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[.net] Using UpdateLayeredWindows and GDI for per pixel alpha

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Hi, I am trying to draw png files so I can see my desktop through them, and am using UpdateLayeredWindow to do this from a basic, non-altered png, using this code: Note, TheBitmap is a GDI+ bitmap loaded from a png file a little earlier.
	HDC screenDC( GetDC(0) );
	POINT sourcePos = {0};
	HDC sourceDC( CreateCompatibleDC(screenDC) );

	HBITMAP bufferBitmap = {0};
	TheBitmap->GetHBITMAP(0, &bufferBitmap);

	oldBmpSelInDC = (HBITMAP)SelectObject(sourceDC, bufferBitmap);

	POINT pos = {100, 100};
	SIZE size = {TheBitmap->GetWidth(), TheBitmap->GetHeight()};

	BLENDFUNCTION blendFunction = {0};
	blendFunction.BlendOp = AC_SRC_OVER;
	blendFunction.SourceConstantAlpha = 255;
	blendFunction.AlphaFormat = AC_SRC_ALPHA;

	COLORREF colorKey( RGB(255,0,255) );

	UpdateLayeredWindow(hwnd, screenDC, &pos, & size, sourceDC, &sourcePos,
	colorKey, &blendFunction, flags);

	SelectObject(sourceDC, oldBmpSelInDC);
	ReleaseDC(0, screenDC);
Now, I want to alter the bitmap by stretching it, etc, which I have done before using gdi commands and the WM_PAINT prompt. But I don't know how to do this now I am using UpdateLayeredWindow. Should I create a hdc and paint on it using gdi? Then what? How do I use that hdc in the above code? I would really appreciate any help, I have been struggling with this for quite a while. I do realize that this is a fairly tricky subject though, my research has taken a week, and i am still only at the stage where I can do per pixel alhpa with a non-altered image, but not with an altered png.

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You don't use WM_PAINT now (just ignore it).
Your window is cached somewhere in memory, so you can move it around and cover/uncover it with other windows, without redrawing contents.

If you wish to update your window (that is, alter your PNG) just call once again UpdateLayeredWindow with a new bitmap. If you stretch it, don't forget to resize the window.

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Thanks for the reply.

But what Iam wondering is, how do I stretch that png? Before I was using layeredwindows, I would use gdi calls, which worked great.

But now, how do I do it. Do I still use gdi+ calls? If so, where do I get the bitmap from to set updatelayeredwindow with? My png file held in an image source is no longer what I want to display, instead it is an altered version of it. So the image I want dispalyed is no longer held in an image or bitmap class. I dont know where it is stored.

I have searched and searched, but this topic is really not talked about much. Or rather, it is discussed alot if you're a delphi, or vb programmer, but there is so little c++ discussion on it. And what there is, does not cover my problem exactly.

I'll keep struggling on with it, and hope something fits into place in my brain :). thanks for your reply.

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No one can helpw ith this?

Can't say I am surprised, the amount of useful information on this is ridiculously small, and generally for vb and delphi.

If anyone has seen a book using layered windows and gdi together for this sort of effect, I would love to hear about it, and the title of the book so I can buy the thing :)

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There isn't much information because it isn't really useful.
Not only you must have Win2000/XP to use layers, but also you can't have controls on such windows (you have them, but they aren't drawn).

Were you using GDI or GDI+?

If you were using GDI to stretch your picture, that's definitely not the way to do it. Better manually implement bilinear filtering or something.

If it's GDI+, then it's stretching is quite OK. What do you mean you don't know where it's stored? You should have some object.
Basically, if you managed to use an unaltered PNG, I don't see any reason for not being to use an altered one.

I'm doing some stuff with GDI and layered windows, but I'm working in VC6 (and use a lot of pointers for GDI). No books, just a lot of MSDN :-)

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