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Android custom bootscreens tutorial.


Jun 26, 2010
Hey there, so I got my droid X awhile ago, and have been experimenting to figure out exactly how custom boot animations work. Replacing the pictures is easy (as many know already) and I haev also figure out how to control the loop frame, and repeat settings.

So I decided I'd write a tutorial for those who feel like jumping in and making their own boot animations.

So the important file is called bootanimation.zip by default this is located on your phone's flash memory in a folder called /system/media/

Now before you go replacing that, there is a safer place to put your custom boots that wont require you to overwrite the system default in case you ever need to roll back. That folder is /data/local/ It is also on the flash memory. As far as I know, anything in data/local/ gets loaded over the default content, and ignored if there's nothing in there.

I'll go more into depth on how to install the custom animations at the end of the tutorial.

First things first though, you need something to start from. You can either use root explorer to copy your own bootanimation.zip file to your SD card, or you can download one of my custom ones from THIS THREAD and just start from them. First thing to do is install either 7zip or winrar. These will give you a bit more control when making your own bootanimation.zip file, specifically one setting that you will HAVE to turn on for it to work at all. So google 7zip or winrar. I recommend 7zip, it's free (without nag screens like winrar) and can open just about anything.

So extract the contents of that zip file somewhere. you will see 2 folders and a file


The first thing you should take a look at is desc.txt. Just open it in notepad and take a look at it's contents. It should be something simmilar to this:

480 480 10
p 1 0 part0
p 0 0 part1

I havent figured out all of the pieces of this, but what I know is, the first two numbers are width and height. Not sure fi that is of the images or the size you want it displayed on the screen. Either way, it's looking like it may be possible to do full screen boot animations (testing will come, but I bet it'll lag a bit).

The next I believe is a frame rate. Of course while loading, if you set the frame rate too high the animation will lag because a ton of stuff is going on in ther background. 10 is the default.

the next two lines starting with p are animation segments. These corrospond to the part0 and part1 folders. The first number after the p is a play mode (0 for repeat, 1 for play though once then move on, not sure if there are more numbers), and the next one I have no idea, havn't tested it yet. And then last in those lines is of course the folder name. I don't know yet if you can add more lines to make more segments of the animation, but it seems doable (again, I'll test this and update).

So anyways, the default animation on the droid x is 120 frames long (may be different for other folks) so in one way or another you need to make an animation, 120 frames long, saved out as PNG files. (A PNG sequence).

Myself I use After Effects to make my boot animations, and a PNG sequence is easy to make in there.

Now what DOES seem important is the name of the files in those folders. They need to all be the same name, and underscore then 5 digit frame numbers. Also each folder's files seem to need a different name.

an example:
- beginning_00001.png through beginning_00079.png
- endingloop_00080.png through endingloop_00120.png

Note how the numbers continue from folder to folder, and ho each png sequence has a different preceding name.

Adobe Bridge has a great batch renaming tool which I use once I've moved the proper frames into the proper folders to give them the difference.

Note that the fame numbers seem to be switchable. so say your loop section is from frame 95 to 120 rather than 80 to 120 you would have 1-94 in the first folder, then 95-120 in the second folder, and your desc.txt ... would not change.

Ok, so what if you dont want it to loop? well sadly I havent figured out how to get it to pause on the last frame. if your desc looks like this:

480 480 10
p 1 0 part0
p 1 0 part1 <--- note the 1 after the p, that means this segment wont loop like before.

it would play part one, play part two, then black screen for the rest of the boot :/ That being said I think it may be possible to basically have a one frame loop as your second section, which should look the same.

Anyways, how to put this on your phone? well you need to select your part folders, and the desc file and right click, choose "7zip", "add to archive..." This will open a settings window. The important things here are to set it to Zip, and on the compression level set it to "Store" without that it wont load and you'll have a black boot. name it bootanimation.zip and save and copy it to your SD card.

The next part I use a program called root explorer to copy it to the proper folder. I dont believe you ACTUALLY have to have root access though. This program isn't free, but the other method involves installing the android development kit etc etc and is a big hassle if your not already set up to develop. But it doesnt require root for sure. I wont tell you how to set that up, just look for boot screens explaining how to install using adk.

So boot up root explorer, and browse to the sdcard folder, then long click on your bootanimation.zip file and choose move or copy, then hit back, and once you're at the base of your phones files (/) go to data, local, and paste the file. You may have to hit the mount r/o or whatever it is before it'll let you.

Go ahead and reboot your phone. If it didnt show your animation, then you probably forgot the "store" compression method in the 7zip step, or any number of other things are wrong with your animation, or this guide...

I'll update this late with better descriptions and test results as I get them. But for now if anyone else has some experience or knows more about the desc.txt file, please let me know!.


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