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Make a Custom Leopard Folder


custom leopard folderThe folders in Leopard definitely have a certain look and feel. Just open your home folder in Cover Flow or Icon view and the style jumps out at you. We’re going to show you how to make a folder with the same look, based on your own image.

Murphy downloaded a template posted by guifa on the Mac Rumors forums. You can download the template when you’re ready to get started.

The template includes two layers that look like a Finder folder. The top folder layer is masked by the layer below it. When you add content to the mask that content is etched into the top folder layer. If you’re good with Photoshop you’ll probably do better than Murphy did. You can even add a subdued bit of color if that’s what you’re after.

Guifa knows his way around Photoshop. He used an unsharp mask because hard edges work best in the mask layer. He also applied some blur effects to kill artifacts in the image. If you’re not a Photoshop wizard you can still probably come up with something decent. Your image will end up small on your folders, so you won’t notice every imperfection you spot while editing in Photoshop.

In the tutorial Murphy shows how the mask layer and a folder layer are combined in Photoshop, clipping the contents of the folder layer. Then he takes a VMware Fusion logo and selects it. (Murphy wants a custom folder for storing his virtual machines) With that selection active he clicks on the mask layer and starts painting – black with the brush tool. The mask layer has shadow effects applied to it, as well as lowered opacity. The end result is a custom image that matches up well with the folders that ship in Leopard.

When your image is ready check out this post and apply it to a file or folder.

Note: This isn’t Murphy’s normal screencast layout. We’re trying something new. We suggest you right-click and download the Quicktime file rather than playing it in your web browser. The navigation doesn’t seem to work quite right in a browser.

Right-click and Download Linked Tutorial File Here | Permalink

12 comments to “Make a Custom Leopard Folder”

  1. Not too sure about the slideshow-in-Quicktime – It doesn’t do anything the more convenient Flash version does.
    If it was a full-motion screen-capture, the Quicktime play controls are much better than all Flash-video-players, but for slideshow stuff, it’s fairly slow (there’s a noticeable delay between between clicking and the next image showing)

  2. Thanks for the feedback. You downloaded the QT file instead of playing it in the browser? I don’t get a delay, at least not that I notice.

    I’m not abandoning the Flash stuff, just seeing what else is out there. Those Flash movies take me a LONG time to make. For simpler tasks I’m looking to cut down on the full motion editing.

  3. Hmm, on a second test, it’s not exactly unbearable, especially if it’s quicker for you to make.

  4. No problem playing this QT either in Camino or Safari; just wonder how you did this QT slide show with arrows.

  5. Hey Gand –

    I made it with Keynote and exported to Quicktime. I’m happy with the playback quality. Keynote is a little quirky but I like the appearance. You can link objects (the arrows) to the next slide or the previous slide.

    I tried placing short video clips on each slide, but you couldn’t advance to the next slide until the video was done playing. Now I’m experimenting with ways to get around that. I have an idea but it will take me a few days to try it out.

  6. @ Murphy

    Cool :), I’ve notice that mouse wheel fast scroll back and forward all screenshot both on browser and QT.

    During last time I’ve tested Jing and that are nice free software to record “live” screencast. With Screencast-o-matic you can then add a sort of subtitle to the movie. [1]

    But Wink is still good for “slide” screencast but also little quirky to use out of windows. [2] A callouts editing can easily translate screencast on different languages.


  7. Thanks Gand. I was looking at something called screenflick that looks pretty good. It does a couple things my current process can’t do.

  8. I’ve just released a free app to create custom icons similar to these. Check it out at

  9. Thanks for this tutorial. The only downside I noticed is that the 16 pixel icons are not as defined as Apple’s. Looks like Apple do something additional to their 16 pixel icons before putting them into Icon Composer.

  10. Can you make this folder in GIMP? If so, how?

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