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Improve shadows

dimitrism
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Improve shadows

Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:04 am
Hi all. I open this discussion in order to consider improvement of the window shadows in KDE 5. While in general I like the breze look and feel, I find the chosen shadows design problematic. My observation is that especially flat themes benefit from drop shadows to help the user to recognize the active elements and to discriminate the hierarchy of them. This not an argument about cosmetic appearance (I have a comment below for that) but more of a functional aspect.

Please compare KDE:
https://www.kde.org/announcements/plasma-5.8/plasma-5.8-toolkits.png

With Unity:
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/new-ubuntu-apps-in-1604.jpg
http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ubuntu-16.04-lts-xenial-xerus-750x471.jpg
http://i2.imageban.ru/out/2015/08/07/e2af1740bf940f8349df98224796893f.png

With MacOS:
https://i0.wp.com/downloadpack.net/skin_pack/macos/7.png

Also, I'd like to mention another thing that bugs me (a lot!). I would like to at least be able to configure shadow distribution evenly to left, right and bottom edges (like unity and macos). Think like the light source being on top center of the screen, instead of top left.

Finally, I would like to add some articles from professional designers to back my opinion :)
https://medium.com/@erikdkennedy/7-rules-for-creating-gorgeous-ui-part-1-559d4e805cda#.ekzgdyld2
https://designschool.canva.com/blog/light-and-shadow/

Thank you
hugo.pereira@free.fr
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Re: Improve shadows

Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:01 pm
Hello,

Thanks for the screenshot and interest.
Breeze shadows are configurable "a little" already. You can increase the size and opacity.
This is in the window decoration config dialog, in the "shadow" tab.
It might be true that the default values are somewhat too subtle, but at least you can make it look better.
Also, "oxygen" shadows are much stronger (and top-centered, as opposed to top-left)

concerning the position of the light source, yes it is doable to make it configurable (and in fact early versions of the code had it so), but then, you also need to update the widget theme accordingly, since e.g. button shadows must then obey the same source. Ultimately it was decided that the added complexity was not worth the gain.
camargo
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Re: Improve shadows

Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:16 pm
I for one would really like the option to make the shadows be centered. This has long been a pet-peeve of mine. Having a light source at the top just looks and feels more current.

I understand that the widget lighting is drawn with a light source from top left, but then again, the window borders don't seem to account for it. Just look at the the titlebar gradient at the top-left corner of windows.

My guess is, if the breeze theme was changed to have larger, centered shadows, it look much better. The shadows in the controls are so subtle that the lighting model clash shoud not be a problem.

Also, as has already been said, the default shadows in breeze are so thin and understated that this may very well be an usability bug.
camargo
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Re: Improve shadows

Fri May 19, 2017 3:07 am
Well, I don't mean to bump this, but I'd like to get the chance to fix this, at least for myself. Can anyone point me towards what source packages do I need to download and attempt to tweak, for the breeze decoration? Then I'd be able to post result screenshots and patches for discussion. Thanks!
molecule-eye
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Re: Improve shadows

Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:23 pm
I think it is just a matter of default settings. I always change my shadows to 50px size, 35% strength, and #000000 (black) color. Coincidentally, I found out later that this is roughly what macOS uses!
User avatar anemeth
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Re: Improve shadows

Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:34 pm

:D :D how come nobody noticed that this is just an OS X theme for Windows 7 :D :D
voidfragment
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