Coffeehouse Thread

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Silverlight, Expression and Photoshop files (the missing link)

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  • figuerres

    Hi folks, seems to me that (as least so far)
    Microsoft has left a big an very important gap open that will slow down SIlverlight adpotion.

    Most Graphic / design types use Flash and Photoshop.

    Blend and design have no real photoshop import I can find aside from a limited "Make a bitmap" thing.

    some folks are working on some flash to xaml conversion tools and that's good.

    but what about a .psd to Design conversion?
    what about a .psd to blend import / conversion ?

    not as a big bitmap!

    if a designer made a .psd to use in creating a flash animated app
    we need a tool to get the layers and objects from the .psd to make a Silverlight app....

    that could get a lot of the design bits into native xaml / vector format so they would look good and edit good in blend.


    if the .net dev does not have a good import story then he will be left at a disadvantage in getting adoption of silverlight.

    if the Flash / Photoshop guys can just say "we can do this in flash right now and it will work"
    and the .net guy has to try and cut and paste stuff and figure out how to make the same effects as the .psd file he will be slower and seen as "not as good" by the folks who pay for stuff.

    so IMHO  MSFT or a third party should be filling that gap.



    the flash to xaml tools I have seen so far are not able to do a complete job of capturing the visual look of many flash apps.
    also they use the flash runtime file and not the source ....
    I think they will help but  I am not sure long term if that's a good idea.

    if Design and Blend could just pull the psd in and let folks go from there then the designers would start to wonder what's up with the decline is requests for flash and what the new tools are that the .net guys are using, then they might start buying the expression tools....

    IMHO that is...

  • cornelius

    is .psd an another proprietary adobe format?

    remember the crying adobe did when microsoft tried adding .pdf support into office (why oh why didnt go ahead and do it  anyways)

  • Ernie Booth

    Expression Design does import .psd files:

    Expression Design

  • JohnAskew

    Ernie is correct.

    The only caveat I've heard with importing legacy photoslop files is that the resultant object has no events to hook into (or not many) ~ click on this/that ~ otherwise you're good to go.

    Free tutorial site for Expression suite:

    http://www.nibblestutorials.net/

  • figuerres

    Ernie Booth wrote:
    Expression Design does import .psd files:

    Expression Design


    Ernie:  have you tried to use the results ?
    at least on the files I tried I had the following results:

    1)  import failure, somthing in the file that design can't parse.
    2)  when a file can be read the result was a single bitmap image.

    what I am asking for is a true import / conversion so that I can get the layers and objects to edit.

    for example a designer makes a psd to make a flash game, i need to get the elements that make the buttons seperate from the elements that make up the "background" and the other UI elements.
    so that I can animate the UI.

    I need the layers that have the transparency effects, gradients and so forth.

    as for the psd format there are other apps that read psd files and edit them, the info is out there....
    if msft has problems with this then a 3rd party can sell a conversion tool to do it...

    for example Correl Paint SHop Pro reads and writes most psd files, there are some effects it can not handle,  so the new versions need updates...

  • figuerres

    cornelius wrote:
    is .psd an another proprietary adobe format?

    remember the crying adobe did when microsoft tried adding .pdf support into office (why oh why didnt go ahead and do it  anyways)

    other tools read and write the format.

    and:

    http://www.fileformat.info/format/psd/

  • JohnAskew

    This screencast demonstrates converting SVG files to XAML using Expression Design and consuming them in a Silverlight application.


    Collapsing all layers to a single bitmap results in many fewer events, yes.

    Something like this is ideal for a third party solution, imho.

    I do agree that experienced designers who open the Expression Suite and wish to import legacy work are disappointed that these proprietary formats don't "just work".

  • figuerres
  • PaoloM

    figuerres wrote:
    
    cornelius wrote:
    is .psd an another proprietary adobe format?

    remember the crying adobe did when microsoft tried adding .pdf support into office (why oh why didnt go ahead and do it  anyways)

    other tools read and write the format.

    Other tools read and write PDF too. And yet, Adobe felt necessary to throw a fit when Microsoft planned to do it...

  • figuerres

    PaoloM wrote:
    
    figuerres wrote:
    
    cornelius wrote:
    is .psd an another proprietary adobe format?

    remember the crying adobe did when microsoft tried adding .pdf support into office (why oh why didnt go ahead and do it  anyways)

    other tools read and write the format.

    Other tools read and write PDF too. And yet, Adobe felt necessary to throw a fit when Microsoft planned to do it...


    well I could mention the addon that alows office to write pdf files that I can download from the msft web site but that's not staying on topic.

    my OP and the topic is that there is a need for a tool or option.

    if MSFT can not for some reason fill that then I am all for a 3rd party ISV app to do that ... seems like there should be a fair market for it *if* silverlight and expresssion are going to take off....

    and I am hoping that you and other folks will read this and start talking to folks about this issue.

    *IF* i had the right level of knowlege and the time and the $$$ I would build the tool ... but it's way out of my area of skills; So I am tossing it out to the C9 folks and any interested developers / ISV's and MSFT folks to see what they can come up with.

    and it's intersting the number of folks from the "Adboe and flash" camp who have gotten so upset about silverlight....
    makes me think that MSFT is on to something here if the tools and support keep up and we get to a classic MSFT V3 of SIlverlight and Expression Smiley

    I have seen some really vitrolic posts and blogs from both camps Smiley

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