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Hot!Basic Guide to Configuring Custom Key Color Layers

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tmaeller
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2021/07/25 11:42:01 (permalink)

Basic Key Color Configuration for EVGA Z20/Z15 Keyboards

There isn't a user's manual for these keyboards, so this is written for anyone who might need it.
  • Please see my notes at the bottom of this guide to preserve you from some frustration with the software.
  • Also see my screenshot below. This is my left-handed configuration for The Witcher 3, just as an example of what you can do.
  • If you have any questions, additions, or corrections for me, please post a note. Thanks!

 To create your own custom color profile:

  1. Open the Unleash interface.
  2. Click on a Profile number (1-9) on the right side. This is where you'll store your custom color layers.
  3. Click the Lighting Effect tab (in the middle, just below the keyboard display).
  4. Click Custom. The keys will all go dark on both the keyboard and the software's keyboard display.
  5. In the Layers area, click the + sign to add a new layer. Now your keyboard will display an active unicorn rainbow. Congrats! :P
  6. In the Lighting Effect area next to the Layers area, click the dropdown menu and select the type of lighting you want.
    • Select Static On to set the layer's color to 'always on' if you don't want any special effects.
    • Just remember that your changes here effect the entire layer, so every key that you eventually configure in this layer will have the same visual properties.
  7. Always leave Opacity set to 100%, unless you want the color and/or effect of the next layer below this layer to bleed through.
  8. Click on the Color dot and select the color you want this layer to display. You can select a preset color, or make your own.
  9. Click Apply to set the layer. It's a good idea to do this often, anyway.
  10. The first layer you create will be your bottom layer, and all other layers you create will be placed above it. I usually choose this layer's color based on the number of keys that I'll set to a specific color. So if most of my keys will be dark blue, I set the bottom layer (layer 1 in my screenshot) to dark blue. This is just to save time customizing the rest of my key colors.
  11. Now click the + sign again to add another new layer, and follow the steps above to set the color and parameters for that layer. This will temporarily turn ALL of the keys on the keyboard and display to that color. Now comes the tricky part. 
    • Note: You can move the position of layers at any time. Just select the layer you want to move, then click on the Up and Down position arrow keys next to the + key.
    • Don't like a layer? Click on the trash can icon to delete it.
    • You can temporarily hide layers by clicking on their 'eye' icon.
  12. While your new layer is selected/in view, move your mouse to a gray non-key area on the keyboard display and just click on it. This will appear to remove the color you selected for this layer and show you the colors you've already set for any layer(s) beneath it.
    • You can also just click on a key or click and drag, but I find the other method to be the most efficient and least problematic.
  13. Now hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard, and either click on individual keys that you want to appear with this layer's color, or click and drag across the display's keyboard so select more than one key at a time. Or do both!
    • If you want to select more groups of keys to change their color, or even change a single key, ALWAYS hold down the CTRL key when you click or click+drag.
    • Clicking on the Unleashed display keyboard while not holding down the CTRL key will erase your key color configuration for the currently-selected layer, but not for all layers.
    • If you accidentally click on a key and change its color to something you don't want, just hold CTRL and click on that key again to return it to its original color.
    • You can always come back and make changes to your key color config. Just don't forget to hold down the CTRL key before you start clicking on keys!
  14. Click Apply to set the layer when you're finished configuring it.
    • If you make serious 'mistakes' during this whole process, and you haven't clicked Apply, you can just exit the Unleashed software and then re-launch it. When you start editing that profile again, you'll be shown what was saved by the last click of Apply.
  15. Repeat as needed until you're satisfied. Remember that you only have five layers, which means that you can only configure up to five colors.
    • You can always change the layer colors and effects in the future. Just select your profile, click on the layer, make your changes, then click Apply.
  16. Click Apply to save your final configuration.
That's it!
 

Some important notes:

  • Custom key coloring can only be performed by creating Profiles with custom Lighting Effects.
  • Custom-color profiles can store up to 5 layers, with one selected color (and effect, if desired) per layer.
  • Custom-color profiles do not respond to the FN+<up/down arrow> keys to change the brightness level. They are always displayed at full brightness, unless you do some creative opacity configuration with your layers (such setting a lower black layer, with a colored layer above it set to a low-opacity level).
  • Holding FN does not darken the keyboard as it does for non-custom profiles. The process is still the same for all profiles, though: either hold down FN as usual and press the number of the profile you want to change to, or click on the Profile number in the Unleashed software.
  • Custom-color profiles are not stored on the keyboard, per the EVGA forum staff. The Unleash software must be running for the custom coloration to be displayed on the keyboard.
  • At this time, moving your keyboard's connection to another USB3 port on your PC appears to disable the custom color profiles you've set. You may even see custom profiles created when previously plugged into that other USB3 port. So if you're unplugging the keyboard for any reason, remember the USB3 port you were plugged into.
  • One more note, not yet confirmed for anyone but me: If you use multiple Windows user profiles on the same PC (I use one only for 'work', and another for 'not work'), the Unleash software will only run on the first user profile it was launched from, if that profile remains logged in. You'll still be able to switch and use other profiles from the keyboard, though.
post edited by tmaeller - 2021/08/17 13:00:41
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4 Replies Related Threads

    noneco
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    Re: Basic Guide to Configuring Custom Key Color Layers 2021/07/25 12:36:17 (permalink)
    Just what I was looking for. I'll give it a a try.
    Thanks.
    Cal
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    forrestang
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    Re: Basic Guide to Configuring Custom Key Color Layers 2021/07/25 18:43:06 (permalink)
    tmaeller
    • Custom-color profiles are not stored on the keyboard, per the EVGA forum staff. The Unleashed software must be running for the custom coloration to be displayed on the keyboard.
    • At this time, moving your keyboard's connection to another USB3 port on your PC appears to disable the custom color profiles you've set. You may even see custom profiles created when previously plugged into that other USB3 port. So if you're unplugging the keyboard for any reason, remember the USB3 port you were plugged into.

    Thanks.  I was almost about ready to order one.
     
    I just can't seem to find a keyboard that allows saving of basic RGB colors that does not require software to be running to keep those changes.

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    #3
    tmaeller
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    Re: Basic Guide to Configuring Custom Key Color Layers 2021/07/25 19:08:47 (permalink)
    forrestang
    Thanks. I was almost about ready to order one.
    I just can't seem to find a keyboard that allows saving of basic RGB colors that does not require software to be running to keep those changes.

    For what it's worth, I feel exactly the same way. This would be like being forced to run Precision X just to get functionality out of my EVGA GPU.
     
    Anyway, it's irritating, but fortunately it's not catastrophic. Could possibly be worth if you can find the keyboard at less than MSRP. (Just looked - at this moment, the Z20 Clicky is $75 on Amazon, which is a decent deal compared to the $175 MSRP).
    #4
    Wolf_mafiA
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    Re: Basic Guide to Configuring Custom Key Color Layers 2021/09/20 12:08:30 (permalink)
    Thank you for this guide, it's very clear. Although I found it out by searching why I cannot use the custom profiles on my Z15 on board and ended up here. I wish they could do it, seems like almost all the RGB keyboards out there from Corsair, Steelseries, Razer do this. I use a USB Hub and the board works fine, even in the BIOS for my computer I can change.
     
    Also on a side note, wonder why that USB3.0 color profile disabling behavior exists.
    #5
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