One Butterfly - Click to jump to Screenshots
Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
 Get the widget
Version: 1.2
Updated: March 29, 2012
 
One Butterfly
 Let it wander across your screen!
 
 Short Description
A butterfly to doll up your desktop.
It will fly across your screen all day long, flapping around, never getting tired.
 
 Features
realistic movement
6 butterfly models
option to random change model
the above random function can choose for a favorite models list
scalability
adjustable drop shadow
wings illumination;
adjustable motion speed
adjustable flapping frequency
flying area can be extended beyond screen, or restricted to a user custom rectangle
also, it can chase the mouse pointer
custom area editor
...and much, much more! 
 
 History
The idea of a butterfly widget has been around for a while, there are another 2 or 3 widgets that simulate a butterfly moving across screen, so way build one more? Well, those widgets are using some animated GIF image to represent a flapping butterfly, that can't be blended nicely with the desktop (no antialias or shadow) and, the biggest problem, they don't rotate to follow along the path of the motion, so those butterflys are flying backward and sideways most of the time. This made me want to try my own approach. To overcome those problems I simulate the flapping animation by scaling PNG images, one for each wing, so I can render light and shadow according to rotation. The drop shadow is a separate image that can be dimmed or dismissed. Add the possibility of choosing a specific model or a random one from a favorite list and the total control over motion speed, flapping frequency and the flying area, and you have a pretty nice toy to embellish your desktop... Enjoy!

Note: No butterflies were hurt during the making of this widget.
 Version 1.0 public release - June 01, 2007 
+ realistic movement;
+ scalability;
+ drop shadow;
+ wings illumination;
+ motion speed;
+ flapping frequency;
+ flying area;
+ simple custom area editor.
 Version 1.1 public release - December 02, 2007 
+ fixed a bug in 'Go Beyond Screen' functions;
+ quick showing preferences on click can now be configurable; [in Behavior]
+ when 'Flying Area' is set to 'Custom Area (User Defined)', the custom area editor
   can also be accesed from the right-click contextual menu.
 Version 1.2 public release - March 29, 2012 
+ New 'Favorites' preferences tab to select a favorite subset of butterflies
   to use when the 'Model' option (in 'Design' tab) is set to 'Random';
+ added 1 new butterfly model: 'Origami';
+ fixed some minor UI preferences bugs;
 
 Extended Copyright
The source images for the blue and white models are from the Butterfly Utopia site and are used with permission. Copyright © ButterflyUtopia.com
 
 Tips for reducing CPU usage...
Unfortunately, on slower computers, this widget may take a lot of processing power... This is mainly caused by the intensive use of rotation, so the butterfly will follow along the path of the motion. If rotation is not used, the butterfly will move like a stiff kite, and we don't want that...

To reduce the waste of CPU power, one can try the following:
- uncheck "Wings illumination";
- set "Drop Shadow" to None;
- set "Size" to Small;
- uncheck "Poof!" (if "Butterfly Model" is set to "Random");
- set "Frame Rate" to 8.
 
 Screenshots
Orange butterfly Blue butterfly, with the “Poof!” effect when auto changing Editing custom area About box, first screen
About box, Third party copyright Preferences window, Design tab Preferences window, Favorites tab Preferences window, Behavior tab