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HLSL and Pixel Shaders for XAML Developers [Paperback]

Walt Ritscher

Price: 9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

22 July 2012 144931984X 978-1449319847 1

Pixel shaders are some of the more powerful graphic tools available for XAML programmers, but shader development bears little resemblance to traditional .NET programming. With this hands-on book, you’ll not only discover how to use existing shaders in your Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Silverlight applications, you’ll also learn how create your own effects with XAML and Microsoft’s HLSL shading language.

In the process, you’ll write, compile, and test custom XAML shaders with the Shazzam Shader Editor, a free utility developed by author Walt Ritscher. The book includes XAML and C# sample code, and Shazzam contains all of the sample shaders discussed.

  • Learn how shaders help you extend the GPU’s rendering capabilities
  • Explore prevailing shader types, such as color modification, blurring, and spatial transformation
  • Get a quick tour of the shader features, and use pre-built effects on image elements in your application
  • Examine the XAML ShaderEffect class to understand how WPF and Silverlight use shaders
  • Learn about the shader-specific tools available in Visual Studio and Expression Blend
  • Get up to speed on HLSL basics and learn how to create a variety of graphics effects

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Book Description

A comprehensive guide to creating HLSL pixel shaders for WPF and Silverlight applications

About the Author

Walt's enthusiasm for crafting software interfaces blossomed early. Just a few days after discovering how to make pixels move around the screen of a borrowed computer he was devouring books on the topic of computer graphics and UI design. Now he travels the world speaking at software conferences and teaching a diverse portfolio of programming topics for corporate clients. On the consulting side he continues to work with customers like Microsoft, HP, Intel, and Intuit and enjoys being part of the Wintellect consultant group. Recently he has entered the video training market producing .NET titles for Lynda.com He writes for several publications including Code Magazine and TechTarget.com. His current UI obsession revolves around the Windows 8 Metro, Silverlight, Surface and WPF APIs. You can find his blog at blog.wpfwonderland.com. Walt is also a Microsoft MVP and author of the free Shazzam WPF Shader utility (shazzam-tool.com).

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pixel Shader Bible for XAML 29 Sep 2012
By David J. Kelley - Published on Amazon.com
Really an outstanding book, Walt is probably the single greatest expert on Pixel Shaders in the XAML world, as a long time Microsoft MVP as well as teacher, technologist, creator of Shazzam (Pixel Shader IDE) and XAML expert that knowledge comes through in this book. Walt does a good job breaking out information into topics, giving samples and all the information and resources you need for working with pixel shaders. if you care about pixel shaders are have touched xaml this should be in your collection.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Not a 50 Shades of Grey sequel! 13 Jun 2013
By James Ashley - Published on Amazon.com
In case you don't know, shaders are post-production special effects that are used to manipulate images and videos. HLSL is the shader language used with the Direct3D API and consequently the one used with Microsoft development platforms like WPF and Silverlight.

One of the great tragedies of XAML platforms like WPF and Silverlight is that they quickly became platforms for developing the exact same sort of apps you could already write in html or on WinForms -- or in Access, for that matter. The original hope among some was that these platforms would take advantage of graphics rendering capabilities and become something much more interesting.

Shaders is one of those special features that went horribly under-used in the XAML world. Walt Ritscher deos an excellent job of covering what they are and how to use them in managed platforms. Even if you don't buy the book, you should definitely download Mr. Ritscher's "Shazzam" shader editor (lots of sample shaders are included) to see what the book is all about.

My only hesitation in recommending this book is the amount of time the author spends on Silverlight 5 and even on WPF. His writing schedule seems to have gotten trapped in the middle of the transition from Silverlight (now an almost dead language) and even WPF to other platforms. Waiting a few months to switch emphasis to Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8 development might have been prudent. Then again, waiting too long might have meant the book wouldn't get published at all, which would have been a great loss to developers.

All and all a really great read. Not as erotic as I had initially anticipated, but engaging all the same.
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