Widget Opacity & Transparency

All widgets in MPF can have “opacity” settings which control how transparent they are. 100% opacity is the default, where nothing would show through that widget. 0% opacity means that the widget is completely transparent and would not show up at all. 50% means it’s about half-way in between, etc.

Here’s an example. (This example is from the MC Demo which you can download and run to see it in action.)


Specifying opacity by opacity: setting

Every widget type has an optional setting called opacity: which you can use to set the opacity of that widget. This is a value from 0.0 to 1.0, with 0 meaning 0% opacity (completely transparent and not visible at all), 1.0 meaning 100% opacity (the default), 0.25 meaning 25%, etc.

Note that you can animate the opacity setting to cause a widget to blink or flash. This is easier than adding and removing the widget over and over, as with this method the widget stays put, it’s just alternating between visible and invisible. See the How to animate display widgets guide for details.

You can apply opacity settings to all widget types, including images and videos. (The opacity setting will affect the opacity for every pixel in the image or video. If you just want an image with transparent parts, then you would use a PNG or GIF with alpha settings instead.)

Specifying opacity by color

For widget types that accept color: settings (text and the various shape widgets), you can specify a transparency level as part of the color by adding a fourth byte to the color hex value. (If your color value is only six characters, MPF automatically adds ff (fully opaque) to the end.

For example, regular red with 100% opacity would be:

color: ff0000

Or it would also be (this is the same as the prior example):

color: ff0000ff

If you wanted red with 50% opacity, you could enter:

color: ff000080

There’s not really any difference between setting the opacity at the color: setting versus the opacity: setting. The opacity setting is nice because it’s applicable to all widget types (including those without color settings), and it’s animatable. But the color setting is nice because you can set the opacity and color at the same time. It really doesn’t matter.