Mike Swanson - Adobe Illustrator to XAML converter

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Description

Mike Swanson wanted to use XAML and the new Avalon, but was having trouble getting his Adobe Illustrator files ported over so he wrote his own converter.

This thing is awesome for graphic designers who want to work with developers on UI's!

Anyway, he's releasing it as a free download (he wrote this on nights and weekends). The current version works with Adobe Illustrator CS and CS2 running on Windows. Note that this plug-in is not endorsed, warranted, or supported by Microsoft.

Check out his "eye candy" page where he shows some of the strengths and limitations of his converter.

Mike's blog is here -- he writes about a variety of development-oriented topics.

Download the file here.

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Larsenal
    This might be the incentive I needed to start exploring XAML.  I use Illustrator all the time for diagrams, mockups and the like, so this will be a nice way to ease into XAML, Avalon, etc.

    Nice work, Mike!
  • User profile image
    Larsenal
    I haven't used Coreldraw in years.  Anyone else besides leighsword really like it?
  • User profile image
    leighsword
    not interesting,but it seems All Vector Graph is able to convert to XAML.
    waiting for the Flash or CorelDRAW Converter.
  • User profile image
    Charles
    Nicely done, Mike! I love that fact that you can take a great image, export it to XAML, then give it life by applying transformations (easily) to components of the "picture".

    Great work.

    C
  • User profile image
    jujitsu_sic​kness
    Excellent!  It's a very smart tool, I'm impressed.
  • User profile image
    mswanson
    mVPstar:

    The good news is that it works with version 11, which is also called CS. So, you should be okay!
  • User profile image
    mswanson
    leighsword:

    Interestingly, I used CorelDRAW almost exclusively until version 6.0, when I started to work more and more with bitmap graphics (advent of the Internet). Only after I had become accustomed to Photoshop did I look at Illustrator, because it was part of the suite I had purchased.
  • User profile image
    leighsword
    mswanson wrote:
    leighsword:

    Interestingly, I used CorelDRAW almost exclusively until version 6.0, when I started to work more and more with bitmap graphics (advent of the Internet). Only after I had become accustomed to Photoshop did I look at Illustrator, because it was part of the suite I had purchased.

    i don't know can Illustrator export to SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML)?you know CorelDRAW 12 can do it.
    i think make a XML to XAML converter easy than make a binary to XAML converter.




  • User profile image
    will
    leighsword wrote:
    mswanson wrote: leighsword:

    Interestingly, I used CorelDRAW almost exclusively until version 6.0, when I started to work more and more with bitmap graphics (advent of the Internet). Only after I had become accustomed to Photoshop did I look at Illustrator, because it was part of the suite I had purchased.

    i don't know can Illustrator export to SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML)?you know CorelDRAW 12 can do it.
    i think make a XML to XAML converter easy than make a binary to XAML converter.






    Yes, Illustrator does allow you to export to the SVG format.

    There are currently 2 SVG to XAML converters that I know of out there.
    SVG2Xaml and XamlConverter

  • User profile image
    leighsword
    will wrote:
    Yes, Illustrator does allow you to export to the SVG format.

    There are currently 2 SVG to XAML converters that I know of out there.
    SVG2Xaml and XamlConverter


    I think MS should provide some thing like the Gmax just for XAML 3D Modeling Tool, because of 2D(or fake 3D) was behind time.
  • User profile image
    irascian
    Larsenal wrote:
    I haven't used Coreldraw in years.  Anyone else besides leighsword really like it?


    I'm still using Corel Draw 10.

    I can't really draw but find it enables me to do enough to export something to Photoshop which I can then use to make it look half-decent. The fonts and clip-art alone made it worth the purchase price.

    But each new release after Corel 5 seemed to offer less and less (they even stopped giving you the clipart 'hard copy' book after Corel 8) and yet the cost and machine requirements went up and up more so I stopped at Corel 10.

    I've had Illustrator since version 8 (currently on CS2) but I can't get on with it - I find Corel much easier. I keep meaning to invest the time in Illustrator to make proper use of it but somehow the time never seems to happen.
  • User profile image
    BenZila
    When it started pulsing I had a nerdgasm.
  • User profile image
    MasterPi
    Good Job!

    I still use Adobe Illustrator 11 though. Crying
    I still use Adobe Illustrator 10 though. Crying

    Edit: Typo.



