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Posted 30 Dec 2010

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Transparent OpenGL window

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4.43/5 (6 votes)
5 Jan 2011CPOL
Create a transparent window for OpenGL so your 3D shows directly on the desktop.
I saw a query posted regarding this in the Graphics[^] forum and thought it might be a good tip to add here.

So we start with creating a layered window:

Use the CreateWindowEx[^] function with the dwExStyle parameter set to WS_EX_LAYERED and the dwStyle parameter set to WS_POPUP.
CreateWindowEx(WS_EX_LAYERED,"OpenGL","OpenGL",WS_POPUP, ...);

Set the layered attributes of this window using the SetLayeredWindowAttributes[^] function. Use LWA_COLORKEY as the dwFlags parameter and 0 as the crKey parameter. Now, everything rendered in OpenGL with RGB 000 will be transparent.
SetLayeredWindowAttributes(hWnd, 0, 0, LWA_COLORKEY);

Only thing remaining is to make sure you clear your OpenGL background using 0x00000000 and that you don't have absolute 0 in any of your 3D models!
glClearColor(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);

I hope this helps.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralReason for my vote of 4 good! Pin
GPUToaster™30-Dec-10 20:09
MemberGPUToaster™30-Dec-10 20:09 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 May be a way to mix 2D GDI and 3D Op... Pin
jean Davy30-Dec-10 10:55
Memberjean Davy30-Dec-10 10:55 
Reason for my vote of 5
May be a way to mix 2D GDI and 3D OpenGl !

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