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Author Topic: Capturing Black Window  (Read 1444 times)

bsterner

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Capturing Black Window
« on: May 06, 2019, 09:32 AM »
Hello,

I am monitoring a software application and using your software to see what error messages a user is receiving while using that app. I noticed while monitoring this application i get a black window. It is happening while the application on screen is not being used. I am monitoring in "Active window or desktop if none" and i do have the option checked for blank window contents. Is there any way to stop seeing these?


blank_window.PNGCapturing Black Window

mouser

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2019, 04:20 PM »
Can you elaborate a little on what is happening and what you would like to happen?

bsterner

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2019, 07:54 PM »
Thanks for the reply,

I have a workstation that runs a application on it that users are using early in the morning. The users are receiving random error messages so im using your Automatic Screenshotter to capture those error messages. Everything is working great however im getting random screenshots of the application that is a black window. It mostly is happening when the software is sitting idle. When i check the directory ill have 100+ black window screenshots. I wanted to know if the application can somehow ignore these black windows. I attached a screenshot on the original thread.

mouser

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 07:59 PM »
So I still have a few questions in my attempt to understand what is happening:

Is the window supposed to be black? You say there are 100+ black window screenshots -- are they identical?  Or is there something in the window that is changing that is making AS think the contents have changed?

What is that window that AS is having a hard time capturing? Is it video? (video players can use advanced overlays that screen capture apps can't see)? Or is some security program blocking screenshots of it for some reason?

I guess I'm trying to understand if the problem is that AS is capturing black windows when it should be capturing the content, or if AS is saving multiple copies of a blank window which is not changing, which it shouldn't be doing, or some combination..

If you don't care about that application you can tell AS to ignore it.. But that seems like a workaround.. I'd like to understand where AS is messing up.

I'm assuming in the capture rules you have AS set to Ignore changes of less than X pixels with X set to some non-zero value.
You might try disabling the option on Capture Options tab to "Also capture whenever the active window changes".

bsterner

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 08:34 PM »
I appreciate the help. The window is not normally black. It will show one screenshot of the window perfect and the next one will be black and the next one will be the window normal. It does this over and over again while the app is idle. It seems like maybe the AS is catching a redraw of the app. I attached both images so you can see it.
jettouch_000103_as.pngCapturing Black Window

jettouch_000058_as.pngCapturing Black Window

Of course both windows look different and i would prefer the black out one to not be taken. Its not a video. Here is my settings
as_capture_rules_1.pngCapturing Black Window

as_capture_rules_2.pngCapturing Black Window

mouser

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2019, 09:30 PM »
Ok, so it sounds like what you are saying is AS is alternately capturing the window black and then normal, over and over again?
And so it's not that you are getting hundreds of mostly black windows in a row, but rather an alternating sequence of black and then normal.. And the theory about AS catching it in mid-redraw sounds feasible..

Does that sound right?

bsterner

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 11:37 AM »
Yes your correct. I made a change yesterday to use the setting Active Monitor and this behavior stopped happening. So it seems that maybe it is related to a redraw/refresh of the app.

mouser

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2019, 05:10 PM »
bsterner says he got it fixed, though I'm not sure what he changed to fix it..

However, if this problem is affecting other people, it may call for a workaround.

Jay, are you seeing the same behavior, where you are getting alternating captures of the same window, one black and one correct?  Could you attach a sample screenshot of the black window?

If the problem is AS capturing windows while they are refreshing, and there isn't a good official proper way to avoid that, I could code a workaround that basically checked if the client area (not including the tilebar and border) of a window was all black, and skip capturing if so..  But I'd like to hear more about the problem before I do.



Perhaps what bsterner was saying was that disabling the option to capture when the active window changes solved his problem:
Screenshot - 5_8_2019 , 5_11_49 PM.png

And so perhaps the problem is that AS is trying to capture right away in this scenario, and the app is in the process of redrawing.. In which case an easier fix would simply be to make it so for this option there is a slight delay on capturing the newly focused active window.  This seems the easiest and most promising path.

But again, what I need to hear from people is if this matches their experience -- is this black window thing happening only when the user is switching back to this window making it newly active/foreground/etc?  Or is the problem randomly happening even if the window is always staying the active foreground window?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 05:15 PM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2019, 09:13 PM »
Hmm checking the code it looks like I already have a 1 second delay before trying to capture a newly active window... So I guess that's unlikely to be the issue..

mouser

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Re: Capturing Black Window
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2019, 10:36 PM »
I've uploaded a new beta (see beta link on main thread); I don' think it will address the black window issue per se, but it DOES show a preview of the last captured window which may aid in diagnosing.