Make the Player background transparent

    NOTE: This article refers to a feature available only on Windows PCs

    Introduction

    On Windows, the background of a running IntuiFace experience can be rendered transparent. As a result, the Windows desktop and all running third party applications will be visible anywhere the IntuiFace experience has no visible asset or collections. Further, the transparent background can be configured to permit interaction with the desktop and running applications.

    With this capability, IntuiFace experiences can be designed to accommodate side-by-side use with third party apps. Those third party apps could simply be used to display information - information possibly triggered by actions within IntuiFace - or they could be used directly. For example, you can use IntuiFace to launch 3rd party games and permit use of those games without having to exit or hide your experience.

    Prerequisite

    The ability to create a transparent background is only available on Windows PCs. This means you must either use 1) Player for Windows, or 2) Composer's Play Mode when set to use Player for Windows. (For more about Composer's Play Mode, see this article.).

    Configuring a transparent background

    Creating a transparent background is a two step process. Both are required for a scene's background to become transparent.

    • Step One: For each scene you wish to have a transparent background, set its "Background" property to one of two settings:
      • "Transparent"

        OR
      • "Color" with an "Opacity" of 0.
    • Step Two: For the overall project, set the "Background behavior" property to one of two settings
      • Open the Composer menu item Project -> Project Settings
      • For the "Background behavior" property, choose either
        • Transparent   The background will be transparent but only Player will respond to onscreen touches and mouse clicks
        • Transparent and permits interactivity   The background will be transparent and all visible Windows applications - and the Windows desktop itself - will respond to onscreen touches and mouse clicks.

    Toggling transparency at runtime

    Both a scene's "Background" property and a project's "Background behavior" property are unavailable for binding. As a result, it is not possible to use these properties to toggle the transparency of a scene at runtime.

    However, there is a workaround. You could overlay a transparent background with a rectangle, Image asset or Video asset in the Bottom layer of a scene and manipulate the opacity of that item. With an opacity of 100%, you will not see what is behind Player. With any Opacity setting between 1% and 99%, you will be able to see what is behind Player. With an opacity of 0% you will both be able to see what is behind Player and - if "Background behavior" was set to "Transparent and permits interactivity" - be able to touch what is behind Player as well.

    NOTE: Scene to scene transitions are smoother if using the "Background" property of a scene to specify a color, image or video than if placing a rectangle, image or video in the Bottom layer of a scene. As a result, a desire to toggle transparency means a trade-off for smooth scene-to-scene transitions.