Microsoft Cloud Authors: Janakiram MSV, Yeshim Deniz, David H Deans, Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Dare to Use the Current Capabilities of Windows Presentation Foundation

And get 3D layout effects

But What Is a Panel?
Before thinking in a 3D panel it's important to review the main issues solved by the bi-dimensional panels.

If we only have a Canvas to arrange controls in the bi-dimensional space, we will need to calculate and recalculate formulas using the Left and Top properties and the size of the controls. To avoid the repetition of some recalculation patterns, WPF includes some specialized panels for the bi-dimensional world: StackPanel, Grid, etc. A common goal of all these panels is the ability to position their contained elements in a bi-dimensional area.

In addition to the above positioning functionality, according to its kind of distribution logic the panels should decide the final size to visualize each element contained inside of them.

Arrange and Measure
The type Panel is the main class in the WPF bi-dimensional layout system. Panel and its descendant types solve the positioning and resizing problems using the Arrange and Measure methods of each contained UIElement. Measure finds the desired size requested by each contained element and Arrange is called to place and resize them according to the desired size obtained from the property DesiredSize (which is calculated by each call to Measure).

Unfortunately till now UIElement3D didn't have analogous methods for the 3D world as can be seen in the note in Figure 4.

Unhappily it seems that the 3D world won't have these essential methods then. However, the good news is that at least there is a feature (Transformations) that could help to mitigate the problem of positioning 3D elements without recalculating their placements.

Tri-Dimensional Transformations
As in the bi-dimensional space there are linear-transformations for the tri-dimensional world. These transformations can be applied to any element of type Visual3D or Model3D, and to the Camera. The 3D elements can be rotated, scaled, and translated throughout the RotateTransform3D, ScaleTransform3D, and TranslateTransform3D transformations. There is also a special transformation called Transform3DGroup that can be used to group and apply more than one transformation over the same element. In Listing 1 we use these transformations to place the models according to the layout logic.

Definition of the Panel3D
Listing 1 shows an approach to implementing a Panel3D. The default value for the property Transform of a Visual3D is MatrixTransform3D.Identity; that's why the method Move in Listing 1 asks for this value to know if the Transform property isn't explicitly set yet. The function of this Move method is to support moving elements according to the parameter offset using the transformations TranslateTransform3D and Transformation3DGroup.

The method OnVisualChildrenChanged calls the corresponding method of the base class ModelVisual3D and invokes the Arrange method when a new element is added to the panel. This Arrange method is abstract and must be implemented by the concrete descendants of Panel3D as we will see in the following case of a CubePanel.

Definition of a CubePanel
A CubePanel will be a sort of tri-dimensional grid that can be defined as a descendant of the type Panel3D overriding the Arrange method, as shown in Listing 2. A Grid in WPF allows elements to be added in a plane area, aligning them in rows and columns. The goal of a CubePanel is to add a third dimension so that if you want to put an element in some row and column, you can use YIndex instead of Row, XIndex instead of Column, with the ability to send the element back or bring it to the front with very realistic depth perspective using a ZIndex attached property. These indices refer to one of the coordinate descriptions declared in the collections XCoord and YCoord (equivalent to ColumnDescriptions and RowDescriptions of the Grid type) and the newest ZCoord. Accordingly, the SizeX, SizeY, and SizeZ properties define the dimensions of the whole CubePanel (see Listing 2).

A Pawn on the Chess Table
Listing 3 illustrates an application example of this CubePanel. The XAML code is used to place five planes, one sphere, and one cone as shown in Figure 5. The types SphereBuilder, PlaneBuilder, and ConeBuilder are essentially used to build the mesh of these figures. Their property Geometry returns a MeshGeometry3D bound to the Geometry property of the GeometryModel3D to get the result in Figure 5. We could discuss these types further but won't for want of space.

The WPF team is working hard to increment the primitives and basic capabilities of the API 3D. This article invites readers to dare to use the current capabilities of WPF to obtain 3D layout effects while waiting for the next generation of WPF 3D. Enjoy it!


  • Natham, A. (2007). Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed. SAMS Publications.
  • Griffiths, I., and Sells, C. (2005). Programming Windows Presentation Foundation. O'Reilly.
  • Petzold, C. (2006). Applications = Code + Markup: A Guide to the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation. Microsoft Press.

More about panels in WPF can be found in the following Spanish publications of the authors:

  • Del Valle, M.; Sierra, I.; Hernández, Y.; and Katrib, M. "Cómo definir nuestros propios paneles personalizados en WPF." DotNetmanía No 35. Marzo 2007.
  • Katrib, M.; Del Valle, M.; Sierra, I.; and Hernández, Y. "Windows Presentation Foundation." DotNetManía Cuaderno Técnico No 7. Netalia 2007.
  • Del Valle, M.; Sierra, I.;Yamil Hernández, Y.; and Katrib, M. "Entrando en la tercera dimensión." DotNetmanía No 37. Mayo 2007.

More Stories By Miguel Katrib

Miguel Katrib is a PhD and a professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Havana. He is also the head of the WEBOO group dedicated to Web and object-oriented technologies. Miguel is also a scientific advisor in .NET for the software enterprise CARE Technologies, Denia, Spain.

More Stories By Mario del Valle

Mario del Valle is working toward his MS at the Computer Science Department at the University of Havana, and is a software developer at the WEBOO group dedicated to Web and object-oriented technologies.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...