Wallpaper Engine - Biohazard
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Hey all,

I have released some more improvements for the detection of monitors. It turned out there are issues on some desktop systems using an integrated and dedicated GPU at the same time (iGPU monitor not returned by Windows), so I just tried to combine the various methods Windows offers to somehow deal with it. Some multi-monitor systems also suffer from a notorious issue of monitor names being swapped internally, causing wallpapers to be swapped too. This can be fixed with the 'device path' option - from now on the default on multi-monitor systems.

The Workshop info dialog will now ask you for genres you are interested in when you open it at first. Existing users don't have to do this, but you can still re-open the dialog at the top of the filter menu. It simply applies some presets to the existing tag filter options.

Full changelog

  • Added deprecated monitor detection option.
  • Added filter presets that are applied in the Workshop intro.

  • JS injection in project property names.
  • Property translations of local files.
Wallpaper Engine - Biohazard
Hey all,

This is just a small patch that fixes some monitor discovery and video issues from the last update. If you are still having any issues of the sort, please make a thread in the forums so I can check it out. Please note that splits and groups will be reset, unfortunately, I couldn't transfer their settings over this time. Everything else should be carried over automatically.

Since not every single use case can be solved with one solution, I have added an advanced option for how to assign wallpapers to your displays:

You can choose to assign them by 'index' of your monitors (GDI) or the actual device name of your monitor model ('Device path'). If your PC secretly swaps monitor indices and affects Wallpaper Engine by doing that, changing this to device path would be the solution.

I have started a wiki on Wikia for Wallpaper Engine: http://wallpaper-engine.wikia.com . For now I will focus on completing the documentation on existing scene wallpaper features, the particle system already has most of its functions/components listed here: http://wallpaper-engine.wikia.com/wiki/Particle_System . All of the image effects will be added as well along with some tutorials on how to make common effects (wavy hair/clothes, ripple, light flicker, smoke, parallax).

Full changelog

  • Added 'Open in Explorer' to context menu in browser.

  • Attempted to improve monitor detection with a new method, but with fallback to the old one.
  • Attempted to improve behavior when the graphics device or desktop is lost.
  • Fixed a video looping issue (just reverted a change from the last update!).
  • Fixed Win 7 showing bogus 'Failed to prepare desktop' message.
  • Fixed some stability issues when wallpapers are refreshed or monitor targets removed.
  • Fixed video player spamming the same notification indefinitely when it keeps being reported by Windows.
Wallpaper Engine - Biohazard
Hey all,

This new patch brings options to group and split monitors, save and share wallpaper properties and new playback options for laptops when they are running on battery. Web wallpapers can now also use the file import for WebM files, access the web devtools and the wallpapers will now shut down or pause when your monitor sleeps automatically.

A new notification and instructions on how to get the most of the built-in Workshop browser should make it easier for new users to find and use it.

And a few options have been added via a context menu in the browser, so you can perform actions on wallpapers without actually selecting them.

2D scene wallpapers received a resolution tag that is automatically set like it works for videos and they can access the same alignment options:

Monitor grouping and splitting can be done in the monitor selection menu. For example, if you have three monitors and a projector, you can now use groups to stretch a wallpaper across your monitors but skip your projector.

Splits can be used to divide any single monitor (like an NV Surround or Eyefinity display). NV Surround can be automatically split, right click the monitor and choose 'auto split'. Bezel correction is auto detected as well, but only when the topology uses shared bezel values. In any other case, manual splitting can still be done.

The wallpaper property menu has been extended with options to save, load and share your properties. Properties are now saved per-monitor too, so you can use the same wallpaper on multiple monitors with different settings.

This is especially useful for web wallpapers that have lots of versatile configuration options, like these - now you can more easily share your own configurations on the discussion pages:

If you are using a laptop, a new battery playback mode will be available. You can also control whether wallpapers pause or stop when the display goes to sleep.

