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Author Topic: Windows 7 Modal Dialogs - Aero Glass problem  (Read 8398 times)
skceB
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« on: August 20, 2010, 07:49:20 AM »

Hello everyone.

In our company I am the one to do all the screenshot-related stuff. I really like doing screenshots and I think the results of my work are pretty good (thanks to Screenshot Capture)! For 2 years now there is a problem which no screenshot tool could solve but maybe you guys know a solution.
When capturing screenshots of modal dialogs (the ones where the "main program" can't be activated) the aero glass window somehow gets corrupted. But let me show you an example:

This is how the screenshot SHOULD look like (I used capture full screen and cropped the image):
http://netboo.vs120093.hl-users.com/screens/1.png

This is how the screenshot actually looks like when using "capture active window":
http://netboo.vs120093.hl-users.com/screens/2.png

The window somehow loses its focus and the rounded borders are being lost.

Regular windows look great when using the settings:
http://netboo.vs120093.hl-users.com/screens/3.png

I hope you can help me since capturing modal dialogs requires additional work while capturing regular windows is great. Batch capturing screenshots took me weeks last year, with Screenshot Captor it's a matter of days (~100 Screenshots with different content * 13 Languages).

Another question I have is not dependent on Screenshot Captor. It is about using ClearType or not when taking Screenshots. Especially when printing the screenshots. But this topic is worth a unique thread.

Thanks everyone for your help!


* 1.png (25.89 KB, 530x620 - viewed 211 times.)

* 2.png (23.2 KB, 520x610 - viewed 170 times.)

* 3.png (62.96 KB, 669x537 - viewed 189 times.)
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 08:16:10 AM »

Let me try to reproduce this, sounds like it should be an easy bug to fix.
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skceB
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 08:21:30 AM »

thank you!
it might be a problem in our software. I am not sure... you can download it from tune-up.com.
maybe I should talk to one of our devs...

/e: I just tried to reproduce this on other software... it is the same behaviour for example on itunes when you open the settings which is a modal dialog, too.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 08:26:36 AM by skceB » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 08:26:50 AM »

can anyone else confirm they are or are not having the same problem doing an active window capture on a modal dialog on windows 7?

i do have an idea of something i might test if i can't reproduce the problem.. because of the way SC captures active windows on win7, it may be that the window is not having enough time to redraw itself completely or regain focus while it's being captured.  i can introduce an additional delay if that is indeed the problem.. i may send you a link to a beta version to test.
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skceB
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 08:30:09 AM »

I don't think its a bug in Screenshot Capture... it seems to be the way windows renders modal dialogs.. I will add a screrenshot to show you what I mean.

/e: sorry no screenshot but an explanation. I used a tool called winspy++ to show the modal dialogs attributes. somehow it says the windows size is 520x610 which is exactly the size of the wrong screenshot. it seems to me that modal dialogs are not handled like common windows... sorry that I can't explain in detail what I mean but I don't think that the bug is in Screenshot Captor. However, that doesn't mean we can't find a solution Wink
screenshot captor could check if the current window is a modal dialog (WS_EX_DLGMODALFRAME) and if yes, add +x pixels

/e2:
http://www.ntwind.com/sof...insnap/windows-vista.html

Quote
New translucent window borders and surfaces require completely different processing by screen capture software. But the most annoying aspect of this platform concerns the modal dialogs. Look at these screenshots:
Windows Vista includes a new screen capture utility called Snipping Tool, but it does not work correctly with Aero theme. Surprised? - No, it is Microsoft afterall...
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 09:07:50 AM by skceB » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2010, 09:20:58 AM »

thankfully because of all of the extra work that goes into capturing aero transparency, this should not be a huge problem to fix -- because SC already does not "trust" the dimensions it is told for the window, and instead takes a bigger area in order to look for shadows, etc.  so it should just be a matter of enlarging the area it considers.. i think.
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skceB
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2010, 10:26:24 AM »

thank god for all the good software engineering paradigm
btw in what language is screenshot captor written?
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2010, 10:31:35 AM »

Screenshot Captor is written in C++, using C++ Builder.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2010, 11:57:32 AM »

Looks like another capture program has been dealing with this. Seems they get around the drop shadow problem by just imitating the drop shadow and drawing it on themselves.

http://www.ntwind.com/sof...insnap/windows-vista.html

I'm just starting to play around with some of this glass stuff.  Now I know why many programs want you to stick an icon onto a sheet of ice.  Icons seem to be resistant to glass smudge that plagues images and other stuff like text. It would be nice if they came out with functions that just produce the desired result on glass.  Like DrawTextOnGlass() or something.

I found out from code on AutoIt3 forum there's composition that's on Windows7 that's not on Vista.

Seems if you use a layered window you can get a translucent glass effect. On Vista the same attempt just produces a black client area.  Just gets more complex it seems. smiley

Here's a shot of the tranlucent effect if anyone is curious:

http://www.favessoft.com/SelectorTrans.jpg



« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 12:01:55 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2010, 12:04:34 PM »

Miles, there is a whole long thread on aero glass capture developments in screenshot captor.
The new version can capture these translucent semi transparent shadow effects perfectly now.

