WriteableBitmap in Silverlight
Monday, 09 August 2010
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WriteableBitmap in Silverlight
Creating WriteableBitmaps

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An Example

With these extension methods defined we can now give an example of accessing pixels:

WriteableBitmap wbmap = new 
WriteableBitmap(100, 100);

First directly set the pixel in the top left-hand corner to opaque black, i.e. alpha 255 other channels zero:

wbmap.Pixels[0] = 255 << 24;

Next we can use the extension method to set the pixel at x=10,y=9 to green:

wbmap.setPixel(10,9,
Color.FromArgb(255,0,255,0));

and finally we can use the getPixel method to check that the pixel just set is indeed green:

Color pixelcol=wbmap.getPixel(10,9);

Of course there is the small matter of displaying the bitmap we have just created.

There are a number of controls that accept a BitmapSource which all Silverlight bitmap classes inherit from but the simplest and most direct approach is to use an Image control. If you drop and Image control on a page to display a WriteableBitmap all you have to do is:

image1.Source = wbmap;

Creating WriteableBitmaps

In principle there are other ways to create a WriteableBitmap but there are some complications that you need to be aware of.

For example, you should be able to simply create a WriteableBitmap from a standard bitmap using the constructor:

WriteableBitmap(bitmapsource);

but if you try this with a BitmapImage loaded from a URI you will more than likely get a null object error.

The reason is that the bitmap might not be downloaded yet. This makes it more difficult to use this constructor to load a WriteableBitmap. You have to make sure that the image has actually loaded before you try to create a WriteableBitmap from it.

The third constructor is simpler because it doesn't have the problem that the image might not be downloaded yet:

WriteableBitmap(UIElement,transform);

This creates a bitmap by rendering the UIElement and applying the transform. So for example:

WriteableBitmap wbmap2 = new 
WriteableBitmap(button1, null );
image1.Source = wbmap2;

renders a button and displays it in an Image control. If you would like to rotate the button

WriteableBitmap wbmap2 = new 
WriteableBitmap(button1,
new RotateTransform()
{Angle=40,CenterX=0,CenterY=0});

Notice that the Silverlight version of RotateTransform doesn’t have a constructor that accepts properties but this doesn’t matter because we can use an object initializer to do the same job.

A complete example

Finally, as an example of a dynamic image, the following plots a range of colours which depend on the position of the pixel according to a simple formula:

private void button1_Click(
object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
WriteableBitmap wbmap = new
WriteableBitmap(256, 256);
for (int x = 0; x < 256; x++)
{
for (int y = 0; y < 256; y++)
{
wbmap.setPixel(x,y,
Color.FromArgb(255,(byte) (x*x+y),
(byte) (y*y+x),(byte)(x+y)));
}
}
image1.Source = wbmap;
}

pattern

 

To access the code for this project, once you have registered,  click on CodeBin.

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If you would like to see an unconventional use of the WriteableBitmap via a custom mapping function then see: Silverlight Mandelbrot Zoomer

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