February 2010. Well, here’s a little preview of what I’ve been working on for the past two days. My own Portal desktop theme.


I actually started off with just a wallpaper: this guy’s Portal wallpaper Portal wallpaper. Then I started looking for themes and couldn’t find any. So then I started crafting icons for ObjectDock. And well, things just started getting crazy after I decided to delve into Rainlendar. I quickly discovered that Rainlendar wasn’t flexible enough for me and moved on to Rainmeter.

The central piece (at least for me) is the massive date sign. It’s based off of the signs you see at the beginning of every level. It took me a hell of a long time to figure out how to make an image based clock in Rainmeter. I took the numbers from a texture I extracted from the game’s data files and stitched them together into my own little array of numbers for Rainmeter to slice up. The images were a little rough around the edges though, so I had to blur them just a touch. That resulted in a little artifacting near the edges, which I had to clean up if I didn’t want stray pixels lining the bottoms of all my numbers.

Then come the icons. I spent a good amount of time creating them, especially the folder icons. At first they were just folders sitting in my dock, and then had a great idea to create a floating tabbed dock. There weren’t any blank/transparent docks that came with ObjectDock, so I made my own. The little black square is the “custom tab” that I actually have to keep there if I want to be able to drag the dock around. I also had to make little boxed variants of the folders.

Portal Theme - created by Wistful Writer (Secondary Display)

There’s this nifty little “serial number” thingamabob that I created too. It’s basically a random three digit number plus the date and time mushed together into one string. It updates every minute. Presto, you have a custom serial number for your desktop!

I’m still trying to figure out how to create a RAM meter that looks like that sectional bar underneath the week counter. But I might just give up on that because I’ve got better things to worry about.

ADDENDUM: I completed the theme to my satisfaction, including the meter. Actually, the meter has been set to reflect the progress through the year. You can download my completed Portal Desktop Themes below, past the break.

Click here to Download the Aperture Laboratories Corporate Desktop Rainmeter Theme (RMSKIN format) on DeviantArt

Click here to download The Portal 2 Desktop Theme for Rainmeter AKA the Aperture Laboratories Test Chamber Signage for Real Life Use

  • David Wolfe

    is there any way that we could download the whole theme, with the raindock files and whatnot? This is soo brilliant!

    • Thanks for writing in! I’ve got a RAR file that has everything you need, so if you email me I’ll give you a link to download it.

      • DC

        I’d love one. I included my email here.

        da*vid[dot]co*hen(at) d*cosolutions [dot] com

        remove the *’s and replace the words with symbols.

        Thanks :)

      • Tetrisnicholas

        Yes please! Tetrisnicholas(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks in advance!

  • aemaru08

    I want it! its great!

  • Hey,

    I cannot contact you to recieve your desktop theme archive. I want the theme also for my PC. Can you pls contact me? Your captcha is running false cause auf internal server error.
    Would be very kind of you :)


  • Daniel

    The theme looks awesome! I would greatly appreciate you sending me a finished version.

    • Hi Daniel,

      The only version I have is the one I posted. That’s about as finished as it gets. It doesn’t take much work to get it working though. Have fun!

      • Daniel

        Thanks. I’ll try to make it. Have you made any other themes?

      • Nope, I haven’t. The theme is pretty much complete, it’s like a kit: it has all the parts, and only a little bit of construction is required. If you download Rainmeter and a dock program (I use ObjectDock), you will figure it all out through its documentation. The dock is easy: it’s just using the images I provided. The Rainmeter configs, you just have to activate them, which you’ll see how to do in the manual.

  • Tom

    Um… is there a link to the rainmeter skin?

  • Zach

    Hey, this looks fantastic! I’m completely computer impaired though, so I’m having trouble putting this together. I can’t replace my normal Windows icons with the Portal ones and all that jazz. If I can’t even do that, I definitely won’t be able to fix up the clock and calender. Can you offer any help to those of us who have the computer skills of a dead goldfish?

    • I’m working on a cleaned up package in the .rmskin format, hopefully it’ll be done by Christmas. Keep an eye on the DeviantArt page! Thanks for writing.

  • Kaynan

    hey man, the big clock of the test chambers is not working D:

  • Niels Frickel

    hello everyone,

    This is a great gadget! I use it to create a test chamber out of my desktop.

    windows 7 is required (or maybe windows 8?) to change. the back ground image automatically

    the background exchanged with the attached images.

    I have made a special portal chamber, for only those screenshots.