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Everyone knows how to set a picture as wallpaper. Everyone knows how to use pictures, even slideshows, as screensavers. Simple, right? Well, for some. For others, there’s no end to the journey that is desktop customization.
There’s default and there’s perfection. This need to customize Windows extends to the user interface (UI), the functionality, the look, the feel, the sounds, and — yes — even the desktop wallpaper.
Most wallpapers do just that, wallpaper the background. What if you could be greeted by a living, seemingly breathing, character of your own choice? What about creating an awesome, smooth cinemagraph you can enjoy in the comfort of your own desktop? Enticed? Read on!
While there are plenty of programs which allow users to achieve full-screen video. Our goal is to maintain a moving background with all programs and the Taskbar properly positioned and working. Remember to restart your PC after installing the following pieces of software.
Reddit users are truly impressive creatures: when they see something that needs to be done, they do it.
User /u/Im-German-Lets-Party is a prime example of this fact, having created an excellent video wallpaper program VideoPaper. Head to the link above and download the program to get started.
Once your program is downloaded and unzipped, double-click on the VideoPaper.exe file and you will receive a notification on your Taskbar. Right-click the VideoPaper icon and select Settings to get started.
This will open the VideoPaper window. A handy little piece of software, VideoPaper will allow you to place a video as your wallpaper background. It does this by placing a your file as a sort of skin above the conventional wallpaper, but below your icons and task bar.
The technique to using this software is as follows:
- Click Create Video Panel: This will create a profile for your video. You can save different profiles for different videos.
- Adjust Width & Height: Change the width and height parameters to those of your monitor resolution.
- Adjust Top & Left: This adjusts the position of your video. To position your video to the exact center of your screen, make both of these parameters 0.
- Click Set Size + Position: This will lock in your positioning and resolution for your video.
- Click Set Video: A file window will open. Select the video you want to use as a wallpaper.
Voilà! Through the use of this handy little program, you can now use videos as wallpaper freely and easily.
Do keep in mind that this is a simple, free software, and susceptible to glitches. That said, I have yet to experience a single issue. A special thanks to Reddit user /u/Im-German-Lets-Party for the great resource.
DeskScapes is an excellent, though pricey, resource for incorporating live features into your background. The program only accepts videos using the following formats: MPEG, MPG, WMV and AVI. This means you cannot use MP4 videos, a common video format, to create your live wallpaper. With an added video converter, however, the sky’s the limit.
Download and install DeskScapes. The trial version is free for 30 days, while the full version costs $9.99. Once you’ve installed DeskScapes, open the DeskScapes window to get started.
Drag and drop your video into the window, click the video, and select Apply to my desktop. I know what you’re thinking: “It can’t be that easy.”
Well, it is!
We saved the best for last, and our pick comes directly from…Steam?
Wallpaper Engine, a breakaway hit on Steam, is one of the greatest wallpaper clients available on the market. An easy to use wallpaper software priced at $3.99, Wallpaper Engine does it all. Not only does it allow you to use one of the thousands of video wallpapers already in the Steam catalog, it also allows you to use your own images and videos as wallpapers as well.
Simply download and install as you would a Steam game. Right-click on the Wallpaper Engine icon in your Taskbar and select Change Wallpaper to get started.
Once you’re in the window, simply click on a wallpaper and click OK to activate your wallpaper. To tack more wallpapers into Wallpaper Engine, click on Browse Workshop. Find the wallpaper you like and select Subscribe.
Wallpaper Engine will automatically install your wallpaper. Perhaps the most impressive part of this software is the amount of new functionality it adds to wallpapers. Yes, it provides great looking video wallpaper off the bat.
Are you a gaming fan? Wallpaper Engine caters great to a wide selection of great, highly popular game-inspired videos and wallpapers.
Wallpaper Engine also allows for both sound and click functionality, changing the way people typically see, use, and develop desktop wallpapers.
Within the Wallpaper Engine, you can even control certain parameters like playback, volume, scheme color (which also changes certain window and Taskbar colors), and any other parameter related to the wallpaper.
As is the case with video wallpaper, there are a few methods to use videos as your own personal screensaver. The following are not video screensavers: instead, these are methods to use existing videos you may have as screensavers. If you’re interesting in traditional screensavers, we’ve got that covered as well.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better video screensaver software than the aptly named Video Screensaver. Video Screensaver allows users to use videos of most mainstream video files, sizes, and resolutions.
To use, download the software. Once you’ve downloaded the small file, unzip and locate the principal VideoScreensaver.ico file. Right-click this file and select Install. Now, open your screensaver settings by clicking your Start button and typing in screensaver. Click on the Change screen saver option.
In the drop-down menu below Screen saver, select VideoScreensaver. Then, click on Settings. Select your video from the following folder window, click Apply and then OK. Enjoy your custom video screensaver!
Even if you’re not a fan of League of Legends — which is somewhat hard to believe — you have to give credit where credit is due. Not only do League of Legends concept artists work painstakingly to provide stunning art, Riot has also released software to allow fans to create screensaver packages of their favorite League art and characters.
Head to the League of Legends screensaver website to get started. Download and install your appropriate file. Then, head to your screensaver settings. Select League of Legends in the following drop down menu, and Settings to open the League screensaver options.
From this window, you will need to create a profile. Once created, scroll through the screensavers, select the ones you want, click Create on the top of the window, and you will download all appropriate files. That’s it!
I get it, you’re thinking “I’ll never have a need for a video wallpaper!” That’s what I thought, too. Now, there’s no turning back. No worries, with your newfound knowledge you’ll be able to turn your static background into a dynamic desktop experience!
Would you use a video wallpaper? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Ai825 via Shutterstock.com