Hooray! Here's another 3D format that can now be converted to XAML for use with WPF. Richard Godfrey has been working with Michael Stocking, Mark Hennessy-Barrett, Alex Young, and Steve Kennett to produce the freely-available ShaxamWeb LightWave to XAML Converter.
There's nothing to install; just visit www.shaxam.com, upload your 200K-or-less .lwo file, and get back some glorious XAML that retains your geometry, textures, and animation. The team has made good use of Resource Dictionaries for efficiency, and they get extra bonus points for including detailed information about how the converter works (and what doesn't work). To meet the development team and see the converter in action, watch their 17-minute interview on Channel 9.
If you're looking for more conversion tools that target WPF/XAML, be sure to check out my Windows Presentation Foundation Tools and Controls page.
Infragistics has released some new technology that allows developers to easily apply visual styles to any Windows Forms application with a single line of code. They provide a tool called NetAdvantage AppStylist that enables designers to interactively create CSS-like (or WPF-like) style libraries. These libraries can then be applied at runtime and switched on-the-fly. Even cooler, the technology can be used to enable end-user style customization right within an application. As an example, because styles can cascade, a top level font color property can automatically apply to all of the controls on a form. I love the concept, and the designer tool looks very friendly. To see this in action, watch Andrew Flick's 5½ minute video demonstration.