[Tutorial] how to create custom 3ds themes (2018 edition)

Discussion in '3DS - Homebrew Development and Emulators' started by Simsoy, May 16, 2018.

  1. Simsoy
    OP

    Simsoy Member

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    Aug 13, 2013
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    Hiya folks! It's super easy to make custom 3ds themes, so I wanted to do a simple guide on how to get started. I notice a lot of the older guides I personally followed are from 2015 or 2016, the tools are outdated or they contain extra steps that are unnecessary. Things have gotten a lot easier for making 3ds themes.

    The tutorials I was using before suggested converting music to wav and then converting brstm, and then converting that brstm to bcstm, but looping audio converter can directly convert mp3 to bcstm.

    Required:

    Step One: Cropping the Images
    • Once you have the images you wish to use, you'll need to crop them to match the 3DS screen resolutions. I have in the blank template document outlined the resolutions for both screens as well as the distance between the two images. This means you can scale the image and get a preview of how it'll look on both screens.
    • Crop the images for both top and bottom screens.
    [​IMG]


    Step Two: Usagi
    • You should have a top and bottom image, now it's time to import them into the theme creation program.
    • Save the project to a folder, and generate a preview using the file tab.
    [​IMG]

    Step Three: Music
    • This is the hardest step of the program. You need to have the song less than 3.30 megabytes otherwise it wont work properly! This means your files might need to be trimmed via audacity.
    • Download the music you want to use in mp3 format, and using the Looping Audio Converter you can make it bcstm.
    • Check the boxes to make it mono and at as a 22050hz sample rate; this is necessary to preventing bad sound quality and it will also reduce the image size too!
    [​IMG]
    • Once the song is as we need it, rename it BGM and place it into the same folder as everything else.
    • Inside of usagi, click "load" under BGM. Usagi will automatically check the flags for music... if you don't check these flags there will be no sound!
    Step 4: Uploading
    • At theme plaza you can upload your creation! Even if your theme is not approved by theme plaza it still will package your theme into the appropriate file format that your 3ds can read.
    Step 5: Packaging (optional... theme plaza does this for you when you upload)
    • Create a zip folder
    • Place the BGM.bcstm, body_lz.bin, info.smdh and preview.png inside of the zip folder.
    • Add a "name.txt" with the name of your creation.
    • Take your bcstm and using the same looping audio converter make a ogg version of it so the audio works properly.
    • Inside the zip, create a new folder called "ext_previews". Inside here, place the top and bottom previews, titled "pt_bottom" and "pt_top".
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    Jan 1, 2018
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    Buniboop and zacchi4k like this.
  3. SG6000

    SG6000 GBAtemp Fan

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    Nov 2, 2015
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    Nice to see a more modern guide.

    One point I have though is that I would never make wav files a lower bitrate than they absolutely need to be - and don't think that a 'down converted' mono track will necessarily take up less space than its original stereo incarnation.

    If your music track is around 66 seconds or less in length it can be full whack 44100 and still be within the max 3,371,008 byte limit that the BCSTM needs to be. And I would always aim for bang on the 3,371,008 byte mark for a track longer than minute or so because it'll always sound nicer.

    You only need to reduce the quality to something as low as 22050 if you're using something like a 2-minute-plus track.
     
    Simsoy likes this.
  4. SonicTheGamerHog360

    SonicTheGamerHog360 Member

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    Jul 25, 2018
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    Thank you for this tutorial. I can now make my own professional themes :D
     
  5. Ronanklan

    Ronanklan Member

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    Mar 29, 2018
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    my GIMP is paint.net

    So how do i actually USE the black template.xcf file?

    I have zero program capable of opening it...

    Sorry i am a Novice at this type of stuff...
    Like i figured out everything except the template...

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    good thing the template is optional lol
     
  6. wormdood

    wormdood pirate booty inspector

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    behind a parental advisory sticker
    but its all so basic . . . no explanation on folder images nor icon borders not to mention sfx from icon selection (these things would give any theme a completed feeling as well as your guide)
     
  7. Ronanklan

    Ronanklan Member

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    Mar 29, 2018
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    Wow yea those things would be awesome to know...

    I haven't actually started my own theme yet...
     
