We’ve just posted a new build of “Acrylic” to the web, known as the August CTP release. If you haven’t yet come across Acrylic, it’s a powerful graphics tool that incorporates both vector and bitmap-based capabilities. This hybrid approach allows you to work with both vector and bitmap layers simultaneously, to convert between them, and to use artistic brushes that generate vector or bitmap results.
That’s all very well, but the really interesting aspect of this release is that you can now export your finished graphics to XAML, the XML-based declarative markup language used for Avalon UI. Everything you create in Acrylic can be used natively within your Avalon app, and you can even animate, data bind or style the elements produced in Acrylic once they have been converted to XAML.
Although this feature is buried away deep within the product overview, it’s unique across every display platform we’ve ever produced. Being able to use artistic tools to generate rich graphics content and then being able to use that within a Windows application opens up all kinds of opportunities for beautiful applications. The grey Win32 app is dead – long live the beautiful WPF app!
You can see a demo of the XAML export features in Acrylic here. For more information on Acrylic and to download the August CTP release, visit the product home page. I’m really looking forward to seeing what people produce using these new capabilities!