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Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009, 02:13 pm
The many moods of Ratatouille

I woke up feeling very sleepy. Quite exhausted, in fact. Exanimate. So much so that I called in sick. There was some unpleasantness online later that morning that left me feeling quite distressed, but I trust you know me well enough to know that I was determined not to let it leave me crushed.

I powered on and finished my latest project: A Ratatouille custom mood theme (also available in tree view if you prefer). I've been quietly working on it for the past few weeks.

I thought it was about time I took advantage of my paid account's ability to create my own custom mood theme. I know this one is larger than most, but I took care to make sure no image was more than 100 pixels tall or wide, and I hope this will be an adequate compromise between visibility and usability. I don't post every day, so I'm hoping this mood theme will not be an undue burden on anyone's friends page.

Unfortunately, even though I have had a request to share it, I'm not sure how, short of very slowly writing a console script that interested rats could then run on their LiveJournal. All the images are publicly available in my Ratatouille moods gallery. If anyone has any suggestions on how I could share this (some sort of mood theme exporter/importer perhaps?) I'm all ears.

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
jimwolf24

Cute ^^ I loved that movie! Wish I could be more help with your question though

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
harvardheinous

That's an awesome mood theme!

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
zelox_quo

Very nice work Marko.

And they don't seem to be too large or intrusive in the least.
(Deleted comment)

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 10:58 am (UTC)
schnee

Nice work. :)

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
ponypig

Nice one :)

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
savant_da_rat

Erf, great minds think alike! I almost snapped some new icons for myself from Ratatouille after watching it the other day. You're less lazy than me apparently, since I didn't actually do it :)

The one you used for "predatory" was what I was after... and I wanted to make an animated one with the image you used for "infurated", too.

Excellent work! :)

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
savant_da_rat

Overall I think the mood set is brilliant, you picked some great shots for some of these! Here's some positive criticism solely in the interest of making the set even better; you are of course welcome to ignore :)

"awake" doesn't really fit the mood IMO

"bouncy" doesn't really fit the mood IMO

"loved" is a little blurry, someone who hadn't seen the film might have a hard time making it out

"examinate", "apathetic", "blank" - maybe try brighteneing this up just a tad, I know the shadow is part of the mood but it's reeeeally dark and a little hard to make out the image

"envious", "jealous", and "sympathetic" don't really seem to match the mood to me, but that might just be because I know what scene it's from

"thirsty" relies solely on knowing the scene from the movie, it's not clear what's happening here; you could maybe re-use the image from "drunk" ?

*snugs*

Wed, Jan. 14th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
marko_the_rat

I wasn't expecting anyone to check over it on so much detail! I agree that some of the images don't really fit the moods very well, but I was limited by the scenes that were in the movie. If you have other suggestions, I'm happy to shuffle things around.

I couldn't find anything for "awake" but I could try recycling one of the images from the "happy" family of moods. (If you look at the tree view, you will see that moods are grouped into branches and sub-branches.)

I could try this one or even this one for "bouncy" if you prefer?

"Loved" was a tricky one, even though a lot of the movie centres around the concept of familial love. I did have in mind this scene, but to me it looks more like Emile is trying to cash in on Remy's popularity.

"Envious", "jealous" and "sympathetic" are all very abstract concepts I had trouble with. Ideas? I didn't really want to 'cheat' by adding emoticons or other graphics but maybe I'll have to.

I will try out a few things between "thirsty" and "drunk".

So, this custom mood theme is really a work in progress even though I've already press-ganged it into active service. I should hopefully have a more polished set in a few weeks' time, ready for sharing.

Fri, Jan. 16th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

I've done some revisions based on your (very constructive) criticisms. In the absence of further inspiration or suggestions, I think this is about as good as it's going to get. My other idea was to make "thirsty" be an animated gif of him drinking down in the sewer (I think that gets the idea across better) but I don't like animated moods in general and it would have been a lot of trouble.

My next step would be to package it as a custom mood theme for sharing and then hope that rats will come and use it. There's even an LJ community I could submit it to.

Sat, Jan. 17th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
savant_da_rat

I agree totally about the animated mood icons, they are better avoided.

Woo hoo, I was helpful :) Hehe. Glad to hear you're happy with it enough to share it now, I'll be happy to use it in my LJ :) The ones you changed are great, you picked some scenes I wouldn't have thought of but fit really well! (Now I need to watch the movie again, heh...)

Edited at 2009-01-17 02:15 pm (UTC)

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
savant_da_rat: And for sharing the theme...

In the instructions for sharing mood themes see the "Turning your icons into a mood theme" section near the end. Apparently you can have the wizards at LJ make it a public mood theme for you with a simple request.

If they can't/won't, I think the best bet would be to share:
1) the script that the user has to put into the LJ console to define the mood set with instructions on how to cut-n-paste to run it, and
2) a .zip with all of the images for them to upload. Or you could host all of the images on your own server. The instructions have a note saying to see the FAQ about why you can't host them from LJ, but that's what you're doing and the FAQ doesn't mention it -- I wonder if the policy changed to allow hosting on the LJ servers, and they just didn't update the mood icons instructions to match?

I didn't see a more automated way to do it, but I didn't dig too deep... lazy :)

Edited at 2009-01-13 11:05 pm (UTC)

Tue, Jan. 13th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat: Re: And for sharing the theme...

LJ's documentation is a mess, and often contradictory. LJ will not be accepting any more submissions for public mood themes at this time. It looks like the only way is to write a console script, but luckily other people have done a lot of the work for me so I don't think it will be as hard as I thought.

Wed, Jan. 14th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC)
savant_da_rat: Re: And for sharing the theme...

Ah, ok... Glad to hear it won't be too hard to get the console script together. Once you do I think I'd like to use it in my LJ if you're ok with that :)

Wed, Jan. 14th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
ladybirmingham

thats awesome!