The idea for this post came from a request by Joshua. He asked: “Is there a program which can enable you to set a movie as the wallpaper”. I didn’t bother looking for a program, I immediately turned to Quartz Composer. There is probably a program out there which can enable to do such as thing. But this post is going to focus on Quartz instead. The idea behind this post is to set up a screensaver, which is your movie, and then play it on the desktop. Very simple and very effective.
If you are new to Quartz Composer I recommend you check out An Introduction to Quartz Composer, Gradient Image Reflection and Video Distortion. These three posts introduce both background knowledge, and more complex tutorials. This post is going to be quite simple in comparison. But it may gloss over a couple of points which may be mentioned in previous posts.
This tutorial will require:
- Quartz Composer off your Leopard Install Disk.
- A video file.
- Wallsaver, a link will be provided later.
1) The first step is to open up Quartz Composer located in /Developer/Applications.
2) Open up the Patch Creator pane and insert a Clear Patch. This will act as the black background. Change its colour if you want to.
3) The next step is to grab your movie. Insert a Movie Loader Patch. Right Click on the Patch and set the Published Input to “Movie Location”. At the same time open the Patch Parameters Pane and enter the location of the movie you want to use.
4) Before we render the movie we need to make sure its in proportion. The Sprite render Patch can make everything square and look very funny. Insert an Image Dimensions Patch and attache the image from Movie Loader into Image Dimenstions Patch.
5) The final stage of the Quartz Composition is to render the movie. Insert a Sprite Patch and connect the Image from the Movie Loader to Image in the Sprite. As well as this connect Width from the Image Dimensions Patch to the Width in the Sprite Patch. You are now done.
Save this file as something suitable. Open System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver >Screen Saver and drag the quartz file you just saved into the preview window. This will load the composition as a screen saver and you are ready to go.
The final stage of this hack is to download wallsaver. It is designed to set your desktop wallpaper as a screen saver which is what we want. You can download it from the Apple page here, the original site wasn’t working when I tried it.
The final step is to activate the program and you are done. You now have a video playing as your wallpaper.
Its not very dignified and takes a lot of work, but it does achieve the effect. If you want a full screen one you will have to use the same size video, or have a play around with the size settings.
Edit: Fix spelling errors.