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Animator for WinForms

, 22 Feb 2013
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The component allows you to animate any controls on your WinForms.
   

Introduction

 
Can we make our WinForms application was animated, like WPF? Yep, of course we can!
The component Animator allows you to animate any controls on your WinForms.
 

How it works

 
Animator creates a temporary control DoubleBitmap over the target control. DoubleBitmap contains two images. First image is snapshot of background of the form, exclude target control. Second image contains snapshot of target control.

Then animator periodically transforms top image of DoubleBitmap. As result – we get animated fake of target control.

Each transformation has some dependence on the current time. And Animator changes time and call transformation for new animation frame.

The Animator supports two kinds of transforms - linear transforms (scaling, shifting, rotating) and non-linear transforms (distortions, skews, etc). Also it can change transparency of animated bitmap.

Linear transformations are performed using matrix transformations of GDI+.
Example of the transformation Rotate:
 

public static void DoRotate(TransfromNeededEventArg e, Animation animation)
{
    var rect = e.ClientRectangle;
    var center = new PointF(rect.Width / 2, rect.Height / 2);
 
    e.Matrix.Translate(center.X, center.Y);
    if (e.CurrentTime > animation.RotateLimit)
        e.Matrix.Rotate(360 * (e.CurrentTime - animation.RotateLimit) * animation.RotateCoeff);
    e.Matrix.Translate(-center.X, -center.Y);
}
 

Nonlinear transformations are little harder. First, it creates an array of pixels. And then there is a conversion each pixel in cycle. The Animator can change coordinates of the pixel, it's color and transparency. Below is an example of the transformation:
 

public static void DoBlind(NonLinearTransfromNeededEventArg e, Animation animation)
{
    if (animation.BlindCoeff == PointF.Empty)
        return;
 
    var pixels = e.Pixels;
    var sx = e.ClientRectangle.Width;
    var sy = e.ClientRectangle.Height;
    var s = e.Stride;
    var kx = animation.BlindCoeff.X;
    var ky = animation.BlindCoeff.Y;
    var a = (int)((sx * kx + sy * ky) * (1 - e.CurrentTime));
 
    for (int x = 0; x < sx; x++)
        for (int y = 0; y < sy; y++)
        {
            int i = y * s + x * bytesPerPixel;
            if (x * kx + y * ky >= a)
                pixels[i + 3] = (byte)0;
        }
}
 

The Animator creates DoubleBitmap with correct z-order. So, if some controls were under target control, then they will be under DoubleBitmap control. Similarly – controls above target control:


How to use

 
Simplest way to use Animator: dragging the Animator component onto your form.
To start animation – call method Animator.Show(targetControl) from your code.

Take to attention: the target control must be hidden (visible==false) before calling Show method. Otherwise animation will not take effect.

Similarly, you can hide the control using the method Animator.Hide(targetControl).

The Animator allows you to make animated changing of your visible control. Before updating you need to call Animator.BeginUpdate(targetControl), then update your control, and finally to call Animator.EndUpdate(targetControl). For example:

animator.BeginUpdateSync(dataGridView1, true);
dataGridView1[col, row].Value = newValue;
animator.EndUpdate(dataGridView1);
 

As result – the control will change its view with animation.

Animator has several built-in types of animation. It's Rotate, Scale, Leaf, Mosaic, Particles, Blind, etc. You can set built-in animation by property AnimationType.

In addition, Animator allows you to fine-tune the animation, as well as create custom animation.
For adjusting you can use property DefaultAnimation. Below described all properties of Animation class:
 

  • PointF SlideCoeff - Set (1,0) or (0,1) to slider effect.
  • float RotateCoeff - Adjusts rotation angle.
  • float RotateLimit - Parameter defines time of end of rotation
  • PointF ScaleCoeff - Adjusts horizontal and vertical scaling
  • float LeafCoeff - Set 1 to "leaf" effect
  • PointF MosaicCoeff - Adjusts deviation of mosaic
  • int MosaicSize - Mosaic square size (in pixels)
  • PointF MosaicShift - Shift of mosaic squares.
  • PointF BlindCoeff - Set (1,0) or (0,1) to "blind" effect.
  • float TransparencyCoeff - Set 1 if you want to make transparency of animation.
  • float TimeCoeff - Time coefficient
  • Padding Padding - Expands bounds of DoubleBitmap (it is useful for "wide" animations, like Rotate)
  • bool AnimateOnlyDifferences - Allows to animate only differences between start view of control and finish view (only for AnimationMode.Update). By default True.
 
To create custom animation, you need to handle events TransfromNeeded and/or NonLinearTransfromNeeded. The example see in demo application.
 

Animator has a good set of techniques to control the animation. Each method is asynchronous and synchronous versions. Asynchronous methods starts animation and returns immediately. Synchronous methods starts animation and wait while animation will be completed.

In addition the Animator supports queue of animated controls. You can use methods AddToQueue() and ClearQueue() for it.

Also, the Animator has methods to wait for all outstanding animations and methods to wait for the particular animation.

Moreover, the Animator has events AnimationCompleted and AllAnimationsCompleted that are invoked after any/all animation was completed.

