Expression Blend and Design

The team blog of the Expression Blend and Design products.

An Update to Deep Zoom Composer

An Update to Deep Zoom Composer

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Ever since we released Deep Zoom Composer during MIX, there has been a ton of great feedback you have all sent us on what you liked and what you would like to see improved in future versions. To give you a sneak peek at where we are currently, we're releasing an updated version of Deep Zoom Composer for you all to play with:


dzcicon Download the Deep Zoom Composer

Before installing this version, please uninstall earlier versions of Deep Zoom Composer. All of your older projects should still work, so don't worry! Once you have it installed, besides a ton of changes under the hood to make creating your Deep Zoom content faster and more memory-efficient, some of the bigger features that you will immediately notice are the following:

Improved Exporting

The single biggest thing we heard consistently from all of you was to make exporting better. In the earlier version, all we did was just output the image tree. To figure out where you had to go from there, our Composer didn't help. Luckily, you had quality blog postings from individuals such as Scott Hanselman, Pete Blois, Wilfred Pinto, Jaime Rodriguez, and others who helped answer the question "Where to go from here?" In this version of Deep Zoom Composer, we try to make that easier for you by outputting a working Silverlight 2 project along with your image tiles:

exportDZC

Now, you no longer have to worry about what to do with these bizarre cutouts of images that you get as your output, and we even provide all of the mousewheel, pan, zoom, and keyboard functionality that you otherwise had to write yourself!

Better Design Experience

Arranging images can be a time-consuming task. To make it easier for you to do that, we've added snapping and guidelines that appear when you are dragging either a single or a group of images around:

imageSnapping

We also took care of the various filling/scaling issues you would have encountered when zooming in on images on the design surface. In case you didn't know, Deep Zoom Composer actually uses a variation of the tiling technology from Deep Zoom on the design surface itself, so we would be swapping images in an out at a frantic pace if you happened to be zooming and panning around while composing your images. We still do that....but it just feels more natural without the distortions you saw earlier.

Updated Collections Export

When exporting collections, Deep Zoom Composer would often misrepresent the position of your arrangements when you actually previewed in our browser. Thanks to the Live Labs team (Lutz, Dan, Avi, and Rado), they were able to pinpoint the problem and fix it for us in this release. You no longer have to worry about what you see in Deep Zoom Composer not being what you saw in the browser.

Greater Access to Help

There will be times when you would need more help than what the application provided. We've tried to call out both our support forum and this blog throughout the application so that you can quickly get unblocked on any issues you run into:

gettinghelp

In the past, all of these questions have been handled directly on the blog. For archival purposes, it would be great if you could post those questions on the forums instead. Scanning through several posts with 50+ blog comments for solutions probably isn't fun, and we don't want your question to get lost and go unanswered.

Where Next?

There are still a lot of great features that we will be adding in the future, so if you have any requests, complaints, wishes, etc., please feel free to let us know by posting a comment here or in our Deep Zoom forum on the Expression Forums.

Cheers!
Celso, Janete, Kirupa

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