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Silverlight Carousel: Creating a Silverlight Control Displays Picture in an Interactive Carousel

, 2 Aug 2009 Ms-PL
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This article describes how to create and use the Silverlight Carousel control.
screen capture

Introduction and Background

What is Carousel? Carousel is just a Silverlight 2.0 (now it's has been updated to Silverlight v3) control which can display collections of pictures like a carousel (have you ever see a carousel?). When I creating Mashup in Microsoft Popfly I saw a display control named "Carousel." It was very attractive to me so I wanted to find one like this to use it in my own application. Using Google I found YetAnotherCarousel, but it was too coarse to use. And the other one I found was created in Silverlight V1 and was very hard to use. But the idea dogged me, attracted me day and night. I Googled again and again but could not find a perfect one. So one day, I asked myself, "Why not create one for myself?"

Key Features

  • It's really a Silverlight V2 (v3 also) Control, all written in C#.
  • Very simple to use.
  • Has many useful properties to control it's behaviour.
  • Can turning continuous or step by step.

Using the Control

Using the Carousel control is very simple just like any other control. First of all, you add the assembly (cokkiy.display.carousel) and reference it to your Silverlight Project. Then look at the code:

  1. Add the XMLNS reference to your Page XAML file beginning.
    <UserControl x:Class="ControlTest.Page"
                 Width="800" Height="600">
  2. Place the Carousel in your layout control. I put it in a grid, and you can put it in any UIElement as a content or child item.
    <display:Carousel x:Name="carousel" TurnDirection="Counterclockwise"
          Padding="5,5,5,5" >
                    <LinearGradientBrush EndPoint="0.5,0" StartPoint="0.5,1">
                        <GradientStop Color="#FF000000"/>
                        <GradientStop Color="#FFFFFFFF" Offset="1"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="01" ImageSource="Images/01.jpg"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="02" ImageSource="Images/02.jpg"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="03" ImageSource="Images/03.jpg"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="04" ImageSource="Images/04.jpg"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="05" ImageSource="Images/05.jpg"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="06" ImageSource="Images/06.jpg"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="07" ImageSource="Images/07.jpg"/>
                    <display:ItemSource Title="08" ImageSource="Images/08.jpg"/>

The ImageSource property just is the Silverlight Image's source, so you can set it any valid Url as Image's source do, more info about it you can refer MSDN's Image's source property.

Notice how I added a Carousel in my page. The Carousel has 8 images as its children. Let's look at the screen capture.

Screen capture

How It Works?

From the screen capture we can know the Carousel is composed of three main parts. The Canvas where the image placed, the small item (the carousel leaf) contains an image which can turn around with the ellipse (it is a virtual image ellipse does not exist) and the panel displays the selected image (the large image in the picture). All three parts are also Silverlight controls which have their own properties. The carousel leaf control I called is CarouselItem which calculates the position of where to place the Canvas, and the scale range by itself. The key point is in placing each item in a proper point and making its size fit any position, and making it turn along with the ellipse.

To make the Carousel control like a real carousel, we must ensure:

  • The farther item is smaller than the nearer item, and the nearest item is the biggest item.
  • The item in the back (father) is under the item in the front (near).
  • The item in the foreground is blurred.

Let's see the following figure demo the concept.

carousel figure

When the center point, O, is constant, the positon and size of CarouselItem at point P only depends to the angle of A. We can calc the positon and size like following code.

    // Position 
    double dx = Axis.Width * Math.Cos(newAngle) + Center.X; 
    double dy = Axis.Height * Math.Sin(newAngle) + Center.Y; 
    Canvas.SetLeft(this, dx);
    Canvas.SetTop(this, dy); 
    // Scale 
    double sc = 2 + Math.Cos(newAngle - Math.PI / 2); 
    ScaleTransform st = (
        this.RenderTransform as TransformGroup).Children[0] as ScaleTransform; 
    st.ScaleX = sc; 
    st.ScaleY = sc; 
    // Set the ZIndex based the distance from us, the far item 
    // is under the near item 
    Canvas.SetZIndex(this, (int)dy);

The position and size all only depends on the angle, so it's very easy to make it turn around the ellipse. Silverlight support the DependencyProperty animation, so we make the angle as a DependencyProperty. And make a DoubleAnimation on each item's angle property. The DoubleAnimation has a property named By which means the total amount by which the animation changes its starting value. When we set it to 2*PI, it starts turning a lap.

    Storyboard storyboard = new Storyboard();
    //this.Resources.Add(name, storyboard);

    // Angle animation
    DoubleAnimation doubleAnimation = new DoubleAnimation();
    doubleAnimation.By = 2*Math.PI;
    doubleAnimation.Duration = duration;
    doubleAnimation.RepeatBehavior = RepeatBehavior.Forever;

    // Set storyboard target property
    Storyboard.SetTarget(doubleAnimation, item);
    Storyboard.SetTargetProperty(doubleAnimation, new PropertyPath("Angle"));

We create a storyboard for each item and then add all these storyboards to a global storyboard. Then if we want the carousel to turn, we just start the global storyboard.


  • 23rd November, 2008: Initial post
  • 26rd November, 2008: Fixed a bug in source code. When remove an item from the collection, it's will throw an exception, now fixed.
  • 2nd August,2009, Updated the control to Silverlight V3.

