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Sample Scrolling Silverlight Video Playlist 2.0

Since the release of Silverlight 2, there have been a number of requests for me to update my Scrolling Silverlight Video Playlist Sample and I have finally made the time to do just that. I feel it is important to point out that Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 Service Pack 1 is now out and it ships with a handful of new Player templates just for Silverlight 2 including two with a built in Scrolling playlist feature (Frosted Gallery and Silverlight 2 Gallery). 

Still, partly because not everyone has Expression Encoder 2 and mostly because I felt it would be educational to do so, I went ahead and rebuilt the Scrolling Silverlight Video Playlist sample from the ground up for Silverlight 2 in C# and here it is:

This time, instead of using a player from the growing Expression Encoder template library, I went with the opensource Blacklight player which is a nice lightweight player. And rather than add my scroll widget directly to the player as I did with version 1.0, I chose to keep it seperate, and created a 'ScrollWidget' User Control that could be used in other projects (for example as a thumbnail scroller for photos, or as a toolbar) with only minor modification.

As always, the complete source code is available:

ScrollingPlaylist2.zip (1.22 mb)

[ Special thanks to Sean at FlawlessCode.com for developing this Silverlight Extension for BlogEngine.NET ]


Categories: C# | Silverlight
Posted by Williarob on Thursday, April 30, 2009 8:47 AM
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Sample Scrolling Silverlight Video Playlist

 A real world example of this technique can be seen at http://www.thejamesbondmovies.com

TAKE ME TO THE VERSION FOR SILVERLIGHT 2

It only took me about an hour to create this example. I started by dragging all 8 videos into Microsoft Expression Encoder, selected the "Expression" player template and clicked encode. This gave me the full player functionality you see here, play, stop, pause, etc. and by default it simply played all 8 videos one after the other. But I wanted my users to be able to pick and chose which videos to play, so I opened the project in Microsoft Expression Blend 2 September preview and resized the outer, root canvas by setting the height to 593 to give me room to place the thumbnails, and gave it a black background color.

The XAML 

Next I created the arrows that move the playlist left and right. If you have arrows as PNG images you can use them, but I chose to create them using XAML by drawing a white square, filling it with white color converting it to a path, and then using the pen tool to delete a corner and thereby converting it to a triangle which I simply rotated, moved and sized until it looked right. Set the cursor property to "Hand" so that users know it is a button. I then copied it, rotated it to point the other way and moved the second arrow into position on the other side. This gave me the XAML below which appeared just before the closing </canvas> tag.

<!-- Playlist region starts here -->
<!-- Navigation Arrows -->
<Path x:Name="LeftArrow" Opacity="0.74" Width="38" Height="38" Stretch="Fill" Stroke="#FF000000" Canvas.Left="11" Canvas.Top="514" Data="M37.5,0.5 L37.5,37.5 0.5,37.5 z" Fill="#FFFFFFFF" Cursor="Hand" RenderTransformOrigin="0.5,0.5">
<Path.RenderTransform>
<TransformGroup>
<ScaleTransform ScaleX="1" ScaleY="1"/>
<SkewTransform AngleX="0" AngleY="0"/>
<RotateTransform Angle="134.119"/>
<TranslateTransform X="0" Y="0"/>
</TransformGroup>
</Path.RenderTransform>
</Path>
<Path x:Name="RightArrow" Opacity="0.74" Width="38" Height="38" Stretch="Fill" Stroke="#FF000000" Canvas.Left="588" Canvas.Top="514" Data="M37.5,0.5 L37.5,37.5 0.5,37.5 z" Fill="#FFFFFFFF" Cursor="Hand" RenderTransformOrigin="0.5,0.5">
<Path.RenderTransform>
<TransformGroup>
<ScaleTransform ScaleX="1" ScaleY="1"/>
<SkewTransform AngleX="0" AngleY="0"/>
<RotateTransform Angle="314.365"/>
<TranslateTransform X="0" Y="0"/>
</TransformGroup>
</Path.RenderTransform>
</Path>

Next I dragged the first thumbnail (for movie # 1) onto the area, roughly where you see it now, resized it and moved it into position. I named it "play0", set its opacity to 74% to make an easy rollover effect that you'll see later on; then went into the XAML editor and simply copied the Image element 3 more times, renaming each one in turn to play1, play2, etc. and updating the Source property of each to point to the right thumbnail image. Next I had to move the new images, since they all sat on top of one another, using the basic formula left=previousImageLeft + Image Width + 4 pixels. Then playing with the spacing between them until it was roughly even. Given the width of my thumbnail and the width of the canvas it turned out to be impossible without further resizing and in the end I decided that for this example it was good enough. So I now had my four thumbnail "buttons" making up my playlist and if you can fit all of your items on the screen you can skip ahead to the JavaScript, but if you want to have them scroll keep reading.

