No Motion Path in Silverlight projects?! RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm trying to follow the tutorial "Create, modify or delete a motion path" (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc295124.aspx). Trouble is, I can't seem to get a path to convert to a Motion Path in a Silverlight project.  If I choose a WPF app or WPF Control Library when I start, I am able to.  But if I choose a Silverlight 1 site (which is what I'm trying to do), when I get to the point where the instructions say:
    "With your path object still selected under Objects and Timeline, point to Path on the Object menu, and then click Convert to Motion Path. The Choose Target for Motion Path dialog box appears."

    No can do.  There is no such item (no "Convert to Motion Path") on the menu.  Why?

    Is this really not supported in a Silverlight project?  Or is there some other gotcha that I've missed in the 100+ times I've carefully stepped through the @*#! instructions.  Are the instructions incorrect?  Incomplete?  What am I missing?  Grrrr....

    I have to admit, I find this stuff incredibly infuriating -- there's so much guessing involved.  EVERY scenario needs to clearly state which version of the apps it applies to, and what kinds of projects will and will not work.  I can't tell you how many hours I've sunk down this rathole trying to puzzle out all this stuff, and it seems totally chaotic to me...not a good user experience at all.

    Expression Studio 2.0, Vista Home Premium...
    Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:05 AM

All replies

  • Motion paths are not supported in Silverlight. Hence you don't see them in the menu. I will make sure that your feedback is communicated to the content team - we need to be clearer on what platforms support what features.

    Tuesday, May 27, 2008 6:24 PM
  • Unni,

    OK, I had to take a month off from my latest attempt to learn the most basics of this workflow for my blood pressure to drop enough to consider trying again.  I've taken half a dozen runs at this stuff over the past year, (every time the result is the same -- a week of my time wasted and a dead end like the one described above) and I'd like to pass along to you and the Blend team how un-frigging-believably frustrating this is.  Please take this to heart...

    The Blend team needs to take a cold, hard, realistic look at the posts in this forum.  Do you see a pattern?  I do.  I see a lot of people more or less like me: we come to this from a design background. Dot Net, Dot Schmet, I don't really know what it is, I don't particularly care, but I figure I ought to be able to figure out enough of it that I need to make a button change color on rollover or some similarly basic interactive behavior, without having to go get a masters degree in computer science.  I think I'm probably pretty typical of a lot of the users who are curious about Blend. We are exactly the customers you can take away from the other guys...if you get this right.

    We can get through things like Flash Actionscript, HTML, javascript, and very deep, complex apps from your competitors you-know-who.  When we go about learning their advanced programs, there are a wealth of training resources available -- literally thousands of websites, hundreds of books, online videos, tutorials, you name it.  While not every one of these training resources is great, a lot of them are quite good, and almost all of them can at least be followed to a successful outcome by someone who's reasonably intelligent and determined to climb the learning curve.  The contents of these training resources match up with what the user sees on their screen.

    And for Blend?  Yes, there are a few training resources.  But there have been so many different iterations of Blend, Silverlight, .Net, VS Express, etc. etc. that have been released in such a short amount of time, that none of the training resources are any good!  They all refer to now outdated versions (all of 6 to 12 months old), but that's not readily apparent unless you're on the Blend dev team.  You need a secret de-coder ring to figure out which of the 5 components you are using works with the other 4 that it's dependant on.  And when you finally figure out that, you discover that the stack of 40 dollar books you've bought are useless.

    Look, I understand that you guys are on a tear and are aggressively pushing out new releases with all your might, seemingly every week or two.  While I can understand your desire to flesh out the program's features, this makes it utterly miserable for someone new to all this to try to a grip on what the hell is happening at any fixed point in time.  You are presenting not one but a whole bucket of moving targets, all moving at different speeds, with different naming conventions, most of which appear to be incompatible with each other, and it seems all but impossible to me for anyone to corral all the requisite pieces, nail them down long enough to get through them, find some training resource that accurately reflects the real stuff you'll see on your screen, and get through a tutorial.

    I think you are really shooting yourselves in the collective foot by constantly releasing new versions of all these components while not doing something to make good, solid resources to learn them reasonably accessible to new users.  How about you cut back on the bleeding pace of upgrades and put just a fraction of that time, energy and money into making damn sure that there are good learning resources available on the day you ship any release that clearly specifiy which elements are required, what each can -- and cannot -- do, and HOW you use them together.

    You have an opportunity here. The technology looks interesting, and Microsoft is obviously sinking a ton of money into competing in this space. But you have a formidible, well-entrenched, smart competitor who already owns this space, and you need to do better -- a LOT better -- at getting training resources (good ones that actually work) available for users.  So far, it doesn't look like you have.  And if you don't, all the vast investments you make in developing the tools will be wasted.

    It's not that hard, it's not that expensive, but somebody with enough clout just needs to make it a priority.  Please tell them to do so.

    OK, rant over.
    Friday, June 27, 2008 4:40 AM
  • You make some good points, but I think you are being a tad unfair to Microsoft considering that all these "new releases" are betas. Clunky integration, missing features and rapid change comes with the territory when you use betas. It isn't fair to compare pre-release software with the mature releases of the competition. By all means make constructive feedback (and much of what you wrote IS constructive feedback) but if you don't like the beta releases, then stick with the currently released and supported versions.

    Further, the 'competition' has had a long time to establish itself and create a support ecosystem. WPF, .NET 3.5, Silverlight 2.0 and the expression suite are all relatively new in comparison. Microsoft knows it has a lot of catching up to do and the early adopters will bear the brunt of the pace of innovation. The training resources are starting to appear, particularly on MSDN for .NET developers and to some extent for the expression tools too.
    Tim Long
    Sunday, June 29, 2008 5:31 PM
  • Your rant is justifiable and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Over the past couple of months I have updated from VS2005 to VS2008; Frontpage 2003 to EW2; then I upgraded to ES2 (which includes EW2). I NEVER use Beta, Express or pre-release versions of anything.