My English is not very good so I hope you can understand what I've said. The sample code  include some pictures from public web, you should not use the image in your product.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)


About the Author

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The God created the world.
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionData driven PinmemberAdriaan Davel7-Mar-12 1:14 
Questioni wand to display the image caruser over a windows form, how can i do this??? PinmemberMember 209938220-Aug-11 3:55 
AnswerRe: i wand to display the image caruser over a windows form, how can i do this??? PinmemberDaveCS22-Aug-11 6:56 
Questiontroubleshoot Carousel Pinmemberpicasso213-Aug-11 8:08 
AnswerRe: troubleshoot Carousel PinmemberDaveCS18-Aug-11 22:59 
QuestionGet photots and load dynamically PinmemberRaibeart12-Jul-11 11:20 
AnswerRe: Get photots and load dynamically PinmemberDaveCS18-Aug-11 23:04 
QuestionRotating Carousel Verticaly PinmemberArkady Geltzer8-Jul-11 10:03 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberDaveCS15-Apr-11 0:44 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembergilbertblanco8-Jan-11 7:33 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmemberra3doa6-Dec-10 3:40 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmvpMarcelo Ricardo de Oliveira5-Jan-11 0:51 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberDaveCS18-Aug-11 23:09 
GeneralAdd image with URL [modified] PinmemberSunProphit4-Aug-10 11:50 
GeneralRe: Add image with URL Pinmembercokkiy7-Aug-10 22:02 
GeneralRe: Add image with URL PinmemberSunProphit8-Aug-10 5:03 
GeneralThank You PinmemberKing Coffee30-Jun-10 12:47 
GeneralGreat job , Thank you For Sharing PinmemberMDHN30-Jun-10 10:23 
Questioncan we replace images with silverlight chart control? Pinmembermallipeddihemanth11-Jun-10 1:11 
AnswerRe: can we replace images with silverlight chart control? Pinmembercokkiy7-Aug-10 22:07 
GeneralSystem Argument Exception: Value does not fall within expected range at System.Window.Size Pinmemberzameer2119-Apr-10 6:21 
GeneralRe: System Argument Exception: Value does not fall within expected range at System.Window.Size PinmemberGoaGeK11-May-10 1:02 
GeneralThe working example version link doesn't work Pinmemberskbergam3-Apr-10 9:09 
GeneralRe: The working example version link doesn't work Pinmembercokkiy7-Aug-10 22:03 
GeneralNice one PinmemberKunalChowdhury23-Mar-10 17:59 
QuestionAwesome job Pinmemberkronos1917-Mar-10 11:20 
GeneralGreat Job in Silverlight. deserve 5 rate'G. Pinmembersantosh d3-Mar-10 1:59 
QuestionGreat Article Pinmemberrgturner31-Jan-10 18:40 
GeneralStart in Full Screen Pinmemberarkalum19-Jan-10 6:37 
GeneralThe page is blank from second time run Pinmembermadhanprabu8-Nov-09 20:36 
GeneralRe: The page is blank from second time run Pinmembercokkiy10-Nov-09 1:12 
GeneralReplacing Uri (ImageSource) with Memorystream PinmemberFLIron16-Oct-09 5:47 
GeneralRe: Replacing Uri (ImageSource) with Memorystream Pinmembercokkiy16-Oct-09 6:48 
GeneralRe: Replacing Uri (ImageSource) with Memorystream PinmemberFLIron16-Oct-09 11:15 
GeneralRe: Replacing Uri (ImageSource) with Memorystream PinmemberFLIron19-Oct-09 3:04 
Generalcarousel problem value does not fall within the expected range PinmemberPriyanka Katare21-Sep-09 21:42 
GeneralRe: carousel problem value does not fall within the expected range Pinmembercokkiy10-Nov-09 1:17 
GeneralHyperlink Images PinmemberMMRR18-Sep-09 12:11 
GeneralRe: Hyperlink Images PinmemberXel319-Dec-09 10:59 
GeneralRe: Hyperlink Images Pinmembercokkiy19-Dec-09 19:49 
GeneralExcellent job Pinmemberwguerram14-Sep-09 5:49 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberVickyC#16-Aug-09 13:47 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pinmembersantosh d3-Mar-10 2:02 
GeneralAssembly<b><i>cokkiy.display.carousel</i></b> not available PinmemberMember 30053647-Aug-09 22:31 
GeneralRe: Assemblycokkiy.display.carousel not available Pinmembercokkiy7-Aug-09 23:44 
QuestionThanks for your great Carousel. But I put this display:Carousel into one frame page, error happened when navigating back to this page. Pinmemberpaynechen6-Aug-09 18:58 
AnswerRe: Thanks for your great Carousel. But I put this display:Carousel into one frame page, error happened when navigating back to this page. PinmemberAzy221-Feb-10 17:11 
GeneralWill u implement this Carousel in WPF as Panel Pinmembermadhankumar.gi2-Aug-09 21:10 
Generalabout chinese version Pinmembernicholas_pei2-Aug-09 19:00 
GeneralI run projecto, but dont show carousel in page PinmemberFelipe Oliveira30-Jul-09 5:08 

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