Building on our program that draws content at a fixed screen position regardless of window position

Raymond Chen


Today’s Little Program uses the technique we saw last week of drawing content at a fixed screen position, regardless of window position, but adds a little physics to it.

Start with our scratch program and make these changes:

#include <math.h> // physics requires math (go figure)
#define Omega 2.0f
class Motion
 Motion() : x0(0.0f), v0(0.0f) { RecalcCurve(); }
 void ShiftOrigin(double dx)
  v0 = v;
  x0 = x + dx;
 double Pos() { return x; }
 bool Moving() { return fabs(x) >= 0.5f || fabs(v) >= 1.0f; }
 void Tick() {
  t = (GetTickCount() - tm0) / 1000.0f;
  double ewt = exp(-Omega * t);
  double abt = A + B * t;
  x = abt * ewt;
  v = (-Omega * abt + B) * ewt;
 void RecalcCurve() {
  A = x0;
  B = v0 + Omega * x0;
  tm0 = GetTickCount();
 DWORD tm0;
 double x0, v0, A, B, t, x, v;

The Motion class simulates damped motion. Ask a physicist how it works.

Motion g_mX;  // motion in x-direction
Motion g_mY;  // motion in y-direction
POINT g_ptRest; // desired rest point
POINT CalcRestPoint(HWND hwnd)
    RECT rc;
    GetClientRect(hwnd, &rc);
    MapWindowRect(hwnd, HWND_DESKTOP, &rc);
    POINT pt = { rc.left + (rc.right - rc.left) / 2,
        + (rc.bottom - / 2 };
    return pt;

The rest point is the center of the window.

void ScheduleFrame(HWND hwnd)
    InvalidateRect(hwnd, 0, TRUE);
    KillTimer(hwnd, 1);

To schedule the painting of a new frame, we invalidate our window and cancel any outstanding animation timer (because the timer is no longer needed now that a paint has been scheduled).

void OnWindowPosChanged(HWND hwnd, LPWINDOWPOS lpwpos)
    if (IsWindowVisible(hwnd)) {
        POINT ptRest = CalcRestPoint(hwnd);
        if (ptRest.x != g_ptRest.x ||
            ptRest.y != g_ptRest.y) {
          g_mX.ShiftOrigin(g_ptRest.x - ptRest.x);
          g_mY.ShiftOrigin(g_ptRest.y - ptRest.y);
        g_ptRest = ptRest;
    HANDLE_MSG(hwnd, WM_WINDOWPOSCHANGED, OnWindowPosChanged);

If the window changes its rest point while it is vislble, then move the origin of the motion variables and schedule a new frame of animation.

Okay, here’s the fun part: Drawing the moving circle.

PaintContent(HWND hwnd, PAINTSTRUCT *pps)
 RECT rc;
 POINT ptOrigin = { 0, 0 };
 ClientToScreen(hwnd, &ptOrigin);
 POINT ptOrg;
 SetWindowOrgEx(pps->hdc, ptOrigin.x, ptOrigin.y, &ptOrg);
 int x = g_ptRest.x + static_cast<int>(floor(g_mX.Pos() + 0.5f));
 int y = g_ptRest.y + static_cast<int>(floor(g_mY.Pos() + 0.5f));
 Ellipse(pps->hdc, x - 20, y - 20, x + 20, y + 20);
 SetWindowOrgEx(pps->hdc, ptOrg.x, ptOrg.y, nullptr);
 if (g_mX.Moving() || g_mY.Moving()) {
  SetTimer(hwnd, 1, 30, InvalidateMe);

We tick the motion variables to get their current locations, then tinker with our window origin because we’re going to be drawing based on screen coordinates. We then draw a circle at the current animated position, and if the circle is still moving, we schedule a timer to draw the next frame.

Finally, we initialize our rest point before we show the window, so that the circle starts out at rest.

        g_ptRest = CalcRestPoint(hwnd);
        ShowWindow(hwnd, nShowCmd);

And that’s it. Run the program and move it around. The circle will seek the center of the window, wherever it is.

(For extra credit, you can also add

UINT OnNCHitTest(HWND hwnd, int x, int y)
    UINT ht = FORWARD_WM_NCHITTEST(hwnd, x, y, DefWindowProc);
    if (ht == HTCLIENT) ht = HTCAPTION;
    return ht;

so that the window can be dragged by its client area.)


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