  8. zacchi4k

    zacchi4k GBAtemp Maniac

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    Feb 6, 2015
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    Somewhere eating pizza
  9. CodyMKW

    CodyMKW GBAtemp Regular

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    Paint.NET can open Gimp's xcf files if you install this plugin
     
  10. RPG_FAN128

    RPG_FAN128 Member

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    Feb 13, 2018
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    I was hoping there would be mention of custom sound effects. I have scoured the internet for SFX do's and don'ts however the advice is contradictory and sometimes plain wrong. It's frustrating to put a lot of time into custom SFX only to have it crash the 3DS. Even when I adhere to various "rules" of length/size/audio quality they can still crash.....soooo..... if you are ever able to find definitive answers about SFX please feel free to PM me. Thanks!
     
  11. Fusion Luigi

    Fusion Luigi Pun Master/Loser

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    Feb 11, 2016
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    Use bcwav for custom sound effects (don't remember where I got it though I could PM it). It converts .wavs to a usable format in Usagi but be wary of how much space you've used in the Theme Editor as it is limited.
     
  12. RPG_FAN128

    RPG_FAN128 Member

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    Feb 13, 2018
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    I have this bcwav converter. The problem is though, after making bcwav files, and adding them to the themes, loading the themes from Anemone, returning to the home menu crashes the 3DS. The safest thing is only testing added one bcwav at a time -- then you know which the "problem one" is. However even so there doesn't seem to be any pattern or consistent rule regarding which bcwav's crash the 3DS and which ones do not.
     
  13. SG6000

    SG6000 GBAtemp Fan

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    Nov 2, 2015
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    Only super short sound effect wavs will be - once converted to bcwav - small enough to be used.

    Sound effect wavs longer than a second or so may need to have their bit rate reduced prior to conversion.

    I don't think a theme can hold much more than a total of something like 200kB of bcwav files (it might be less), so check how big these files are and reconvert any obviously huge ones.
     
  14. CodyMKW

    CodyMKW GBAtemp Regular

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    Mar 23, 2015
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    https://exelix11.github.io/Yata-online/ forgot I had this bookmarked should add that to first post I mean could be handy for users who don't use a Windows system and can't run Usagi 3DS Theme Editor
     
  15. IcyPupper

    IcyPupper Newbie

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    Jul 25, 2019
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    I'm quite new to this, but I followed these steps and ended up with a bgm that only plays once; it doesn't loop (all else worked, though). Anyone got an idea on this? Much appreciated!
     
  16. KaorinBR

    KaorinBR Newbie

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    Jul 31, 2019
    Brazil
    Thanks to tutorial
     
  17. Snowfuckingwhite

    Snowfuckingwhite Newbie

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    Aug 11, 2019
    Germany
    I know this comes kinda late but I have a problem getting the bgm to work

    I followed every single step on this tutorial and first I thought there's no problem with the bgm because usagi did play the music just fine then I used howling theme tool to pack the theme into a cia file to put it on my 3DS but this programm didn't play the music at all and that's weird enough because it usually play it on other themes then I put it on my 3DS and tested it but instead of music I got some really nasty scratching sounds as if the speakers of my 3DS were broken or something

    I checked everything but found nothing wrong the bgm is the right size and everything and usagi says there's no problem with it but I can't get it to work on my 3ds for some reason

    Can anybody tell me what I possibly could've done wrong?
     
  18. SG6000

    SG6000 GBAtemp Fan

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    Are you *sure* the bgm.bcstm is 3,371,008 bytes or lower?

    Usagi plays pretty much any size file so that in itself isn't a good indicator of whether it'll install / play correctly.

    Feel free to upload the source file and I'll be happy to take a look and convert it to 3,371,008 bytes if you want.
     
  19. Snowfuckingwhite

    Snowfuckingwhite Newbie

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    Aug 11, 2019
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    I checked it a couple of times it is below 3,371,008 bytes and I also tried to convert the .mp3 file another time in case it somehow got corrupted for some reason but that didn't help either
     
  20. SG6000

    SG6000 GBAtemp Fan

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    Nov 2, 2015
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    That's strange.

    Like I said, feel free to upload the mp3 somewhere and I'll convert it to a working bgm.bcstm file. You can then compare files and hopefully figure out why you're having a problem.
     
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