How to create BOSS boot animations for Android

Boot animation is the first thing you stare at when you power ON your Android device, so what’s a BOSS Android without a BOSS boot animation ? 😀

Here’s an example of what I created.

This is a tutorial on how to create boot animations from scratch using Adobe AfterEffects.

You could also use any of these alternative methods and proceed to Step 2.

  • Convert a video into boot animation [ here ]
  • Convert a GIF into boot animation [ here ]
  • Use a static image as boot animation

 

STEP 1 : CREATE YOUR BOOTANIMATION

Figure out the screen resolution of your Android. Create a new composition in AfterEffects with that specific resolution. Set the required duration for the animation.

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Create your animation. Here’s a basic guide to animating in AfterEffects.

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Here’s the interesting part, the boot animation is not stored in Android as a video file, rather it is saved frame by frame as image files.

Rendering the composition :

  • Set the Output Module format as PNG Sequence 
  • Output To a new folder with the naming sequence as [#####].png

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STEP 2 : PACKAGING THE BOOT ANIMATION

After rendering the composition, the output folder will contain the animation stripped down to each frame as PNG images. Rename the output folder to folder1. If you want a part of the animation to loop, put those frames into another folder named folder2. Now place the folder(s) into another folder named bootanimation. i.e :


bootanimation
 ├───folder1 ( Main animation )
 └───folder2 ( Part that must loop )

 
To package the boot animation. Download this tool ( Windows binary ). MAC / UNIX users may use WINE.

Open the Boot Animation Creator. Choose the folder bootanimation.

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Set the properties. Select the first line and click on edit.11

Now choose the appropriate resolution and framerate as set in the AfterEffects composition. 8

Click on Add loop and choose folder1.

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If the number of loops is set to 0, that part will keep looping.

7

Click on next and save exactly as bootanimation.zip. Preview the animation using this tool. You could also create a shutdown animation, follow the same steps and save exactly as shutdownanimation.zip. But mind you, shutdown animations wouldn’t last as long as boot animations, so make it short.
 

STEP 3 : INSTALLING THE BOOT ANIMATION

There are 3 ways to install the boot animation

  1. Using a root file explorer ( ROOT )
  2. Using ADB ( WITHOUT ROOT )
  3. Flashing a new ROM with the boot animation ( RECOVERY )

I recommend not to use 3rd party apps to install boot animations!
 

USING ROOT FILE EXPLORER

I recommend using ES file explorer. Press menu and set Root Explorer ON

Screenshot_2015-08-02-10-22-29

Place the bootanimation.zip in your phone storage, copy and replace it with the file in /system/media

Screenshot_2015-08-02-10-23-18

Long press the new bootanimation.zip and select properties.

Screenshot_2015-08-02-10-23-41

Tap on Change next to Permissions and set it like this

Screenshot_2015-08-02-10-23-47

You’re done ! Reboot the device to view the new boot animation.
 

USING ADB

Navigate to your adb binary folder and place the bootanimation.zip file there. Hold shift and right-click, open command window here. ( Here’s a noob guide to setting up basic adb )

Type the command :


adb push bootanimation.zip /data/local
adb reboot

 

FLASHING A NEW ROM WITH THE BOOT ANIMATION

Open up your ROM ZIP file and replace the bootanimation.zip file present in System > Media and flash the new ROM.
 
 
Leave a comment if you have any doubts. No matter how noob the question is, I’ll be glad to help 🙂

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How to multi-boot like a BOSS with BURG bootloader

Fig1

If you are running multiple OSs in your machine, this would probably be the first screen you would be staring at when you turn ON your system. This is called GRUB, stands for GRand Unified Bootloader.

GRUB is a part of the GNU project. It is the default bootloader that comes with all UNIX-like OSs. GRUB provides a pretty basic menu to choose from a list of the installed OSs and the entries that come with it, such as recovery modes and memtests. Quite sadly, GRUB has remained pretty much the same over the years, it still offers the bash-like, command line interface from the stone age !

In other words, GRUB is plain boring 😀

This is where BURG comes in, the BRand-new Universal loadeR from GRUB, BURG is  a cool replacement to GRUB, it can turn your bootloader into this.

Fig2

INSTALLING BURG

First you need to add a new repository, enter the following command in the terminal

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:n-muench/burg
sudo apt-get update

Now you need to install BURG and some themes. For that type-in

sudo apt-get install burg burg-themes

 
SETTING UP BURG

When the installation proceeds, dialog boxes pop-up for configuration. Please follow these steps carefully.

