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Friday, 14 August 2015

FM2015 Skinning Guide Part 3: Changing the Text Colours

Welcome to the third part of my updated Skinning Guide for FM2015. 

Before reading this guide make sure you have read the previous parts of the guide as well as the extracting files guide, as this guide will assume you have followed those guides.

The previous parts of the guide talked you through creating a new skin and then changing the fonts and some of the font settings, this part of the guide will explain how to change the colours of most of the text in the game.

Before starting I advise you have the following folder locations open:
  •           Your 'Working' Folder Location from the previous guide (which is where you extracted the default game files to)
  •           The my_first_skin folder within your Saving Location.

Some housekeeping

Before we start we need to do some housekeeping.

First browse to the my_first_skin folder within your Saving Location and open the settings folder then open the 'my_first_skin settings.xml' and delete the contents of the file as the font settings located in that file aren't used with FM2015 and are just leftover from previous versions.

Once that is done you want to paste the following code into the file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<properties version="1.0">


So the file should look like this:

Locating the default colours

Before you start changing the colours you first need to locate where the default text colours are stored, these are located in the xml files located within the various settings folders.

The first location you need to check are the folders for the parent skin to your skin, if you cannot remember which parent skin you set then open the skin_config.xml file located within the my_first_skin folder and locate the parent line that looks like this:

<flags id="parent" value="fm dark-widgets" />

In this case the parent skin we need to look in is 'fm dark-widgets'

So in your Working folder now browse to the skins\fm dark-widgets\settings folder.
In that folder will be an xml file called 'fm dark-widgets settings' this file contains the colour settings that are unique to this skin. If your skin has a different parent skin the settings file may be blank or not exist, if that is the case you will then have to look in the files for that skins parent skin.

However the colour settings are also stored elsewhere, if you go back to your Working Folder you will see a settings folder. This folder contains two more xml files that we are interested in 'colours' and 'fm colours'.

So we now have three files that control the skin colours and you will notice that some of the lines located in the 'colours' and 'fm colours' files are also present in the 'fm dark-widgets settings' file but with different values. This is because the game works on a file hierarchy.

The game will first look in in the 'fm dark-widgets settings' file for the colour name if it finds the value it will use the value from that file, if it doesn't find the value only then will it look in the 'colours' and 'fm colours' files. So when copying values over to edit always look in the settings file first and only move onto the colour files if you cannot find the colour name you are looking for.

If you want a shortcut then you can download one of the base skins and look inside the settings file for the base skin where I have already copied all the default colours for each skin into one file to save you having to locate them yourself.

Changing the text colours

Now that you have located the default values, to change the colours you just need to locate the relevant colour name and copy it into the settings file for your skin.

But before we get to that there is one other thing you need to consider. Football Manager 2015 made changes to how the skin graphics are coloured, instead of taking the colour of the graphic like in the past the skin graphic colours are now also set by these same three files, which means you have to be a bit careful when copying and changing the colours as some of the colour names will apply to skin graphics not the text and unfortunately the coding for both is exactly the same, though I'll cover the full details of how to edit the graphic colours in a later guide for now you just need to be aware that the code in these files doesn't just control the text colours.

The settings for the skin graphics are set at the top of the 'fm dark-widget settings' file, whilst the text settings start after this line of code (line #172):

<!-- misc "special" colours -->

As a simple example I am going to show you how to change the player attribute colours, the player attributes are controlled by these lines from the 'fm dark-widgets settings' file:

<!-- profile attribute colours -->
<colour name="low attribute" red="250" green="250" blue="250" alpha="140"/>
<colour name="normal attribute" red="250" green="250" blue="250" alpha="200"/>
<colour name="good attribute" red="159" green="220" blue="122" />
<colour name="excellent attribute" red="122" green="199" blue="75" />

Now locate those lines yourself and paste them into the 'my_first_skin settings' file. Now when pasting the code into the file you need to ensure the code is pasted between the two properties bits of code like below:

If you paste the code into the wrong place the game won't read the code and may flash up an error message when you reload the skin, if it does then just click ok on the message, fix the xml file, save the changes and then reload the skin.

Now that we have copied the relevant bits of code over we need to recolour the code, this is done in exactly the same way as shown in the previous guide, however instead of each colour getting its own line of code all three colours are on the same line.

To adjust the colour you need to change the values for each component. Valid values range from 0 to 255, where 255,255,255 is white, 0,0,0 is black, 255,0,0 is red, 0,255,0 is green etc…
The alpha value affects how transparent the colour is, 255 gives you a solid colour, where 0 makes the text completely transparent.

To change the text colour you need to know the RGB value of the colour you want, the easiest way to get this is from an image editing program.

So load up paint.net, and in the Colors panel at the bottom left click the more button to expand the panel and it will now show the RGB value of the selected colour and as you change the colour on the colour wheel you'll see the RGB values change. Alternatively there is a colour picker included within the game – just go to Preferences -> Interface -> Skin Colours, then click on one of the existing colours and a colour selector pops up where you can select a colour and get its RGB value.

As a simple exercise I am going to ask you to change the attribute colours to match the colours used for the player positions, so change the low attribute to match the poor position, the normal attribute to the awkward colour, good to unconvincing and excellent to competent (you should be able to locate the RGB values for the positions from the code located within the 'fm dark-widgets settings' file).

If done correctly your player attributes should now look something like this:

In the above screenshot you'll see that the text font and colour is still set from the previous guide, don't worry if you have undone those changes as they make no difference here.

To change the colour of other bits of text you just do the same, you just need to locate the relevant colour name for the text you want recoloured, copy it over and adjust the values.

The hardest thing is finding the correct colour name, whilst most are commented or named in a way that it makes it clear what they affect, some bits can be controlled by obscure values.

If you cannot find the relevant colour name then have a look on the forum as someone else may have already asked the same thing, if not then just open a thread and ask and hopefully someone will have the answer.

Also note that for some items you have to edit the xml for that panel to change the colour, however this will be covered in a later part of the guide.

You can also download a copy of this guide in several different formats for offline viewing:

DOWNLOAD PDF FORMAT GUIDE                                        DOWNLOAD DOCX FORMAT GUIDE

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