Silverlight 5 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating animations


Silverlight 5 Essential Training

with Walt Ritscher

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Video: Creating animations

Creating an animation in Visual Studio is tedious. You have to either write all the XAML by hand, building the storyboard and nested animations, and then hook up the animations to the correct UI elements. If you prefer to create the animation in code, you create a messy, dense batch of code. If you used Expression Blend, however, your life is easy. It has a great WYSIWYG editor. Let me show you what I mean. For this demonstration, I will use Blend and a project called CreatingAnimations. I'm going to animate three items on this screen.
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 35m 1s
    1. Overview of Silverlight
      3m 29s
    2. Setting up a developer computer
      2m 46s
    3. Installing the Silverlight Toolkit
      2m 21s
    4. Exploring the toolkit samples
      2m 35s
    5. Using Visual Studio 2010 to create a Silverlight project
      5m 10s
    6. Using Expression Blend to create a Silverlight project
      3m 13s
    7. Getting to know the Visual Studio interface
      8m 16s
    8. Working in the Expression Blend interface
      7m 11s
  3. 29m 47s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio project structure
      3m 38s
    2. Creating a Silverlight page
      3m 17s
    3. Compiling your first application
      5m 1s
    4. Using other assemblies in an application
      5m 45s
    5. Deploying a Silverlight application
      3m 43s
    6. Understanding the startup process for an application
      3m 13s
    7. Understanding how users get Silverlight on their computers
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 59s
    1. Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
      3m 57s
    2. Using C#
      7m 16s
    3. Exploring the code-behind file
      5m 46s
  5. 43m 23s
    1. Working with XAML elements and Property attributes
      4m 56s
    2. Investigating XAML namespaces
      7m 32s
    3. Converting XAML properties with TypeConverters
      5m 1s
    4. Working with Property elements
      4m 24s
    5. Assigning runtime data with XAML markup extensions
      4m 21s
    6. Digging into the dependency property system
      6m 12s
    7. Creating a custom dependency property
      4m 42s
    8. Understanding attached properties
      6m 15s
  6. 9m 35s
    1. Debugging your code
      5m 17s
    2. Special Silverlight debugging techniques
      4m 18s
  7. 36m 1s
    1. Understanding layout
      4m 55s
    2. Using DockPanel and WrapPanel
      4m 2s
    3. Exploring sophisticated layouts with the Grid
      6m 40s
    4. Absolute positioning with the Canvas panel
      5m 20s
    5. Scrolling content with the ScrollViewer
      3m 28s
    6. Adjusting content alignment, margins, and sizing
      5m 6s
    7. Using the TabControl
      2m 17s
    8. Manipulating elements with transforms
      4m 13s
  8. 20m 33s
    1. Painting the user interface (UI) with SolidColorBrush
      6m 7s
    2. Getting colorful with gradient brushes
      3m 15s
    3. Decorating elements with ImageBrush
      4m 57s
    4. Creating effects with VideoBrush
      6m 14s
  9. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding routed events
      3m 12s
    2. Wiring up event handlers in Silverlight
      6m 4s
    3. Understanding event bubbling
      4m 39s
    4. Exploring mouse events
      7m 43s
    5. Exploring keyboard events
      4m 4s
  10. 32m 31s
    1. Displaying text on the screen
      3m 24s
    2. Gathering text input from the user
      5m 30s
    3. Showing complex text with RichTextBox
      6m 7s
    4. Understanding text overflow and text linking
      3m 14s
    5. Searching content with the AutoComplete type-ahead control
      6m 45s
    6. Using and embedding Silverlight fonts
      7m 31s
  11. 26m 48s
    1. Understanding content controls
      5m 7s
    2. Understanding button controls
      6m 17s
    3. Using the BusyIndicator
      4m 40s
    4. Showing tooltips
      4m 34s
    5. Changing content size with ViewBox
      1m 39s
    6. Exploring more controls
      4m 31s
  12. 55m 36s
    1. Connecting elements with binding
      9m 54s
    2. Using business data in a binding
      9m 21s
    3. Listing data with ItemsControls
      6m 39s
    4. Digging into the DataGrid
      8m 28s
    5. Using the DataForm
      3m 49s
    6. Storing data on the client
      7m 10s
    7. Debugging XAML bindings
      5m 41s
    8. Charting data
      4m 34s
  13. 24m 36s
    1. Creating an Out-of-Browser (OOB) application
      6m 16s
    2. Controlling aspects of an OOB application
      2m 49s
    3. Alerting the user with notification windows
      7m 13s
    4. Hosting HTML content in Silverlight applications
      8m 18s
  14. 30m 2s
    1. Exploring Silverlight trust levels
      3m 51s
    2. Creating an elevated trust application
      5m 57s
    3. Reaping the benefits of XAP signing
      6m 5s
    4. Making cross-domain calls
      5m 1s
    5. Getting started with COM Interop using the Speech API
      4m 21s
    6. Using COM Interop to interact with Microsoft Office
      4m 47s
  15. 16m 34s
    1. Showing child windows
      3m 48s
    2. Using a child window as a dialog window
      5m 7s
    3. Creating native windows
      2m 53s
    4. Maximizing a window with full screen mode
      4m 46s
  16. 13m 20s
    1. Dynamically loading UI content with user controls
      4m 46s
    2. Using the Navigation Framework
      8m 34s
  17. 9m 28s
    1. Using resource files
      3m 53s
    2. Using images in an application
      5m 35s
  18. 16m 32s
    1. Playing audio
      4m 27s
    2. Playing sound effects
      5m 4s
    3. Viewing video content with MediaElement
      4m 58s
    4. Changing video playback speed with TrickPlay
      2m 3s
  19. 14m 41s
    1. Capturing video with a web camera
      4m 16s
    2. Working with a microphone
      3m 47s
    3. Creating print output
      6m 38s
  20. 22m 35s
    1. Understanding Silverlight animations
      4m 35s
    2. Creating animations
      7m 52s
    3. Controlling animations
      4m 18s
    4. Simulating physics with animation easings
      5m 50s
  21. 27m 47s
    1. Placing XAML resources within a FrameworkElement
      6m 47s
    2. Centralizing settings in styles
      4m 8s
    3. Creating an alternate control UI with ControlTemplates
      6m 29s
    4. Dressing up your data with DataTemplates
      4m 33s
    5. Explaining the VisualStateManager: a simple way to manage control states
      5m 50s
  22. 10m 56s
    1. Handling global errors in a Silverlight application
      5m 46s
    2. Showing an application loading screen
      5m 10s
  23. 10m 48s
    1. Integrating with XNA
      7m 40s
    2. Exploring data analysis with PivotViewer
      3m 8s
  24. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

