Some weeks ago I asked here on BA forum if it was possible to customize the Blender 2.8 icons. After the answers, with a bit of study, application and tests, I was finally able to get the result.
I know that the choice of the new icons for Blender 2.8 has been argument of heated discussions. I waited for the official final release and then compared the new UI with the 2.79 one. Apart from other important changes, the problem is that I love colors and don’t like modern minimalist trends.
So, after learning how to compile Blender, and understood which are the important files, this is the effect: a fully working Blender 2.8 with the colorful icons of 2.79 (when possible):
Unfortunately, up to now there is not a direct way to change the icons from within the program, so here a brief how-to:
If you already know how to compile Blender from sources, you can skip to point 2)
1) The official Wiki present a Quick Setup Guide. By carefully following it, you will able to compile the latest Blender from sources. I tried the method and succeeded the first time.
(This works for Windows, for other OSes there are similar instructions on the Wiki)
2) Test if it works correctly. You should see the UI with the new monochromatic icons.
3) The time-consuming task has been to (very) carefully adapt the old icon sheet to the new environment. I fully respected the note of the original author: Icons within Blender must be used only for functions they were designed for in order to maintain GUI’s internal integrity, to keep good UX under control and to avoid confusion.
For the task I found very useful the references provided by mkbreuer here on BA forum.
When possible, I substituted the monochromatic icons of 2.80 with the colorful ones of 2.79. For new features that don’t have previous correspondences I left the monochromatic icons.
You can download the modified icon sheet here.
If the forum/browser gives a long, strange name, rename the file as blender_icons.svg
Substitute the file with the same name in the folder …\blender-git\blender\release\datafiles.
For safety, delete the contents of the folders …\blender-git\blender\release\datafiles\blender_icons16 and …\blender-git\blender\release\datafiles\blender_icons32
4) Run the python script blender_icons_update.py present in the folder …\blender-git\blender\release\datafiles. I used Pycharm Community Edition to avoid permission or path errors, but you can use any working Python IDE/console.
5) Now the final step. From the DOS console cmd.exe, go to …\blender-git\blender and write:
In this way you will compile Blender with the new icons.
6) After the compilation, go to …\blender-git\build_windows_Full_x64_vc15_Release\bin\Release, and you will find the file blender.exe. Run it, and voilà Blender 2.80 (2.81 if you download the latest sources), with the old familiar and colorful icons.
To avoid unwanted modified colors by the program, go to Edit/ Preferences/ Themes/ User Interface/ Icon Colors and set them all to White. Check if all the icons are in the correct places. Some examples:
I surely hope that some developers will finally provide some simpler methods to use custom icon sheets, but for the moment this can be a solution.
You can ask here if you find problem in applying the modified icon sheet.