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Having an animated desktop background seems cool, like making it play some infinite smooth vector animation ...

I have tried doing it by making a HTML page with a full-screen flash animation, but this way, the right-click wont work again on the desktop.

Is there a free software that make it possible ? and maybe a website who offer some high-quality Flash based animations for such purpose ?

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I recall WinAmp could do this, and I think VLC can play videos on the background smoothly, so it's not actually far-fetched. – Phoshi Sep 4 '09 at 18:09
up vote 0 down vote accepted

In Windows 7 dream scene was removed. however it looks like you can still install it if you search around google. Windows 7 does have a slide show feature that comes installed. Basically it will rotate wallpaper after a set time goes past.

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You can use VLC to do that.

  1. Download and install VLC Player for Windows.
  2. Run VLC Media Player, go to Settings -> Preferences, expand Interface and click on wxWidgets. In the bottom right corner of “wxWidgets interface module” window, click on “Advanced options” to show advanced settings. Then uncheck the Taskbar check box in order to remove VLC Player title from the taskbar while the program is running. Check Systray icon if you want to enable Systray (system tray or notification area) icon instead.
  3. Next, expand Video -> Output Modules and then select Direct X. In bottom right corner of DirectX Video Output window, check the Advanced Options check box in order to see all the settings available.

  4. Check and tick the “Enable wallpaper mode” check box.

  5. Then, select Playlist and then check or tick the Repeat current item checkbox.
  6. Press “Save” button when done.
  7. Open and play any video that you would like to set as motion wallpaper in VLC Media Player.
  8. If the video hasn’t yet been set as desktop background, right click on the video and click on “Wallpaper”.
  9. The video or movie will be set as if it’s DreamScene motion desktop background wallpaper.

Credit to Bakez.Net for this walkthrough.

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Go online and find some looping videos - if you got a video editor or producer friend, they might have some looping clips you can use as a background. P.S It takes up plenty resources, and the novelty wears off SUPER FAST. – caliban Sep 4 '09 at 18:10
i get lost in all the options there ... can't fin the wxWigdet plug-in under the interface menu and the directX wallpaper remain disabled even after I activate him, anyway, i have enabled Dreamscene in windows 7, i can play videos now but the icons labels on the desktop doesn't look good.. seams that's why Microsoft has disabled this feature in windows 7. PS: i never used vista before :p – user8228 Sep 4 '09 at 20:30
... And i was looking for playing SWF files – user8228 Sep 4 '09 at 20:36
Oh, SWF! Okay 2 options -> convert the SWF into a video file... or use something like SWF Desktop (no longer available, try to find a copy online). – caliban Sep 4 '09 at 21:45

If you have Vista Ultimate, you already have Windows DreamScene, which allows fullscreen videos to be played in the background.

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Alas, if you have two (or more) monitors, making something fullscreen on any one monitor pauses the scene for all of them. Which kind of defeats the point. – Kyralessa Sep 4 '09 at 18:10

Maybe you can do an HTML page with a VML animation (since IE doesn't have canvas element...). There are JavaScript libraries helping with that (in general cross-browser, using canvas or SVG on other browsers).

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