Rudders PowerPoint Gets an

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-08-15 Print this article Print

Edit"> According to a slide that Rudder showed at the meeting, Microsoft was planning to ship Expressions Studio in calendar 2006. Some time since late July, Microsoft removed all references to Expressions Studio from Rudders slide deck. Based on Rudders comments, it seems as if Acrylic will be one component, albeit the most important one, of the Expressions Studio suite.
Key declined to comment on the final name or delivery date for the product. All he would say is "the Acrylic CTP has not officially been named, and we havent announced final dates on the product."
According to a Microsoft FAQ on the technology, Acrylic can import the following for-mats: .tif, .psd, .jpg, .bmp, .png, .gif files and export .tif, .psd, .jpg, .bmp, .png, .gif, .ai, .eps, .pdf, and .xaml formats." Additionally there is support for copy-paste to Microsoft Office, ex-port to HTML for integration into Web site UI, and export to XAML for incorporation into Windows Vista using Windows Presentation Foundation," the FAQ said. Moreover, Acrylic supports the creation of graphic designs for export to the XAML file format, the declarative markup language used to describe application user interface elements and rich content (such as 2-D, 3-D, text, animation, video, etc.) for the Windows Presentation Foundation, the FAQ said. In addition, the Acrylic team is collaborating with Microsoft Research (MSR) on future releases of the Acrylic technology, according to Soma Somasegar, corporate vice president of Micro-softs developer division. Somasegar blogged in late June about the photo-stitching technology provided by the research team that made it into the first CTP build of the product. An anti-Microsoft group aims to block Vista. Click here to read more. "Scanned images or photographs usually capture a limited amount of information, forcing us to take multiple scans/photos of a panoramic view or a large original image. Microsoft Acrylic provides one of the best image-stitching features by seamlessly combining multiple images. This feature was a direct result of our collaboration with MSR," Somasegar said. Going forward, there will be even more MSR-developed technologies integrated into Acrylic and its follow-ons, Somasegar said. "In future versions of pro designer products, we hope to leverage and ship several other in-novations from the MSR Graphics team e.g. Lumigraphs, Surface Textures and Virtual View-point Videos. A Lumigraph will allow you to an object from multiple angles. Like a hologram, the MSR Graphics group has developed an algorithm that dynamically produces lumigraph structures from a set of unstructured images. In case of Surface Textures, they have developed the ability to create textures over arbitrary surface meshes. The method can identify interesting regions in a 2-D example and repeatedly paste it onto a surface until it is completely covered. "Virtual Viewpoint Videos enable designers to easily recreate scenarios from the movie Matrix. Designers can freeze time and change the viewpoint providing a 3-D experience, while the video is playing." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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