Posted on

Creating a Kodi Custom Build

This is a very basic guide for beginners who want to know the various steps needed creating their own custom build.

I will use the Aeon Nox skin as this allows a good level of customisation so you can have a nice looking build. I suppose that this can also be classed as a bit of a beginners guide to using Aeon Nox.

In this guide I will show you how to:

  • Install a Skin
  • Edit the Main Menu
  • Change Backgrounds
  • Edit Shortcuts
  • Add Widgets
  • Change Default Actions

What you won’t see in this guide is how to install add-ons & how to make your own wizard, it’s a basic guide. This site has plenty of guides on installing add-ons so I am going to presume you already have the add-ons you want installed. What I would also recommend is adding a lot of stuff to your favourites because favourites can be useful for adding stuff to your Main Menu and SubMenu’s.

I am confident that after following this guide you will have a basic understanding of editing a skin so you have it looking the way you want.


Install a Skin

  • Select SYSTEM

  • Select Appearance

  • Select Skin > Skin

  • Select Get more…

  • Select Aeon Nox

  • Select Yes when the skin has finished installing and you are asked if you would like to keep the change

If you now go to your home screen it will look like this.

Next we can move on to the skin settings and make a few changes


Home Window

  • Select SYSTEM > Skin Settings

  • Select Home Window

In this section we will ignore Setup the Aeon Nox main menu for now and come back to that later. Here we can choose the position of the main menu: Low or Default. Most people prefer low and it is my personal preference too. Choose which you would prefer.

You can also turn on/off Music and Video information. With these turned on you should see widgets like the following

You can also choose to have 3 or 5 items in the main menu layout or an extra option of icons. You can see the difference between those 3 below

Personally I use Low for the menu position and 3 items for the main menu layout which then looks like this

So choose whether you want the main in the middle or lower and choose if you want 3, 5 or icons for the menu layout and then we can move on to the next step


General

  • Select General

In this section the only thing I change is Setup background images. The background images we change here are the background images when you open up a section from your main menu and not background images on your home screen. That is something we will get to later.

So what you are going to need is a collection of images that you would like to use. You can have these images stored locally on your device or on a device on your network, but these could load slower.

When we select Setup background images we see the following

Each section in this menu relates to the default sections in your main menu: Videos; System; Power etc. At the top of the menu is Fanart. Enable this and you can have fanart used as backgrounds & Kodi will pick random fanart for TV Shows/Films/Music depending on which section you are in.

We will just change the Music section background for now so select Music and you will see the following

You now have the following options:

Set single image background – If you select this you can choose a single image to have as the background for the section you are editing. A new window will open so you can navigate to where the image is stored on your device/network share

Set multi-image background – Same as above but you can choose multiple images which will change every few seconds when you are in that section

Random Movie/TV Show/Video/Music Fanart – Choose any of these and as the name suggests it will pick random fanart images based on your Music/Film/TV Show library

So selecting random music fanart and opening my music section I would see something like this

So you can now go through each section and decide what you want to use as backgrounds in each section. When you have done that we can move on to the next step


Advanced

  • Select Advanced

In here you can change the following:

Hide Infopanel on scrolling – With this turned on the infopanel will hide (for however long you choose – 2, 3 or 5 seconds) when you scroll through your library in Showcase or Landscape view (I will show these views later in the guide)

Kiosk Mode

If you enable this it will disable the side menu when you are browsing your library

Navigation Style for Horizontal Lists

Here you have 2 options: Default & Fixed

If you leave it as default you can continually scroll through your main menu. Choose fixed and when you reach the last section of the main menu you can’t scroll any further and must scroll back.

