Channel 9 has been doing some rather interesting videos on the development of Windows 7, they did one talking about the progression of the default Windows 7 wallpaper & logon screen, the next one talked about the boot animation in Windows 7. The boot animation is exceptionally beautiful and always attracts “oh cool!” whenever one sees it for the first time. The Channel 9 interview with Rolf Ebeling – the brain behind the boot animation, talks about some rather interesting technical details about the boot animation sequence. Here are some of the details:

  • Duration – 7 seconds (geek fun!)
  • 105 tiff images – 200×200 pixels each.
  • 105 frames and 15 frames per second.
  • The first 4 seconds (color flying in) is linear, the 3 seconds where it the Windows logo glows (pulse) is a loop, which will continue till Windows boots.
  • Colour depth supported by the boot sequence – 32 bits per pixel (Vista was 16 bpp)
  • Resolution – 1024×768 (Vista was 640×480)
  • Vista’s Pearl screen & sound was eliminated and that helped improving Windows 7 boot.
  • Tools used — Adobe After Effect & Photoshop

Despite of all this involved in the boot animation, Microsoft claims that Windows’ boot time is not affected at all, not that I care since I enjoy watching the boot animation each time the PC boots. Here’s an article on the Engineering 7 blog about the boot animation, forgive them for the videos, someone wasn’t sent a memo that the Soapbox would be discontinued.

Hand drawn conceptualization of the animation:

Windows 7 boot animation

The initial proof of concept animations:

Note: the video jitters a bit, but that’s what was uploaded.