Sunday, January 7, 2007

The mysterious color that lets you see videos!!!

I was just fooling around on my computer and I came across a strange color. Whenever you have a video playing in Windows Media Player, this color will become transparent no matter what program you are in, and let you see through to the video.


You probably don't understand what I am talking about. Let me give you a few examples. Don't close your browser right now, because this REALLY WORKS!



Example 1:


Open Windows Media Player, start playing a video, and resize it so it takes up a large portion of the screen. (I have tested this with .avi and .wmv and they both work.) It must take up the same area of the screen as the box below. Now, without minimizing Windows Media Player, go down to your taskbar and open up your browser. If the video is positioned correctly, you should see your video in the image below (scroll up and down until you can see your video.)




Example 2: (Paint)


Open up paint. Click colors > edit colors > define custom colors. Then type these color values and click OK....



Now play a video in Windows Media Player and have it take up a large portion of the screen. Switch back into paint without minimizing WMP. Now take any tool in paint and start drawing. You will see your video playing whereever you drew.



Example 3: (Photoshop)


Open up Photoshop and do the same thing you did in example 2, but type these values into the color picker:


17 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Thats pretty amazing!

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January 7, 2007 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Mr Radiks said...

its called an overlay color, thats the default overlay color for windows media player, some other media players may have other overlay colors. for more fun, get winamp and AVS plugin and go into its overlay settings, you can set its overlay color to what ever you want.

January 7, 2007 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger David said...

Also neat to mention that it doesn't work with Windows Vista / IE7 / WMP 10. Perhaps the desktop compositing engine no longer relies of an overlay color in Vista? Or maybe the color has just changed.

January 7, 2007 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Threeboy said...

Hmm, now to make subliminal mesages that only show up when people are watching videos.

January 7, 2007 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Say No to Crack said...

I wonder if you can find similar colors with Macs, or if there is a different color that would produce the same result with Vista.

January 7, 2007 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Mark P said...

It works with the black square on this page and when I draw with that color in MS Paint, but for some reason not when I do it in photoshop.

January 7, 2007 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Fmeyer said...

It doesn't work on Os X ;)

January 7, 2007 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger neil said...

It's how every computer-based DVD player I've ever used works. Now you know.

January 7, 2007 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Marcus Sonsteby said...

I understood the idea of an overlay color, I just didn't know it's values. Thanks for sharing this.

January 7, 2007 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Dryw said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 8, 2007 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Dryw said...

Yeah, it will also work when viewing thumbnails in windows explorer. You can also do the same thing in microsoft paint. It's been around a while, but it's still a pretty neat trick :).

January 8, 2007 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger Matej said...

wow, you must be some kind of genious... 'mysterious color'...

For all those who aren't able to repeat this magic - printscreen -> paste into ms paint :)

January 8, 2007 at 3:09 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

There used to be a "bug" in the video driver of early versions of OSX. I spent many an hour in Terminal watching a movie through whatever I was working on.

January 8, 2007 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I remember doing something similar on a Mac Quadra 660AV circa 1993. I was able to play video in a Macromedia Director movie. I thought it was pretty awesome at the time.

January 8, 2007 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Leopold said...

I saw this a cuple of years ago when I tried to printscreen a film in winamp.

January 8, 2007 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger BlindWanderer said...

Older video players use the overlay mixer to display video. Newer ones use VMR7 or VMR9, some use OpenGL. The overlay mixer is the system default in systems older then and including XP.

January 28, 2007 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger BHSPitMonkey said...

Wow, you've flaunted an impressive unfamiliarity with video overlays. Congrats.

May 26, 2007 at 11:41 PM  

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