Watch Status Indicator

Select this and you will see the following

You can select and deselect any of these. When enabled these markers will appear on pictures of your TV/Films when they are Watched, Part Watched, Unwatched and the number of Unwatched Episodes

List View Layout

In here you have 2 options: Default & Slim List

Choosing Default will show 7 items in lists and Slim List shows 14 but a more basic layout

Hide Ratings in List Views

This toggle will hide/show ratings in certain view types: List; Low List; Tri Panel. Except when you have your lists set to sort by rating

So when you have played around with those settings we can move on to the next step


Main Menu Setup

In this step we will setup the Main Menu so you have links to your favourite add-ons or nodes from within those sections in your Main Menu and SubMenu.

Still in the same section select Home Window > Setup the Aeon Nox main menu

Something similar to the following screen will now appear

On the left hand side of the screen are the items that are currently in your main menu. The right hand side of the screen has the settings that you can change for each of the main menu items and the settings you can change are:

Enable/Disable – Select this to hide or show a certain section from the main menu. Some people will never use certain sections so if you don’t use pictures then disable it and it will now no longer appear in the main menu

Edit Label – Select this and you can change the name of the entry for this item in the main menu. So if you select Music and edit the label you could change it to My Music or something like that. We can also change font colours for those items from here but I will get to that later

Set Item Background – This is where you change the background when you highlight the main menu item on your home screen. This works the same way as the item backgrounds we edited previously with the choice of fanart, multiple images, single images etc.

Here is my Music section with the image changed

Default Select Action – By selecting this you can choose the action that is done when you select the item you are editing from the main menu. E.G you can select an item in the main menu to open up a specific add-on or a node from within the add-on

Select Widget – Here you can select a widget to appear above the main menu item. There are lots of choices which means you can put a relevant widget. E.G if you are editing your Music section you could add a widget showing: Random Songs; Random Albums; Recent Albums; Recommended Albums; Music Playlists; Music Add-Ons. Similar widgets are available for you other Main Menu items

Here is my Music section with the Recent Albums widget and background changed

Select Infoline

Selecting this will allow you to select a small information bar to show in your main menu when a main menu item is highlighted. E.G If you are editing your Music section you could choose to have information relating to: Movie Library Statistics; Music Video Library Statistics; Music Video Playlist Statistics. Whichever you choose will appear on the left hand side of the Main Menu

Here is my Music section with the Recent Albums widget, Music Library Statistics Infoline and background changed

The build is starting to look a bit more personal now. Let’s move on to adding add-ons/add-on nodes to the Main Menu and SubMenu

Still in this section on the left hand side scroll down until you see Custom 1. Underneath there you also have 2,3,4,5,6 allowing you to enter 6 of your own sections. You can also overwrite the default sections but there isn’t much point in doing that so we will focus on the custom sections.

In my example I am going to be adding a shortcut to Google Music in my Main Menu and then adding a playlist node from within Google Music to the SubMenu. You can use the same method to apply ANY add-on and just about any add-on node to your menus.

With Custom 1 selected I go to the left hand side and select Default Select Action. Always select this first so you know what you are working on and the label will not change after you have edited it.

After selecting Default Select Action you will be asked to Choose a Shortcut.

You can choose from a wide range of shortcuts but as we are going to be using an add-on we select Add-On

It is a Music add-on so select Music Add-On

Now look for the add-on you want to use and select it

What happens next is you will see the nodes within the add-on. But as we just want to use the add-on you would select Create shortcut to here. This will ensure that when you now select that section in your Main Menu it will open up to here

So now you can see Custom 1 has changed to Google Music EXP, the label has also changed to Google Music EXP and theDefault Select Action has code inside. This code tells Kodi what to do when Google Music is clicked in the main menu and that is to open the Google Music add-on.

Now let us add a link to a playlist from within Google Music to the SubMenu. Scroll down to Manage SubMenu, select it and you will see a screen similar to this

On the left hand side is the names of the SubMenu entries you have created. The middle allows you to select actions for the SubMenu entries (I will focus on the basic action of adding an entry and changing the type of entry, the stuff below that is pretty self explanatory: Set Label; Move Up/Down; Delete etc.). The right hand section allows you to choose what you want the SubMenu shortcut to be: Common (videos, movies, etc); Kodi Command (reboot, shutdown etc); Favourite (choose from your favourite list); Add-On (choose a node from with a specific add-on (playlists from within google music, latest tv episodes in Geneses etc.); Playlist (any playlists you have created), Music/Video Library (direct links to music/videos you have in your library). Have a play around with this section and add more items to get a better feel for what you will get from each section.

