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Synthetica BlackEye Highlights

Posted by wzberger on November 22, 2009 at 3:18 AM PST

Synthetica V2.9 (Swing Look and Feel) comes along with a new theme called Synthetica BlackEye Look and Feel. Below you'll find a short summary of the most important highlights.

  • Support of round rectangle window shapes - The BlackEye theme uses a round rectangle as window shape. As you maybe know you can do similar things by translucent window support since V2.8. However because translucency can affect performance (will be improved in Java 6u18) the default setting in BlackEye makes use of shape support which was introduced with Java6u10.

Window Shape

Window Shape

  • Smart background image support for panels - As you can see in the screenshot below a gradient spans across different panels without touching opacity. That's what we call smart background image support.

Smart Panel Background

  • Outer focus support for components - An outer focus appears for most components. The focus size can vary for different components.

Outer Focus

  • Translucency support for disabled icons - Normally icons of disabled components will be painted grayed out. Synthetica 2.9 offers a new UI-property to enable transluceny for disabled icons globally. As you can see in the screenshots below in most cases the usage of translucent icons is visually more attractive.

Disabled IconsDisabled Icons

  • Dark background for text components- BlackEye provides dark backgrounds for text components which is pleasing especially in dark environments.

Dark Text Background

  • Discreet animations - BlackEye implements some discreet fading animation effects for component focus and mouse over state. The JProgressBar component provides a rotation effect to emphasize activity.


  • Alternating JTable row background - Note: This feature is supported for Java6u10 or above only.

Alternating Tabe Rows

  • Extensible JFileChooser Popup -The extended JFileChooser context popup menu allows you to add your own items or i.e. a document preview.

JFileChooser Popup

  • Java 1.5 support -Java 1.5 is still supported. However because the BlackEye theme makes use of non-rectangular window shapes it's recommended to use Java 6u10 or above (ideally Java 6u14 or above).
  • Additional Components, SwingX and JIDE support - SwingX and JIDE support is provided by SyntheticaAddons. SyntheticaAddons additionally comes along with some new components.

For more details on how to modify things please take a look at the changelog. A new exiting paint mockup application demonstrates the full beauty of the BlackEye theme and will be released soon. Links

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I thought Swing is supposed to look ugly :-)

Get Sun to ship it with Java 7. It looks a lot nicer than Nimbus.

Looks very nice.

Looks very nice.