On 6/3/06, Callum Lerwick <seg(a)haxxed.com> wrote:
On Wed, 2006-05-31 at 10:13 -0400, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> Transulency in any layering textual element that users are expected to
> read is a usability killer.. full stop. Being able to sort of read
> the desktop underneath the text in an semi-transparent open window,
> just means you can sort of not read any of the text at all.
Notice in the later releases of OSX, the transparency got toned WAY down
from the early versions. The transparent unfocused titlebars went away.
Also, while the menus are still transparent, they're only very
transparent to the point that I wonder why they even bother.
Just to show-off the capability ;)
The key issue is contrast between foreground and background. If you
layer text over text, they compete with each other. Transparency could
be made workable by *blurring* out the background, to reduce its
contrast. This could be done with pixel shaders, however do any of the
open source drivers support them? (Let alone the hardware itself...) You
could also fake it by re-rendering to a lower resolution then scaling it
The usual real-time way is to render the original to a texture,
generate mipmaps for the texture and then use texture-bias so that you
paint into the screen a lower-resolution texture before overlaying the
translucent item. Notice that this does not need any pixel shader,
just a fast mipmap generator (depends on the driver support), or even
if this is not provided, then use multitexturing to implement a
box-filter yourself: you can get 4 samples/pixel with each texture
source by sampling the original pixels with a (+0.5,+0.5) difference
in (U,V) coordinates
Looks like Vista is taking this approach...
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