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free and open-source wallpaper engine. set any window or video as your wallpaper

UPDATE: for an easy to use front-end, check out https://github.com/SegoCode/AutoWall

github doesn't like having big gifs in the readme, so here's a imgur gallery

this was put together in ~2 afternoons worth of coding. I can't maintain this very regularly as I don't use windows and I have to either fire up a virtual machine or install windows temporarily to my 2nd pc to work on it, so help and testing are welcome

only tested on Windows 10 version 1709 build 16299.15, should work on all versions of windows 10 and 8.1 as well as Windows 7

Windows 7 prerequisites

go to start -> search for "Adjust the appearance and performance of windows" and click it, then make sure at least these are checked

  • Animate controls and elements inside windows
  • Enable desktop composition
  • Use visual styles on windows and buttons

if you don't enable these settings, weebp won't be able to put your animated wallpaper behind the icons. it will still work, but it will cover your desktop icons

roadmap

  • initial focus is on the command-line interface just because that's what I would use, but a gui is not hard to implement later on. it's easy to write glue scripts to automate it or bind it to keys anyways
  • forwarding mouse interactions to the captured windows should be easy and would allow interactive wallpapers, I'll implement it ASAP

installation

download the latest binaries from https://github.com/Francesco149/weebp/releases

extract the zip and place the folder anywhere you like

double-click 0bootstrap. this will run install.ps1. it's recommended that you check install.ps1 in notepad before running this just to make sure that it hasn't been tampered with and doesn't do anything bad

this will add the folder to your Path environment variable and create three shortcuts on your desktop to quickly add windows to your wallpaper and control mpv without opening a shell

type wp in a powershell or cmd window to check out the available commands

mpv

mpv is the ideal candidate to play video files or stream videos to your desktop when combined with weebp. it's an extremely powerful player that combined with youtube-dl can stream videos and livestreams from almost any url as well as conventional video files.

download the latest mpv and youtube-dl here

I like throwing the mpv files and youtube-dl into the same folder as weebp so they're available from everywhere

if you don't want to do this, just make sure mpv's path is in your Path environment variable

check out mpv-install.bat if you wish to make mpv your default player

recipe: automatic wallpaper set-up

this example starts infinitely looping playback of %USERPROFILE%\Videos\wallpapers using mpv, moves it to the right monitor and sets it as the wallpaper on that monitor. then it starts Google Chrome in kiosk mode (borderless) on a nice 3D demo site then sets it as the wallpaper on the left monitor.

create a .bat file in the same folder as wp.exe and put the following in it

@echo off

wp run mpv ^
--player-operation-mode=pseudo-gui ^
--force-window=yes ^
--terminal=no ^
--no-audio ^
--loop=inf ^
--loop-playlist=inf ^
--input-ipc-server=\\.\pipe\mpvsocket ^
%USERPROFILE%\Videos\wallpapers

wp mv --wait --class mpv -x 1920
wp add --wait --fullscreen --class mpv

wp run "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" ^
--incognito ^
--kiosk ^
--no-default-browser-check ^
https://awkure.github.io

wp add --wait --fullscreen --name "Purgatory | Home - Google Chrome"

if you have youtube-dl in the same folder as mpv, you can plug any youtube, twitch url or pretty much any streaming service instead of a video file/folder. try http://openings.moe ! this will slow down the start-up time as it needs to connect to a server

you'd set up a script like this to run on start-up if you want your wallpaper to persist at all times

recipe: controlling mpv while it's in the wallpaper

another neat mpv feature is that you can control it through a named pipe. this means that you can send commands to an instance of mpv running in your wallpaper to skip through your playlist, display text and more. all you have to do is start mpv with --input-ipc-server=\\.\pipe\mpvsocket

wp has a built-in shortcut to write commands to mpv like wp mpv playlist-next

by the way, there's a headless version of wp.exe called wp-headless.exe that doesn't pop up a terminal. this is useful if you want to create a shortcut that runs wp commands.

rationale and how it works

on linux you can just mpv --wid 0 to play a video on the wallpaper window, but windows makes it a bit more obscure. at first I tried drawing to GetDesktopWindow and a few other windows that seemed good candidates but it would just draw over the desktop icons.

after googling around a bit and dicking around on a friend's PC over teamviewer (I don't have windows installed) I found this great comment on codeproject that points out an undocumented window message that spawns a window behind the desktop icons. this is supposedly used to display the animation when switching backgrounds

I was delighted by the simple 2-lines-of-code solution so I decided to make my own lightweight wallpaper engine

the best part is that this transparently gives you the window handle so you can plug it into virtually anything. mpv accepts a --wid parameter on windows as well so that already allows you to play almost any video format to the wallpaper. if you add youtube-dl, you can also stream videos and livestreams from all major sites

it's as simple as mpv --wid=$(wp id) myvideo.mp4 and it doesnt require having steam open or anything

building from source

this is for developers and people who just want to compile this from source for any reason

install:

  • Visual C++ Build Tools 2017
  • Windows 10 SDK (8.1 should work as well)
  • git
  • 7zip

the preferred method of installing dependencies is chocolatey

choco install git 7zip visualcpp-build-tools windows-sdk-10 -y

now open a powershell window, clone and build for 32 and 64 bit

git clone https://github.com/Francesco149/weebp
cd weebp
Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force
.\vcvarsall17.ps1 x86; .\release.ps1
.\vcvarsall17.ps1 x64; .\release.ps1

if all goes well, this will create two zip's correctly named after the version and architecture

if you just want to build and not package, you can run cmd /c "build.bat" instead of .\release.ps1and it will buildwp.exe``` into the current directory

using it as a C library

weebp.c is a single header library, check the top of the file for documentation

#define WP_IMPLEMENTATION
#include "weebp.c"

if you prefer using it as an actual library, a static weebp.lib is included and you can link it and omit the WP_IMPLEMENTATION define to only include the header part of weebp

there's also a dynamic library weeb.dll, it's completely untested but it should work for FFI/Pinvoke in other languages

license

this is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain see the attached UNLICENSE or http://unlicense.org for details