I grouped these four images into a canvas - have Blend do this for you by control + clicking on the object names (in this case play0, play1, etc.) in the Objects and Timeline area and then pressing ctl + G or right clicking and choosing Group Into > Canvas. It is better to have blend create the canvas for you as it will update all the canvas.left, canvas.top properties for you. I called this new canvas "playlist1", then using the XAML editor copied it and created "playlist2", naming the objects play4, play5, etc. and updating the Source of each as before. Then I moved this canvas off the screen by simply setting the canvas.Left Property to a value I knew would push it out of sight. Finally, I grouped playlist1 and playlist2 into another canvas, this time calling it "Library".

Using the timeline editor I created a simple animation that moved the "Library" Canvas 613 pixels to the left over the course of 2 seconds. If you have never done this before it is really easy:

The video content presented here requires JavaScript to be enabled and the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player. If you are you using a browser with JavaScript disabled please enable it now. Otherwise, please update your version of the free Flash Player by downloading here.

As you can hopefully see on the video, you simply click on "Open, create or manage Storyboards", click "Create new", give it a name, make sure "Create as Resource" is checked so that we can access it through code, move 2 seconds into the timeline and add a keyframe to start the recorder, then make your changes. In this case we are changing the Left poperty so that it moves 613 pixels to the left - just far enough to bring the second "page" of buttons onto the screen. Stop the recorder and as you scrub through the timeline you can see the animation or click the play button to preview it.

Making it animate back the other way was a little trickier to do using the IDE, so I simply copied the XAML and changed the values myself.

Now if you have been trying this yourself you might be wondering why your thumbnails can be seen moving underneath, or even on top of the left and right arrows created earlier, while mine do not. The answer is that I have put my "Library" Canvas inside another Canvas called "ClippedCanvas" which has been "clipped", or cropped if you prefer using RectangleGeometry. Everything that falls outside the geometry you provide is hidden, or "clipped." The numbers represent X coordinates, Y coordinates, Width & Height in that order. X & Y in this case are relative to the container canvas ("ClippedCanvas"). So basically I am cropping an area from the top left of where Clipped Canvas begins, 550 pixels wide and 114 high, anything within the canvas that falls outside that region will not be seen. If you click on "ClippedCanvas" in the Objects and Timeline you will see it outlined in Blend and have a better understanding of where it is drawn.

So, the Final XAML for my Playlist region looks like this:

<!-- The outer canvas here is clipped: only the area defined by the rectangle geometry is visible  -->
<!-- This is necessary as when we animate the 'Library' canvas inside it we do not want to see the thumbnails slide under the navigation arrows and off the screen-->
<Canvas x:Name="ClippedCanvas" Canvas.Top="491" Canvas.Left="43" Width="550" Height="90">
<Canvas.Clip>
<RectangleGeometry Rect="0, 0, 550, 114"/>
</Canvas.Clip>
<!-- Animations to move the playlist left and right. They are numbered so that we can call them logically from code -->
<Canvas.Resources>
<Storyboard x:Name="MoveLeft01">
<DoubleAnimation Storyboard.TargetProperty="(Canvas.Left)" Storyboard.TargetName="Library" From="13" To="-613" Duration="0:0:2" />
</Storyboard>
<Storyboard x:Name="MoveRight02">
<DoubleAnimation Storyboard.TargetProperty="(Canvas.Left)" Storyboard.TargetName="Library" From="-613" To="13" Duration="0:0:2" />
</Storyboard>
</Canvas.Resources>
<!-- The Library Canvas groups the playlist buttons into a single element that can be easily animated left - right. -->
<Canvas Width="1157.275" Height="82.96" Canvas.Left="0" Canvas.Top="0" x:Name="Library">
<Canvas Width="550.275" Height="82.96" x:Name="playlist1">
<Image x:Name="play0" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="1.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" />
<Image x:Name="play1" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="2.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" Canvas.Left="139"/>
<Image x:Name="play2" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="3.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" Canvas.Left="278"/>
<Image x:Name="play3" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="4.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" Canvas.Left="417"/>
</Canvas>
<Canvas Width="550.275" Height="82.96" x:Name="playlist2" Canvas.Left="607">
<Image x:Name="play4" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="5.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" />
<Image x:Name="play5" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="6.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" Canvas.Left="139"/>
<Image x:Name="play6" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="7.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" Canvas.Left="278"/>
<Image x:Name="play7" Opacity="0.74" Width="133.275" Height="82.96" Source="8.png" Stretch="Fill" Cursor="Hand" Canvas.Left="417"/>
</Canvas>
</Canvas>
</Canvas>

The JavaScript

Code that I added or changed is in bold, the rest is straight from the Encoder's original output.

