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How to: Animate the Position or Color of a Gradient Stop

This example shows how to animate the Color and Offset of GradientStop objects.

The following example animates three gradient stops inside a LinearGradientBrush. The example uses three animations, each of which animates a different gradient stop:

  • The first animation, a DoubleAnimation, animates the first gradient stop's Offset from 0.0 to 1.0 and then back to 0.0. As a result, the first color in the gradient shifts from the left side to the right side of the rectangle and then back to the left side.

  • The second animation, a ColorAnimation, animates the second gradient stop's Color from Purple to Yellow and then back to Purple. As a result, the middle color in the gradient changes from purple to yellow and back to purple.

  • The third animation, another ColorAnimation, animates the opacity of the third gradient stop's Color by -1 and then back. As a result, the third color in the gradient fades away and then becomes opaque again.

using System;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Windows.Media;
using System.Windows.Media.Animation;
using System.Windows.Shapes;

namespace BrushesIntroduction
{
    public class GradientStopAnimationExample : Page
    {
        public GradientStopAnimationExample()
        {
            Title = "GradientStop Animation Example";
            Background = Brushes.White;

            // Create a NameScope for the page so that 
            // Storyboards can be used.
            NameScope.SetNameScope(this, new NameScope());

            // Create a rectangle. This rectangle will 
            // be painted with a gradient.
            Rectangle aRectangle = new Rectangle();
            aRectangle.Width = 200;
            aRectangle.Height = 100;
            aRectangle.Stroke = Brushes.Black;
            aRectangle.StrokeThickness = 1;

            // Create a LinearGradientBrush to paint 
            // the rectangle's fill.
            LinearGradientBrush gradientBrush = new LinearGradientBrush();

            // Create gradient stops for the brush.
            GradientStop stop1 = new GradientStop(Colors.MediumBlue, 0.0);
            GradientStop stop2 = new GradientStop(Colors.Purple, 0.5);
            GradientStop stop3 = new GradientStop(Colors.Red, 1.0);

            // Register a name for each gradient stop with the 
            // page so that they can be animated by a storyboard. 
            this.RegisterName("GradientStop1", stop1);
            this.RegisterName("GradientStop2", stop2);
            this.RegisterName("GradientStop3", stop3);

            // Add the stops to the brush.
            gradientBrush.GradientStops.Add(stop1);
            gradientBrush.GradientStops.Add(stop2);
            gradientBrush.GradientStops.Add(stop3);

            // Apply the brush to the rectangle.
            aRectangle.Fill = gradientBrush;

            // 
            // Animate the first gradient stop's offset from 
            // 0.0 to 1.0 and then back to 0.0. 
            //
            DoubleAnimation offsetAnimation = new DoubleAnimation();
            offsetAnimation.From = 0.0;
            offsetAnimation.To = 1.0;
            offsetAnimation.Duration = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1.5);
            offsetAnimation.AutoReverse = true;
            Storyboard.SetTargetName(offsetAnimation, "GradientStop1");
            Storyboard.SetTargetProperty(offsetAnimation, 
                new PropertyPath(GradientStop.OffsetProperty));

            // 
            // Animate the second gradient stop's color from 
            // Purple to Yellow and then back to Purple. 
            //
            ColorAnimation gradientStopColorAnimation = new ColorAnimation();
            gradientStopColorAnimation.From = Colors.Purple;
            gradientStopColorAnimation.To = Colors.Yellow;
            gradientStopColorAnimation.Duration = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1.5);
            gradientStopColorAnimation.AutoReverse = true;
            Storyboard.SetTargetName(gradientStopColorAnimation, "GradientStop2");
            Storyboard.SetTargetProperty(gradientStopColorAnimation,
                new PropertyPath(GradientStop.ColorProperty));

            // Set the animation to begin after the first animation 
            // ends.
            gradientStopColorAnimation.BeginTime = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(3);

            // 
            // Animate the third gradient stop's color so 
            // that it becomes transparent. 
            //
            ColorAnimation opacityAnimation = new ColorAnimation();

            // Reduces the target color's alpha value by 1,  
            // making the color transparent.
            opacityAnimation.By = Color.FromScRgb(-1.0F, 0F, 0F, 0F);
            opacityAnimation.Duration = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1.5);
            opacityAnimation.AutoReverse = true;
            Storyboard.SetTargetName(opacityAnimation, "GradientStop3");
            Storyboard.SetTargetProperty(opacityAnimation,
                new PropertyPath(GradientStop.ColorProperty));

            // Set the animation to begin after the first two 
            // animations have ended. 
            opacityAnimation.BeginTime = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(6);

            // Create a Storyboard to apply the animations.
            Storyboard gradientStopAnimationStoryboard = new Storyboard();
            gradientStopAnimationStoryboard.Children.Add(offsetAnimation);
            gradientStopAnimationStoryboard.Children.Add(gradientStopColorAnimation);
            gradientStopAnimationStoryboard.Children.Add(opacityAnimation);

            // Begin the storyboard when the left mouse button is 
            // pressed over the rectangle.
            aRectangle.MouseLeftButtonDown += delegate(object sender, MouseButtonEventArgs e)
            {
                gradientStopAnimationStoryboard.Begin(this);
            };

            StackPanel mainPanel = new StackPanel();
            mainPanel.Margin = new Thickness(10);
            mainPanel.Children.Add(aRectangle);
            Content = mainPanel;
        }
    }
}
<Page  
  xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
  xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
  Title="GradientStop Animation Example"
  Background="White">
  <StackPanel Margin="10">

    <Rectangle
      Width="200" 
      Height="100" 
      Stroke="Black" StrokeThickness="1">
      <Rectangle.Fill>
        <LinearGradientBrush>
          <GradientStop x:Name="GradientStop1" Color="MediumBlue" Offset="0.0" />
          <GradientStop x:Name="GradientStop2" Color="Purple" Offset="0.5" />
          <GradientStop x:Name="GradientStop3" Color="Red" Offset="1.0" />
        </LinearGradientBrush>
      </Rectangle.Fill>
      <Rectangle.Triggers>
        <EventTrigger RoutedEvent="Rectangle.MouseLeftButtonDown">
          <BeginStoryboard>
            <Storyboard>
              <DoubleAnimation 
                Storyboard.TargetName="GradientStop1"
                Storyboard.TargetProperty="Offset"
                From="0.0" To="1.0" Duration="0:0:1.5"
                AutoReverse="True" />
              <ColorAnimation 
                Storyboard.TargetName="GradientStop2"
                Storyboard.TargetProperty="Color"
                From="Purple" To="Yellow" 
                Duration="0:0:1.5"
                AutoReverse="True"
                BeginTime="0:0:3" />
              <ColorAnimation 
                Storyboard.TargetName="GradientStop3"
                Storyboard.TargetProperty="Color" 
                Duration="0:0:1.5" 
                AutoReverse="True"
                BeginTime="0:0:6">
                <ColorAnimation.By>
                  <Color ScA="-1" ScR="0" ScB="0" ScG="0" />
                </ColorAnimation.By>
              </ColorAnimation>
            </Storyboard>
          </BeginStoryboard>
        </EventTrigger>
      </Rectangle.Triggers>
    </Rectangle>

  </StackPanel>
</Page>

Although this example uses a LinearGradientBrush, the process is the same for animating GradientStop objects inside a RadialGradientBrush.

For additional examples, see the Brushes Sample.

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