Grant Hinkson Blog

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Dx3 Conference in May

  • Filed under: General
Sunday
Feb 4,2007

This May brings the first Dx3 Conference to Boston, “a four-day conference and expo filled with intensive workshops and sessions, created for interactive designers and developers who are moving beyond the web browser to deploy rich experiences to the desktop, game consoles, and mobile devices.” Lynda.com events, producer of the FlashForward Conference and Film Festival, is producing Dx3, and I’m excited to be presenting a session entitled Lay of the Land – WPF Tools, Utilities, and Resources.

Dx3 stands for “Design/Develop/Deploy.” Because this conference is not technology or platform specific (i.e. only Flash, or only WPF), the sessions and material presented cover a range of topics you don’t typically find at a design conference. I would definitely put this on your must attend list if at all possible.

Dx3 Conference Info
May 15 – 18, Marriot Copley Place, Boston

Fireworks Gradient Panel

Tuesday
Jan 23,2007

I’ve been working on a custom Gradient Panel for Fireworks off and on for a while and wanted to go ahead and get it posted. It’s not in a final state, but it’s definitely usable as is. Having worked with XAML for quite a while now, I’ve grown to expect the ability to hand-tweak the offset values of GradientStops. Now I can do the same thing in Fireworks, all from the comfort of a panel!

Fireworks Gradient Panel

I’m providing two ways to edit with precision: a zooming gradient stop interface and a grid of values. The attached photos show the Gradient Panel in action.

Item Selected - Fireworks Gradient Panel Fireworks Gradient Panel Zoom Controls

Download Fireworks Gradient Panel Extension

WPF Reflection Control

Sunday
Jan 14,2007

WPF Control on Blend StageReflectionTarget DataBindingMore Controls Dialog

I was considering some of the common things that people want to do when they first start working with WPF. Creating reflections is one of those things, and while it’s not terribly difficult to do, it does become a monotonous task. And what do you do when you find yourself doing the exact same thing over and over? You create a custom control of course!

The Reflector control exists to perform one task: simulate a reflection of an object. You just bind the ReflectionTarget property (found in the Appearances category in Blend) to another control and it does all the work for you. If you want to tweak the reflection, you can always edit the ControlTemplate in Blend, but the default settings should cover most cases. I’m also looking at the height and width of the target control, so if you set the height and width of the Reflector control to Auto, it will size itself automatically (in most cases).

Lee Brimelow just posted a tutorial called Reflections in Visual Studio and Blend
at ContentPresenter.com that shows how to manually create reflections. After watching that tutorial you’ll see what I’m taking care of automatically.

download WPF Reflection Control

(Note: Add a reference to this assembly in Blend by selecting the Project tab, right-clicking the References folder and selecting Add Reference. Browse to the assembly included in the zip file. Once you’ve added the reference, click the More Controls link on the tool menu (last item — double down arrows), and select the User Controls tab. You’ll see the Reflector control listed there.)

WPF/E and Flash Integration?

Wednesday
Dec 6,2006

Lee either gets no sleep, or has a lot more time for experimenting than I do. Check out this example where Flash and WPF/E live side by side and behave as one.

Monday
Dec 4,2006

Microsoft Expression BlendWow — lots of big updates available from Microsoft today. At the top of my list is Microsoft Expression Blend. This is the latest version of what was formerly known as Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer. Lots of “under the hood” changes have been made in this release, but the first thing that everyone will notice is the updated UI. Check out the Expression Blog for more details on the public beta. A new version of Expression Design is now also available for download. It has undergone the same UI treatment as Blend. It’s UI has actually been implemented using WPF, so you’ll see the same collapsible panels, styling and icons in both applications. I just fired up Design briefly, so I’ll post more thoughts once I’ve spent a little time using the tool.

In addition to the Expression releases, Microsoft has release the first CTP of “WPF/E”, which stands for Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere. Learn more via Mike Swanson’s post.

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