Music by Shams

Say hello to ReaCapture FX… The fastest way to create REAPER friendly button images

Right over Christmas last year, I decided I wanted to create toolbars for all of my favorite plug-ins. The problem is I have about 2,000 of them that I’ve collected over the years. That’s a lot of images that need to be created.

To be honest though…

  • Some were trial copies (mostly bundles) and they’ve long since expired

  • Others I haven’t used and renewed in some time, so they’re expired as well

  • I only use plugins by maybe 10 or 12 developers, which probably comes out to somewhere around 200-300 plugins

Still, that’s a lot of images that need to be created. So the idea popped into my little brain that I should look to automate the process as much as possible. After 6 weeks or so, ReaCapture FX was developed.

Overview

Let’s get something out of the way… ReaCapture FX is perfectly safe to use. In no way does it alter (or even read) your REAPER configuration, or whatever project you may have open while using ReaCapture FX.

ReaCapture FX’s sole purpose in life is to automate the process of creating images, particularly for whatever plugins you may be using within REAPER. That’s it. Here’s a quick workflow of how it works:

ReaCapture FX Overview

And that’s just the main feature. The other 2 features will:

  • Quickly create shortcuts within REAPER for your plugins (the whole right-click a plugin, “Create shortcut”, click Cancel thing)

  • Allow you to apply effects to images you’ve already extracted, or even images that you just want to apply effects to, and create REAPER friendly image files for your toolbars

For a detailed walk-through of everything, check out the video below.

Features

ReaCapture FX Functions
  • CREATE SHORTCUTS: If you want to create a shortcut in REAPER for a plugin, you have to:

    – Right click the plugin
    – Select “Create shortcut” in the context menu
    – Click Cancel on the next prompt

    And then repeat this X number of times for however many shortcuts you want. I doubt anyone particularly enjoys doing that. This will go through that process for you.

    A couple of important notes however
    :

    – This feature will create shortcuts for all of the plugins it sees in the FX Browser. In other words, you can’t select ReaComp, ReaDelay and ReaEQ and expect shortcuts to be created for just those 3. ReaCapture FX will create shortcuts for all of the Cockos plugins in the list. This may change in a future release.

    – In order for this feature to work, also ensure the FX Browser is in a floating window and that you have an empty project open (i.e. no tracks). It’s tough for ReaCapture FX to find the list otherwise. Again, I plan on making this better in the future.

ReaCapture FX Functions
  • EXTRACT FROM REAPER: You can extract…

    Only the active plug-in: Perfect for whenever you only need 1 plug-in image extracted and a button image created

    All plug-ins in the FX panel: Now this is what ReaCapture FX was created for. I’ve tested having as many as 200 plugins added to a single track… everything was done for me in about 14 minutes.

  • EXTRACT PLUG-IN IMAGES ONLY… : This will, um, extract plug-in images only

  • WAIT DURATION: This tells ReaCapture FX how long to wait for a plug-in to fully load on the screen. I personally set mine to 3 seconds, but you may have to increase this setting if your system takes longer to load plug-ins.

  • EXTRACT BUTTON: This will be disabled until you select the 2 folders for the images to be extracted to.

Settings

ReaCapture FX Settings
  • PATH TO EXPORT PLUG-IN IMAGES: Set the path here where you’d like the full sized plug-in images to be saved. These images aren’t needed, or even used, by REAPER. They’re just saved in case you want to use them somewhere else. Feel free to print 100 copies and mail them to everyone in the neighborhood… I think they’ll appreciate having their own printed copy. Click the magnifying glass to select a folder and use the document icon to open that folder if you’d like.

  • FILE PREFIX PLUG-IN IMAGES: As shown on the UI, this is optional… but recommended. If you’re exporting all of the Cockos plugins for example, it would help to add something like “cockos-” as a file prefix so that all of the extracted images are shown ‘together’ when viewing in Explorer. Avoid using spaces in the file prefix; using a dash or underscore would be a better separator.

  • PATH TO EXPORT BUTTON IMAGES: Set the path here where you’d like the generated button images to be saved. Click the magnifying glass to select a folder and use the document icon to open that folder if you’d like.

