New Total Commander 9 icons available for testing!

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New Total Commander 9 icons available for testing!

Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2016-05-05, 10:37 UTC

A SECOND version of the new Total Commander 9 icons are available now. They are in 16x16 and 32x32 now! 24x24 will be added at a later time.
Download here: wcmicons9v3.zip

The second version and newer should be less blurry, with better contrasts.

They are based on the IconExperience Gradient Style G collection icons.

You can try them like this:
1. Download the wcmicons9vx.zip
2. Rename old wcmicons.dll in Total Commander directory
3. Unpack the new wcmicons.dll from wcmicons9vx.zip to the Total Commander directory
4. Restart Total Commander to see them in the main menu
5. Choose Configuration - Button bar - OK to see them in the button bar

Please post your comments here! I'm especially interested in the following:
- would you use them? TC9 will include both the new and old icons.
- should we use the blue elements for files/folders, like in icon number 2 (tree), or the yellow and blue like in icon number 48 (synchronize dirs)?
- do you have any suggestions for specific icons?

Please do NOT modify the icons yourself yet. I can provide PNG image versions of icons if you want to modify them.

Thanks!
Last edited by ghisler(Author) on 2016-05-30, 13:59 UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by *MVV » 2016-05-05, 13:05 UTC

Most icons look unclear/fuzzy on bright buttonbar/menu background, and also on dark focused background because of missing borders. I will use old good ones if they will be available.
I think color separation looks nice (light blue for files, yellow for folders) but contrast borders would improve icons very much.

Screenshot

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Post by *Jordi » 2016-05-05, 15:41 UTC

MVV ist right. Due to the missing clear outline, I can't see any advantage in the new icon set. But as long as the old version is included I'll be fine.
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Post by *Dalai » 2016-05-05, 16:31 UTC

I second MVV's statement. For me, some (if not most) of the new icons look kind of blurry, even though the menu uses 16px icons - I guess this is due to the "pastel-like" style. So I doubt I'd use the new icons.

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Post by *sqa_wizard » 2016-05-05, 16:38 UTC

Agree with your statements, icons look unclear and fuzzy. I see no advantage over the old icons.
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Post by *j7n » 2016-05-05, 20:16 UTC

Yes, like I ranted about in the beta thread, the missing outline decreases the readability of these icons. The file symbols disappear onto a win2k-color background. Outlines would ensure icons work on a large variety of backgrounds.

Some icons do look blurry and fuzzy because they are downscaled from a larger size: most clearly seen on the two FTP icons, which also have sharp drawn text. I think the synchronize dirs icon is also downsampled, here the file symbols blend together and can't be recognized except if this blue color symbolizes files elsewhere. There's no 'sparkle' anywhere, where the should be some - like on the red asterisk symbol.

Draw all arrows more defined, particularly the green on orange Clipboard. I don't think thumbnails view icon should have a white border. It's too faint to be recognizable as a picture frame, and looks like an artifact. When redrawing for a smaller size, some elements must be drawn bigger and some dropped altogether.

The yellow and blue combination is better.

I will not use these icons. They can't be made good enough without abandoning the flat design™ style.
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Post by *Lefteous » 2016-05-05, 20:58 UTC

2ghisler(Author)
Something about the process. Using 16 icons as base for discussion isn't the right way from my point of view. While they have to be provided for some reason they shouldn't be the default in the program. 16x16 icons are always a compromise - especially when the 'downscaling' is a bit poor as in the iconexperience lib. Icons that are that small must always be optimized manually. These are mainly downscaled vector graphics. It doesn't work for me in many cases. The approach described by j7n to draw elements bigger in smaller icon sizes but drop some details is the right way to go.
would you use them?
Well it's a first version of the icons. I would definitely use a fine-tuned version of the new icons.
should we use the blue elements for files/folders, like in icon #2 (tree)
For me which color isn't the real question. The blue shape is much simpler in the Iconexperience lib while the yellow folder icon tries to do the classic folder metaphor. So for smaller icon sizes using a simpler shape is better and for larger I would display more details - but only use one color!
do you have any suggestions for specific icons?
I guess we could discuss every single icon so here are some more general comments with references to certain icons as example.

1) Many icons consists of smaller elements which are not yet sized properly. This is one of the things that leads to the impression of cloudiness (icons #2,#17,#18,#21,#47...)
2) The idea of using new visuals for some of the existing is something that I really don't like. I would really try the existing icons in the iconexpericence lib that use the rubber band selection metaphor instead of the asteric which I never understood (e.g. #12, #40-#45, #71,#73). There are many more examples of this with other icons (e.g.#67,#68,).
I just doesn't work to use the same level of detail with this visual style.
3) Text in icons doesn't look as blurry as in the original iconexperience lib which is generally a good. However try to use equal pixes sizes (#6,#7).
4) Just downscaling already very small icons as one part of a multi-element icon might not be a good idea as things might get hard to identify (59,60). Try layering instead or increase contrast on the elements.
5) The rename icon is really hard to recognize (#33).
6) It would be really good to have the same basic representation for files (compare #33 to #63). In addition use the same basic for all file operation icons.
7) Icon #5 doesn't look like cm_srclong. Placing two folders on top of each other doesn't look like all file details. I would rather try to use a table metaphor (iconexperience lib #592+). Having a unified language for 'views' would be great. A table with different content could be an idea...
8) Icon #10 misses the sort arrow (not a new problem).
9) Icon #13 uses green text for whatever reason (not a new problem).
10) To use a button style for icon #16 is a good idea. Make sure it's properly sized and centered.
11) Icons #17 and #18 wouldn't need text if they would work. The icons here are way too detailed for the size.
12) Icon #22. I know it's mainly a compatibility command but a tag icon coud work better than a couple of dashes.
13) And yes it doesn't without proper outlines especially in this size. They are there in some icons though.

