing is making sure your screenshot image is cropped perfectly to account per pixel when doing the math.

I found that at different zoom levels, a line here or there was a bit different. So regardless, I found there was a lot of trial and error moving things, exporting, trying again, until I find a good compromise.

In my TAL-Vocoder patch, if you load it up, you'll see. I think this is accentuated by the lines that point (or should point) at the center of some knobs...or when trying to line up my stepped knob that isn't stepped.
I made sure I zoomed far in and cropped right down to the edge of the Combi in my screen shot. That made it easy to crop correctly, giving me the 1508px width. As I said the calculation from that to scale up to 3700px wide was exactly 250%. I did try taking a screen shot with Reason at 240% zoom. But that didn't work at all. Percentage to scale up had a decimal placement something like .2465766..........!!! Nope :lol:

So I think Reason at 200%, screenshot then upscale to make it 3770px wide is the best I can do. As you said it may require a little trial and error regardless. But if there was a way to get your Combi2 layout screenshot at 3770 I think that would be awesome and should be much more accurate to work with in your editor. I wonder if it could be added to Reason as an export feature? I like the idea but may not be easy. I'm also curious to learn about the magic 3770 number and how that relates to the rack. Why 3770? Why not 3780 or 4000?! I guess it's just the pixel count at maximum zoom on a hi-res 4K display? Not sure.

Your TAL-Vocoder backdrop is awesome. Looks really, really good. Do you do this in Gimp? Gimp looks very powerful and it's amazing it's still free. But I'm struggling with moving on from Photoshop. I'll just have to learn Gimp and try and stick with it. I'm struggling with simple things like scaling elements, snapping to guides etc. Things that were 2nd nature in PS. I've been watching some vids on YouTube. Riveting stuff! I'd rather be making Combi2 patches and skinning them! :D

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Faastwalker
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Post 16 Sep 2021

selig wrote:
01 Sep 2021
Further, if you start by creating a grid or simple alignment image and loading it into the Combinator, then you can align it more quickly back in the graphics application.
Fantastic tip. I missed that first read! :oops: Really helps to check alignment. Why didn't I think of that?! :? Tried it immediately - In Gimp I added a few red 'cross hairs' to my 3700px template and exported this as a .png file;

Image


I loaded this into my Combinator and scaled Reason to 200%. Then took a screenshot, opened back into Gimp and cropped down to width of the Combinator very precisely (zoom way, way in);

Image


I then scaled up by the required (in my case) 250%, copied this and pasted back as a new layer in my Gimp template file I'd created the 'cross hairs' in;

Image


With this layer set to 40% opacity you can see that the 'cross hairs' line up perfectly, albeit they are a little fuzzy because of the screen shot up-scaling by 250%. But alignment looks spot on. Sweet :clap:

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Ottostrom
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Post 16 Sep 2021

Loque wrote:
15 Sep 2021
Reading all the problems with the layout and my own experience, the new Combinator needs two things:
1. A picture export in full size of current layout
2. A simple reload/refresh button of the backdrop image

And yea, a simple grid to layout controls.
These two features would help a lot!
A scaled down version of the picture could also be used for the combinator so they would look like REs when added to a favorites list in the browser :)

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Faastwalker
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Post 27 Sep 2021

Ottostrom wrote:
16 Sep 2021
Loque wrote:
15 Sep 2021
Reading all the problems with the layout and my own experience, the new Combinator needs two things:
1. A picture export in full size of current layout
2. A simple reload/refresh button of the backdrop image

And yea, a simple grid to layout controls.
These two features would help a lot!
A scaled down version of the picture could also be used for the combinator so they would look like REs when added to a favorites list in the browser :)
Good idea :thumbup:

But how handy would it be if we could export our Combi2 layouts as image files at exactly 3770 pixels wide? Super handy. No more scaling woes :cool:

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Loque
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Post 27 Sep 2021

Faastwalker wrote:
27 Sep 2021
...
But how handy would it be if we could export our Combi2 layouts as image files at exactly 3770 pixels wide? Super handy. No more scaling woes :cool:
^^^^^^^THIS :!: :!: :!:
Reason12, Win10

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Ottostrom
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Post 27 Sep 2021

Yup.
Getting the correct layout for your custom controls is such an essential part in making a nice backdrop and the current method feels pretty untrustworthy.

