This week I was working on a commission for a client. In the solution I needed to include a “technical” Style (a Style with certain parameters (meta data, flags) that aren’t necessarily typical of the generic Styles use-case). Then I realised: there was no way to really send Styles in a convenient way.
I build a lot of custom install stuff for Capture One, automating the process of setup, shortcuts, dependencies etc, that help simplify and scale installations, but this seemed a little unsuitable for a Style. Then I remembered Style Packs.
I want to preface this next bit by saying that as a creator (of things) I’m pretty allergic to the commercial pre-packing of the creative process. It commoditises creativity and is pretty egregious for a product considering who Capture One is for. Dive deeper, and the hidden cost is one that robs the user twice – once from your bank account because you just paid twice for the functionality the app already provides, and then again from your brain because you learned absolutely nothing along the way.
It’s like… microwave meals served to chefs. Speaking of chefs, it reminds me of that episode of Jamie Oliver trying to convince the kids that Chicken nuggets are utter shit… because it’s perfect allegory for what the current Style Pack market offers.
Unlike nuggets though, there remains a bad after taste because the pricing is just utterly absurd and, as a user, you are not invited to the party.
But, take away the insipid commercialism and Styles are actually useful, so: back to my original problem – I want the sharing of them to be easier. If (as an altruistic bonus) the market place were a bit more democratic by allowing users to make and share their own content as a result, that would also be nice.
The Capture One support for user style-management has not really improved in this area since Style Packs became an official product. For example – there is still no solid import/export workflow for creators wanting to share what they have. So the first thing to do make some tooling.
Style Pack Maker
The Pack “technology” is little more than special zip file containing the Styles and so it was actually pretty easy to make a 3rd party solution.
The result was a fairly simple script applet (saved as .app) that will take any folder (of saved Capture One Styles) as click-and-pick or drag-and-drop, and turn it into a ready made Style Pack for distribution.
If you would like to collaborate/modify/add to the project, the code is available on my Github repo here.
I did think originally of just posting this tool in the Store and charging for it but it it didn’t align with how I feel on the current Style Pack marketplace. So alongside a Store product for those who want it, I have decided to also open-source the source code for the “Pack Maker app” for free personal use.
Making your own pack maker
Using the app
Once you have a created a folder of styles in C1:
My hope is that this is a small step to a more vibrant marketplace by making a more community driven platform.
NOTE: Commercial vendors
Obviously this post is in the spirit of making the packs format more accessible so the community can share for free. If you plan to sell your resulting Style Packs or are a commercial vendor of Style Packs and use this information, then please buy the app from the Store and support the project.