Change Your Skin

…on your PS3, that is.

I’ve already mentioned that you can make you’re own themes for the PS3 and even uploaded one I made. Today I’m going to point out two programs you can use to make your theme and also provide an updated Fringe theme, complete with FW v2.40 icon upgrades (who wants a custom theme with a question mark for their trophy?) I’ll also upload two more themes for you to give your PS3 that individual look, and provide the XML code I’ve modified for the Fringe theme so you know what the icon tags are for the newest icons on the XMB.

The first thing you’ll probably want to know is if a newbie could do this. Making a theme for the PS3 is easy, but time-consuming. It’ll really help if you know the basics of Photoshop (or a similar program) so that you can do more with your theme. Mine tend to be fairly simple and I’d suggest you keep yours simple. Here’s why: a busy background will make it very difficult to see your icons, which will make navigation a headache. I may not know as much about Photoshop as some, but I’ve been learning and I tend to have a pretty good eye for design. So here are my tips for the fledgling theme-maker.

Washing the background out a little will make your icons stand out better. Again, try not to make your background busy. If you notice, most professional backgrounds you see are very simple, with a lot of one solid color and other matching colors. Any contrast is a small part of the background. Remember: less is more, particularly in this area.

Icons are not my strong point, but if you have the time and patience to change them all out, go ahead and do it. When you do, make sure there is either an outer glow or a drop shadow to give it extra contrast from the background. And you might think it’s silly, but I like to put the most eye-catching icons to work as my music, photo, video, and game icons. That puts them up front and right in the middle of your XMB.

There are two programs I’ve seen that you can use to compile a .p3t file (the file your PS3 uses for themes). The first one I used is the one released by Sony which uses XML. If you can read HTML with any reasonable amount of skill you should have no problems reading XML, especially if it’s organized.

If you don’t have the know-how or would just rather use more of a drag-and-drop type program that gives you a basic idea of what you’ll see on your Playstation, you’ll want to check out the PS3ThemeCreator. Currently A.R.K. is working on updating it to include the tag names for the new icons, but if you want to get started it’s an easy way to at least start putting your theme together. Since it’s self-explanatory and the guy developing it is much better equipped to answer questions about it I’ll leave it at that.

The PS3 Theme Editor released by Sony is a bit more complicated, but as I said, if you can read XML and HTML you should have no problems with it. When I had some issues that I thought had to do with my messing with the XML, I found the following video, which is a really good tutorial on how to use this program.

One major tip I’d like to give you is that when you are using Photoshop to save your backgrounds as JPGs and you reach the following window, you use either the “Baseline (“Standard”)” or the “Baseline Optimized” options. DO NOT USE “Progressive” or it won’t show up on your PS3. This drove me crazy for a couple of hours before I finally found the answer on Gunlager Blog (blog by the same guy responsible for the video).

Without further ado, here are the three themes I’ve created. I hope you like them. I’ll be working on an X-Files them that will hopefully be finished by the time The X-Files: I Want to Believe hits theaters.

Below you will find the XML for my Fringe theme, complete with the new lines for the new icons. Highlighted even. And if you have any questions feel free to comment. What am I? A giver.

[?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?]

version=”version 1.0″
comment=”This is a Fringe Theme.”


[!– horizontal icon –]
[icon id=”icon_user” src=”Icons.6.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_setting” src=”Icons.35.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_photo” src=”Icons.1.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_music” src=”Icons.16.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_video” src=”Icons.38.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_game” src=”Icons.39.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_network” src=”Icons.18.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_friend” src=”Icons.9.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_tv” src=”Icons.41.png” /]

[!– user –]
[icon id=”icon_newuser” src=”Icons.37.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_poweroff” src=”power_off.png”/]

[!– setting –]
[icon id=”icon_update” src=”Icons.17.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_game_setting” src=”Icons.27.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_bdvd_setting” src=”Icons.22.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_music_setting” src=”Icons.29.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_chat_setting” src=”Icons.24.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_system_setting” src=”Icons.36.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_theme_setting” src=”Icons.23.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_datetime_setting” src=”Icons.25.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_accessory” src=”Icons.28.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_printer_setting” src=”Icons.31.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_display_setting” src=”Icons.26.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_sound_setting” src=”Icons.34.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_security_setting” src=”Icons.33.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_remoteplay_setting” src=”Icons.32.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_network_setting” src=”Icons.30.png” /]

[!– setting submenu –]
[icon id=”icon_setting_item” src=”Icons.3.png” /]

[!– photo / music / video –]
[icon id=”icon_photo_default” src=”Photo_Default_PS3.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_photo_album_default” src=”Photo_Default_Thumb.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_music_default” src=”Music_Default_PS3.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_music_album_default” src=”Music_Default_Thumb.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_video_default” src=”Video_Default_PS3.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_video_album_default” src=”Video_Default_Thumb.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_playlist” src=”Icons.57.png”/]

[icon id=”icon_mediaserver_search” src=”Icons.13.png” /]

[icon id=”icon_ms” src=”Icons.50.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_sd” src=”Icons.53.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_cf” src=”Icons.52.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_usb” src=”Icons.54.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_pspms” src=”Icons.43.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_usbcamera” src=”Icons.45.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_usbaad” src=”Icons.51.png” /]

[!– game –]
[icon id=”icon_gamedata” src=”Icons.8.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_savedata” src=”Icons.14.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_vmc” src=”Icons.5.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_newvmc” src=”Icons.20.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_trophy” src=”icons.55.png”/]

[!– network –]
[icon id=”icon_onlinemanual” src=”Icons.40.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_remoteplay” src=”Icons.21.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_browser” src=”Icons.2.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_download” src=”Icons.49.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_inet_search” src=”icons.56.png”/]

[!– psn –]
[icon id=”icon_accountmanage” src=”Icons.7.png” /]

[!– friend –]
[icon id=”icon_blocklist” src=”Icons.10.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_addfriend” src=”Icons.11.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_playermet” src=”Icons.12.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_chat” src=”Icons.4.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_chatroom” src=”ChatRoom_Default_PS3_new.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_mbox” src=”Icons.15.png” /]

[icon id=”icon_mbox_received” src=”Icons.47.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_mbox_sent” src=”Icons.48.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_mbox_create” src=”Icons.46.png” /]

[icon id=”icon_default_h” src=”Icons.40.png” /]
[icon id=”icon_default_v” src=”Icons.40.png” /]


[pointer id=”pointer_arrow” src=”pointer_arrow.png” base_x=”20″ base_y=”2″ /]
[pointer id=”pointer_finger” src=”pointer_finger.png” base_x=”16″ base_y=”10″ /]
[pointer id=”pointer_click” src=”pointer_click.png” base_x=”16″ base_y=”10″ /]
[pointer id=”pointer_pen” src=”pointer_pen.png” base_x=”6″ base_y=”38″ /]
[pointer id=”pointer_hand” src=”pointer_hand.png” base_x=”23″ base_y=”17″ /]
[pointer id=”pointer_grab” src=”pointer_grab.png” base_x=”23″ base_y=”17″ /]

[notification src=”notification.png” /]

[bgimage hd=”Fringe_HD.jpg” sd=”Fringe_SD.jpg” /]

[font selection=”2″ /]

[color selection=”7″ /]


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