Greg Schechter's Blog

Bing Maps, Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight -- Graphics, Media, Animation, Programming Model and other goodies.

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  • Blog Post: A More Useful Multi-Input Effect

    In my last post , I introduced multi-input effects, where you can send in arbitrary WPF brushes that are interpreted as samplers in the shader. The example I did just showed simple image combination via linear combination of pixel values -- illustrative, but not very useful. In this post, I'm going...
  • Blog Post: Introducing Multi-Input Shader Effects

    Thus far in this series on Effects , we've discussed building and using Effects that have a single "texture" or "sampler" as input to them. In the Beta of .NET 3.5 SP1, that's all that was available. With the RTM release, we've added the ability to provide multiple samplers as input to the pixel shaders...
  • Blog Post: A VisualStudio BuildTask and project and item templates for writing ShaderEffects

    In a number of places in this series on Effects , I've alluded to a VisualStudio BuildTask and project templates that ease the authoring of shader-based Effects.  We now have one up and available for you to download, install, and use.  This was written by Gerhard Schneider and me.  (Gerhard...
  • Blog Post: .NET Framework 3.5SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 released!

    Alright!  .NET 3.5 SP1 and VS 2008 SP1 are live and available on the web today.  There are lots of places to read about all the great stuff there, but from the perspective of this blog, the two big additions over the Beta of .NET 3.5 SP1 are: Support for multiple texture inputs to shaders used...
  • Blog Post: Interested in working on the WPF team?

    As you can see from this and other blogs, there's lots of exciting stuff going on in WPF these days, and we're hiring!  Ivo Manolov, our Test Manager has a post about job openings in Quality Assurance for WPF, including a posting for a Test Architect.  Also, here's a site that contains job...
  • Blog Post: A simple Effect sample project and ClickOnce application

    The previous post in this series began to talk about writing custom Effects for WPF. We looked specifically at ColorComplementEffect, an effect with no parameters. In upcoming posts, we'll get into the details of multi-parameter effects and other specifics. But in the meantime, I thought it would be...
  • Blog Post: Writing custom GPU-based Effects for WPF

    The last few posts in this series on Effects have focused on the perspective of those using Effects. These Effects have to come into being somehow, and that's where we turn to now. In this post we showed how to apply a ColorComplementEffect to go from this to this: ColorComplementEffect, which...
  • Blog Post: More details on how Effects work

    The last couple posts in this series have dug into features and example usage of Effects in WPF. Let’s go into some other aspects of the feature that are important to understand. Software Rendering When we discuss Effects, we typically talk about them being GPU-accelerated. This is typically the...
  • Blog Post: Using Effects in WPF (Part 2)

    My previous post on Effects (part of this series ) gives a simple example of instantiating an parameterless Effect (it just takes the complement of a color) through XAML. Here we discuss more about the use of Effects. First, lest you think that Effects are somehow a XAML-only feature, let’s write...
  • Blog Post: GPU-accelerated custom effects for WPF

    With WPF 3.5 SP1 on the horizon (and the Beta available now ), I plan to discuss some of the new graphics features that are coming into WPF in this release. There are a number of great new additions as well as improvements on existing features, but I will say that the one that I’m the most excited about...
  • Blog Post: VB.NET version of Planerator posted

    Sean Cullinan, of blendblog.net , recently posted a VB.NET port of the Planerator . 
  • Blog Post: Some implementation details of the Planerator

    My previous two posts ( here and here ) discuss usage of the Planerator control.  There are some unique issues that needed to be resolved in the implementation that WPF geeks might be interested in.  If you just are interested in using it, and not finding out how the sausage is made, you might...
  • Blog Post: Planerator comments and posted XBAP

    My previous post introduced a simple, but very powerful custom WPF control called a Planerator. That post contained some screenshots, but there's nothing like a live demo. So here's an XBAP demonstrating the Planerator in action. Click on "Go" to start it animating on its own. Or adjust the angles yourself...
  • Blog Post: Enter The Planerator - Dead-simple 3D in WPF, with a stupid name

