Bitmap Effects Overview
Bitmap effects enable designers and developers to apply visual effects to rendered Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) content. For example, bitmap effects allow you to easily apply a DropShadowBitmapEffect effect or a blur effect to an image or a button.
This topic contains the following sections.
WPF Bitmap Effects
Bitmap effects (BitmapEffect object) are simple pixel processing operations. A bitmap effect takes a BitmapSource as an input and produces a new BitmapSource after applying the effect, such as a blur or drop shadow. Each bitmap effect exposes properties that can control the filtering properties, such as Radius of BlurBitmapEffect.
As a special case, in WPF, effects can be set as properties on live Visual objects, such as a Button or TextBox. The pixel processing is applied and rendered at run-time. In this case, at the time of rendering, a Visual is automatically converted to its BitmapSource equivalent and is fed as input to the BitmapEffect. The output replaces the Visual object's default rendering behavior. This is why BitmapEffect objects force visuals to render in software only i.e. no hardware acceleration on visuals when effects are applied.
BlurBitmapEffect simulates look at an object through an out-of-focus lens. See How to: Apply a Blur Effect to a Visual for an example.
OuterGlowBitmapEffect creates a halo of color around the perimeter of an object. See How to: Create a Glow Effect on the Outer Edge of an Object for an example.
DropShadowBitmapEffect creates a shadow behind an object. See How to: Create a Drop Shadow Visual Effect for an example.
WPF bitmap effects are rendered in software mode. Any object that applies an effect will also be rendered in software. Bitmap effects should not be applied to large visuals or animations as this can degrade performance.
WPF bitmap effects do not support partial trust execution. An application must have full trust permissions to use bitmap effects.
How to Apply an Effect
BitmapEffect is a property on Visual. Therefore applying effects to Visuals, such as a Button, Image, DrawingVisual, or UIElement, is as easy as setting a property. BitmapEffect can be set to a single BitmapEffect object or multiple effects can be chained by using the BitmapEffectGroup object.
The following example demonstrates how to apply a BitmapEffect in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML).
<Button Width="200">You Can't Read This! <Button.BitmapEffect> <!-- <BitmapEffectGroup> would go here if you wanted to apply more then one effect to the Button. However, in this example only one effect is being applied so BitmapEffectGroup does not need to be included. --> <!-- The larger the Radius, the more blurring. The default range is 20. In addition, the KernelType is set to a box kernel. A box kernel creates less disruption (less blur) then the default Gaussian kernel. --> <BlurBitmapEffect Radius="10" KernelType="Box" /> </Button.BitmapEffect> </Button>
The following example demonstrates how to apply a BitmapEffect in code.
// Get a reference to the Button. Button myButton = (Button)sender; // Initialize a new BlurBitmapEffect that will be applied // to the Button. BlurBitmapEffect myBlurEffect = new BlurBitmapEffect(); // Set the Radius property of the blur. This determines how // blurry the effect will be. The larger the radius, the more // blurring. myBlurEffect.Radius = 10; // Set the KernelType property of the blur. A KernalType of "Box" // creates less blur than the Gaussian kernal type. myBlurEffect.KernelType = KernelType.Box; // Apply the bitmap effect to the Button. myButton.BitmapEffect = myBlurEffect;
See How to: Create Multiple Visual Effects for examples that show how to apply multiple effects using the BitmapEffectGroup object.
Creating Custom Effects
WPF also provides unmanaged interfaces to create custom effects that can be used in managed WPF applications. For additional reference material for creating custom bitmap effects, see the Unmanaged WPF Bitmap Effect documentation.
For a sample custom bitmap effect, see the Custom BitmapEffect Sample - RGBFilter. This sample demonstrates the unmanaged interfaces needed to create a custom effect, a managed interoperability layer, and a WPF application using the custom effect.
TasksHow to: Animate a Blur Visual Effect
How to: Animate a Glow Effect
How to: Animate a Drop Shadow Visual Effect
How to: Animate a Beveled Visual Effect
How to: Animate an Embossed Visual Effect
ReferenceUnmanaged WPF Bitmap Effect
Windows Presentation Foundation Security
Windows Presentation Foundation Graphics Rendering Overview