Well I'll stop here for now. Reading the other comments the general direction isn't yet clear enough to start the detailed discussion.
Last edited by Lefteous on 2016-05-05, 21:26 UTC, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by *Ovg » 2016-05-05, 21:01 UTC

I agree with MVV.
Sorry, I don't like new icons and I would like to use the old set.
It's impossible to lead us astray for we don't care even to choose the way.
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Post by *Jordi » 2016-05-06, 07:22 UTC

Lefteous wrote:I would definitely use a fine-tuned version of the new icons.
Well, I'm not quite sure whether fine tuning will help. For me, the basic problem with the new icons is that they seem to avoid the colour black at all cost. Why? Sufficient contrast has been good practice in screen design. I don't understand why we have to abandon this reasonable course.
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Post by *Lefteous » 2016-05-06, 07:33 UTC

2Jordi
Well, I'm not quite sure whether fine tuning will help. For me, the basic problem with the new icons is that they seem to avoid the colour black at all cost. Why? Sufficient contrast has been good practice in screen design. I don't understand why we have to abandon this reasonable course.
I guess the meaning of fine-tuning is negotiable ;-)

I agree about the outline - if it has to be just black? I think it's more about contrast.

Again that's not the real problem: You just cannot use almost flat style and squeeze it into tiny elements with all these details. We need a concept how to handle the complexity of the previous icons.

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Post by *Lefteous » 2016-05-06, 13:40 UTC

Here is an example. The folder sync icon in TC <=8.5 consists of 8 parts. 2 folders, 4 files and 2 arrows even in 16².
These icons must be simplified. Here is an idea. I'm convinced that it would make conversion to the new lib way easier.

[img]http://fs5.directupload.net/images/160506/vf2vz8c5.png[/img]

The result is half the elements, larger elements.

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Post by *j7n » 2016-05-06, 15:11 UTC

I agree that the icons must be simplified.

Also these older icons are 'pixel art' drawn by hand, with symmetry and right angles, whereas the new ones have been dowscaled. The outline around these files and folders is exactly 1px. Even if a line would fall on a half or quarter pixel, the shape should be tweaked so that it fills an integral number of pixels, if possible. It's how font hinting achieves clarity. A file or folder symbol could be made square instead of rectangular, if that is necessary to keep its primary metaphors clear - a folded corner and a tab.

Disregarding the above, we have icons poorly defined icons like the barely separated bars that represent 'custom columns mode', grey blended barcode on 'encode', and half-filled fuzzy lines on both sides of a vertical arrow that would go away if the arrow were shifted about half-pixel.

Most icons, including Vista style, were clearer in the previews on IconExperience.

I suspect that if all recommendations so far voiced were to be filled, we'd get broadly the same icons we already have...
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Post by *Lefteous » 2016-05-08, 20:23 UTC

2j7n
Also these older icons are 'pixel art' drawn by hand
Todays you always start with a vector drawing no matter if you do flat, rich oder skeuo. But the smallest sizes are always some kind of pixel art where the downscaled vectors only serves as a template.
The is one of the things that must be improved in the icon experience lib and even more in the tailored icons for TC.
I suspect that if all recommendations so far voiced were to be filled, we'd get broadly the same icons we already have...
The new icons doesn't have to be the exact opposite of the previous icons - there are so many ways to design icons.


So this is how it look when you drag an original Windows 10 folder icon to the buttonbar :-D
http://lefteous.totalcmd.net/tc/ideas/win10_folder_buttonbar.png

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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2016-05-09, 09:18 UTC

There are two types of icons here:
1. Very few like the previeous/next icon or the hammer and pack/unpack icon in the menu are unmodified from the icon library.
2. Most icons are combined from multiple icons, either 1:1 or downscaled with Gimp.

Some remarks about your complaints:
1. About the blurriness complaint: If the icons wouldn't be drawn with partial transparency, we would have the same problem as with the old icons: People would complain about "Windows 3.1" look because of the pixelated outlines.
2. We started with 16x16 because these are the most commonly used on most user's screens. High DPI screens are still very uncommon. Of course larger icons will look much better, but if 16x16 icons aren't liked, then it's all in vain.
3. I agree that icons should be simplified, but if we simplify them too much, people will no longer recognize them.
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Post by *Horst.Epp » 2016-05-09, 09:42 UTC

ghisler(Author) wrote: ...
Some remarks about your complaints:
2. We started with 16x16 because these are the most commonly used on most user's screens. High DPI screens are still very uncommon. Of course larger icons will look much better, but if 16x16 icons aren't liked, then it's all in vain.
Sorry Christian, but the forums of many software packages are full of complaints from poeple having High DPI screens and the related problems.

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