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Windows Animation

September 15th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Windows Animation Manager (Windows Animation) is a programmatic interface that supports the animation of visual elements of Windows applications. Windows Animation is designed to simplify the development and maintenance of animation sequences and to enable developers to implement animations that are consistent and intuitive. Windows Animation can be used with any graphics platform including Direct2D, Direct3D, or GDI+.

Basic Concepts

The two fundamental units of an animation are (1) the characteristic of a visual element to animate and (2) the description of how that characteristic changes over time. An application can animate a wide variety of characteristics such as position, color, size, rotation, contrast, and opacity.

In Windows Animation, an animation variable represents the characteristic to animate. A transition describes how the value of that animation variable changes as animation occurs. For example, a visual element might have an animation variable that specifies its opacity, and a user action might generate a transition that takes that opacity from a value of 50 to 100, representing an animation from semi-transparent to fully opaque. A storyboard is a set of transitions applied to one or more animation variables over time.

An application displays animations by constructing and playing storyboards and then drawing sequences of discrete frames as the values of animation variables change over time.

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