Fig3

Fig4

Fig5

So now that we have successfully setup BURG, let’s clean up the BURG entries.

DISABLE MEMTEST OPTIONS

Read here if you are not sure what memtest is. To disable the memtest option, type in this command.

sudo chmod –x /etc/grub.d/20_memtest86+

Now let’s see how BURG looks like. We can emulate the BURG boot screen using this command.

sudo burg-emu

Use

  • F1 Help
  • F2 Change Theme
  • F3 Change Resolution
  • Arrow-keys to move

For now, just choose your theme, do not change the resolution. This is because, if your monitor doesn’t support that particular resolution you changed to, the next time you boot, you would get a blank screen and you would obviously freak out !

So press F3 during your next boot and choose the resolution by pressing enter, if you get a blank screen while doing so, move up/down and choose another resolution.

Fig6

In this machine, I have 3 OSs installed ( Ubuntu, Windows 8 and Linux Mint ). But you’d notice that there are 2 options each for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Those are the recovery modes which I had mentioned at the beginning, it can be disabled easily. For that we need to edit the BURG configuration file. Open up the terminal and type- in the following command.

( Use text-editors of your choice )

sudo nano /etc/default/burg

Fig7

In this file we need to edit this line

#GRUB_DISABLE_LINUX_RECOVERY="true"

You need to un-comment the line, by removing the ‘#’ character.

This file also contains the time-out period for the boot screen, if you want to change it. Locate this line and change the R-value which is in seconds .

GRUB_TIMEOUT=5

To save the changes made in nano editor

  • press ctrl-x
  • press y
  • press enter

Now we need to configure those changes into BURG and view the modified boot screen. For that type-in

sudo update-burg
sudo burg-emu

Fig10

Now the 2 extra recovery entries would be gone. That’s it. Enjoy booting with BURG !

To get more themes, visit deviantart

This article featured in the 2014 December issue of the Open Source For You magazine. View here

 

How to customize your Windows like a BOSS ( 8 / 8.1 )

Tired of looking at your same old boring Windows desktop ?

KlylB3N

Want to turn your desktop into this ?

1

or this ?

maxresdefault

It’s an obvious Yes 😀 so let’s begin.

CUSTOM THEME

Before theming your Windows, you need to disable Windows-ribbon. It’s that extra command bar below your menu in File explorer.

win8explorersearch

To disable Ribbon, Download Ribbon-disabler here ( 64-bit , 32-bit , Not-sure )

By default, Windows won’t not let you use 3rd-party themes. For that you need a patcher called UxStyle. What it does is, it disables the Windows theme signature requirements to enable 3rd-party customizations.

Download here

2013-09-24-16_12_34-UxStyle-0.2.3.0-Setup

You just need to install it.

Now that you’ve patched your windows, you need custom themes and deviantART is the best place to find custom themes, rainmeter skins, iconpacks and much more. I have tagged “Windows 8.1” in this link, if you are on Windows 8, download the appropriate theme.

Download Base for windows 8.1 , a simple elegant theme.

After you’ve downloaded the theme, unzip the file (almost all themes are zipped). Within the unzipped folder, there will be a folder named “Theme”.

Copy the contents of this folder and paste it into

C > Windows > Resources > Themes

4

After you’ve pasted it, Right-click on Desktop > Personalize . You’ll see the new theme in the “Installed Themes” group.

12

ICON PACKS

To change the Start button in Windows, Download this

To change the system icons of windows, you need a tool called IconPackager. Download here

5

RAINMETER

Rainmeter skins are like widgets in Android. There are thousands of rainmeter skins for download and they are highly customizable. First download rainmeter here

blue_themed_desktop_rainmeter_by_edulaiho-d648bzv

All the UI elements that you see in this screenshot are nothing but rainmeter skins. But loading such heavy skins takes a toll on your performance and battery ( if you’re on a laptop ), so it’s up to you. I prefer minimal rainmeter skins. You could also create simple rainmeter skins on your own easily, like the one I’ve made ! Read here. I’ll show you how to load a rainmeter skin.

After you’ve installed rainmeter, goto deviantART and download a skin. Open the .rmskin file and choose install.

Now open rainmeter, Right click on the rainmeter icon in the taskbar > Manage > Choose your installed skin and click load.

7

WINDOW EFFECTS

header

Jealous of seeing fancy window effects in Linux desktops like KDE ? Well now you can get all those effects in Windows using Windows FX5. Install the application and try out different effects ! Download here.

WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER SKINS

Alienware Invader 1

The Alienware UI is actually a Custom skin for Windows Media Player, you can choose from a range of cool skins here.