Extended controls

The library contains extended TabControl. It is usual TabControl, but its tabs are animated:

The TabControlEx conatins property Animation, where you can adjust animation of tabs.

Demo app

You can use the demo app for that would evaluate the possibilities of Animator:


Decoration sample (BottomMirror mode):

Restrictions

The Animator does not work with OLE-based controls (WebBrowser, RichTextBox). These controls do not paint itself when window is not visible. So we can not to grab bitmap from it.
 

History

 
19 Feb 2013 - First release.
20 Feb 2013 - TabControlEx was added, ClipRectangle is available for Update mode.
22 Feb 2013 - Performance was increased. Some bugs was fixed. Decoration sample was added.
 

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3)

About the Author

Pavel Torgashov

Ukraine Ukraine
I am Pavеl Tоrgаshоv, and I live in Kyiv, Ukraine.
I've been developing software since 1998.
Main activities: processing of large volumes of data, statistics, computer vision and graphics.
 
My contact email is p_torgashov[at]ukr.net

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionVery Cool and how to... PinmemberMember 46985967-Jul-14 22:54 
AnswerRe: Very Cool and how to... PinmvpPavel Torgashov8-Jul-14 22:04 
QuestionExcellent, but cannot work on ToolStrip and StatusStrip items. Hope will add this function. PinprofessionalUnclePig23-May-14 2:27 
Question5+ PinmemberAdam Zgagacz7-Jan-14 6:55 
Questiondouble bitmap PinmemberBee Tran6-Dec-13 7:41 
QuestionOpen Source Project PinmemberMember 1039114322-Nov-13 15:11 
Questionbackground image PinmemberBee Tran20-Nov-13 8:24 
QuestionBeautiful! Wish it could operate on a grid cell. PinmemberMember 103911439-Nov-13 18:51 
AnswerRe: Beautiful! Wish it could operate on a grid cell. PinmemberMember 103911439-Nov-13 21:28 
GeneralRe: Beautiful! Wish it could operate on a grid cell. [modified] PinmemberMember 1039114310-Nov-13 6:22 
QuestionColored shape behind animation Pinmembermimco993-Nov-13 8:01 
QuestionAnimate after swaping picture is not working well PinmemberErnad Hodzic29-Oct-13 13:08 
AnswerRe: Animate after swaping picture is not working well PinmemberPavel Torgashov29-Oct-13 13:34 
GeneralRe: Animate after swaping picture is not working well PinmemberErnad Hodzic29-Oct-13 14:42 
GeneralRe: Animate after swaping picture is not working well PinmemberPavel Torgashov29-Oct-13 23:25 
GeneralRe: Animate after swaping picture is not working well [modified] Pinmemberererwwwtttt4-Nov-13 8:42 
QuestionMy vote of 5 Pinprofessionalabbaspirmoradi2-Sep-13 3:39 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberrrossenbg29-Aug-13 22:40 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmvpadriancs20-Aug-13 16:30 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinprofessionalAmir Mohammad Nasrollahi27-Jul-13 6:36 
QuestionNicely done! PinprofessionalRavi Bhavnani18-Jul-13 8:22 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberAlhoot20049-Jul-13 13:37 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberdemouser7436-Jul-13 8:36 
QuestionMy vote > 5 Pinmemberhackerspk6-Jun-13 2:18 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberVirtualization22-Apr-13 2:41 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembermaunilgajjar12-Apr-13 8:21 
QuestionWoW! Pinmembernandixxp1-Apr-13 2:33 
GeneralExcellent PinmemberC# learning user26-Mar-13 8:37 
This is my first time comment on a forum. This article is too great and easy to use.
 
Thanks a lot for sharing it to us.
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberbobfox19-Mar-13 18:05 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberHasibul Haque13-Mar-13 18:21 
QuestionMy Vote of 5 PinmemberRaviRanjankr13-Mar-13 6:26 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberRenju Vinod12-Mar-13 20:27 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMihai MOGA11-Mar-13 21:44 
Questionamazing demo Pinmembersmartls10-Mar-13 3:13 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberridoy7-Mar-13 23:33 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMayurrDabhi7-Mar-13 20:20 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMonjurul Habib4-Mar-13 19:21 
GeneralWell done, Pavel! PinmvpEspen Harlinn3-Mar-13 21:30 
QuestionGood work Pinmemberwaleedhm27-Feb-13 5:13 
AnswerRe: Good work PinmemberPavel Torgashov27-Feb-13 7:12 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberShof26-Feb-13 22:38 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberjawed.ace26-Feb-13 20:19 
QuestionC# --> VB Pinmemberdherrmann26-Feb-13 3:25 
AnswerRe: C# --> VB PinmemberPavel Torgashov26-Feb-13 4:12 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberp_a_k25-Feb-13 20:58 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberAzziet25-Feb-13 18:55 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberrspercy6525-Feb-13 12:44 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembertrolichero25-Feb-13 8:54 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberhamletaponte25-Feb-13 7:54 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberVitorHugoGarcia25-Feb-13 1:16 

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