Friday, 8 August 2008

Silverlight 3D using Kit3D

I have been continuing my work on our campus plans website (Silverlight application)

For the display of the campus I have decides to move from the pseudo 3D version to an actual 3D plan.
I have chosen Kit3D by Mark Dawson

Here is the current result:

I have keys setup to navigate the 3D model, e.g. left arrow to rotate left

One issue this I am facing with Kit3D is that when I move the camera in closer to the "ground" some triangles/faces appear in front of the camera so you cannot see the models that should be in front of you.

An advantage of having the campus in 3d is the future ability to send the camera through the campus, between the buildings, to perhaps show how to get from one building to another, or just to show a virtual tour of the campus.

There are plenty of possibilities which is very exciting, and I'm really enjoying the task.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Experiences

I have been working on converting the website I mentioned with regard to Silverlight 1.0 over to Silverlight 2 Beta 2.

This task took some time as I had to convert Javacript to

Another difficult element was getting webservies to work, and then get them to work once published and ensure that it is all still working.

I have also now got zooming on the center of the view working correctly, by scaling on the thumbnail and projecting the view to the main view.

I am using animations to make any movement smooth and see where you are moving from/to, such as you can click on the thumbnail and the view will move to be centered on the point you clicked, the main veiw and thumbnail move at the same relaitve rate, I think this looks quite cool.

After seeing Nigel Parker's Unplugged Mix recap in Dunedin a few weeks ago I became quite interested in where silverlight was going and made this move to upgrade the website.

One thing that i have found great with Silverlight 2 is the incusion of textboxes and buttons, this has meant that I nolonger need to overlay HTML controls. I had to create my own menu control wich was actually quite easy, just using nested canvas.

I have also been creating "Dialog boxes" borders with controls in them in the center of the Silverlight plugin with a background that covers everything but is not fully opaque which looks quite snazzy, this is similar to Scott Guthrie's Digg example of the item view.

Another cool animation part is the ability to search for a building or department and have the view center on the building or center of the buildings that the department are in then zoom in or out so the bounds fill the view as best as possible.

I am also setting up user management to control what particular users/computer can see if they are viewing as public ore are logged in.

Overall i am quite impressed with Silverlight 2 Beta 2, and look foward to the final release later this year which should coinside with the final relase of the website, we are looking at getting public access running in the next few weeks for receiving feedback on what people would like to see and do with the website.