MusicAL2022
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Post 27 May 2022

How do I add a Title or Logo (or small Image) to the Combinator I created?

Would welcome any help on this one. :thumbup:

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challism
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Post 28 May 2022

MusicAL2022 wrote:
27 May 2022
How do I add a Title or Logo (or small Image) to the Combinator I created?

Would welcome any help on this one. :thumbup:

I used MS Paint in the video because it was fast and easy. MS Paint is horrible. In real life I use https://pixlr.com/e/

Players are to MIDI what synthesizers are to waveforms.
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QVprod
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Post 28 May 2022

Something I haven’t seen mentioned. I use Canva. Easier to maneuver than gimp or photoshop

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selig
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Post 28 May 2022

Just a quick note to remind folks there is absolutly no need to take screen grabs at EXACTLY 3770 px or try to line things up exactly when taking the screen grab. Just take a grab of any section at 200%, the scale it up by 125% and that’s it. As long as you have ONE point of reference you can quickly line it up in the graphics app.
To that end, use your grid art loaded into the combinator then take an initial shot and import back into your graphics app. From that point on, you can use this ref image to line up all the rest of your imports, using fixed elements such as the bypass switch or patch browser to quickly align images.
Bottom line: it’s far simpler than folks are making out, you don’t even need to be careful when taking screen shots or take the whole panel as long as you have something fixed like the patch browser to line things up back in the graphics app. Hopefully this makes sense and can speed up your workflow greatly!
Selig Audio, LLC

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deeplink
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Post 28 May 2022

As a note, you may be exporting your background and re-applying it to your Combinator repeatedly.

Keep in mind that as of 12.2.6, there is some vertical distortion/shifting that occurs to the backdrop when the device programmer is open vs closed.
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selig
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Post 28 May 2022

deeplink wrote:
28 May 2022
As a note, you may be exporting your background and re-applying it to your Combinator repeatedly.

Keep in mind that as of 12.2.6, there is some vertical distortion/shifting that occurs to the backdrop when the device programmer is open vs closed.
Safer to say you WILL be exporting/importing your background repeatedly! ;)

I just checked, am not seeing obvious changes when comparing open vs closed - to be clear, we're talking about the EDITOR, right (formerly know as 'Programmer')?
Selig Audio, LLC

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deeplink
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Post 28 May 2022

selig wrote:
28 May 2022
I just checked, am not seeing obvious changes when comparing open vs closed - to be clear, we're talking about the EDITOR, right (formerly know as 'Programmer')?
I'm still on R11 lingo obviously :P Yes, the Editor..
It seems to be apparent - at least on my side - when the Application Scaling is set to any value besides 100% or 200%.
Maybe it is just my PC.. although it is hard see sometimes - you need something relative to the background (i.e Rotary or Button etc.) to spot the difference.

Here's an example (look at the blue circles surrounding the knobs)
.
ezgif.com-gif-maker.gif
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selig
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Post 28 May 2022

deeplink wrote:
28 May 2022
selig wrote:
28 May 2022
I just checked, am not seeing obvious changes when comparing open vs closed - to be clear, we're talking about the EDITOR, right (formerly know as 'Programmer')?
I'm still on R11 lingo obviously :P Yes, the Editor..
It seems to be apparent - at least on my side - when the Application Scaling is set to any value besides 100% or 200%.
Maybe it is just my PC.. although it is hard see sometimes - you need something relative to the background (i.e Rotary or Button etc.) to spot the difference.

