Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Silverlight 1.0 uses JavaScript...a word from Tanmoy

Working with Silverlight from no-flash background was an interesting thing for me. Silverlight 1.0 uses JavaScript as its programming language and thus well-known to all developer communities. Also with 1.1 and 2.0 releases Silverlight is taking advantages of .net framework and languages. So from the programming point of view Silverlight is having a very strong base. One thing is that Blend2 doesn’t have much facility for JavaScript debugging. I have used visual studio for getting help in debugging and IntelliSense. Though with later releases this problem is not likely to persist.

In most cases it is possible to separate coding part from designing with proper planning. For complex application it’s a great relief for both sides. From the code we can access normal HTML DOM objects and Silverlight objects with the tree structure or by x:Name and id. It’s also easy to create and remove objects like Ellipse, Rectangle or media files dynamically. It is also possible to load XAML files when required and make it lightweight and efficient. Creating Rich and interactive application with simple JavaScript event-handlers is in the same way developers are used to. With later versions many user controls has been added to help the development.

As Silverlight avoids using binary files it’s hard to obfuscate code but easily accessible to the search engine robots. (SEO people must love it).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Little bit about Expression Design

This would be your best tool for creating graphics that you want to use in the animation. It creates great quality vector graphics.

I agree that presently there is a limited tool set in Design. But inspite of that, I would recommend using Design to create graphics for adding to Blend 2 animation. First of all they have great compatibility. To maintain quality you can simply paste these graphics into Blend 2 and animate. The only issue with that is it will create multiple canvases in Blend, as each element of your graphic will create XAML. That's why they seamlessly transfer - by way of XAML - to your Expression Blend project. The work around is to create good quality PNG and import into Blend 2.

There are some nice effects that can be added to the images too if you are working with images.

Here's the link to download the trial version of Experssion Design:
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/download.aspx?key=design

Check out the features of Expression Design:
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/features.aspx?key=design

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Working with Blend 2 Preview version

Even before you open Expression Blend 2 and start working, it is very very important to plan work the way you would plan any website. One thing that I have noticed while working in Blend is, once you have created something in it, it is very difficult to change in the later stage of development. So, be careful while you plan. Do not keep much scope for changes while planning.

Take this small example. Assume that you are expected to create a presentation in Blend 2. Begin with planning the stage/canvas size that could be completely displayed by all browsers at 1024x768 resolution without much scroll. This canvas will contain all your other canvases in the hierarchy of elements. A canvas is nothing but a group of graphic or text elements.

Every element has different properties, like opacity, visibility, height, width, left-top positions and z-index. You can also name each element in the properties panel for the reference in javascript. You can fill the element/shape using color palette, in either solid color or gradient. This is most effective in creating translucent objects or light and shadow effects for an element.

You can use range of tools to create elements with different shapes or text.

Going back to planning, make sure you have planned the navigation of the presentation. How each slide or animation is going to come up in front of the user. How many scenes are there and how many slides each scene is going to contain. This is very important as this will help you determine the folder staructure and file breakup of your presentation.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Working with Blend 2 Preview version

When you start working with Silverlight you have got to unlearn the concepts used while working in Flash. Silverlight is completely different experience of working on 2D animations. I am hoping it gets better with the newer versions.

The first concept to unlearn is the "Stage". You call your working area in Flash as Stage. Whereas, in Blend there are various Canvases that you work with. Every 'Group' of objects you create is a Canvas which can be animated on the timeline.

In Blend, unlike Flash again, the "timeline" works with units like 'seconds' and not frames. So, all your tween animations are possible to create as well as you can create them in Flash.

You can simply download Expression Blend 2 from Microsoft website:
http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/download.aspx?key=blend2preview

Here's a link to learn and view some of these basic concepts:
http://www.nibblestutorials.net/

This is it for today..
Keep watching this space for more updated on Blend 2 and Silverlight... :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Silverlight Space

This going to be a great space for finding interesting stuff on Silverlight!!!