Got a dull looking Windows desktop background? Want something original and cool looking but have no skills? Here is an easy way to make very cool desktop backgrounds with free software you may already have on your Windows machine.
Step 1: Boring
So here is my very plain and nothing background for my desktop. So very dull to look at. My graphic skills are uber lame at best, so I'll cheat myself some cool backgrounds.
For this project I'm using Winamp and Irfanview. These are free for the taking at http://www.winamp.com
Winamp as most of you should know if a good (while bloated) MP3 player with a lot of chrome plating. Irfanview is a very good image viewing tool. I use both of these daily. Anywho... lets move on and get ride of the dull desktop.
First you need to know what your screen res is. To find this out quickly, right click on a blank area of the desktop (not on top of an icon). You'll get a window like this, left click on "Properties".
Now your "Display Properties" window is open, left click on the "Settings" tab and see what the Screen resolution is set to. In my case, it is 1280 by 1024 pixels. Make a note of what your settings are and then left click on the "Cancel" button.
Fire up Winamp and gets some music playing. Don't bother with any of that lame hippie crap, play something good... Fu Manchu for example. With some music playing, you will need to configure some settings in Winamp....
Left click on "Options" then left click on "Preferences"...
The "Winamp Preferences" window will open. There is long list of items on the left side, scroll down until you find "Visualization" and click on it. The right side of this window will should then have "Advanced Visualization Studio vX.XX (vis_avs.dll)" displayed, left click on that to highlight it as shown in the pic, then left click the "Start" button followed by left clicking the "Configure" button.
You should now have the "Winamp AVS Editor" window opened up. Left click on the "Settings" and then left click on "Fullscreen".
For the "Fullscreen video mode:" field, I've selected "1280x1024@16BBP" since my desktop is 1280 X 1024. I'll be honest I'm not sure what the "@16BBP" stands for, there is also a "@32BBP" setting. Anyway, you will also want to the "Vertical screen height to render (percent)" option to 100. Now left click the "go" button. The screen will flicker for a second, go blank then slowly start to display dancing colors and such... slowly but there. That is full screen visualization, to exit this, click the "Esc" key on your keyboard.
Once you click the "Esc" key, you will see Winamp looking something like this. The colors and patterns will be dancing around pretty fast at this size. The "Prev" and "Next" buttons on Winamp will change the visualization. The "Random" button will turn off/on the random feature in which the visualization will change every 15-ish seconds. The compass looking button on to the left of the "Prev" will toggle the full screen mode on. To the right of the "Random" button is a drop down menu that will have "Community Picks" and "Winamp 5 Picks", start sampling the different bits of eyecandy until you find something you'd like for a desktop.
Next up... how to take this crap and make it a desktop...
So you found something that catches your eye, you go full screen with it and watch it slowly dance around. How to you capture this? Uber easy, on your keyboard, press the "Ctrl" button and while holding that button down, press the "Print Screen" button (ctrl + print screen).
Little heads up, when you first go into a full screen with Winamp, there will be some text at the lower right of the screen, give it a few seconds and it will go away, then do your ctrl + print screen.
Ctrl + print screen will do a screen grab and copy it the clip board. So you do a screen grap, then click the "Esc" key to exit out of the full screen mode.
Open up Irfanview, and left click "Edit" then "Paste" to paste your screen grab into Irfanview. Happy with what you got? Ready to make it a desktop? Just left click on "Options" then left click on "Set as Wallpaper", "Stretched". With that, you now have a new desktop!
Step 11: Not so boring!
One desktop, like no other.
Step 12: Winamp Desktops using Irfanview
A few more desktops I did real fast just to have some more examples.
For what it is work, all of the pics used in this were done via the ctrl + print screen and then cropped up with Irfanview. The hardest part of doing all this way actually doing the Instructable.
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