var curPos = 1; //track the current position of the playlists
var maxPos = 2; //How many pages of clips do we have?
var cVideos = 8; //How many video Clips do we have?
function get_mediainfo(mediainfoIndex) {
switch (mediainfoIndex) {
case 0:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie1.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
case 1:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie2.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
case 2:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie3.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
case 3:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie4.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
case 4:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie5.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
case 5:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie6.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
case 6:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie7.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
case 7:
return { "mediaUrl": "Movie8.wmv",
"placeholderImage": "",
"chapters": [
] };
default:
throw Error.invalidOperation("No such mediainfo");
}
}
function StartWithParent(parentId, appId) {
new StartPlayer_0(parentId);
}
function StartPlayer_0(parentId) {
this._hostname = EePlayer.Player._getUniqueName("xamlHost");
Silverlight.createObjectEx( { source: 'player.xaml',
parentElement: $get(parentId ||"divPlayer_0"),
id:this._hostname,
properties:{ width:'100%', height:'100%', version:'1.0', background:document.body.style.backgroundColor, isWindowless:'false' },
events:{ onLoad:Function.createDelegate(this, this._handleLoad) } } );
this._currentMediainfo = 0;
}
StartPlayer_0.prototype= {
_handleLoad: function(plugIn) {
this._player = $create( ExtendedPlayer.Player,
{ // properties
autoPlay : true,
volume : 1.0,
muted : false
},
{ // event handlers
mediaEnded: Function.createDelegate(this, this._onMediaEnded),
mediaFailed: Function.createDelegate(this, this._onMediaFailed)
},
null, $get(this._hostname) );
//wire up the rollover and click events for each of our play buttons
for (var i = 0; i < cVideos; i++)
{
var element = plugIn.Content.findName('play' + i);
element.addEventListener("MouseEnter", Function.createDelegate(this,this._rollOver));
element.addEventListener("MouseLeave", Function.createDelegate(this,this._rollOut));
element.addEventListener("MouseLeftButtonUp", Function.createDelegate(this,this._playX));
}
plugIn.Content.findName('LeftArrow').addEventListener("MouseEnter", Function.createDelegate(this,this._rollOver));
plugIn.Content.findName('LeftArrow').addEventListener("MouseLeave", Function.createDelegate(this,this._rollOut));
plugIn.Content.findName('LeftArrow').addEventListener("MouseLeftButtonUp", Function.createDelegate(this,this._slideLeft));
plugIn.Content.findName('RightArrow').addEventListener("MouseEnter", Function.createDelegate(this,this._rollOver));
plugIn.Content.findName('RightArrow').addEventListener("MouseLeave", Function.createDelegate(this,this._rollOut));
plugIn.Content.findName('RightArrow').addEventListener("MouseLeftButtonUp", Function.createDelegate(this,this._slideRight));

this._playNextVideo();
},
_rollOver: function(sender, eventArgs) {
sender.opacity=1;
},
_rollOut: function(sender, eventArgs) {
sender.opacity=0.74;
},
_playX: function(sender, eventArgs) {
var X = Number(sender.Name.substring(4));
this._currentMediainfo = X;
this._player.set_mediainfo( get_mediainfo( X ));
sender.opacity=1;
},
_slideLeft: function(sender, eventArgs) {
switch(curPos)
{
case 1:
break;
default:
sender.findName("MoveRight0" + curPos).Begin();
curPos--;
}
},
_slideRight: function(sender, eventArgs) {
switch(curPos)
{
case maxPos:
break;
default:
sender.findName("MoveLeft0" + curPos).Begin();
curPos++;
}
},

_onMediaEnded: function(sender, eventArgs) {
//window.setTimeout( Function.createDelegate(this, this._playNextVideo), 1000);
},
_onMediaFailed: function(sender, eventArgs) {
alert(String.format( Ee.UI.Xaml.Media.Res.mediaFailed, this._player.get_mediaUrl() ) );
},
_playNextVideo: function() {
if (this._currentMediainfo<cVideos)
this._player.set_mediainfo( get_mediainfo( this._currentMediainfo++ ) );
}
}

First I added a reference to the plug-in the HandleLoad function, as described here. Then, because I had named all of my play buttons sequentially, it was easy to loop though them all adding some event handlers for rollover effects and the click event. Next I added similar event handlers to the navigation arrows. The rollover effect, as hinted at earlier was simply to set the opacity to 100% on mouseover and back to 74% on mouse out.

The click event for the play buttons simply play the selected movie, based on the number parsed from the name of the sender ("play0", "play1", etc.). The navigation arrows call the _slideLeft and _slideRight functions which simply play the animations to move the buttons left and right. if you have more than 2 pages of play buttons, then it gets slightly more complicated, obviously you have to create more animations, and they have to be carefully numbered so that you play the appropriate animation based on which 'page' of buttons you are currently on. Go to TheJamesBondMovies.com and take a look at the StartPlayer.js on that site for a better understanding of how to make this technique work with multiple pages.

Well, that was my solution, I'm sure there are other ways to do this, but I don't think this way is overly complicated and I hope someone finds it helpful.

Download the Project files: PlaylistSample.zip (364.40 kb)

Download the Silverlight 2 version: ScrollingPlaylist2.zip (1.22 mb)


Posted by Williarob on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 12:13 PM
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