How to Use Metamorph

Discussion in 'Android Themes' started by czerdrill, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. czerdrill

    czerdrill Silver Member

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    This tutorial will give a definitive way on how to use Metamorph to create your own themes. I assume that you know how to edit graphics and if you want, how to edit xml files. I won't get into how to do all that, only how to get your Metamorph theme going so you can apply it once all the graphic/xml work is done.

    Why use Metamorph? Because anyone can make a theme. I've been creating my own themes for quite some time now, that are personalized to me. I don't need to worry about decompiling, recompiling, signing, etc. I just theme, and done. If I install a new ROM, I simply apply my Metamorph themes again, and don't have to wait for someone to port themes over for me. My phone looks the way I want, when I want it.

    ****Remember to BACKUP before you apply any themes. I am not responsible if you mess your phone up. It is important that you always have a backup handy in case something goes wrong.****


    First things first, create a folder on your desktop somewhere and name your theme. I don't know if you can have spaces and underscores and all that in your folder name, I usually just make it one word. Probably better to just stick with that. If someone can confirm that you can, let me know.

    Second, you want to pull all the apks you are intending to edit from your phone and bring them to your desktop somewhere. Probably a good idea to just create another folder with all the pulled apks. Root Explorer works well for this, just copy the apk from the phone to your sd card root and then to a folder on your computer.

    Next, you simply unzip all of the apks into that second folder you created so that you have multiple folders with all the apk files in it. For example, if you're wanting to theme Contacts.apk, just unzip it, and you should have a new folder called Contacts and inside there you'll see all the files that are contained within Contacts.apk.

    Metamorph files require an XML Control File in order to apply the changes your making. Back in the day, they required a .thm file. Luckily, there is an easy way to convert your .thm file to an XML file so for the sake of user friendliness and simplicity we'll go that route.

    Open up Notepad (if your using Windows) or any similar application depending on what OS you use, and structure it as follows:

    The first line should be the name of your phone -- in my case the first line will simply say "Droid" (no quotes)
    The second line should be the Android Version -- in my case 2.2
    The third-? lines will be the names of the apks you will be theming. Here's how you set that up. First you simply place the name of the apk you are theming and below it it's location. For example, let's say you're theming Contacts.apk and Calculator.apk. So far your .thm file will look like this:

    Code:
    Droid
    2.2
    Contacts.apk
    /system/app/
    Calculator.apk
    /system/app/
    You'll continue placing apk name and location until you've listed all the apks you want to theme into this .thm file. The trailing and leading slashes are required btw.

    **Just a note, remember that if you're theming framework-res.apk, it's location is /system/framework/ and not /system/app/.**

    After you've listed all your apks you want to save this file. It's important that you save it as a .thm file and name it exactly what the name of your theme is. For example, if your folder is called CoolTheme, you want to save this file as CoolTheme.thm within that folder. It's case sensitive and has to be exactly the same as the parent folder.

    Now remember all the apks you unzipped into your second folder? You're going to set up the Metamorph structure based on how those apks are structured. For the sake of this tutorial let's stick with Contacts.apk.

    In your "CoolTheme" folder you're going to create a new folder called Contacts. So you're CoolTheme folder should now contain the .thm file and an empty folder named Contacts. Next, you're going to open that empty folder and create a new folder within it keeping the structure of the original Contacts.apk. So for example let's say you're making changes to images within Contacts.apk's drawable-hdpi folder. Your CoolTheme folder will contain the .thm file and folders with the structure Contacts>res>drawable-hdpi.

    In the drawable-hdpi folder, you will place all the edited images that you created that existed in the drawable-hdpi folder of the original apk. You can create as many folders as you want within the Contacts folder provided you maintain the original structure. In other words you can also create a res>drawable-hdpi-finger folder and throw some edited images in that one too. This applies to xml edits as well. Just make sure you keep the structure and throw the edited xml file in the correct subfolder. I do this to edit my eri.xml for example, and just keep the Metamorph on my sd card so that when I change ROMs I simply reapply the eri Metamorph.

    You will do the same for all apks you are going to edit. When you're done you should have a CoolTheme folder with numerous subfolders for the apks you are going to edit, as well as a CoolTheme.thm file.

    Now we have to convert that .thm file to an XML file since Metamorph can only recognize XML Control Files (older versions of Metamorph use the .thm file, so if you can find an old version, it'll probably work without converting to the XML. But, in terms of Metamorph, newer is better, so we'll do the conversion).

    To convert you'll need to download The Theme Control File Upgrader from xda. Once you download it, you'll see that it contains a file called ThemeControlFileUpgrader.exe. Just open it, and follow the prompts to select your CoolTheme.thm file and fill in the little window with the information you want about your theme (name, website, version, ROM etc). Once you convert it you'll see that a new CoolTheme.xml file has been created in your CoolTheme folder.

    You're almost done now. Now simply select all the folders and files in the CoolTheme folder and in Windows right click and Send to>Compressed folder. Make sure that folder is named CoolTheme.zip after the compression is done. In Linux you'll select all, right click and select Compress.

    That's it! Now place the CoolTheme.zip file into the root of your sdcard. Fire up Metamorph and select Extract new theme. Navigate to your sdcard root and select the CoolTheme.zip file you created and it'll load up your theme in Metamorph. Click each apk and hit apply. Once you've applied all the apks, reboot and you're phone will be themed.

    I know this tutorial seems super long but the hardest part is editing your images and xml files. The Metamorphing process is super easy and you will be an expert in no time.

    ****Remember to BACKUP before you apply any themes. I am not responsible if you mess your phone up. It is important that you always have a backup handy in case something goes wrong.****

    If you have questions, let me know!
     
  2. mattXdezzi

    mattXdezzi Member

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    Hey, not sure why there are no replies to this, but this is a really good (pretty easy to follow) tutorial. Its great for changing really small things (such as the button colors on the lockscreen).

    Thanks
     
  3. ballmore

    ballmore Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to write up this tutorial. :)
     
  4. NUNsLAUGHTER92

    NUNsLAUGHTER92 Member

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    Amazingly thorough :)

    Sent from my M860 using DroidForums App
     
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