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Watch the Online Video Course Silverlight 5 Essential Training
8h 51m Beginner Mar 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Microsoft Silverlight 5 is a rich application framework for creating high-performance, cross-platform desktop and mobile applications. In this course, author Walt Ritscher demonstrates how to build a variety of applications in Silverlight, with particular focus on building compelling business applications and delivering premium video and audio content. Developers will work with the C# programming language and Visual Studio Professional, as well as Expression Blend, a tool that simplifies creation of the interactive user interfaces expected in modern-day applications.

Topics include:
  • Installing the toolkit and setting up the development environment
  • Using Expression Blend vs. Visual Studio 2010
  • Creating a Silverlight page
  • Compiling an application
  • Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
  • Using C#
  • Working with XAML
  • Digging into the Dependency Property System
  • Deploying and debugging code
  • Creating sophisticated layouts with panel elements
  • Managing Visual State with Visual State Manager
  • Transforming the user interface (UI) with templates
  • Understanding the event model
  • Working with text
  • Using business data in a binding
  • Creating an out-of-browser (OOB) application
  • Exploring trust levels
  • Playing audio and video
  • Handling errors
  • Exploring animations
  • Working with application windows
  • Integration with XNA
Silverlight Visual Studio
Walt Ritscher

Creating animations

Creating an animation in Visual Studio is tedious. You have to either write all the XAML by hand, building the storyboard and nested animations, and then hook up the animations to the correct UI elements. If you prefer to create the animation in code, you create a messy, dense batch of code. If you used Expression Blend, however, your life is easy. It has a great WYSIWYG editor. Let me show you what I mean. For this demonstration, I will use Blend and a project called CreatingAnimations. I'm going to animate three items on this screen.

I'm going to fade this logo, I'm going to shrink the size of this logo, and I'm going to rotate this logo. I'm also going recreate my site header. You may have seen the site header in some of my other demonstrations. Watch the left-hand corner of my site. I have a bulge animation or a transition animation happening there. And then when that animation finishes, I start moving this cloud cover from the right side of the screen to the left side of the screen. This animation actually takes about two minutes to run.

I'll start by showing you how to create a basic storyboard. I'm in this file called BasicAnimation. To create an animation, you have to put it inside a storyboard. Storyboards live over here on the Objects and Timeline section at the top. There's this storyboard section. To add a new storyboard, you click on the New button. I'm going to call this one the FadeStoryboard. Keep your eye on the user interface as I click on OK and see if you can detect the changes.

Several things happen. For one, I've got this red border around the outside edge of my artboard. That is my warning that everything I do in the artboard at this moment is being recorded. Be sure and turn off the recording by clicking in this red dot when you're finished recording. I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to do that and been animating things I didn't intend. The second thing that happened is the new section of the Object and Timeline showed up, where this yellow marker is. This represents my second points on the animation. It also has my VCR controls for rewinding and running the animations.

