Expression - Part Two: Design

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In Part Two of the Expression series of videos, we take a look at Expression Design.

Design is a tool which allows artists to create images that can be exported as XAML, allowing them to be used in WPF-based applications.

It also represents a big leap in mindset in terms of the way applications are designed at Microsoft. It doesn't "look" like a Microsoft developer product. Rather, it was designed so that artists would feel at home when using it. By default, the interface is slate - much like Vista's default color scheme - and it looks like it could blend into the background for an artist working in the dark.

Another interesting aspect of Design is that it was built with WPF, yet WPF is what it outputs. A result is that, as the tool for designing WPF images was being built, issues with WPF itself were found. The tool, then, not only outputs WPF, but also helped to shape what WPF became.

But I'll stop describing - there's plenty of footage of the app in the video Smiley

Watch away, people...

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      staceyw
      Cool stuff guys.  BTW - where was Manuel Clement?
    • User profile image
      staceyw
      They said in first Sparkle (i.e. Robert's), that it was all managed c# code.  Did they toss all that and go with a c#/MFC mix?  tia
    • User profile image
      ktr
      staceyw wrote:
      They said in first Sparkle (i.e. Robert's), that it was all managed c# code.  Did they toss all that and go with a c#/MFC mix?  tia


      You're probably thinking about Sparkle aka Expression Interactive Designer aka (what is now) Expression Blend.

      This is still part of the Expression suite, but its a completely different application.

      I know, those names get confusing Perplexed

      btw.. this thing looks soooo hot. I want it NOW! [C]
    • User profile image
      Johannes
      Nice job guys! Especially considering Expression is a line of "1st" generation products!

      However, and I know this is not really a Expression Design complaint but rather a general complaint, the performance seems awfully slow compared to competeing products such as flash. Notice the framerate drop in the demo when the "complex" camera vector drawing was dropped into the slider control? Also, the designer seems to redraw the vector art somewhat slowly. Unfotunately this performance is consistent with my own tests which are showing very poor performance on WinXP SP2 using .Net 3.0 RTM. Ok, so I admit I'm only using Vista RC2 (with a beta nvidia driver) for my Vista tests and even then it is showing much better performance than XP... However, still not great performance.

      Also, I don't expect the performance to improve when you start hosting WPF within a browser so I really hope you are targeting this issue in future releases. Any comments from MS on this?

      I don't want to give the impression that I don't like the "Window X Foundation" + "Expression X" initiative because I think it's a great advance in application development seen from a overall application production workflow perspective. And the feature set is extremely powerful and advanced compared to any other product. I just hope you don't get caught up only trying to add more features instead of doing some grunt work on the more basic features such as performance.

      I almost can't wait to follow the evolution of application development in the next few years. Wink MS truly made christmas come early for me with the release of Vista and .NET 3.0, thank you!

      Kind regards,
      Johannes Hansen
    • User profile image
      anneyd7
      Perplexed;)Who is the user?
      What is the softwares' function?
      How many tasks to complete the function?
      Who is the competion? (research)

      Graphical user interfaces. 1994...dot.comers dropped the G in U.I. 94..Moasaic to Netscape...less than a year,Third gereration sites... the  single  clear TRANSPARENT gif pixel... Formating was born....

      IT HAS BEEN 10 YEARS OF ENGINEERING AND PRODUCT MANAGEMENT YAPPING ABOUT "bring the graphics specialists into the  first development meetings.

      I was fortunate  to work with the Best. Was told  by VP of prd mrktng....Make it yours... My manager laid the UI development of the apps admin tools to  my design... AND THEN I MADE IT PRETTY.

      The Product: Competior Point crash... admin: USER BASED Querys delivered  utilizing PUSH tech, APP with 5 choices of modified interace on yur desktop. 1997


      I am intrigued with Vista and this  3d potential.  What is the purpuse (apps function)?  It was clear developing alarms, network mangement applications. Designing  interfaces that use 3d  with intent. 

      IF I HEAR ONE MORE PROJECT MANAGER OR SR, ENGINEER... TALK ABOUT...bringing in the artist to "pretty" IT up...I wll pop.

      Graphic communication of a concept is the foremost function of a button,GLPH ,SYMBOL, ICON... the  eye reads pix faster than words.


      No, I will continue to exPound...  How engineers, would you, in 32 -64 pixel Square, make a 3d icon clearly desribing  the concept of one to 1 and 1 to many?  1989 I made such and icon, using a 3d app ...well... It was a Blast! 


      1988  32squares 2bit.. Took me 6hrs on a sun system/Unix...I was hired as the icon lady. I was a silver and goldsmith fabricator ..A jeweler. An ARTIST... Corporate heads thinking "Welp She Designs Small things...She is an artist...,along with a great recomedation... hired me...

      My Manager did not know this...he thought I was figuring out how to type code  enough to find my bitmap editor... I was trying to remember how to draw a 3D square.  two squares atatched by  four lines.

      Hired. developed GUI's.. high end NMS applications for all baby bells, France, Australian, British telecom... If you were sys admin then You were probly pushing my buttons *S*

      When is it appropriate to see the other side? a post card? or some important integral implicit/explicate function of the applictions intent?

      Iam so excited to finaly see this disolve of image to create the third image1+1=3, and really really want to paticipate in this whole new environment!!!!! transparent, layers 3d...It Is the world we function in, And the tools we use will easily be aquired, once made available...
      Yeah,  Anneyd7

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