The only problem raised here is some issue with modal windows, and this should be something simple to solve.
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2010, 01:40:42 PM »

skceB, can you try going into "Window Capturing 1" options and trying setting the following options, and see if it makes any difference:

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MilesAhead
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2010, 01:45:33 PM »

Miles, there is a whole long thread on aero glass capture developments in screenshot captor.
The new version can capture these translucent semi transparent shadow effects perfectly now.

The only problem raised here is some issue with modal windows, and this should be something simple to solve.

That's what the article was about. Modal dialogs.
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mouser
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2010, 02:18:10 PM »

modal aero dialogs are capturing fine for me on my windows 7 machine, so something more is going on.
skceB can you try to narrow it down a bit -- make sure you have the latest version of screenshot captor, and see if you can't figure out if it's all modal dialogs or just one or two, and which.  if you can find a built-in windows 7 application/accessory that this happens with it would make it easier for me to test.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2010, 02:31:37 PM »

modal aero dialogs are capturing fine for me on my windows 7 machine, so something more is going on.

Ok. Guess I shouldn't get in the middle of your software support issues and confuse things. Sorry. smiley
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mouser
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2010, 02:33:54 PM »

no problem -- your link would have been useful earlier this year -- it's just that SC now employs has state of the art methods to capture these kinds of windows, addressing all of the issues raised on that page -- and so all of these issues should be solved in the latest version.  For a screencast discussing SC aero glass capturing: http://www.donationcoder....sts/dc/3ds/sc17/sc17.html
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skceB
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2010, 05:10:57 AM »

I am going to check the version and try a few more things on monday. however, please note that the problem is not only that the rounded borders are cut, also the window is not activated (which you can see by the missing red color on the close button and the border being white instead of blue). also, i configured windows to disable window shadows. the screenshots I need should be active with no shadow and rounded corners smiley
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 05:12:36 AM by skceB » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2010, 07:11:45 AM »

yeah it would be helpful to hear results of a few more experiments, to see if you can narrow down the conditions where the problem happens.
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joby_toss
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2010, 09:58:13 AM »

Here is my test:
1. FreeCommander Settings window (modal)
2. Firefox 4 Options window (modal)
3. ScreenshotCaptor Preferences window (non-modal)

System: windows7x64, no UAC, always admin
ScreenshotCaptor's version:  2.84.01
Method of capture: right-click SC's tray icon, left click Grab Active window, fast left click - select the desired window to be captured (otherwise the result is not satisfying).


* Screenshot - 2010.08.21 , 5_33_41 PM.png (63.53 KB, 611x554 - viewed 175 times.)

* Screenshot - 2010.08.21 , 5_40_08 PM.png (117.26 KB, 594x561 - viewed 160 times.)

* Screenshot - 2010.08.21 , 5_50_15 PM.png (94.86 KB, 700x513 - viewed 155 times.)
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mouser
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2010, 10:02:34 AM »

ok now i'm REALLY confused.  every single one of your captures looks like it's not captured properly. tellme
am i the only one who is getting proper aero glass capture on windows 7 ?!?!?!

i think i really need to back up, since i've just been assuming it's working for people due to lack of reports to the contrary.

let's put aside the modal window issue for now and get back to basics of capturing a non-modal active window.  can i hear some reports about whether it's working or not for people?
there's no point trying to fix some modal-specific bug if it's not even working on normal windows.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 10:04:20 AM by mouser » Logged
joby_toss
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2010, 10:49:33 AM »

When I open the third one in Gimp, I see the Alpha channel; not for the first two (same settings used to capture); what's wrong?

Notepad looks good, too.


* Screenshot - 2010.08.21 , 6_47_45 PM.png (230.23 KB, 1023x680 - viewed 177 times.)

* Screenshot - 2010.08.21 , 6_53_06 PM.png (188.98 KB, 1009x674 - viewed 146 times.)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 10:53:10 AM by joby_toss » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2010, 10:54:43 AM »

can you try changing that 200 to a 0 and see if it fixes the problem where the Screenshot Captor dialog is trimmed too much?
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joby_toss
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2010, 11:19:34 AM »

Weird results (I only changed that 200 value to 0)!


* Screenshot - 2010.08.21 , 7_17_37 PM.png (85.6 KB, 700x513 - viewed 157 times.)

* Screenshot - 2010.08.21 , 7_18_19 PM.png (208.98 KB, 981x698 - viewed 179 times.)
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mouser
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2010, 11:21:56 AM »

it seems like maybe its not having enough time to refresh.. im going to add an option to slow down the aero capture process and ask you guys to test that.  at least it will give us a clue.
stay tuned.
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mouser
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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2010, 12:15:39 PM »

Can you guys install this beta:
http://www.donationcoder....ScreenshotCaptorSetup.exe

Then go into the "Windows Capturing 1" tab in options and set the new "Delay btw. black+white" option to something high like 1000.


Hopefully that will fix the problem, but if not, at least it may give you a chance to visually see on screen what it going wrong.
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joby_toss
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2010, 04:46:25 PM »

Tried this latest beta. You have to see it to believe it. I don't understand...

Here I used the right click tray icon/grab active window method:
http://www.mediafire.com/?l88o038425zw4y4

Here I used my shortcut keys (ctrl+shift+A):
http://www.mediafire.com/?y36foeawcbdf815
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