Web wallpapers
New advanced options allow you to set custom CEF command line arguments and a debugging port. Set the port to i.e. 8080 and you will be able to access the devtools at

You can allow users to import videos (WebM) for single files now. Just add "fileType" : "video" to the file property.

Over the next week I will be focusing on writing proper documentation for image effects and particles. The next bigger update will improve 3D scenes. Skeletal animations will be added at least, but I will likely overhaul the entire model shader and add a few more options and graphical effects, I haven't locked down which ones exactly though.

Full changelog

  • Added monitor groups.
  • Added monitor splits.
  • Added playback options for laptops on battery.
  • Added option to stop/restart wallpapers when the display turns off to avoid a driver bug from freezing the video.
  • Added notice for in-app Workshop access and some instructions.
  • Added per-monitor wallpaper properties.
  • Added property saving and loading.
  • Added property sharing.
  • Added properties per-monitor.
  • Added WebM import to web wallpapers.
  • Added context menu for browser.
  • Added variable preview image size in browser.
  • Added CEF commandline and devtools port for web wallpapers.
  • Added resolution tags to 2D scene wallpapers.
  • Added memes tag.

  • Fixed texture importing issues when multiple periods are in the name.
  • Fixed a DXGI crash when the graphics device is immediately lost due to i.e. overclocking.
  • Fixed WebM videos not advancing the playlist when they ended.
  • Fixed Boost failing to deal with UNC locations at all.

  • Changed image effects to use masks of reduced resolution to save performance.
  • Improved cloud image effect.
Wallpaper Engine - Biohazard
If you have trouble updating, make sure Wallpaper Engine has closed itself automatically while updating, otherwise close it manually.

Hey all,

This patch adds a particle editor to scene wallpapers, more particle presets and uses a new runtime that is less prone to break when there are system issues with Windows (i.e. msvcp DLLs missing). Existing particles can be fully edited now and you can create new ones too. The entire particle system has been rewritten with SSE2 instructions for performance improvements and lots of new properties and behaviors for particles have been added.

Particles now support event driven hierarchies, two different rendering modes, mouse interaction, various forces/turbulence and a number of linear animations. They do not support animated textures/spritesheets yet which is in my opinion a must-have to make certain effects (fire, smoke) look good, so I will likely add that in the future.

An example particle that uses forces, turbulence and interacts with the mouse cursor:


And a few exemplary wallpapers you can subscribe to (click them to check out their video previews). The project files can be downloaded below, copy to projects/myprojects/:
(Remove space)
Campfire http://www.mediafire .com/file/rc6lwhgj9thdj7f/campfire.zip
River http://www.mediafire .com/file/3694366zew3rxra/jungleriver.zip
City http://www.mediafire .com/file/domw5ox47dfsqr7/cityfireworks.zip
Jungle http://www.mediafire .com/file/m57pa82jd0uruuq/tropicalrain.zip

I haven't made a guide for the particle editor yet, because I think this kind of information belongs on a wiki which I will start working on later. The next patch will focus on improvements for multi-monitor environments and I'm going to spend some time on cleaning up the FAQ threads on the forum somehow as well.

Full changelog

  • Added particle editor.
  • Added Nitro image effect.
  • Added more rendering stats for particles.
  • Added detection for corrupted 32-bit d3dx9_43.dll and prompt for the user to fix the file.
  • Added refraction to particle shader.
  • Added texture browser to texture properties.
  • Added inheritable control point system to particles.
  • Added angular velocity to particles.
  • New particle operators: oscillate alpha, oscillate size, simplex noise turbulence, vortex force, control point attract, angular movement.
  • New particle renderer: sprite trail.

  • Fixed more Boost mount point issues.
  • Fixed some image blend modes ignoring alpha values.
  • Fixed wallpapers not unpausing when task views are in the foreground (alt-tab, win-tab).

