It would also be a good idea to take a look at some of the marvelous Back 2 Basicsblogs by Ezzerman
Ok, for this and the next blog I am going to be concentrating on the main menu bar.
However, this time rather than just showing you how to edit its content, we will now focus on the actual appearance of the bar itself.
We are going to do some small modifications to the inside workings of kodi to hopefully get it to display things in different ways. Don’t worry, its only minor surgery and I will do my best to make it as easy to follow as possible.
I will now be needing the help of my PC as the majority of the edits shown below are not possible for me to do direct on my T8 box anymore.
The first thing we will need is a couple of tools on our PC to help us along the way and we start off with a photo / image editing suite. The king of these such tools is “Photoshop” but this is a bit too complicated and a bit too expensive for me.
Luckily there is a much cheaper (its free) and easier to use alternative called Photo Filtre 7.0 which can be downloaded from here
There are several tutorials on the internet and YouTube on PhotoFiltre and I would recommend taking a look in order to familiarise yourself with it a bit. However, if you’re like me, download it, open it up and just have a play at messing around with a few old photos or images. Do this before attempting some of the edits in kodi.
Secondly, on the PC, we need a “Kodi Texture editing tool” which can be downloaded from here.
This is a tool that will “unpack” the images from deep within the kodi files, allowing us to edit them. It will then, once we’ve had a play with them, neatly pack them all up again ready for kodi to use.
Thanks must go to “Dicko the Geordie” for tips and information on these tools, this guy is a genius and always keen to help out anyone that asks.
Ok, so now we have those two tools downloaded on our PC we are ready to get started.
From what I can work out so far the entire process is quite straightforward for this and many similiar changes. Once you have got the hang of it, you will realise its not as complicated as it may seem at first.
The process really is:
1: Use the Kodi Texture Tool to “Unpack” the Textures.xbt file
2: Use an image editing tool to now open and modify the required item
3: Use the Kodi Texture Tool to “Re-Pack” the Textures.xbt file
I will now run through a simple change and document how I do it for you guys. Please remember there are probably several ways of doig this. What is shown below is merely the way I have worked out how to do it on my system.
So, the first thing we need to go get is the Textures.xbt file from Kodi and bring it to the PC. I did this by simply copying the folder onto my SD Card using Program Manager on my T8 box.
The location of the Textures.xbt file is in the Media folder of the skin you are using, for example: Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/media in my case, and is shown below.
It’s a good idea at this point while you have a copy of the Textures.xbt file on your SD card to make a backup copy of it and tuck it away somewhere safe on your PC. Just in case.
OK, so now I just make a new folder, which I call “Textures” on my PC desktop and copy the Textures.xbt file into it. I also create another new folder within my desktop Textures folder and call this one “Unpacked”. It now should look something like this
We now have to “un-pack” the Textures.xbt file so that we can edit it. This is done using the Kodi Texture tool we also downloaded so go ahead and open it up, it should look like this:
This tool really is very easy to use. However, you must be patient because un-packing and re-packing of the Textures.xbt file can take a few minutes. Just let it do it’s job and wait till its says it’s done.
So, with the Texture Tool open the first thing to do is to Decompile (un-pack) the Textures.xbt file. Click on Select input and select the Textures.xbt from the folder on the desktop.
Now, on the Kodi Texture Tool, click on Select output and select the folder we created called “Unpacked”.
Hit start and let the magic happen.
Once it is complete (remember to be patient), if you now go to the “Unpacked” folder you will see it is now full with all the lovely texture files from within the heart of Kodi.
You will be glad to know – that was the difficult part.
Time to get a cup of tea and now and give yourself a pat on the back. We now have the Textures.xbt file completely unpacked and at our mercy !
I’ts time to open up Photofiltre.
Once inside, the file we will open and edit is in our “Unpacked” folder and is called “homemenu_back“. This is the graphic for the home menu backround in kodi.
Once open it should look like this.
Now you can go ahead and use your new found Photofiltre skills to change the colour of the Menu Bar to whatever you want. In my case blue.
One done save the save – filter type None.
That’s it. We have now altered the colour of the Main Menu bar, but there are a few more steps to implement the change.
First, now we’ve finished with it, we have to “Pack up” the Textures.xbt file.
Open up the Textures tool and this time under “Complile” click on Select input folder and choose our “Unpacked” folder.
Now click on Select output file and choose the Textures.xbt file. Now click start.
This will now “Pack up” our changes back into the Textures.xbt file.
However, all of the texture files will also remain in our “Unpacked” folder just waiting for us to make further changes. That means there is no need for us to keep Un-packing the Textures.xbt file each time we want to do some editing.
Be patient while the Texture tool does its job.
Once its done simply take the newly updated Textures.xbt file and copy it back into its location within kodi, overwriting the existing file.