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Posted 27 Dec 2006


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Falling Snow on Your Desktop! The C# Version

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4.60/5 (25 votes)
27 Dec 20062 min read
This article explains how to create an application that makes it snow on the desktop.



I posted my article Falling Snow on Your Desktop! just a week ago, and received many requests regarding a C# version of the application. So, the C# version is here.

Every time the Christmas holidays come, I think about funny toys for my desktop.

<ps>Searching through the Internet, you can easily find many wonderful desktop gifts for any occasion, including Christmas time. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any source code or open source sample of such desktop animations.

So, I decided to create my own application that makes it snow on the desktop over other windows. As I can see from the Internet, many authors use different ways to display snow fall on the desktop. I tried to create my application as simple as possible, and decided to develop a system tray application with numerous child flake windows. I think this method is the simplest, but has a few limitations regarding memory and video usage.

General Steps

  1. Creating the main window.

    We need to create a hidden form and prevent more than one open 'Snow' window at the same time. I used a piece of code from the article 'Restricting Application to a Single Instance' by Vasudevan Deepak Kumar. The following code fragment shows how to do this:

    using System.Threading;
    private static Mutex m_Mutex;
    m_Mutex = new Mutex(true, "SnowFallMutex");
    if (m_Mutex.WaitOne(0, false))
         Application.Run(new MainForm());
  2. Installing the system tray icon.

    If you need step-by-step instructions on how you can do this, read the 'C# Tip: Placing Your C# Application in the System Tray' article by Tom Archer.

  3. Creating the array of snow flakes.

    In this application, each snow flake has been created as a non-modal window form, with its own, timer-dependent, movement function.

    private void OnLoad(object sender, EventArgs e)
        Rectangle rcWorkArea = Screen.PrimaryScreen.WorkingArea;
        int nScreenWidth = rcWorkArea.Width;
        int nTimer = 5;
        int nPosX = 0;
        Random r = new Random();
        for (int i = 0; i < 10; i++)
            nTimer = r.Next(50);
            nPosX = r.Next(nScreenWidth);
            FlakeDlg fd = new FlakeDlg(nTimer, nPosX);
  4. Creating a flake shape from the bitmap.

    Before running the window, we need to create a flake region that shows the window as a real snow flake. I used the 'BitmapRegion.CreateControlRegion' function from the article of Weiye Chen.

  5. The last step: start the timer and enjoy.

    The last thing to do is start the timer and see how the flakes move. I used a very simple algorithm below, but it is sufficient to show thr snow movement on the desktop.

    private void OnTimer(object sender, EventArgs e)
        m_nCurrentY += 5;
        Random r = new Random();
        if (m_nCounter == 15)
            if ((r.Next(10) - 5) > 0) m_nIncrement = 1;
            else m_nIncrement = -1;
            m_nCounter = 0;
        m_nCurrentX += m_nIncrement;
        if (m_nCurrentY > m_nScreenHeight)
            m_nCurrentY = 0;
            m_nCurrentX = r.Next(m_nScreenWidth);
            m_nTimer = r.Next(50) + 10;
        this.Left = m_nCurrentX;
        this.Top = m_nCurrentY;
        this.timerMove.Interval = m_nTimer;

This example can be extended by drawing snowdrifts on the desktop, and displaying Santa, Snowman, and other objects. You can experiment with the flakes positioning (top, topmost, bottom), the number of flakes, the falling speed etc.

Anyway, I hope others find this code useful for the Christmas holidays. Please feel free to report errors, issues, or requests.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Igor Tolmachev
Software Developer (Senior)
Ukraine Ukraine
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

QuestionGood Post Pin
Bhavesh Patel11-Jan-16 19:03
MemberBhavesh Patel11-Jan-16 19:03 
GeneralYou are a real smart guy! Pin
Member 113253493-Jan-15 23:01
MemberMember 113253493-Jan-15 23:01 
Questionthnx Pin
Rohit Dubey from Hyderabad9-Mar-12 7:01
MemberRohit Dubey from Hyderabad9-Mar-12 7:01 
Questionokay if I convert this to Visual COBOL? Pin
Scot Nielsen16-Dec-10 3:32
MemberScot Nielsen16-Dec-10 3:32 
GeneralCPU Pin
blahxblitzed4-Oct-07 22:34
Memberblahxblitzed4-Oct-07 22:34 
GeneralNew Dialogs & CPU/Memory Issues Pin
JurkMonkey230-Jan-07 18:45
MemberJurkMonkey230-Jan-07 18:45 
GeneralRe: New Dialogs & CPU/Memory Issues Pin
Igor Tolmachev31-Jan-07 2:28
MemberIgor Tolmachev31-Jan-07 2:28 
QuestionRe: New Dialogs & CPU/Memory Issues Pin
blahxblitzed4-Oct-07 22:36
Memberblahxblitzed4-Oct-07 22:36 
QuestionRe: New Dialogs & CPU/Memory Issues Pin
Neo7772-Nov-07 23:23
MemberNeo7772-Nov-07 23:23 
QuestionBehind icons? Pin
Soykaf4-Jan-07 5:47
MemberSoykaf4-Jan-07 5:47 
GeneralThanks! Pin
PreciousPJ4-Jan-07 4:27
MemberPreciousPJ4-Jan-07 4:27 
GeneralCPU load Pin
Simone Busoli3-Jan-07 2:37
MemberSimone Busoli3-Jan-07 2:37 
GeneralRe: CPU load Pin
Igor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:41
MemberIgor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:41 
GeneralMulit-monitor support Pin
Benjamin Liedblad2-Jan-07 16:31
MemberBenjamin Liedblad2-Jan-07 16:31 
GeneralRe: Mulit-monitor support Pin
Igor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:24
MemberIgor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:24 
GeneralRe: Mulit-monitor support Pin
UltronX14-Jan-09 0:43
MemberUltronX14-Jan-09 0:43 
GeneralNice work Pin
--=A J E E S H=--27-Dec-06 22:35
Member--=A J E E S H=--27-Dec-06 22:35 
GeneralRe: Nice work Pin
Igor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:13
MemberIgor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:13 
GeneralNice. Enhancement: reduce flicker Pin
Yoong Hor Meng27-Dec-06 17:34
MemberYoong Hor Meng27-Dec-06 17:34 
GeneralRe: Nice. Enhancement: reduce flicker Pin
Igor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:12
MemberIgor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:12 
GeneralNice work Pin
Muhadeeb9927-Dec-06 9:55
MemberMuhadeeb9927-Dec-06 9:55 
GeneralRe: Nice work Pin
Igor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:13
MemberIgor Tolmachev3-Jan-07 5:13 

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