Transparency has Disadvantages

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MysticEast
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Transparency has Disadvantages

Post by MysticEast »

Hi to all.
Happy Mystic Season, Solstice and Conjunction - and stay Healthy!
I've used Transparency a lot however I've just discovered a serious disadvantage with using it. :'(

For the first time I used two decks of the same cards, one using Transparency to eliminate the Border, the other not. On flipping directly from the one to the other I noticed a significant decrease in image quality in the Tranparent Deck - despite the fact that the images (the Borders excepted) are digitally IDENTICAL! The "Transparent" Deck has images which look in contrast "Itzy" and quite low quality, while the images of the Deck NOT using Tranparency are "Crystal Clear" and of very good quality - Stunning!

Fairly quickly I put this together with my knowledge of Windows and think that it MAY be to do with Windows 10 and not an Orphalese Problem (as such).

Microsoft introduced a feature which "Dumbs Down" images when used for Wallpaper. :@ I believe that the same thing is being done to images used in Transparency. :@
I think it's all in the name of energy efficiency? and/or Speed of changing the Wallpaper?
Orphalese uses Windows ability to make the borders of Windows transparent (to varying degrees) and each card is a separate "Window".

It IS possible to cancel the "Dumbing Down" of images for Wallpaper, and the Start Screen Blur effect, using various Registry Hacks. (H) So far I don't know of one for images used for "Window Backgrounds"...

For Blury Wallpaper:-
https://www.howtogeek.com/277808/window ... ity-again/
It uses a simple Reg File with the values

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"JPEGImportQuality"=dword:00000100

For Blury Start Screen:-
https://www.howtogeek.com/426554/how-to ... indows-10/
It uses a simple Reg File with the values

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\System]
"DisableAcrylicBackgroundOnLogon"=dword:00000001

I'm not using this one - I quite like the Blurry Start Up Screen. (H)

- - -

I've tried searching the Registry for a similar value for files used for Window Backgrounds - I searched for "ImportQuality" - but no other such value exists - big shame! +o( I'm also not sure exactly WHERE such a setting should go. The Wallpaper setting is under "Desktop", but I'm wanting to alter "Windows" rather than the "Desktop"... I'm already using the Wallpaper hack, but it doesn't help... The Log on Screen hack would fairly obviously not help...
I also searched the Registry for a Value "GIFImportQuality", since the decks use GIF files. No Luck there either! +o(

I've tried searching on the web and on the How to Geek site for more relevant info, but to no avail...

Anybody who knows if such a hack is possible PLEASE post here!!!

It's very possible that our Orphalese Programmer knows if my suspicion is right and may know whether it can be "fixed" / how to do it if it's possible.

Over to you all really

Regards MysticEast
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Re: Transparency has Disadvantages

Post by Programmer »

Hi MysticEast,

Happy new year! It is good to hear from you again.

I don't think these Windows settings will have any bearing on how the images appear in the program. Having said that, I don't know why the image quality would be different either. In both cases the image is generated in the same way, by reading the file from the deck folder and then scaling it and maybe inverting it so it looks right on the card in the program. With the transparent images bits of the form itself are then trimmed away. I guess internally at this point something is happening during the "trimming" process that effects how the form is displayed and that affects the image quality. In that case it is more to do with how .NET works internally, so I don't think changing Windows settings is going to change anything.

Sorry to not be of more help!
MysticEast
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Re: Transparency has Disadvantages

Post by MysticEast »

Thanks for your reply Mr Programmer Man. :D It's always worth asking other people... You could probably tell from my tone that I wasn't that hopeful of a solution. :(
What you said about .NET - if that's true, then probably only a Microsoft Programmer could fix it - and that's not likely :'(

Luckily it doesn't really affect many of the Decks that I've created for Eastern Oracles, since I went for very "minimalistic" Graphics. (H)
It only really shows when the cards are composed of a highly detailed bitmap. Then and only then - Yes - it is a visible degradation. But only noticed by doing a direct comparison - like I recently did. Then you realise that "Good Graphics" just could be PERFECT... <:o)

I'm still a big fan of the Transparency Effect and have some plans in that regard for the near future...

Regards MysticEast

P.S. For those interested in Transparency for Cards in Orphalese - remember:-

Transparency works best WITHOUT Anti-Aliasing in the production of the cards.

Well - when scanning a complex Bitmap, I do use Anti-Aliasing just ONCE. When doing the Resample to get the Cards small enough. I find that a Resample down to 33%, with Anti-Aliasing turned on really does wipe out the "Moire" (printer dots) of all printed cards! But after that if you mask an area that you want to be Transparent, invert the mask and then fill the "Trannie" areas with a solid colour not in the Image. After that NEVER use Anti-Aliasing again. It creates a noticeable and horrible "Halo" around what you took so long to carefully mask. Ruining all that HARD work!

It also works best with either .png or .gif files.

That's because the more standard .jpg files include a variation of "compression" which does things similar to Anti-Aliasing and can also wreck the Transparency effect.
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