Chapter 17. Using Graphics and Visuals


  • Working with shapes and paths

  • Referencing images and media

  • Defining and applying custom effects

  • Transforming elements in 2D and 3D

Silverlight includes all of the core primitive elements you would expect in a platform designed to provide a compelling visual experience. These basic elements include the Rectangle, Ellipse, Path, Image, and MediaElement controls. Expression Blend 4 introduces a new library of shape elements, empowering you to easily create stars, hexagons, talk bubbles, arrows, and arcs. In addition to these shapes and controls, Silverlight includes bitmap effects, support for HLSL shaders, and Perspective 3D. These last three items can empower a limitless array of visual effects in your applications. This chapter starts by covering the basic building block controls and how they are defined in XAML to provide a firm foundation of understanding. Along the way, you see how to use Expression Blend to save some time by creating these elements on the design surface. Finally, you see how both effects and 3D can fit into your application and look at the tooling that supports them.


This section starts by looking at the core Silverlight controls at your disposal to create visuals. It looks at each control individually and covers XAML composition of that control. Along the way, I'll try to point out things you need to be aware of when working with particular controls.

Working with Rectangles and Borders

The Rectangle ...

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