About Silverlight templates
Microsoft Silverlight templates are the heart of Microsoft Expression Encoder functionality. They enable your encoded videos to take advantage of the visual and interactive richness of Silverlight technology. This makes Expression Encoder an ideal tool for creating projects that immerse viewers in the full Silverlight experience.
To encode using templates, you select the template that you want to use in the Output panel. This template specifies a particular skin that will encase your video, and that can be one of any number of stylized designs that include playback elements. These elements greatly enhance the interactivity and feel of your video. After you have encoded a video using a template, the video opens in your browser for playback, where you can then preview it.
You are not limited to using the installed templates. You can also download user-created templates posted in the Expression Gallery.
The templates take full advantage of the Silverlight media offerings. This gives your video an interface that is both unique and functional. The elements that templates offer include the following:
Playback controls You can have specially designed and visually compelling playback elements that are far more graphically rich and attractive than the typical Windows Media Player controls.
Thumbnails You can display thumbnails that represent chapters of your video. You do this by setting markers at specific times in your video, and then specifying that those markers appear as thumbnails that display the image that appears at the frame where you put the marker. On playback, the thumbnails are visible and aligned inside the video viewing area, where users can then click them to navigate your video.
Text display Depending on the template that you are using, at certain points in your video, you can display marker text or text specified by scripting commands. This text could be anything from a chapter title to a subtitle. You can use this feature to quickly add stylized characters to your video.
High-quality dynamic resize Because Silverlight uses vector-based graphics for its design, resizing a graphic element does not affect its resolution. Therefore, you can resize your browser window and the skin, and the video will resize dynamically without a loss of visual integrity.
Multiple video playlists If you have a job that contains more than one video, when you encode it using a template, all the videos will render to the same page, and you can play them individually or in tandem. Depending on the Silverlight template that you use, you can also generate a gallery in which all your videos are represented by thumbnails, and you can quickly switch from one to another by clicking a thumbnail.
In addition, the templates include support for the following performance and playback enhancements facilitated by Silverlight:
Play your media offline When users either click the offline button on your video or right-click your video, they will have the option of downloading it and playing it offline. You can choose to include the offline button in your template when you are preparing your video for encoding.
Use cached composition to improve playback You can use Silverlight to cache visual elements as bitmaps when they are initially being rendered. When, on playback, those visual elements are displayed, the playback application displays the cached data instead of initiating another rendering of the element. This feature takes advantage of the hardware acceleration available on the viewer's video card, and, depending on the quality of the video card, can result in greatly improved performance.
Playback of video in a separate browser You can choose to add an "offline" button to your template. When a viewer clicks this button, your embedded video will play in a separate browser.
Playback of H.264-encoded media Silverlight now supports playing back content encoded with H.264 (MP4), further expanding your audience and your encoding choices.
When you use Expression Encoder to encode using a Silverlight template, it creates the following files:
An HTML index.
An XAP (Silverlight-based application package) file and the corresponding source files for the XAP file.
You can choose to have Expression Encoder automatically create a named and dated folder to store these files, or you can specify an existing folder in which Expression Encoder can store them. When you embed a movie in your website, you must upload the whole folder.
You can also create templates and edit existing templates in Microsoft Expression Blend.
For information about creating and editing templates, see Edit a Silverlight template.