After you’ve downloaded the skin, you need to choose the skin. For that, Right-click on the Now-Playing bar > View > Skin Chooser.

13

DOCK

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The dock I’m using is called Rocketdock. You can download it here and install it. You can customize the dock icons and effects in it. To open the folder as a stack, you need an additional plugin called Stack docklet, you can download it here.

TASKBAR CLOCK

atomicalarmclock_trayclock

You can change the look of your taskbar clock using this application called Atomic Alarm Clock. You can download it here. Simply run the application and choose your theme.

TIPS

SPEED UP YOUR PC

  1. Remove all your Anti-Viruses and Spy-wares, use Advanced System Care Ultimate. Download here.

quicksettings

2.  Disable all animations in windows,(If you are using windows FX, this is not for you).

Press Windows key + R, then type in sysdm.cpl In the pop-up window, go to Advanced tab, Choose settings under performance, select custom and then un-check the following boxes

  • Animate controls and elements inside windows
  • Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
  • Animations in the taskbar
  • Fade or slide menus into view
  • Fade or slide ToolTips into view
  • Fade out menu items after clicking
  • Save taskbar thumbnail previews
  • Show shadows under mouse pointer
  • Show shadows under windows
  • Show translucent selection rectangle
  • Slide open combo boxes
  • Smooth-scroll list boxes1

ALT-F4 AT YOUR FINGER TIPS

RightClickKeyboard

Ever wondered what that strange key between your Right-Alt and Right-Ctrl was ? Well, it’s called the Menu button and it functions as the Right-click mouse button. If you are like me and you never use it, you could change the key to do something useful. I find it extremely annoying to stretch my fingers to reach ALT and F4 all the time, so i changed the Menu key to F4, so that closing applications will be a breeze 😀

To remap the keyboard keys in Windows, you need an application called SharpKeys. Download here

15

Install the application, Add key > then type the Old key ( Menu Key ) and New key ( F4 ) you want to map. Then Write to registry. The changes will be active from reboot.

Enjoy !

Want you customize your Android like a BOSS ? Read post

How to customize your Android like a BOSS ( Without ROOT )

So we all chose Android because of the extent to which it can be customized           ( or couldn’t afford an iphone or hated a windows phone 😀 ). Anyway if you’ve chosen Android for the former, this is a guide to basic theming.

When we get a new Android, we start off with something like this.

Screenshot_2013-01-01-00-00-23

I’m gonna be showcasing these 2 themes.

homescreen

The first thing we are going to need is a launcher. A launcher is like a replacement for your homescreen and app drawer. There are countless launchers out there and I consider Apex and Nova to be the best, because they are low-ram consuming and offer loads of customizations. Out of these 2, we are gonna be using Apex launcher.

Download Apex Launcher here

After you’ve installed it, press the home button. You’ll be asked to select the launcher. Choose Apex launcher and set it to “Always”. The next thing we need are icon packs. The trick is to use two icon packs ( one for the homescreen and one for the app drawer )

Theme 1

theme1

For the first theme, install MNML white and Aroundfull iconpacks.

Download MNML white here

Download Aroundfull here

Now go to your Homescreen. Remove all the widgets. For the wallpaper, long press on the homescreen, Add wallpaper and choose Aroundfull and select the wallpaper. Double tap on the homescreen and select apex settings and set the options like this.

settings1.Settings2

Now lets theme the homescreen.

homeset1

Home2

Now lets add the widget. Install Zooper widget, one of the best widgets available. With this you can create your own widgets and functionalities with endless possibilities like this one.

Screenshot_2013-10-15-11-05-58

This is a widget I created for a speech recognition app. I’ll be posting on how to make this and setup a JARVIS later on. I just want to show the capability of this widget. For now let’s use a user created Zooper widget called Minarch. Download both of them.

Download Zooper Widget here

Download Minarch here

Add the widget to your homescreen, you’ll find loads of built-in templates and each one can be totally customized ( fonts, value, string ). Try them out !

THEME 2

Boss screen

Now that you know how to customize individual elements, making this theme would be easy. For this theme, disable the dock from Apex settings.

Wallpaper download

Homescreen iconpack download

Page 1

Advanced mobile care widget download

page 2

Simple Text widget download

page 3

Bob Clock widget download

Widgetsoid download

Merge the Phone and contacts app together in the homescreen and then change the icon of the folder.

Page 4

Battery Widget chart download

Page 5

Playerpro widget download

ISSUES

I DONT SEE THE INSTALLED WIDGET ON THE ADD WIDGET LIST 
– To solve this, move the app /widget to Phone memory.