Why is javafx mangling my semi-transparent cursors?

Below are two PNG images:

Visually they are exactly identical - the only difference is that one has the semi-transparent background in some of the pixels (you can download the images to check it).

But when I use those images as an image cursor on JavaFX nodes, I get the following result:

First cursor (without partially transparent pixels) is still crisp, but the second gets distorted.

After fighting with the problem for a while, I discovered the algorithm that accounts for this difference - blending mode:

  • "Expected" way (that you can see in this browser, for example) is to take the sum of values per channel, weighted by alpha values: (1 - alpha) * background_color + alpha * foreground_color.

  • "JavaFX Cursor" gives the different formula: (1 - alpha) * background_color + alpha^2 * foreground_color (note the square).

I discovered the distortion, but I can't figure out what I did wrong and how I can correct this problem.

Here's the complete runnable source code for my testing program:

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Button;
import javafx.scene.layout.StackPane;
import javafx.stage.Stage;
import javafx.scene.ImageCursor;
import javafx.scene.image.Image;

public class HelloWorld extends Application {

    public static void main(String[] args) {

    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
        System.out.println(ImageCursor.getBestSize(32, 32));

        primaryStage.setTitle("Hello World!");

        StackPane root = new StackPane();
        root.setCursor(new ImageCursor(new Image("/test-cursor.png"), 0, 0));

        primaryStage.setScene(new Scene(root, 100, 100));

How can I achieve proper rendering of such semi-transparent cursors?


I found a way to work around the problem (tested on JDK 8 and Linux&Windows). It's ugly and requires reflection, but seems to work. Code below (in Scala syntax, but can easily be adapted to Java):

  import com.sun.prism.PixelFormat
  import javafx.scene.ImageCursor
  import javafx.scene.image.{Image, WritableImage}

  private def undoPremultipliedAlpha(image: Image): Image = {
    // Fixes JavaFX bug with semi-transparent cursors -
    // somewhere deep in JavaFX code they premultiply alpha
    // on already premultiplied image, which screws up transparencies.
    // This method attempts to counteract it by removing premultiplied alpha
    // directly from bytes of internal JavaFX image.

    def getPlatformImage(image: Image) = image.impl_getPlatformImage()

    val platformImage = getPlatformImage(image)

    val pixelFormat = platformImage.getClass.getDeclaredMethod("getPixelFormat").invoke(platformImage).asInstanceOf[PixelFormat]
    if (pixelFormat != PixelFormat.BYTE_BGRA_PRE) {
      println(s"wrong platform image pixel format (${pixelFormat}), unable to apply cursor transparency bug workaround")
    } else {
      val pixelBufferField = platformImage.getClass.getDeclaredField("pixelBuffer")
      val pixelBuffer = pixelBufferField.get(platformImage).asInstanceOf[java.nio.Buffer]
      val pixelArray = pixelBuffer.array().asInstanceOf[Array[Byte]]
      for (i <- 0 until pixelArray.length / 4) {

        val alpha = (pixelArray(i * 4 + 3).toInt & 0xff) / 255.0
        if (alpha != 0) {
          pixelArray(i * 4) = math.min(255, math.max(0, ((pixelArray(i * 4).toInt & 0xff).toDouble / alpha))).toInt.toByte
          pixelArray(i * 4 + 1) = math.min(255, math.max(0, ((pixelArray(i * 4 + 1).toInt & 0xff).toDouble / alpha))).toInt.toByte
          pixelArray(i * 4 + 2) = math.min(255, math.max(0, ((pixelArray(i * 4 + 2).toInt & 0xff).toDouble / alpha))).toInt.toByte


  def createImageCursor(resource: String, hotspotX: Int, hotspotY: Int): ImageCursor = {
    new ImageCursor(
        new Image(resource)),

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