#566 – Setting Properties of an Effect in Blend

Like other elements, you can set various properties of an effect in Blend using the Properties panel.

In the example below, we’ve added a DropShadowEffect to a Label.  If you select the effect in the XAML editor or the Objects and Timeline panel, you’ll see several properties that we can set for this effect.

For example, we can increase the ShadowDepth, so that the shadow appears further away from the Label.


#564 – Other Places to Get Third Party Effects

An effect in WPF changes the appearance of a visual element.  The .NET Framework comes with only a couple of effects, but you can find a few other third party effects on the web.

Here are some of the effects from the Pixel Shader Effects Library:


#563 – Additional Effects in Expression SDK

In addition to the two effects that come with the .NET Framework, you can get access to a number of other effects when you download and install the Expression Blend SDK for .NET 4.

Once you install the SDK, you’ll see the new effects show up in the Effects folder of the Assets panel.

The effects include:

  • Bloom – Make bright areas appear brighter
  • Color Tone – Render a visual using shades of two colors
  • Emboss – Make visual appear raised or stamped
  • Magnify – Magnify a circular area
  • Monochrome – Render using shades of a single color
  • Pixelate – Reduce resolution, rendering as large pixels
  • Ripple – Apply visual that looks like rippling liquid
  • Sharpen – Sharpen image edges
  • Swirl – Apply effect that twists entire image


#562 – Setting an Effect for an Element in Blend

You can set the value of the Effect property for any control deriving from UIElement.  An effect is a two-dimensional graphical effect applied to the control when it is rendered.

To apply an effect to a control in Blend, start by left-clicking on the Effects folder in the Assets panel.

The .NET Framework comes with two pre-defined effects, located in PresentationCore–BlurEffect and DropShadowEffect.  (The other effects shown above come from the Expression SDK for .NET 4).  You can drag either of these effects onto a control on the artboard, or a control listed in the Objects and Timeline panel.

Two Label controls, before adding effects:

After adding effects:

Corresponding XAML:

		<Label Content="Drop Shadow Effect" FontFamily="Cooper Black" FontSize="48"
			Margin="20,20,20,5" Foreground="#FF047800" HorizontalAlignment="Center">
		<Label Content="Blur Effect" FontFamily="Cooper Black" FontSize="48"
			Margin="20,5,20,20" Foreground="#FF047800" HorizontalAlignment="Center">