  • Changed runtime to Visual Studio 2017, v141 and static linking.
  • Changed UI update prompt to immediately close app instead of relying on the updater to close it later.
  • Rewrote particle system with SSE2 instructions.
  • Changed NVAPI to always set the .exe files to the integrated GPU again.
Wallpaper Engine - Biohazard
Hey all,

A new patch for Wallpaper Engine has been released that improves support for translations and fixes a few new issues that have been occuring. The UI should not be freezing anymore on some PCs and the monitor order is now based on the screen position and not what Windows reports (since a reliable report from Windows doesn't seem possible).

Three new image effects have been added as well which you can see here:

The paint tool has been reimplemented on the GPU and should now perform better on large images or with a large brush size. The flow map brush has support for two additional paint modes now, pinch and spread. These can be used with the "water flow" or "shake" effect to animate circular flow or breathing effects on the image.

In order to provide some indication about performance, you now have the option to show a stats overlay with various rendering information about scenes. While there is no rule of thumb which values should be considered 'too high', you can get an idea about how effects or images affect performance this way.

Properties in the project.json file can now be translated, I added new instructions for this to the property guide:


The next patch will introduce tools to the editor to create and edit particle effects for the wallpaper, like the snow and light ray presets that exist already.

Full changelog

  • Added image effects: god rays, film grain, clouds.
  • Added rendering statistics to scenes.
  • Made it possible to add translations to properties in project.json.
  • Made it possible to translate effects/properties etc in the editor.
  • Integrated pending translation updates.
  • Added hardware acceleration to paint brush tool.
  • Added spread/pinch brush for flow maps.
  • Added friction property to shake effect.
  • Added support for more image preview types in the editor (png, gif).

  • Fixed UI dead locking while creating the window.
  • Attempted to fix a crash when video wallpapers are closed.
  • Fixed properties in editor showing duplicates or not updating sometimes.

  • Removed all flags from language list.
  • Updated crash messages of third-party tools that hack into Wallpaper Engine.
  • Changed monitor order to be based on position.
Wallpaper Engine - Biohazard
Hey all,

A new patch has been released for Wallpaper Engine that improves the editor features for scene wallpapers, especially 2D ones. It is now easier to add dynamic effects and image based animations. You can also drag and drop files into the editor to import them instead of using the file dialog (depending on the type of wallpaper you created). This allows you to add new models/images and replace texture inputs of existing ones (like normal maps).

After importing an image you can add effects to it on the right side. I have added a number of preliminary effects to choose from:

Some of them allow you to draw masks right in the editor. E.g. the previous 'water flow' template is gone and you can instead paint a flow effect with the new system and the built-in brush tool:

The effects can be applied to singular images, the entire screen or an offscreen target - which will become more useful as I implement upcoming features. All layers and some effects themselves support the standard Photoshop blend modes to control how they are rendered on the wallpaper.

A new preset system will allow me to ship Wallpaper Engine with standard assets more easily. I added three presets for testing purposes for now, snow particles, light shafts and a foliage object:

Lastly, a more advanced feature, you can link any layer as a texture input to another effect/material in the wallpaper. Together with the offscreen layer, this enables the creation of complicated effects with layers and objects interoperating.

I have not updated the guides with the new features yet, but will replace the current 2D guide with an example using the new system. You can already subscribe to the example project here http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=900945540 and download the project file as well: http://www.media fire.com/file/gy79f5zc7040kw9/waterfall.zip (copy them to projects/myprojects in the installation directory of Wallpaper Engine and open them in the editor with File -> Open).

The next update will be dedicated to bug fixing/localization updates. Following that, I will also implement a simple particle editor to edit & create new particles, add more image effects and possibly implement a system for key frame animations for all object properties.

