I want hot GUI
October 20, 2007 9:38 PM   Subscribe

What programming interface under windows will allow me make those nice smooth animated transparent windows. For example: the Picasa splashscreen, the Eject display of Bootcamp, or Rainmeter/Rainlendar.

I don't think DirectX is being used because that would require special grafic cards and a dedicated screen surface capture. GDI+ is also probably not being used because it's not fast enough. GDI I hardly think
posted by markovich to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
alpha blending + a timer
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 PM on October 20, 2007

yeah...i'm not entirely familiar with bootcamp's technique, but i'm guessing they would use an absolutely positioned div (to create a sense of disconnect from the underlying screen) and, as blaze mentioned, manipulate the opacity of the div. firefox and ie both have different approaches to opacity, i believe, so you may need to cater to both. (i'm not even sure where safari fits into the picture.)
posted by moz at 11:09 PM on October 20, 2007

under windows, using .NET, you can do a non-rectangular clipping region with a bitmask. Instead of a bitmask, you can use an alpha channel, which leads to nice effects.

This msdn post: "Creating Non-Rectangular Splash Screen - using Alpha Channel" may be useful:

posted by jenkinsEar at 7:39 AM on October 21, 2007

If you are allergic to .NET, alpha-blending can also be done with the Windows GDI AlphaBlend
function (requires Windows 98 or later)
posted by hexatron at 9:00 AM on October 21, 2007

Look into WPF (Windows Presentation Framework).
posted by Riemann at 3:38 PM on October 22, 2007

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