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Why use Expression Blend instead of Photoshop? (Jen) 10/16/2007 1:45 PM PST RRS feed

  • Question

  • By: Jen


    I want to add a "pretty" control onto my UI. I don't understand why we need 
    to use Expression Blend to make the UI look pretty. I can create an "pretty" 
    shape for a control and then stick a bitmap created from Photopshop onto that 
    control. Why should I use Expression Blend?
    Thursday, February 21, 2008 7:02 PM

Answers

  • Daniel Greitens


    When you create your design in a tool like photoshop, you have one big 
    problem: you must convert the file-format by exporting destructively. So, if 
    you have to change anything in the design later, you must go back and 
    re-export again. And just imagine what happens when you don't take care of 
    exactly the same file dimensions...
    
    But that should not mean, that you can not use photoshop at all. We are 
    preparing the material in photoshop and illustrator and then exporting them 
    to xaml in Expression Design. That works pretty well.
    
    "Jen" wrote:
    
    > I want to add a "pretty" control onto my UI. I don't understand why we need 
    > to use Expression Blend to make the UI look pretty. I can create an "pretty" 
    > shape for a control and then stick a bitmap created from Photopshop onto that 
    > control. Why should I use Expression Blend?
    Friday, February 22, 2008 6:40 PM

All replies

  • Corrado Cavalli [MVP]


    Because with Blend I can interact with code, change the look dynamically
    etc.
    What if you want the control to change the content based on data coming from
    DB or simply changing the color when mouse hovers it?


    --
    Corrado Cavalli [Microsoft .NET MVP-MCP]
    UGIdotNET -
    http://www.ugidotnet.org
    Weblog: http://blogs.ugidotnet.org/corrado/
    Friday, February 22, 2008 6:40 PM
  • Daniel Greitens


    When you create your design in a tool like photoshop, you have one big 
    problem: you must convert the file-format by exporting destructively. So, if 
    you have to change anything in the design later, you must go back and 
    re-export again. And just imagine what happens when you don't take care of 
    exactly the same file dimensions...
    
    But that should not mean, that you can not use photoshop at all. We are 
    preparing the material in photoshop and illustrator and then exporting them 
    to xaml in Expression Design. That works pretty well.
    
    "Jen" wrote:
    
    > I want to add a "pretty" control onto my UI. I don't understand why we need 
    > to use Expression Blend to make the UI look pretty. I can create an "pretty" 
    > shape for a control and then stick a bitmap created from Photopshop onto that 
    > control. Why should I use Expression Blend?
    Friday, February 22, 2008 6:40 PM
  • Jen


    understand the pros of using Expression Blend.

    However, UI vendor (e.g. Frog Design) tends to provide images created from
    Photoshop and wireframe document and hand it off to software engineers.
    Depend on how the UI look like, a software engineer will have a software
    design/architect and implement it.

    Now, with new technologies like WPF and Blend/Design, how well does this
    model work? In theory, it's good that an artist uses Blend/Design to create
    images and UI layout and then software engineer will implement it. Does it
    also require an artist to also know technical knowledge such as Style/Skin
    Resource, Grid, Template, ect... which I guess is not artist's expertise?
    Although artist may be able to use resource, template to create a nice
    layout, software engineer may still need to break it down or organize those
    differently.

    Is it recommended that artist should provide an XAML files instead of
    Photoshop image file? Please tell me more about your process of using
    Photoshop and Illustrator and then exporting them to xaml in Expression
    Design as I think UI vendor won't move away from Photoshop so soon from now.



    "Daniel Greitens" wrote:

    > When you create your design in a tool like photoshop, you have one big
    > problem: you must convert the file-format by exporting destructively. So, if
    > you have to change anything in the design later, you must go back and
    > re-export again. And just imagine what happens when you don't take care of
    > exactly the same file dimensions...
    >
    > But that should not mean, that you can not use photoshop at all. We are
    > preparing the material in photoshop and illustrator and then exporting them
    > to xaml in Expression Design. That works pretty well.
    >
    > "Jen" wrote:
    >
    > > I want to add a "pretty" control onto my UI. I don't understand why we need
    > > to use Expression Blend to make the UI look pretty. I can create an "pretty"
    > > shape for a control and then stick a bitmap created from Photopshop onto that
    > > control. Why should I use Expression Blend?
    Friday, February 22, 2008 6:41 PM
  • Brennon Williams


    Howdy Jen,
    
    One thing you need to be considering here is that Photoshop and tools like 
    it are not really dedicated to creating visual assets in XAML, so even though 
    you can export assets created to XAML, you will not get the wide range of 
    export options that are available in Expression Design, which can determine 
    the usefullness of the asset created, depending on the required usage.
    
    In your scenario, you are also creating a bitmap.. which when compared to a 
    XAML vector based element, bitmaps are a big clunky, non-scaling image. Your 
    application loses performance when compared to using declaritive markup such 
    as XAML because the application compiler is optimised for XAML.
    
    As others have pointed out, now in the RIA scene, you need to be able to 
    dynamically change assets visually and not just functionaly as has been the 
    case for a very long time.
    
    Give Expression Blend and or Design a try.. by all means keep using the 
    tools that you have spent many hours learning, but you will be surprised at 
    just how much of that learning will come in handy when using Blend and Design.
    
    If you have any problems, let us know and we will all try our very best to 
    give you a hand!
    
    Cheers
    -- 
    Want to learn how to use Blend and visual studio?
    
    http://www.learnexpressionstudio.com
    http://www.expressionblend.com
    http://www.x-coders.com
    
    
    "Jen" wrote:
    
    > I want to add a "pretty" control onto my UI. I don't understand why we need 
    > to use Expression Blend to make the UI look pretty. I can create an "pretty" 
    > shape for a control and then stick a bitmap created from Photopshop onto that 
    > control. Why should I use Expression Blend?
    Friday, February 22, 2008 6:42 PM