The Incredible SilverLightness of Being…

22 Sep

Man – this week has been a serious brain burner so I have very little to put down except to say a LOT of cool stuff is coming.  I broke down and started doing a bit of coding with Expression Blend and some of the tools to get a better handle on fun to create interfaces with WPF.

Here’s a taste of the WPF Goodness …image

Which is to say that’s a screen shot of the app, which when run is transparent except for the player.  Heres a nice shot with a light imagebackground…

I haven’t played with Blend since CTP days when it was fresh from Beta and I have to say I’m very impressed.  When combined with Expression Designer it’s actually pretty fun.  The buttons for the app were designed in Designer and exported as XAML that I pulled straight into Blend.  A few clicks later and they gave me all the functionality I needed in about 10 minutes the player you see was done.  One of the easiest tasty bits of fun coding I’ve done in a while.  image

In part this was due to some fun with Adobe After Effects and playing around with some fun video clips to get the effects I wanted.  I have to say I haven’t played with really decent video composition software in a long time.  It’s come such a long way.image  After a bit of time watching a few Andrew Kramer video tutorials on line I decided to see about working on some fun but realistic video effects.  Which, if you haven’t checked out Kramer’s Video Copilot web site – it’s all but essential if you want to do anything of value with After Effects – to say I recommend it is an understatement.

So why all the sudden love for video?  And what’s it got to do with Silverlight and or WPF?

Simple.  I’m going to make a prediction for every great web / application designer / developer out there.  If you do not learn to use video compositing, 3D Modeling, and similar tools you should probably pick out your rocking chair at the home for old and unwanted web gurus. 

Just as in our day, FLASH and Javascript and DHTML and so on – were the "gotta have skills" of the 1990s-2007…  video composting and the use of video and / or 3d models in our designs, our coding architectures and in almost every way we handle the next generation of applications and web designs will be the core.

Having cool "mouse over images" and Javascripted / ActionScripted apps isn’t going to be enough.  And I’ll be honest Flash isn’t going to be able to handle the demands of the next generation.  I think Silverlight may hold promise and it’s certainly going it’s focus on the right end of things but it’s not there yet for us. 

In playing with Adobe After Effects – I found the ability to composite images and video to be a fascinating exercise.  Levels of visual sophistication we’d generally put on multimillion dollar ad agencies were at my fingertips.  I’ll put up some different designs here soon and some code for all to play with so you can see some of the fascinating things that await us as I see them. 

I really wanted to get this up for this week – but got side tracked by that real life thing and having to do a phone interview or two and some tests I’m doing this week  Not to mention … my family insisted I leave the computer alone and actually speak to them.  (Incredibly narrow minded of them … I spoke with them last month!) 

Anyway, soon as I can get the code and demos up properly – I will.  In the mean time here’s a video I composited from an old photo of rock springs and some well placed particles in after effects. 


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Posted by on September 22, 2008 in Uncategorized


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