  • FILE PREFIX BUTTON IMAGES: As shown on the UI, this is optional… but recommended. If you’re generating button images for all of the Cockos plugins for example, it would help to add something like “reaCapFX-cockos-” as a file prefix so that the buttons are easier to find when adding them to your toolbar. You can simply filter on “reacap cockos” for example. Avoid using spaces in the file prefix; using a dash or underscore would be a better separator.

ReaCapture FX Settings
  • BUTTON EFFECT: Select the effect you’d like to have shown when the mouse is over the image (same effect is shown when the image is clicked). In this release of ReaCapture FX, the same effect is applied to both the mouse-over and click states.

  • BORDER COLOR: Pick the, um, border color you’d like

  • BORDER SIZE: You can play around with this setting, but I find 5 or 7 to be a good border size. But hey, go nuts… jack it up to 20 if you’d like a big ‘ol border around the images.

  • RESIZE / SCALE BUTTON IMAGE: When button images are created, they can be made in one of 2 ways:

    Proportionally: Meaning they’ll be a certain percentage of the original size. This will also give your toolbar an interesting look since the buttons for the plugins will (most likely) be different sizes. Use the “RESIZE AS % OF ORIGINAL” slider to control this setting.

    To fixed dimensions: Use this setting if you’d like to have your buttons all the same size. Depending on the size that you set, ReaCapture FX will grab roughly that much from the top left corner of the plugin image and use that to generate the button image. Use the “RESIZE TO A FIXED HEIGHT & WIDTH” slider to control this setting.

Button Effects

The way that REAPER handles image files is by taking an image (images for toolbars anyway) and splitting it into 3 parts, where only one part is actually shown to you at any given time.

ReaCapture FX Icon Note that at present, the effects available in ReaCapture FX are applied to both the mouse-over and click states of the image. The ability to apply different effects independently to the mouse-over and click states will be available in a later release.

REAPER Button Overview

The following plug-in was captured from the FX panel… let’s use it as an example and take a look at the different effects that can be applied to it.

ReaCapture FX

Proportional resizing

* Note how the entire plug-in is in the output image. Remember, proportional resizing generates an image that’s a percentage of the original.

Border
ReaCapture FX Effect
Charcoal
ReaCapture FX Effect
Color Overlay
ReaCapture FX Effect
Frame [Single]
ReaCapture FX Effect
Frame [Double]
ReaCapture FX Effect
Grayscale
ReaCapture FX Effect
Implode
ReaCapture FX Effect
Paint
ReaCapture FX Effect
Raised Edge
ReaCapture FX Effect
Swirl
ReaCapture FX Effect

Fixed Size resizing

* Note how only a portion of the plug-in is in the output image.

Border
ReaCapture FX Effect
Charcoal
ReaCapture FX Effect
Color Overlay
ReaCapture FX Effect
Frame [Single]
ReaCapture FX Effect
Frame [Double]
ReaCapture FX Effect
Grayscale
ReaCapture FX Effect
Implode
ReaCapture FX Effect
Paint
ReaCapture FX Effect
Raised Edge
ReaCapture FX Effect
Swirl
ReaCapture FX Effect

Download

ReaCapture FX

ReaCapture FX v1.0
March 1st, 2024
16.6 MB | x86 & x64

While ReaCapture FX is free to download and use, please consider making a donation.

Several weeks of research & development have already gone into the initial release, and I would love to continue adding features.

The long term vision is to make ReaCapture FX the go-to utility for not only plug-in toolbars (which is really where the idea originated) but to make it the go-to utility for button creation in general.

Donations will no doubt keep development going. Thanks in advance!

To see the latest on what’s going on with ReaCapture FX, see this REAPER forum thread. I’d love to get your comments and feature suggestions. You can also drop your comments below on the form.

Shams' Signature

Currently in Development

  • The listview for “Create buttons from images” will be larger and easier to work with (a tabbed view will most likely be used)

  • Additional button effects

  • The ability to add effects independently to the mouse-over and click states of the image

Got a comment or an idea for ReaCapture FX? Did you find a bug?? Send it over!
ReaCapture FX UI