    I love that smiley.
    mVPstar
  • User profile image
    MasterPi
    mswanson wrote:
    mVPstar:

    The good news is that it works with version 11, which is also called CS. So, you should be okay!



    Sorry, I meant to write Illustrator 10, not 11.


    mVPstar
  • User profile image
    GRiNSER
    irascian wrote:


    I'm still using Corel Draw 10.

    I can't really draw but find it enables me to do enough to export something to Photoshop which I can then use to make it look half-decent. The fonts and clip-art alone made it worth the purchase price.

    But each new release after Corel 5 seemed to offer less and less (they even stopped giving you the clipart 'hard copy' book after Corel 8) and yet the cost and machine requirements went up and up more so I stopped at Corel 10.

    I've had Illustrator since version 8 (currently on CS2) but I can't get on with it - I find Corel much easier. I keep meaning to invest the time in Illustrator to make proper use of it but somehow the time never seems to happen.


    Man you said it! I am using corel 12 for vector graphics and i also find it much easier to work with than illustrator. I will take a closer look at illustrator when i have time but until then i work with CDR 12.
  • User profile image
    dentaku
    A video that actually applies to what I do with my computer. No matter how many tools I have I always end up in Illustrator to do any serious work.

    I've gotta download that plug-in.

    People seem to always talk about Photoshop but they always forget Illustrator. It's like the most used unknown software around.
  • User profile image
    Harlequin
    leighsword wrote:

    i don't know can Illustrator export to SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML)?you know CorelDRAW 12 can do it.
    i think make a XML to XAML converter easy than make a binary to XAML converter.


    I don't think you got the point of it. The point is to have anice simple plugin in Illustrator so that a graphics guy/gal can build an interface, then just export it right to Xaml and send it off to the developer. One simple step.
  • User profile image
    mswanson
    Harlequin wrote:
    leighsword wrote:
    i don't know can Illustrator export to SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics is a language for describing two-dimensional graphics in XML)?you know CorelDRAW 12 can do it.
    i think make a XML to XAML converter easy than make a binary to XAML converter.


    I don't think you got the point of it. The point is to have anice simple plugin in Illustrator so that a graphics guy/gal can build an interface, then just export it right to Xaml and send it off to the developer. One simple step.


    This is a good discussion point, and one that I'm very interested in. As I've talked to other artists about tools that would help them work better with XAML, one common theme seems to pop up: workflow.

    Most of the artists I've talked to don't want to run a separate tool to convert a file to XAML. They'd much rather stay in their tool of choice, quickly export to XAML, and possibly view the exported work. So, although writing a tool that would convert an AI file to XAML is still extremely useful, this plug-in fits in with their existing workflow.

    That said, I'm for anything that helps make XAML creation/modification easier! Smiley
  • User profile image
    RamblingGeek​UK

    This is cool, just imagine with a new service release the GUI could be refreshed, making the app look more in vougue....

    Excellent.

  • User profile image
    jeffMastry

    So, is the Microsoft Acrylic team working on XAML export?

  • User profile image
    rasx
    Is Adobe rejecting any Microsoft advances about improving their crappy SDKs? Does managed C++ have any relevance here?
  • User profile image
    Sampy
    Orbit86 wrote:
    I doubt there is a Acrylic team...??


    Someone had to change all the help dialogs and whatnot.

    At the very least there are probably some people who came along with the product that are serving as the team. If there was work done, there's a team responsible.
  • User profile image
    wacko
    rasx wrote:
    Is Adobe rejecting any Microsoft advances about improving their crappy SDKs? Does managed C++ have any relevance here?


    I actually had a conversation today about this very question with two friends at adobe and I mentioned this idea of "Managed" code and there reason is compact. most of the code for many of the adobe applications are written in C and some unmanaged C++ for reasons pretaining to the fact they have both windows applications and mac application so it cuts back on having to re-write major parts of the application, recently some of there newer applications have some managed C++ componets like Acrobat 7 and even some of the cs 2 products.

    I did mention how nice it would be if we had some managed code parts for us windows people and the ability to write plugins etc.. using managed C++ and C# or VB.net. They said they may consider but who knows.
  • User profile image
    AdamKinney
    Sampy wrote:
    Orbit86 wrote: I doubt there is a Acrylic team...??