- Kristjan

Full Changelog

Editor Additions
  • Added image effect system to editor.
  • Added fullscreen and offscreen layers.
  • Added preset system to editor.
  • Added additional layer options: visibility & 2D parallax X/Y scale.
  • Added texture options when importing textures.
  • Added texture control to configure/change textures of existing materials.
  • Added paint brush system to draw opacity, flow and color maps in the editor.
  • Added texture preview to editor.
  • Added OLE drop interface to the window, to allow importing of texture/model/video files into the editor.
  • Added resolution controls to 2D scenes.
  • Added editable text inputs for slider control.
  • Added composited image layer rendering to allow layer results to be used as texture inputs.

Misc Additions
  • Added text input property "textinput" to project.json and web wallpaper.
  • Added "editable" flag to sliders in project.json, which will show a text input to allow arbitrary values.
  • Added lossless LZ4 compression for textures.

  • Fixed unfaving wallpapers in the browser.
  • Fixed large file sizes being displayed incorrectly in the browser (at least as much as the Steamworks SDK permits, uint32).
  • Fixed videos crashing when audio is disabled and an unrecognized audio stream is being loaded.
  • Fixed cursor position in editor with high DPI.
  • Fixed mip map compilation causing color banding.
Wallpaper Engine - Biohazard
Hey all,

Another patch has been released to address a few issues that have come up. I fixed a bug in the filesystem library I am using (Boost C++) that caused Wallpaper Engine to fail running properly when it was installed in a symlinked directory under certain circumstances.

Some web wallpapers in Workshop that use the open-source rain drop effect from here: https://github.com/codrops/RainEffect broke with the recent CEF update because the rain effect code was incompatible with the latest updates from Google Chromium. The original author has fixed the issue, but the copies on Workshop do not receive this fix automatically unless their authors update them too. Since these situations are unavoidable when Google releases updates to Chromium, I have implemented a system that allows me to update Workshop files after they have been downloaded by a client, since I cannot directly access the files on the Steam servers. This system can be used to apply patches in a situation like this.

So in other words, all of the rain drop wallpapers should be working again. The 'Paranoid and Shy Birds' have been fixed using the same system, the white lines are gone.

You can now use the resolution graphics option to control the rendering resolution of canvas elements in web wallpapers. Using half resolution can greatly improve performance on some web wallpapers now. So, using the rain drops as an example, the CPU load on my machine (3440 x 1440 resolution) drops while compromising on the quality:

I have also reported a number of false positives from different anti-virus products to their respective companies. These include libcef.dll for Avast and Bitdefender and wallpaper32.exe / wallpaper64.exe for Comodo. If you know about any other false positives, let me know, or feel free to report them using the links I put in this thread:


The update warning for known incompatible applications will now only be shown once per application. However, with this update, you will still see them one more time. The following updates will not show the warning unless you verify/re-install the application over Steam. And hopefully at some point I can completely remove the warning, when the respective developers have fixed the issues on their end.

- Kristjan


  • Fixed video read mode being overwritten on start.
  • Fixed browse window showing wrong wallpapers when rapidly switching from Workshop to installed.
  • Fixed Boost filesystem not resolving symlinks correctly.

New Features
  • Web wallpaper compatibility system to overwrite Workshop files on load.
  • Made it possible to reduce canvas resolution in web wallpapers with the half resolution option.

Other Changes
  • Changed application warning on update to show only once per application.
  • Refactored parts of 2D/3D wallpapers for upcoming changes to the editor.
Community Announcements - Biohazard
If you use the new, built-in, update prompt, Steam will show Wallpaper Engine as in-game after the update and the overlay gets injected into every process (even though it's disabled, but that feature doesn't really work). Simply restart it once so it stops. The next update shouldn't do this.

Hey all,

Another small update for Wallpaper Engine has been released that fixes a few things and adds more video options. There were a few playlist issues that should be fixed now, which caused the playlist to disappear. It still takes a few seconds to show up until Steam responded with your Workshop subscriptions.

Using the center or cover video options, you can now also change the position of the video respectively with this new slider:

The effects of this slider vary based on the current mode, as illustrated here:

The alignment options are now also fully functional for WebM videos.

