Windows 8 Metro app animation tips detailed

Windows 8 Metro apps not only have to be informative and responsive, they also have to feature animations that are, to use Microsoft's often repeated phrase, "fast and fluid". In the newest post on the official Windows 8 app developer blog, Microsoft offers Metro app makers some tips on how to create the best looking animations they can for their software creations.

The highly technical blog post goes over a number of ways Windows 8 Metro app makers can generate smooth animations with both JavaScript and XAML-based apps. One way is using independent animation, which mean animation that's coded to run "independently from thread running the core UI logic." Microsoft states:

In Windows 8 many of the animated elements are composed by a composition engine that runs on a separate thread. The engine’s work is offloaded from the CPU to the GPU. Moving composition to a non-UI thread means that the animation won’t jitter or be blocked by the app working on the UI thread (such as JavaScript code execution or sync operations). The GPU hardware is optimized for delivering visually rich graphics and makes use of video memory resources. Using the GPU greatly improves performance, allowing animations to run at a smooth and consistent frame rate.

The blog also points out that app developers can go ahead and use Microsoft's own Animation Library if they want to simply use code that's already been made to work with Windows 8. The blog also offers up some example code for developers to use that takes advantage of the Animation Library.

Of course, some app creators might be more ambitious and want to code in some custom Metro-style animations. Windows 8 supports this kind of programming as well and the blog also offers some example code of some custom animation that is not part of the Animation Library, along with a few guidelines for JavaScript and XAML-based apps.

Image via Microsoft

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11 Comments

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Dot Matrix said,
I really hope Microsoft doesn't let the Windows 8 market go to ****, like they did the WP7 market.

Ya, cause it... What the hell are you talking about?

thenetavenger said,

Ya, cause it... What the hell are you talking about?

He means the app store, of course there's junk in the WP marketplace as well as any other marketplace out there.

thenetavenger said,

Ya, cause it... What the hell are you talking about?

The WP market is nothing but junk. Very few quality apps.

Dot Matrix said,

The WP market is nothing but junk. Very few quality apps.


Truthfully, pretty much any ecosystem of anything (apps, games, music, books, etc.) has about a 80/20 crap/quality ratio. The thing is, you can't have the random great app without all those crap apps.

There's nothing good or bad about it. It just is.

Can they be transparent, use glass fx, or do ANYTHING that doesn't make them look like something from the 1980's?

An Aero-fied version of Metro, even if it has to be hacked, could help multimonitor desktop users a great deal in integrating the current Metro garbage into their workflow and desktops.

excalpius said,
Can they be transparent, use glass fx, or do ANYTHING that doesn't make them look like something from the 1980's?

An Aero-fied version of Metro, even if it has to be hacked, could help multimonitor desktop users a great deal in integrating the current Metro garbage into their workflow and desktops.

Ya we need to have all the newspapers updated to 20 fonts and crazy line styles and 100 typeface colors, cause it looks so much better and is easier to read and use.

The same for 'Signs' like Roadsigns, we need to get rid of the easy to read and consistent symbols and fonts used around the world that were developed out of being easy to use and understand for the past 200 years...

Cause we don't want things to work and be easy, we want more fonts and flashing neon signs. (Any ever notice, even Las Vegas uses Metro style street and highway signs, I wonder why they are stuck in the 1900s...)

Geesh.

Go look up Metro and Typography and layout and 'flow' or take a graphic design annex course, they will TELL YOU FLAT OUT to stop making your crap look busy and confusing and why.