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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:05 pm 
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Animated Windows 8.1 Start Button
For Classic Shell (4.0.5 and newer)
(Animated GIF above not a very good representation though since the screen capture tool made it jittery, doesn't do it justice)


Download Options:

  • Attached to this thread within Classic Shell Forum
  • Inline with this message below (right-click, Save As)
  • Imgur links below as well

Enjoy! ;)


UPDATE: Special thanks to user GauravK for suggestions regarding fading of the black background and also slowing the animation down by changing the animation timing and blending. These suggestions have made a significant difference to the overall smoothness and quality of this Start Button. Thank You!


VERSIONS: The three current (and likely final) versions of my Animated Windows 8.1 Start Button for Classic Shell (4.0.5 and newer) are all similar now as far as animation timing, smoothness and blending. They look incredibly similar displayed here on the forum thread as well but you need to really try them to see the distinct differences in action. As far as which is best, in my opinion it is a toss up between White Glow - Bright (v4) and White Glow - Sharp (v5). With White Glow - Bright (v4) it has a more eye-catching glow to it but purposefully loses some sharpness to it due to the flashier glow effect and was a little bit distracting for me, personally. Although it was still substantially better than the first few versions of this Start button and I think that some people may still prefer (v4) for that extra pop that it has to it. My personal favourite, though, is White Glow - Sharp (v5) because I did a lot of additional work in the main project file (which has about 70+ layers to it) with regards to blending frames and so on. I moved the dozens of drop shadow frames back further and brought some of the foreground layers up higher and everything was just optimized much better for the transitions of the final output image. The result of (v5), in my opinion, was much sharper during transitions, yet more subtle for the glow effect. Overall (v5) being the smoothest, sharpest and least distracting.


Animated Windows 8.1 Start Button (v3)
Blue Glow
Animated Windows 8.1 Start Button (v4)
White Glow - Bright
Animated Windows 8.1 Start Button (v5)
White Glow - Sharp


Attachments:
File comment: (Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - White Glow - Sharp. For use with Classic Shell (4.0.5 and newer).
(Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - White Glow - Sharp.png
(Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - White Glow - Sharp.png [ 18.7 KiB | Viewed 28408 times ]
File comment: (Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - White Glow - Bright. For use with Classic Shell (4.0.5 and newer).
(Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - White Glow - Bright.png
(Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - White Glow - Bright.png [ 19.91 KiB | Viewed 28408 times ]
File comment: (Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - Blue Glow. For use with Classic Shell (4.0.5 and newer).
(Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - Blue Glow.png
(Animated) Windows 8.1 Start Button - Blue Glow.png [ 21.59 KiB | Viewed 28408 times ]


Last edited by WildByDesign on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:27 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:11 pm 
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Nice! :P The black background also fading in gradually would make it nicer IMHO. Just my two cents.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:31 am 
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GauravK wrote:
Nice! :P The black background also fading in gradually would make it nicer IMHO. Just my two cents.


Thank you so much for the suggestion, GauravK. I have implemented the fading black style now as well in the (v2) Fade To Black release. I have updated the original post and credited you in the post as well for the idea. I agree, I think it looks quite a bit nicer now as well. I don't have access to Windows 8.1 at the moment so I am unable to compare and/or update this much more to match the glow or anything to improve it. Unless anybody has a link to a video of the Start button animation and glow from an original copy of Windows 8.1. I am happy to take anymore ideas and suggestions though so long as I have time to update it. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:52 am 
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Yeah it's smoother than earlier now. Maybe you could still increase the number of grey shaded frames so it's butter smooth. :P It's good but the black background still looks like it appears suddenly.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:43 am 
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GauravK wrote:
Yeah it's smoother than earlier now. Maybe you could still increase the number of grey shaded frames so it's butter smooth. :P It's good but the black background still looks like it appears suddenly.


Thanks again for another great suggestion. I didn't end up needing to change the frames and was able to simply just change the animation timing and blending in the description index of the image. I think it's made a significant difference for the smoothness and quality. Thanks again! :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:24 am 
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Yeah, now v3, now that's more like it! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:22 pm 
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GauravK wrote:
Yeah, now v3, now that's more like it! :)


If you don't mind and if you've got a moment, could you possibly check out (v4) and particularly (v5) and let me know your thoughts? I've updated the original post with description of what I've changed and done differently. Very slight changes, indeed, but as we all know every pixel counts. (v5) is my personal favourite but (v4) is quite nice as well but a little flashy/distracting for me. Again, thank you for your time and your previous suggestions as well.

I think that I am going to move on after this and start working on a Start Menu skin for Classic Shell to compliment this Start button and likely try to do something like the Start Menu we've seen in some Windows 9 test builds which looks like a combination of Windows 7 Start menu and Metro/Modern tiles. Not sure if it's possible in Classic Shell skins though to use Animated PNG (or GIF if need be) to resemble the tiles and so on. I can cover the graphics and design but not so good when it comes to coding at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:23 am 
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Yes v5 is definitely better than v4 which is better than v3 whose blur animation was more conspicuous for in the in-between frames. v5 is subtle yet the glow effect is superb.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:05 am 
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I think it looks great, but I have one or two things I'd change.

1: Use fewer steps. The animation is simply too long. I'd reduce it to somewhere between 6 and 8, instead of the current 12.

2: I'd fade in the black from the very first image, instead of having the windows logo do some changes first :)

- Dozer


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:11 am 
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Look awesome... but it is possible without the black back ?
I don´t like it :(


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