    [UPDATED: November 26, 2007 - updated source code zip one last time.] [UPDATED: November 7, 2007 - updated source code zip and made a few clarifications.] When incorporating 3D support into WPF, we strived for integration with the rest of the system, and sufficient flexibility that will support...
  • Blog Post: Making use of multiprocessing in WPF

    There was a query on the MSDN forums for WPF the other day that asked about leveraging multiple processors in WPF applications. I responded, and am basically repeating that response here, with a little bit of extension: WPF 3.0 (and the version coming out with Orcas, 3.5) is definitely an STA(*)-based...
  • Blog Post: WPF, Silverlight and C# 3.0 object initializers

    XAML is definitely the way to go whenever possible when you're writing WPF and Silverlight apps, due to its amenability to tooling, analyzability, side-effect-free-ness, etc. However, there are occasionally (or often, depending on what you're doing) times when you need to construct WPF and Silverlight...
  • Blog Post: Making ParallaxUi look right - field of view selection

    In my last post , I said that "one of the more subtle aspects of the otherwise pretty straightforward ParallaxUi is the ‘registration' between the 2D and the 3D", and proceeded to discuss how this is done. This amounted to figuring out how far back to place our camera based on a given Field of View ...
  • Blog Post: Camera construction in ParallaxUi

    One of the more subtle aspects of the otherwise pretty straightforward ParallaxUi is the "registration" between the 2D and the 3D. This comes into play when you just move ever so slightly off-angle, and the view goes from the 2D view of the UI to a 3D view of a Viewport3D with pretty much a head on view...
  • Blog Post: ParallaxUi - source posted

    I've cleaned up the source to ParallaxUi a bit and am attaching it to this post as a .zip file. This has a VisualStudio solution that contains three VisualStudio projects: ParallaxUi - the custom decorator that creates the Parallax UI and exposes properties like rotation and methods like "implode...
  • Blog Post: ParallaxUi - UIs Escaping from Flatland

    As I mentioned in my last post , one of the guiding principles for the design of 3D in WPF is the consistent and powerful integration with 2D vector graphics, media, imaging, UI, and documents. And, for quite some time, I’ve wanted to write a little demo to show off specific aspects of this. Here...
  • Blog Post: Mapping interactive 2D UI onto 3D in WPF

    There’s been a super exciting update in WPF’s 3D arena that’s been recently announced that I want to talk about here, but before I get to it, some background to set the stage. I was heavily involved in the initial definition and design of the 3D aspects of WPF, and our overriding goal was to provide...
  • Blog Post: A Couple of Cool Uses of the DWM Thumbnail APIs

    I've seen a couple of cool uses in the past week of the DWM Thumbnail API (described in my previous post ) and wanted to share them here. " Simon on the .NET " wrote a great-looking Exposé-like mini-app that, when you press F12, shows a representation of all the desktop windows in a grid. The original...
  • Blog Post: How underlying WPF concepts and technology are being used in the DWM

    In the earlier posts I've done on the DWM, there's been a hint of the relationship between it and the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF, aka Avalon). This post delves deeper into that relationship. Because of core OS component requirements (the desktop itself of course being a core OS component) regarding...
  • Blog Post: I'm on TV... and just in time for Mother's Day...

    I got to do this fun Channel9 video the other day with Charles Torre and Tim Sneath . In it we talk about some of the fundamentals and architecture of the underlying composition system for Windows Presentation Foundation and for the Desktop Window Manager. Just in time for Mother's Day... she'll be...
  • Blog Post: Update: Changeables have become Freezables

    Way back in December of 2003, I posted on Changeables in Avalon -- why they exist, what they're about, etc. Since that time, we received a good deal of both internal and external feedback (some of which was in response to that post -- thanks for the comments!). The general experience that people had...
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