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Need ideas on missing GUI in animation


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I’ve made (attempted to make) an animated GIF by capturing a few seconds of screen motion of one of my GUIs in action.


The problem is, my GUI is invisible. (Below is an example where I drag my GUI back and forth in the frame.)


I’ve tried several different capture rates and different backgrounds ... always with the same result.  I’ve even tried two different GIF capture programs and got the same result.  One developer (of the GIF capture software) has tried my example and it worked fine on his PC. He sent me a proper example back. So, for the time being, I have to assume it’s something on my end. But what are some possibilities?


A )  Some subtle DLL parameter when I create the GUI?

B )  Something related to my Intel HD Graphics maybe being too smart?

C )  Something about layered graphics that rarely comes up.

D )  Other: ________


Here are some pertinent facts:

>My GUI is a “TopMost, Layered ToolWindow” ... draggable via WM_NCHITTEST

>My GUI is always recorded properly by a Print Screen operation ... when pasted into MSPaint.

>My GUI has run fine for months in amongst other applications on my desktop. It always maintains its rightful place on top of other applications.


I'm really at a loss and any ideas of what to try will be greatly appreciated.




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Did you get the details of the developer's PC?

And I take it that the example you provided him, is identical to yours in all respects?

I'm guessing that it is not refresh rate related?

Or your active desktop settings?

Could be a difference between OS or 64 bit?

How customizable is the screen motion capture?

One presumes his settings were the same as yours?

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Here's a simple script that produces the invisible GUI:

;   This is a much-modified script just to demonstrate dragging a Torus.png
#include <GDIPlus.au3>
#include <GUIConstantsEx.au3>
#include <WindowsConstants.au3>

Opt("GUIOnEventMode", 1)

Global Const $SC_DRAGMOVE = 0xF012
Global $GUI, $eenmaalexit = True
FileInstall("c:\AutoIt3\Examples\GUI\Torus.png", @ScriptDir & "\Torus.png")


$GUI = GUICreate("", 198, 210, -1, -1, $WS_POPUP, BitOR($WS_EX_LAYERED, $WS_EX_TOOLWINDOW, $WS_EX_TOPMOST))
GUICtrlSetState(-1, $GUI_DISABLE)
$Label = GUICtrlCreateLabel("", 0, 0, 120, 120, -1, $GUI_WS_EX_PARENTDRAG)
GUICtrlSetTip(-1, "Click and hold to drag" & @CRLF & "... ESC to close")

$iLoad = _GDIPlus_ImageLoadFromFile(@ScriptDir & "\Torus.png")
$hGraphic = _GDIPlus_ImageGetGraphicsContext($iLoad)
_SetBitmap($GUI, $iLoad, 255, _GDIPlus_ImageGetWidth($iLoad), _GDIPlus_ImageGetHeight($iLoad))



GUISetOnEvent($GUI_EVENT_CLOSE, "_Dragwindow")

While 1

Func _Exit()

Func _Dragwindow()
    Switch @GUI_CtrlId
        Case $GUI_EVENT_CLOSE

Func _WM_LBUTTONDOWN($hWnd, $iMsg, $wParam, $lParam)
    _SendMessage($GUI, $WM_SYSCOMMAND, $SC_DRAGMOVE, 0)

Func _SetBitmap($hGUI, $hImage, $iOpacity, $n_width, $n_height)
    Local $hScrDC, $hMemDC, $hBitmap, $hOld, $pSize, $tSize, $pSource, $tSource, $pBlend, $tBlend
    $hScrDC = _WinAPI_GetDC(0)
    $hMemDC = _WinAPI_CreateCompatibleDC($hScrDC)
    $hBitmap = _GDIPlus_BitmapCreateHBITMAPFromBitmap($hImage)
    $hOld = _WinAPI_SelectObject($hMemDC, $hBitmap)
    $tSize = DllStructCreate($tagSIZE)
    $pSize = DllStructGetPtr($tSize)
    DllStructSetData($tSize, "X", $n_width)
    DllStructSetData($tSize, "Y", $n_height)
    $tSource = DllStructCreate($tagPOINT)
    $pSource = DllStructGetPtr($tSource)
    $tBlend = DllStructCreate($tagBLENDFUNCTION)
    $pBlend = DllStructGetPtr($tBlend)
    DllStructSetData($tBlend, "Alpha", $iOpacity)
    DllStructSetData($tBlend, "Format", 1)
    _WinAPI_UpdateLayeredWindow($hGUI, $hScrDC, 0, $pSize, $hMemDC, $pSource, 0, $pBlend, $ULW_ALPHA)
    _WinAPI_ReleaseDC(0, $hScrDC)
    _WinAPI_SelectObject($hMemDC, $hOld)
EndFunc   ;==>_SetBitmap

The GIF capture software is called ScreenToGif on CodePlex: https://screentogif.codeplex.com/

Aside from the fact that it doesn't work for this GUI, I've been impressed with the utility.  The GIF compression is very good.

I'm running Win7 Pro, but the developer tested on Win8.1.  We both tried different frame rates between 10 and 20.  I've tested with three different scripts (similar to the above; TopMost, Popup, etc.) and get the same result.

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From a little searching this is how I understand it works when recording layered windows

Win 7

  • DWM off, capture program must use CAPTUREBLT flag with BitBlt (ScreenToGif does not seem to use this, look here)
  • DWM on, layered windows always included (?)

Based on this I assume you have DWM (Aero) disabled.

It works for me and the other dev because Win 8 always have DWM on (can't be disabled).

So you need to either enable DWM (enable the Aero theme) or use a recorder that specifically supports layered windows...

I use OBS for game/screen recording and it does have a [Capture Layered Windows] setting which I imagine is exactly for this. But it records to mp4 not gif.

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A brilliant analysis!

I assume you have DWM (Aero) disabled


Yes, I turn aero off every time I've configured a new PC ... (it's such a visual mess!) ... so it's nothing I ever think about.

With aero On (and detuned to look halfway reasonable), recording works as expected.

I'll pass your points to the developer to see what he can do.

Thanks very much for solving this.



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