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Expression Blend for Developers at TechDays 2009 Montreal – Part 2 – Creating Glass Effect

For the second part i will show you how to create some glass effect. Just as a reminder i’m not a graphic artist, i’m .NET Developer. As you can see Expression Blend allow any developer to improve the design without the help of a graphic artist or images (keep in mind Silverlight and WPF are vector graphic base).

Starting with the background I've created in the previous post we will add some stuff to have parts of the application looking like glass.

Now we will add an header that will look more fancy and glassy. First we will add a rectangle.

image

Again we will use the gradient properties to add the required effect. So we will change the background to use the gradient.

image

Now we will change the start anchor and set the Alpha to 20. After we will add a new anchor in the middle and set the Alpha to 50. We will add another anchor to the right of the last one just added, and we will set the Alpha to 15. Finally we will set the Alpha of the last anchor to 0.

image

To polish this title bar we can add a drop shadow. To do so, in the Properties under Appearance, there is a property called Effect. We now click on the New button. In Expression Blend there is some predefined effect available. You can now select DropShadowEffect.

 

 

 

image

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Now we have an header that look a lot better. As you can see if we resize the window, the the opacity effect is visible in the header.

 

image

Now you can add some text in the header. You can also apply the DropShadowEffect on the text to make it more readable. And again you can play with the Gradient. Here is an example:

image

Now we will add glass effect over an image. So add an image in your application. Over this image we will add a new rectangle. This will be the object that will create the glass effect.

image image

Now we will set the gradient to a really soft blue #CEDDEC. Now we will need 4 anchor in our gradient slider. And the only thing that will change is the Alpha on each anchor.
(From left to right)
- 1rst : Alpha = 80
- 2nd : Alpha = 25
- 3rd : Alpha = 50
- 4th : Alpha = 30

Also I've changed the gradient arrow to make the illusion of the direction of the light.
 image

 

The final result:

image

 

Next part: Working with Template and data binding to a sample data source.

Regards,
Louis-Philippe

Comments (5) -

Interesting tutorial.  I like it because it is made step by step and it's easy to understand.

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Thank! for good post. Useful for me and another one.

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Hi Peter, interesting points! I rarely try any programs for getting backlinks, except Angela´s which worked really great! I rely on blog commenting and article marketing.It takes time, but nothing comes easily online.Maybe article marketing and link getting (like 5 per day) is natural link building?

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Hands down, Apple's app store wins by a mile. It's a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I'm not sure I'd want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

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Between me and my husband we've owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I've settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

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