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Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

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GM Rod
Posts: 5
Joined: November 15th, 2017, 11:15 am

Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by GM Rod »

Hello!

This might've been asked, but in my search I couldn't find it so here goes.

I LOVE the app, thank you guys for such a great idea and so awesomely executed.
However, for the life of me I can't figure out how to capture it in OBS for my stream.
Namely I'm trying to have a music visualizer on stream, but it has to work with whatever's playing, and aside from the horrible-looking visualizers embedded in audio players, I really have no option.
From what I understand, Rainmeter runs on a "virtual" desktop which is why OBS can't capture it. The only way to do it would be to use "Display capture" but as you can figure, this means OBS would capture the entire screen. I'm running on a single monitor, so obviously this isn't possible. I'd also hate to waste a second monitor JUST to do this. I'm gonna need a second monitor soon anyway, to be able to look at the stream/chat.
So what I need is a way to have Rainmeter attach to a window, this way OBS can capture said window and voila, I have my visualizer on stream.
Any way to do this? Maybe a plugin?

Thanks in advance,
Rod
GM Rod
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Joined: November 15th, 2017, 11:15 am

Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by GM Rod »

30 views and nothing?

Please...
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SilverAzide
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Joined: March 23rd, 2015, 5:26 pm

Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by SilverAzide »

GM Rod wrote:From what I understand, Rainmeter runs on a "virtual" desktop which is why OBS can't capture it.
Perhaps no replies because this statement is incorrect. Each Rainmeter skin is a standard Windows window, running on the standard desktop.
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CyberTheWorm
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Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by CyberTheWorm »

Looks like you can only do it with a display capture
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balala
Rainmeter Sage
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Joined: October 11th, 2010, 6:27 pm
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Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by balala »

There are tons of software out there which can capture Rainmeter skins. Just two months ago eclectic-tech recommended a very good this kind of software, the GifCam: https://forum.rainmeter.net/viewtopic.php?p=139823#p139823
I think this doesn't even have to be installed.
Maybe you should have to take into account to use another software.
GM Rod
Posts: 5
Joined: November 15th, 2017, 11:15 am

Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by GM Rod »

SilverAzide wrote:Perhaps no replies because this statement is incorrect. Each Rainmeter skin is a standard Windows window, running on the standard desktop.
Wait what? Then how come I don't see it in the window list for capturing?

Yeah, tried it. It's definitely not in a window.
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theAzack9
Developer
Posts: 521
Joined: March 2nd, 2016, 6:23 pm

Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by theAzack9 »

The skins in rainmeter are definently built as a window and there are no virtual machine or such nonsense involved. It is just normal windows on the desktop. It is still a window, even though you don't see it in the taskbar and there are even tons of windows that you never see, but i won't get too technical on this. (Note, i am not saying that we can or will fix this. I'm just stating that it might be possible... It is not purely up to me to decide)

I will say though, i don't think this is Rainmeter to blame at this. We could probably do some changes to make Rainmeter show up in OBS, but that is just speculation from my side by not having seen OBS' source, nor knowing what OBS deems as a "valid" window to record.

To not get too technical and this is 100% just an assumption which might be incorrect. I assume that since the windows operating system is built with tons of windows, visible and not, does OBS do some sneaky calculation to deem a window "valid" or not of being recorded. This way do you not have to go through potentially hundreds of completely empty and boring windows just to find and record the game you are playing. This is certainly the best way to do it, but it also has the possibility of miscalculating what is valid and what isn't. (Hopefully that makes sense... >.> )

So my guess on the matter is that OBS probably just goes "oh, this isn't a window you probably see normally, so you probably won't need to record this" and therefore you won't find it in the list. That is just my assumption though, it might be totally incorrect.
GM Rod
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Joined: November 15th, 2017, 11:15 am

Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by GM Rod »

From what I see, OBS only captures windows with an actual title and that are open in window mode. But not ALL of them. For instance, it doesn't "see" Spotify.

Hmmm.
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theAzack9
Developer
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Joined: March 2nd, 2016, 6:23 pm

Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by theAzack9 »

I did some investigation and this will be a bit more technical then the last post...

It doesn't seem to be based on the title at all (and i get spotify showing up in obs just fine)

So, a window in windows(os) can have some traits. So in code are one of these traits called "WS_EX_TOOLWINDOW", which many windows' use to remain hidden in the taskbar, Rainmeter included. I tried removing this trait just to see how obs would behave with Rainmeter and it seems that even if that trait is removed won't obs record it properly. I find it in a window capture and it does record, but it only records a black square. The reason for this is because the way windows(os) draws windows with a total transparent background (no chroma key, etc) is by doing some layered trickery. Obs does not support showing neither hardware accelerated or layered windows since these are done on later on from where OBS captures and therefore it just get's a black square.

tl;dr: There is nothing we can do with this at this time due to OBS not being able to capture hardware accelerated or layered windows. (I did some research, and they apparently could capture layered windows at some point)
This is the same reason yo can't record chrome without turning off hardware acceleration.
GM Rod
Posts: 5
Joined: November 15th, 2017, 11:15 am

Re: Capturing Rainmeter in OBS

Post by GM Rod »

Thank you so very much for looking so deep into this.

I guess I'll have to poke at the dues on OBS's side. I'm sure I'm not the only streamer wanting to use it this way with Rainmeter.

Thanks again!!!