Gradient Dropper = LOVE

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I tweeted about this earlier this week, but I felt it warranted an actual blog.

This tool – I’ve completely overlooked for all of this time.  Usually, I can recreate a gradient fairly accurately if not dead-on the original.  But uhm… I don’t have to!  But I didn’t know that.  I was recreating a real flower’s color variations and on occasion I’d click the eyedropper to obtain a color from the original but it wouldn’t actually apply the color!  Well I finally got a bit frustrated with this and sat back for a moment and then I noticed it.  There were 2 droppers.


Hover mouse over each.  The first was what I expected.  A normal eye dropper.  The second… a what?  A “Gradient Dropper?!  Wait – does that mean what I think it means?!”

So I gave it a guess as to how to use it.  I clicked on one spot, held the mouse down, dragged my mouse over to another desgination and… OMG!  An automaticallyish gradient created!

This is awesome.  So for those of you who are trying to figure out what the heck I’m talking about – where oh where would this thing be located – look to the lovely screenshot to the side with all of the spiffy arrows.


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I ran across a site which offers to anyone who is interested, a template for Visual Studio which assists in the creation of Screensavers.

The site is The link takes you straight to the blog about the WPF screen saver template.

In any event, I just wanted to do something really simple – so I took about an hour and a half and the YouTube video shows the creation.

The youtube video doesn’t really do it justice, unfortunately, but here it is:

Update: Someone mentioned something which I hadn’t considered – this wouldn’t be a good screensaver to use on a system which actually needs a screensaver, such as plasma screens, as the rotating “viewer ball” would become burned into the screen.

Update with Copy for your downloading pleasure:

This will be the first time I’ve done something like this – so if you run into issues, please let me know.
Please note: After you unzip the files, you’ll need to rename setup.exe to setup.scr

Chapter 2's "Hello World"

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Going through Victor’s book – chapter 2 is fairly short, but the “lab” at the end of it, the typical “Hello World” which is seen, as he mentions in his book, in most every book or introductory guide to programming, application development, and other types – is already a bit obsolete with the releases of later versions and updates to Blend.

Please note: His “Hello World” is not anywhere nearly as boring as many.  He goes through a lot of the basic orientational-use of Blend including gradients, modifying colors, color stop properties, application window resizing, key-frame animations, quick-key uses, and more.  Its more than worth going through.

In his book, he indicates that gradients start out left-to-right, and instead modifies things to go top to bottom.  Unless I’ve modified my default settings (which I don’t recall doing), mine is set exactly the opposite.  The “Gradient Brush” on mine starts from top to bottom, so several parts of the tutorial, including the very eye… catching *cringe* Christmas colored “Hello World”, which gradients from Red to White to Neon Green, will require you to rotate the gradient angle.   Remember, much like Adobe products, holding the shift-key down will maintain true-angles, which assists in obtaining an accurate rotation of exact 90¤.

I have to note that earlier, I asked the “Why?!” of the C: drive for locatino of projects.  I’m beginning to see why he has that as his choice.  For the purpose of this book, having everything held within a root “Projects” directory makes guiding those reading the book, quite easy.  Most who will be using this book who have different preferences will just place things wherever they want anyway, so it really doesn’t matter except for the use of guidance within the book where a person puts items, so long as they know where the file was placed.  Typical document saving 101.