Currently, I can see about two seconds of time on the storyboard. If I press F6, it moves the storyboard to the bottom of the screen and I can see about nine seconds' worth of real estate down here. F6 puts it back on the left-hand side and F6 puts it back in the bottom. For my first animation, I'm going to animate this logo and I'm going to fade it down to about a 20% Opacity level. To do that, I select the object and then I move down into my Objects and Timeline and I click on this Record Keyframe.

This places a keyframe at the 0 position, and then I click over here at the 2- second mark and I click on that button again. I now have two keyframes. You can see them down here. They're little white ellipses. You can also see in my image a red dot, which signifies I'm animating a property on that object. Now all I need to do with the second keyframe selected is change a property on this item. I'm going to fade it to 20% Opacity. To do that, I'm going to go over to my Property pane, find the Opacity setting, and type in 20. I'm done.

I'm ready to test this animation. I'll click the Rewind button, and then I'll click the Play button. Let's go look at the XAML that was created on my behalf. At the top of my XAML is a storyboard. This is stored in the resources section of my user control. It shows that within the storyboard is a single animation called DoubleAnimationUsingKeyFrames, and this animation has two keyframes. The first keyframe is at KeyTime 0, and it's setting the value to 1, the opacity level to 1.

The second keyframe is at KeyTime 2 seconds, and it's setting the opacity level to 0.2. Now, how do I know it's setting the opacity level? Look up here at the Storyboard.TargetProperty. It is animating or changing the UIElement.Opacity property on this element. It's called the TargetName. So there somewhere is a control called image1, and I'm animating the opacity property on it. For my next demonstration, I'll create a second storyboard.

I do that by clicking on the Plus symbol again and I'll call this one a GroupStoryboard. What I mean by that is I'm going to have two or more animations inside this. I'm going to change the rotation on this grape picture, and I'm going to change the size on this logo. I'll start with the grape. I'll click here. I'm recording. I can see my red border. Put my keyframe in at 0 and one in at 4. Again, I just manipulate the item in the artboard. In this case I'll rotate it around to 180 degrees, and then I'll test. Rewind and run.

That looks good. Next, I'll click on my second image and add a keyframe. Here I want the keyframes to go from 1 to 3, so I'll select 1. It looks like I didn't quite get the 1 selected. I can either click again or the other thing I can do is grab this yellow marker and drag it around to a new position. Also, you can type in this area. If you know exactly where you want to go in your timeframe, you can type the number. I'm going to go from 1, so I'll add a keyframe there. Notice that the keyframe is on image2, because I had image2 selected. And then I'll move over to position 3 and add a keyframe, and now I'm ready to resize my image.

Rewind and let's see this animation. Nice! I told you I was going to try to recreate my site header. What I'm going to do is move over to this SiteHeader.xaml file and animate the cloud. I'm not going to show you how to animate the transition effect, but I will show you how to animate the cloud. It's quite simple really. What I did here is I created a long picture. It's about 2800 pixels wide. And I placed it behind my header, and I also put a clipping region around it so I can only see this portion right in here.

Now, what I want to do is animate the image from the right side of the screen to the left side of the screen, so I need a storyboard obviously. Then I need to select the correct item. It's a little bit hard to see. I need to scroll up and down to find the object that I want to manipulate, or I can try to click on it over here in the storyboard. I want to animate the image, so I'll choose it here. I'll click on the Record Keyframe and I get another one at 3 seconds over here, and then I'm going to translate this image to the left.

I'll do that by going over to my Property pane and scrolling down to the Transform section, expanding it, and then I'm going to type in a new value here. Since the item is about 2800 pixels wide, maybe I'll transition at 1500 pixels. And I need to go in a negative direction, like that. That looks good! I'll rewind the animation. It looks nice, except it's running too fast.

Now, there's a couple ways I can solve this. One is I can take this keyframe and drag it to a new position. Now it will run slower. The other thing I can do is I can change properties on the storyboard. We'll learn more about that later. Now you know the basics of creating animations and storyboards. In the rest of this chapter we'll show you additional pieces of the animation story.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Silverlight 5 Essential Training .

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Q: I'm trying to access a Silverlight 3D application template, [cid:image001.png@01CD0E7D.3E07ECA0]. I have already installed the Silverlight 5 SDK and my Visual Studio 2010 is professional. Could you please help me?
A: You must install XNA Studio in order to use the new Silverlight 3D templates. Otherwise the new templates will not show up. Download it at

For other Silverlight downloads (the toolkit, developer runtime, etc.), see
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