I am adding a node from within the Google Music add-on so I would highlight None and then select Type until the heading in the right hand section says Add-On because I want to use a section from within an add-on.

  • Scroll down and select the add-on you want to use a node from in your submenu. I am using playlists from Google Music so I would select Google Music

  • I would then select Playlists

  • I then choose Stone Roses

  • Then Create a shortcut to here. That means that my submenu entry will now have the label Stone Roses and clicking on it will open up the Stone Roses playlist

As you can see the Stone Roses list is in the left hand side (the submenu contents)

If I back out I can now edit the label of my main menu entry for Google Music

It currently says Google Music EXP so a quick change makes it Google Music

Go back to the home screen we can now see the changes we have made: Changed Background; Added Main Menu Item; Added SubMenu Item; Added Recent Albums Widget; Added Music Library Infoline. You can go back and edit the other custom items now to add whatever you want to the main menu

You can edit the submenu of any main menu item.

This is my Music submenu. As you can see from this I have added various items including add-ons, add-on nodes, custom shortcuts & library items. You can get creative and have some real fun with this making the main menu & submenus to have exactly what you need


Changing the Main Menu Font

No we will move on to changing the font in the Main Menu so you can have the font look exactly the way you want.

First you need to find a font you like. This only works with .ttf files. I recommend using 1001 Fonts.

Once you have found and downloaded the font you want you need to move it to the font folder i n the Aeon Nox directory. This can be located at:

OS X

~/Library/Application Support/Kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/fonts

Android

Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/fonts

Windows

Start - type %APPDATA%\kodi\addons\skin.aeon.nox.5\fonts - press Enter

Linux

~/.kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/fonts

OpenElec

/storage/.kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/fonts

Place your font file inside this directory. I am going to use the Pirulen font for this example so pirulen.ttf goes inside this directory.

Now we need to to tell the skin to use the font we want. We need to edit the font.xml file which can be found at:

OS X

~/Library/Application Support/Kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/1080i

Android

Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/1080i

Windows

Start - type %APPDATA%\kodi\addons\skin.aeon.nox.5\1080i - press Enter

Linux

~/.kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/1080i

OpenElec

/storage/.kodi/addons/skin.aeon.nox.5/1080i

Inside this directory you will see lots of .xml files. Look for the one called font.xml and open it in a text editor. Scroll down to line 172 to the section that is named font_MainMenu. Under that is the name of the font currently being used in the Main Menu which is BebasNeue.ttf and this is the font name we will be changing

The font name I added was pirulen.ttf so I will replace BebasNeue.ttf on line 175 with pirulen.ttf. Make sure you type the name of the file exactly as it appears in your fonts folder. Save your changes but do not close the file as it is more than likely that the font will look too small or too large so we will need to change the size

If I now reboot Kodi the main menu font will have changed to look like this

As you can see the font looks way too big. We still have the font.xml file open so we will now edit line 173 which is the size entry.

It may take a few attempts to get it to the size you want. The default is 112 and it is too large so I will change it to 50 and if it is too small I will increase, too big i will decrease the number further until I get it to the size I like

Your build should really be starting to take shape now. I will update this guide over the next couple of days to show how to change fonts in the SubMenus and other sections of the skin and also how to change font colours and the highlight colour.


Hopefully this will help a few people who are new to Kodi to setup their build exactly the way they like it. I will add more stuff to this over time as well.

Once you have these basics mastered you will be able to knock up a build in an hour or two with no problems whatsoever and unlike when you install other peoples builds you will have exactly what you want and nothing more.

Facebook Comments