Here's an example (look at the blue circles surrounding the knobs)
.
ezgif.com-gif-maker.gif
I definitely see the shift in your video - I was at 200% when I checked. Just checked again at 160% and still not seeing it on a work in progress Combinator with similar elements to your example.
Have you filed a bug report?
Selig Audio, LLC

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Faastwalker
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Post 20 Jun 2022

selig wrote:
28 May 2022
Just a quick note to remind folks there is absolutly no need to take screen grabs at EXACTLY 3770 px or try to line things up exactly when taking the screen grab. Just take a grab of any section at 200%, the scale it up by 125% and that’s it.
I thought we established that taking screenshot with Reason scaled up by 200% and then scaling this up by 125% didn't work? Well, did for you but certainly didn't for me! (as demonstrated on the previous page) :? I still don't fully understand why. Didn't you say you were on a Apple Retina display? What's the resolution of that? I gather that's why I don't see the same thing as you. In any case, my workaround works nicely so I'll stick with that :thumbup:

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moofi
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Post 20 Jun 2022

Once again, simply scale it to the borders of the 3770px image, no calculation needed at all. Not against a fixed value, then as it is an individual thing due to varying resolutions, it´s just not applicable for someone on a different display or whatsoever.
Faastwalker wrote:
20 Jun 2022
selig wrote:
28 May 2022
Just a quick note to remind folks there is absolutly no need to take screen grabs at EXACTLY 3770 px or try to line things up exactly when taking the screen grab. Just take a grab of any section at 200%, the scale it up by 125% and that’s it.
I thought we established that taking screenshot with Reason scaled up by 200% and then scaling this up by 125% didn't work? Well, did for you but certainly didn't for me! (as demonstrated on the previous page) :? I still don't fully understand why. Didn't you say you were on a Apple Retina display? What's the resolution of that? I gather that's why I don't see the same thing as you. In any case, my workaround works nicely so I'll stick with that :thumbup:

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selig
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Post 20 Jun 2022

moofi wrote:
20 Jun 2022
Once again, simply scale it to the borders of the 3770px image, no calculation needed at all. Not against a fixed value, then as it is an individual thing due to varying resolutions, it´s just not applicable for someone on a different display or whatsoever.
Faastwalker wrote:
20 Jun 2022

I thought we established that taking screenshot with Reason scaled up by 200% and then scaling this up by 125% didn't work? Well, did for you but certainly didn't for me! (as demonstrated on the previous page) :? I still don't fully understand why. Didn't you say you were on a Apple Retina display? What's the resolution of that? I gather that's why I don't see the same thing as you. In any case, my workaround works nicely so I'll stick with that :thumbup:
The Retina display is 2x the pixels, so that’s why Mac users have a different amount of scaling to get to the target resolution. No need to carefully capture the exact size or worry about 3770 pixels etc.
If you capture at 200% on Windows, scaling by 250% instead of 125% gives the exact same results. This allows quicker workflow because it doesn’t matter at all how big or small the screen capture is, it works perfectly every time, no calculations needed etc…
Selig Audio, LLC

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moofi
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Post 20 Jun 2022

Ah, I see, well, then it´s actually pretty easy and indeed handy because of the cutting not having to be precise anymore or no cutting at all anymore, simply positioning within the frame of 3770px. I thought there would be more differences in possible resolutions than just a 1:2 ratio and that the actual amount of pixels used to display could be related to something else, somewhere else.

selig wrote:
20 Jun 2022
moofi wrote:
20 Jun 2022
Once again, simply scale it to the borders of the 3770px image, no calculation needed at all. Not against a fixed value, then as it is an individual thing due to varying resolutions, it´s just not applicable for someone on a different display or whatsoever.

The Retina display is 2x the pixels, so that’s why Mac users have a different amount of scaling to get to the target resolution. No need to carefully capture the exact size or worry about 3770 pixels etc.
If you capture at 200% on Windows, scaling by 250% instead of 125% gives the exact same results. This allows quicker workflow because it doesn’t matter at all how big or small the screen capture is, it works perfectly every time, no calculations needed etc…

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