A new advanced option allows you to disable video hardware acceleration:

You should not use this option unless your hardware acceleration is defective, due to hardware or driver issues. Disabling hardware acceleration will cause the CPU load to increase, so in a normal scenario, it is not desirable to disable this. I added this option for two reasons:

  • Some AMD hardware and driver combinations suffer from 'UVD clock' bugs. The GPU core/memory clocks get stuck while playing videos. Disabling hardware acceleration will just not cause UVD profiles to be loaded, so the driver doesn't bug out.
  • I had a few reports of the entire screen turning black periodically on certain (Nvidia?) cards and drivers. Disabling hardware acceleration might help here, if the issue is caused by the video decoder of the GPU.

There are now resolution tags in the Workshop:

They will be automatically set. If you want to add them to your current wallpaper, just publish an empty update with the editor and it should add the tag. The 'Standard Definition' tags basically mean 'low resolution' while maintaining the respective aspect ratio. Should a video be between two resolutions, it will always pick the next lower one. If nothing fits, "Other resolution" will be set. The tags don't work for WebM yet.

I have added newer versions of the Visual Studio 2013 runtimes to the Steam install script, so starting Wallpaper Engine over Steam, those two will be installed now. The ones distributed by Steam are sometimes not being installed at all and are also old, the new runtimes include fixes for a certain locale related crash. Speaking of crashes, the crash dialog will now show more info and provide a likely solution if a known crash happens. Those include outdated Intel GPU drivers on Nvidia Optimus laptops, Precision X and RivaTuner.

- Kristjan

Full changelog

  • New Visual Studio 2013 runtimes.
  • Added more information and cancel button to update & verify dialog.
  • Added tags for video resolutions.
  • Added solutions for known crashes caused by drivers or third-party apps (Intel GPU drivers out of date, Precision X and RivaTuner hooks).
  • Added option to disable video hardware acceleration.
  • Added video alignment option for cover and center.
  • Added process priority option.
  • Added detection for RDP session state changes to destroy/restart wallpapers automatically.
  • Added a work-around for video playlists on Windows 7 to reduce flashing or the static wallpaper from showing up when switching between videos.

  • Fixed playlist permanently disappearing when unsubbing a wallpaper and other scenarios.
  • Fixed double quotes in URL breaking the config.json.
  • Fixed launcher process not creating mini dump files.
  • Fixed focus issues of the transition effect and all wallpapers (except web...).
  • Fixed WebM videos getting frozen when they threw a media error.
  • Fixed Steamworks injection causing Wallpaper Engine to be detected by Steam after an update (does not apply to this patch yet).

Other Changes
  • Updated CEF to version 3.2924.1571.gcdcdfa9.
Community Announcements - Biohazard
Hey all,

A new patch for Wallpaper Engine has been released that introduces a new built-in Workshop browser to the existing wallpaper selection window. Using that, you are now able to filter out genres that you are not interested in. All in all it has become easier to try out new wallpapers from Workshop, since you don't need to deal with two separate windows anymore.

The browser also recognizes YouTube previews that have been uploaded by the creator, which you can check out right before subscribing to the wallpaper.

Video wallpapers can now be configured to be aligned in multiple ways. The previous method, "Cover", cropped the wallpaper so that it would always cover your screen, without stretching anything. You can now alternatively set it to "Center", which will add bars to compensate different aspect ratios, or to "Stretch", which stretches the video to the corners of your screen:

This update also introduces a new method of dealing with Steam's auto updates. Coming updates from Steam will be downloaded without overwriting any files used by the running application, which makes it possible to avoid (or reduce) "content locked" errors by Steam. A new update dialog deals with appropriately starting and stopping the application in order to apply pending updates:

For the next update I will start improving the editor features for 2D/3D wallpapers. The 2D features will be extended with various animation effects that you can more easily mix right in the editor. The particle system will also be improved and supported by the UI as well as generally updating options to layer and animate images.