    I have spent a lot of time, effort and money to get up to speed, only to find that there is no motion path in ED2.

    At first I thought 'it was me'.

    I have a working version of a group of objects in EB2, and I felt I had made great progress in my learning curve, when I had them each moving on independent elliptical motion paths. But I couldn't find how to get them into an EW2 web (or via VS2008).

    In my experiments with the demo's and samples in ED2, I found I could export to EW2 but...
    1. I couldn't create a 'motion' path for a Silverlight 2 project.
    2. I couldn't import my EB2 project to ED2.
    3. etc, etc, etc.

    My conclusions are that Microsoft has (again) pushed a product(s) to market that is(are) not yet ready!

    If ES2 is intended to be a suite of inter-related programs, then I can state from experience that ES2 is NOT a suite, and the programs are NOT inter-related.

    I get the feeling that individual groups of clever engineers produce clever software, but in the rush to market, Microsoft would rather have a marketing campaign than have these groups spend more time to integrate their software.

    I also feel the pain that Unni the Moderator has to go through to deliver you a message that "Motions paths are not supported in Silverlight...". Well that was posted on May 27, 2008 - 6 months ago.

    I wish I had read your rant before I spent the time and money.

    Once bitten, twice shy...

    And, to NameOfTheDragon, the point is that the training resources should be "available on the day you ship any release" 

    Saturday, November 29, 2008 5:21 AM
  • I agree 100% with everything you wrote... this is ridiculous.

    Maybe 9 out of 10 tutorials or lessons that I've found for silverlight/blend have been absolutely worthless...

    Many of the videos have been glitchy to the point that I can't follow along (for instance zooming forward several seconds so that I completely miss a big set of steps), and some of them just hang in the middle of the timeline and will not recover. Both of these issues occur regardless of whether I watch the video in the browser, or download various formats and watch them locally.

    Also, for a designer like myself, who, although intelligent enough to learn programming languages like Actionscript failry easily, all the tutorials for Blend/Silverlight seem to be in C#, and I'll need to be wiring up events using VB, but nothing in the description of these resources tell you what language is used, until you get halfway through it.

    There's a ton of information left out of lots of the tutorials... (Oh, I need to include "Imports System.ComponentModel.blahblahblah" in there somewhere?), and there's just too many "features" that are unavailable depending on what you're building (WPF, Silverlight 1 Site, Silverlight 2 application)... That's how I found this thread... couldn't figure out why there was no "convert to motion path" option while trying to follow a tutorial. Really?! Silverlight doesn't support a motion path?! Are you kidding? For a "flash killer", Silverlight is extremely disappointing even without considdering the frustration of trying to use the resources that I need to learn how to use the products.

    Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that Silverlight is being pushed on me by my employer, I would ditch it until there was some decent resources to reference. As it is, I'll just have to struggle.

    Thursday, January 29, 2009 7:35 PM
  • As a designer, coming in to using Blend about a year ago knowing nothing about programming, I would have to say I do not share your experiences. Although I have only used Silverlight a handful of times, I know extensive work in WPF. I find Blend to be very good at easing a designer into a programming world. Yes there are a few gotchas here and there, but it is a new technology that is evolving, and you have to be ready to take some of the frustration that comes with riding that wave. I have found this board and many tutorials to be incredibly useful. DNRTV is very helpful, as well as Matrin Graysons blog and countless others. Don't let yourself become so bitter, but rather realize that you are working in the latest and greatest technology and this is somewhat new to everyone. If not, then Winforms (unfortunately) may be more suitable for your work.
    • Proposed as answer by Hilal Yazbek Friday, April 9, 2010 10:22 AM
    Monday, August 17, 2009 5:55 PM
  • Man, this thread is two years old. No smart developer would bet their business on Flash right now, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that it is in its death throws.

    See http://community.tigranetworks.co.uk/blogs/tim_long/archive/2010/03/26/adobe-flash-is-dead.aspx

    Tim Long
    Friday, April 9, 2010 10:33 PM
  • Man, this thread is two years old. No smart developer would bet their business on Flash right now, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that it is in its death throws.

    See http://community.tigranetworks.co.uk/blogs/tim_long/archive/2010/03/26/adobe-flash-is-dead.aspx

    Tim Long

    Call me cynical if you want, but I'll take what's written there with a grain of salt, for several reasons. One of them -- a minor one -- is that the blog seems Microsoft oriented. I haven't looked at it in depth, but you must admit it does look like that after one look at the MVP logo, Small Business Specialist logo and the tags in the tag cloud.


    The major reason is that online Flash game development is very much alive and won't be dying any time soon. Plenty of smart developers there. Microsoft will have to work very hard to have Silverlight replace Flash in that area. Although, frankly, I have no idea how they could accomplish that. Most people who advocate getting rid of Flash do so because they want to get to one standard implementation (HTML5, canvas, JavaScript and all that stuff), not replace it with some other proprietary format controlled by a different big corporation.


    Flash might be in trouble, yes. They might get pushed out eventually, yes. But to say it's in its death throes is a gross exaggeration, just like when other people claim "Microsoft is dead".

    Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:43 AM
  • Howdy,

    To respond to the original questions posted here, you can achieve a motion path in Silverlight 4 using the pathlistbox and a single element animating the Start property of the PathListBox.

    Please find more information about this and other features of Blend 4 here:



    If you have further questions around the usage of PathListBox, please create a new thread post with those specific requests.




    Expression MVP

    my blog : http://x-coders.com/blogs/sneaky/default.aspx

    Friday, April 23, 2010 2:51 AM