    Someone had to change all the help dialogs and whatnot.

    At the very least there are probably some people who came along with the product that are serving as the team. If there was work done, there's a team responsible.


    Yes, this is a team I'd love to see on Channel9.  We'll work on getting them up here.
  • User profile image
    bonk
    This exporter is really really great. Thank you Mr. Swanson!
    It fits perfectly in our current production pipeline, better than all the other solutions currently out there. Now I am very keen on getting that bitmap support too. Also it would be very cool to have XAML exporter for a major 3D Modelling Application too (best would be maya). Well it might be an easier step to write an xslt for x3d to xaml and have maya export to vrml. Your DirectX team has done a great job wiith the directx X-File exporter for maya btw.

    P.S.
    For all the xaml/Avalon laboratories out there: It is really fun to render 3D content to SVG in the 3d modelling application of your choice and then convert it to XAML.

  • User profile image
    mswanson
    bonk wrote:
    This exporter is really really great. Thank you Mr. Swanson!
    It fits perfectly in our current production pipeline, better than all the other solutions currently out there. Now I am very keen on getting that bitmap support too. Also it would be very cool to have XAML exporter for a major 3D Modelling Application too (best would be maya). Well it might be an easier step to write an xslt for x3d to xaml and have maya export to vrml. Your DirectX team has done a great job wiith the directx X-File exporter for maya btw.

    P.S.
    For all the xaml/Avalon laboratories out there: It is really fun to render 3D content to SVG in the 3d modelling application of your choice and then convert it to XAML.



    It's great to hear feedback like this, bonk. I'm really glad that it fits within your existing workflow...that was one of the goals.

    By the way, have you looked at ZAM 3D by Electric Rain or Aurora by MOBIFORM? ZAM is built to do 3D modeling and animation, and Aurora also has some 3D modeling tools. They're both to output XAML for Avalon applications.

    Last, if there are any other companies out there building support for XAML export in their tool, I'd love to hear from them.
  • User profile image
    eddwo
    If Avalon doesn't support brushes for paths from Illustrator it makes me wonder if Acrylic really is a suitable tool to be a designer for Avalon.

    The main feature and selling point of Creature House Expressions was that it let you create brush strokes as vectors that remained editable/scaleable.
  • User profile image
    bonk
    mswanson wrote:

    By the way, have you looked at ZAM 3D by Electric Rain or Aurora by MOBIFORM? ZAM is built to do 3D modeling and animation, and Aurora also has some 3D modeling tools. They're both to output XAML for Avalon applications.

    Yes I have looked into both and use them. But of course their 3d modelling capabilities are very limited and imho only good for basic stuff. Again - it would be really cool to be able to use our standard professional tools that we use in all day living and that we are used to for xaml too. I am currently looking into the svg->xaml and vrml->x3d->xaml ways to get my content out to xaml.
    mswanson wrote:

    Last, if there are any other companies out there building support for XAML export in their tool, I'd love to hear from them.

    There is Xamlon who have a svg to xaml converter and a product set called xamlon.
  • User profile image
    mswanson

    For those that are curious (I've had two e-mails already today), the current Illustrator plug-in works just fine with the final WinFX Beta 1 release.

  • User profile image
    Kosher

    I just released the first beta of a Maya To XAML converter.  Right now it only exports the meshes in the scene.  I should have materials, lights, and animation exporting soon.

    The download is at:

    http://www.thomasgoddard.com/

    or

    http://spaces.msn.com/members/thomasgoddard/Blog/cns!1p--mKxHOrH2gfcvubjasyAg!144.entry?owner=1

    Regards,
    Thomas Goddard

  • User profile image
    jedhunsaker
    Larsenal wrote:
    I haven't used Coreldraw in years.  Anyone else besides leighsword really like it?
    I am absolutely in *love* with CorelDRAW. I've owned and used versions 3, 5, 7, 10, 11 and now X3. They now come with the hard copy clipart books again, just like old times, and they've upgraded the binding on that clipart book after I made the request. They listen to their customers! Anyway, CorelDRAW is bad @ss. It's so easy to use and every Adobe user I've shown it to is surprised at how fast I can do what I do. It's so much more efficient in my opinion.Would love a CorelDRAW to XAML converter though Tongue Out Maybe I'll have to make one myself.

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