- Kristjan

Full changelog:

New features
  • Added video alignment options.
  • Implemented in-app Workshop browser with better filtering than the Workshop website has.
  • Filter and sort settings are now saved after closing the window.
  • Added support for YouTube previews in the browser.
  • Custom update dialog to apply updates and verify the installation.
  • Added Croatian translation.
  • Added a Steamworks warning dialog, shown when trying to use Steam features while Steam is not available.
  • Added unsub button to the application warning dialog.

  • Fixed video resizing issues when the resolution or screen orientation changes.
  • Fixed wallpaper restarting when it should be stopped.
  • Fixed an issue that lead to crashes when using in-memory video loading.
  • Potentially fixed loading of incorrect config when the application starts before the user is fully logged in.
  • Fixed a UI shutdown crash (there is still some Chromium render process crashes left though).
  • Fixed newly subscribed items to be added to the end of the list.
  • Fixed DPI scaling issues in editor (video window too small, 3D stream size mismatching).
  • Fixed scheme color control in the publish dialog.

Other changes
  • Renamed some playlist options to make them less confusing.
  • Changed multi-monitor stretch layout to always use "pause all monitors".
Community Announcements - Biohazard
Make sure to fully close Wallpaper Engine when updating. If you are having issues, try verifying the files over Steam first.

Hey all,

A new patch for Wallpaper Engine was just released that adds the long-awaited playlist/random wallpaper feature. You can now select multiple wallpapers and let them cycle after a certain time span or when logging in. A new option in the tray menu lets you quickly skip to the next wallpaper too. To use the playlist, just check the checkbox on wallpapers to add them to the list.

All settings, including the wallpapers and general options, are now also stored per Windows user.

The audio visualizers have been improved with a faster FFT library (FFTS) and tweaked settings, to visualize lower frequencies better. Check out some cool visualizers here:


Or build your own with some extensive tips from here:


Speaking of audio, it is now possible to globally disable audio streams from videos in the advanced options:

This will allow you to use video wallpapers next to music players that use the 'WASAPI exclusive mode' like Foobar2000.

Lastly, I have added NVAPI to the Steam launcher process, which I use to automatically create a predefined Nvidia application profile. This profile will set the wallpaper processes to use the integrated GPU, preventing video tearing and black screen issues (the ones without Windows error code). The user does not have to manually assign the executables anymore.

- Kristjan

  • Added playlist and random wallpaper feature.
  • Added advanced option to disable audio streams. This allows videos to play with Foobar exclusive mode WASAPI plugin etc.
  • Added per Windows user application settings.
  • Added a warning to high-priority mode that it is experimental and may not work on every system.
  • Added a button to reset the entire config more easily.
  • Added NVAPI application profile to Steam launcher.
  • Vietnamese language.
  • Added automated file trimming to log files (max size is 10 MB, trimmed on UI startup).
  • Added some experimental options to tweak the audio FFT.

  • Web wallpaper performance not dependent on FPS anymore (unless the web wallpaper implements it explicitely).
  • Countless DPI fixes and hacks for web wallpapers.
  • Improved UI performance when resizing the window.
  • Fixed some stability/import/packing issues with models that do not have textures.
  • Fixed local storage/cookies not being persisted.
  • Fixed Workshop details being overwritten when publishing updates (now the editor pulls the most recent data from Steam).
  • Fixed model compiler crashing on huge models.
  • Fixed Steam publish process getting soft locked if Steam reports an error.

  • Changed FFT library to improve performance.
  • Tweaked FFT settings to achieve a higher resolution for low frequencies.
  • Changed all wallpaper related processes to use 'below normal' CPU priority.
  • Lots of translation updates.
  • Disabled Dx11 in Chromium for web wallpapers because it is incompatible with the playlist fade effect DWM hack.

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