Menu transparency – what's going on here?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by blenditall, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. blenditall macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    For context, here is an menu directly on top of my desktop image. This appearance makes sense – you see the desktop blurred.

    Now here is a menu on top of an application. Although the pink is lighter, the overall effect is that you see "through" the application window to the blurred desktop. A little odd, but fine if that's how it works.

    But this third case threw me off. The saturated part of the page is so overpowering in the blur that it appears you don't see "through" the application window anymore. Meanwhile the upper part of the menu still "sees" the desktop.

    It seems like the content of the blur has more to do with colour saturation than the "layering" that has been established by the concept of application windows that sit on top of each other in a certain order. Thoughts? Was this even worth bringing up?
  2. n-evo macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2013
    The menu hue is a blend of both the desktop picture color and windows stacked on top of it. Since only the desktop picture can be behind the menu bar only it influcences its hue: Menus can overlap windows, the menu bar cannot.
  3. Badagri macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2012
    Bizarre. It would make more sense to blur whats below it. Not blur and smear the pink from the menubar. Which looks like the pink is bleeding through the menu.

    You'd need to choose a suitable background for this.
  4. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    To paraphrase The Chambers Brothers: Your Mac has been psychedelicized.
  5. Badagri macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2012
  6. Simplicated macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    Think about it this way: The menu is an extension of the menu bar, which has the hue from the desktop background.
  7. mrchinchilla macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2009
    Yeah, it's terrible. This horrible illogical translucency seriously needs to go. At most it should only reveal the object directly under it. It's also far too transparent, it needs to go back to <10.10 opacity.
  8. blenditall, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014

    blenditall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    The appearance of the bar definitely makes sense. The actual dropdown menu is what's behaving strangely.

    Yes, except for when it somehow picks up content from an application window, as in the last image I posted.

    I think it only only does this when the application colour is saturated – the orange in my example. But if you look at the lightening (of the pink) effect of the application window in image 2, you'd expect the orange to blend with the pink below it. But perhaps the blending is just really subtle and not visible.

    In other words, it appears that the content of the blur in the menu (not talking about the bar at all) is inconsistent: sometimes it's the desktop; sometimes it's something directly behind the menu; sometimes it's both. Basically:

  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You might want to watch the WWDC14 video "Adopting Advanced Features of the New UI of OS X Yosemite", especially the segment about vibrancy.

    More precisely, the effect that puzzles you is a form of color burn with multiple blending targets (I do not know the math behind the particular effect that Apple is using here though).


    It never meant to be only translucency. And what is terrible about it? People have often complained that OS X is too 'boring'. Now they can personalise the menu appearance in a fun and dynamic way.
  10. blenditall thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2011
    Thanks for pointing that out. It seems you're right – potentially strange combinations of blending modes are at work here.

    I'm sure it all makes sense under the hood, but I guess my point is that it appears inconsistent.
  11. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I do not think that this is inconsistent. A menu is a special case, different from other kind of overlapping content. The current blending is — as I have mentioned earlier - a way to personalise your UI by choosing a desktop background you like.

    I certainly agree that it can result in some less legible combinations or weird colours, but that's the cool part of the system — it can be tweaked. personally, I think that this is a very nice artistic touch. Its subtle, playful, but ultimately non-obtrusive and feels very personal.
  12. tkermit macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2004
    I've heard that complaint from Windows users (the sort that would never get a Mac anyway), never from Mac users... Nor do I think it's an issue for an OS to be 'boring'.
  13. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I meant the complains about the lack of personalization.
  14. tkwolf macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2012
    I love the translucent UI! :D

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