Using Bitmap and Texture in Silverlight and XNA application for Windows Phone 7

Bitmap is an object which is appear in both Silverlight and XNA applications but in XNA, a bitmap has a data type of Texture2D and hence is often referred to as a texture. Bitmaps are used to symbolize your application on the phone.

This chapter is taken from book "Programming Windows Phone 7" by Charles Petzold published by Microsoft press. http://www.charlespetzold.com/phone/index.html

Bitmap and Texture: Bitmap is an object which is appear in both Silverlight and XNA applications but in XNA, a bitmap has a data type of Texture2D and hence is often referred to as a texture. Bitmaps are used to symbolize your application on the phone. A new XNA or Silverlight project in Visual Studio results in the creation of three bitmaps for various purposes.

The native Windows bitmap format has an extension of BMP but it's become less popular in recent years as compressed formats have become widespread. At this time, the three most popular bitmap formats XNA supports all three (and more), and silverlight supports only JPEG and PNG, the formats are probably:

  1. JPEG (Joint Photography Experts Group)
  2. PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
  3. GIF (Graphics Interchange File)

XNA Texture Drawing

XNA 2D programming is almost entirely a process of moving sprites around the screen, you might expect that loading and drawing bitmaps in an XNA program is fairly easy, and you would be correct, you can create the bitmap in an external program, Windows Paint is often convenient.

The first project is called XnaLocalBitmap,to add this file as part of the program's content, right-click the XnaLocalBitmapContent project in Visual Studio, select Add and Existing Item, and then navigate to the file. Once the file shows up, you can right-click it to display Properties, and you'll see that it has an Asset Name of "Hello." The goal is to display this bitmap centered on the screen. Define a field in the Game1.cs file to store the Texture2D and another field for the position:

Example

public
class Game1 : Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game
    {
        GraphicsDeviceManager graphics;
        SpriteBatch spriteBatch;
        Texture2D helloTexture;
        Vector2 position;
        .....
    }

Both fields are set during the LoadContent method. Use the same generic method to load the Texture2D as you use to load a SpriteFont. The Texture2D class has properties named Width and Height that provide the dimensions of the bitmap in pixels.

protected override void LoadContent()
        {
            spriteBatch = new SpriteBatch(GraphicsDevice);
            helloTexture = this.Content.Load<Texture2D>("Hello");
            Viewport viewport = this.GraphicsDevice.Viewport;
            position = new Vector2((viewport.Width - helloTexture.Width) / 2,
                                   (viewport.Height - helloTexture.Height) / 2);
        }

The SpriteBatch class has seven Draw methods to render bitmaps. This one is certainly the simplest:

protected override void Draw(GameTime gameTime)
        {
            GraphicsDevice.Clear(Color.Navy);
            spriteBatch.Begin();
            spriteBatch.Draw(helloTexture, position, Color.White);
            spriteBatch.End();
            base.Draw(gameTime);
        }

The final argument to Draw is a color that can be used to attenuate the existing colors in the bitmap. Use Color.White if you want the bitmap's colors to display without any alteration, And here it is:

1.gif

Silverlight Image Element

The equivalent program in Silverlight is even simpler. Let's create a project named SilverlightLocalBitmap. First create a directory in the project to store the bitmap. Right-click the project name and choose Add and then New Folder. Let's name it Images. Then right-click the folder name and choose Add and Existing Item. Navigate to the Hello.png file. From the Add button choose either Add or Add as Link. If you choose Add, a copy will be made and the file will be physically copied into a subdirectory of the project. If you choose Add as Link, only a file reference will be retained with the project but the file will still be copied into the executable. The final step: Right-click the bitmap filename and display Properties. Note that the Build Action is Resource. It's possible to change that Build Action to Content, but let's leave it for now and I'll discuss the difference shortly.

In Silverlight, you use the Image element to display bitmaps just as you use the TextBlock element to display text. Set the Source property of Image to the folder and filename of the bitmap within the project:

<Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
            <Image Source="Images/Hello.png" />
</
Grid>

The display looks a little different than the XNA program, and it's not just the titles, this is most noticeable if you set the SupportedOrientations attribute of the PhoneApplicationPage start tag to PortraitOrLandscape and turn the phone sideways:

2.gif

Images Via the Web

One feature that's really nice about the Image element is that you can set the Source property to a URL, such as in this Silverlight project:

<Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
            <Image Source="http://www.charlespetzold.com/Media/HelloWP7.jpg" />
</
Grid>

Here it is:

3.gif

You can use WebClient to download either strings (commonly XML files) or binary objects. The actual transfer occurs asynchronously and then WebClient calls a method in your program to indicate completion or failure. To use WebClient in an XNA program, you'll need to add a reference to the System.Net library: In the Solution Explorer, under the project name, right click References and select Add Reference. In the .NET table, select System.Net. (Silverlight programs get a reference to System.Net automatically.)

The Game1.cs file of the XnaWebBitmap project also requires a using directive for the System.Net namespace. The program defines the same fields as the earlier program:

public class Game1 : Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game
    {
        GraphicsDeviceManager graphics;
        SpriteBatch spriteBatch;
        Texture2D helloTexture;
        Vector2 position;
        ...
    }

The LoadContent method creates an instance of WebClient, sets the callback method, and then initiates the transfer:

protected override void LoadContent()
        {
            spriteBatch = new SpriteBatch(GraphicsDevice);
            WebClient webClient = new WebClient();
            webClient.OpenReadCompleted += OnWebClientOpenReadCompleted;
            webClient.OpenReadAsync(new Uri("http://www.charlespetzold.com/Media/HelloWP7.jpg"));
        }

The OnWebClientOpenReadCompleted method is called when the entire file has been downloaded.  You can use that Stream with the static Texture2D.FromStream method to create a Texture2D object:

void OnWebClientOpenReadCompleted(object sender, OpenReadCompletedEventArgs args)
        {
            if (!args.Cancelled && args.Error == null)
            {
                helloTexture = Texture2D.FromStream(this.GraphicsDevice, args.Result);
                Viewport viewport = this.GraphicsDevice.Viewport;
                position = new Vector2((viewport.Width - helloTexture.Width) / 2,
                                       (viewport.Height - helloTexture.Height) / 2);
            }
        }

By default, the AllowReadStreamBuffering property of WebClient is true, which means that the entire file will have been downloaded when the OpenReadCompleted event is raised.

Normally the LoadContent method of a Game derivative is called before the first call to the Update or Draw method, but it is essential to remember that a gap of time will separate LoadContent from the OnWebClientOpenReadCompleted method. During that time an asynchronous read is occurring, but the Game1 class is proceeding as normal with calls to Update and Draw. For that reason, you should only attempt to access the Texture2D object when you know that it's valid:

protected override void Draw(GameTime gameTime)
        {
            GraphicsDevice.Clear(Color.Navy);
            if (helloTexture != null)
            {
                spriteBatch.Begin();
                spriteBatch.Draw(helloTexture, position, Color.White);
                spriteBatch.End();
            }
            base.Draw(gameTime);
        }

In a real program, you'd also want to provide some kind of notification to the user if the bitmap could not be downloaded.

Image and ImageSource

Once you begin investigating the Image element, it may seem a little confusing. The Image element is not the bitmap; the Image element merely displays the bitmap. In the uses you've seen so far, the Source property of Image has been set to a relative file path or a URL:

    <Image Source="Images/Hello.png" />
    <Image Source="http://www.charlespetzold.com/Media/HelloWP7.jpg" />

From BitmapSource derives BitmapImage, which supports a constructor that accepts a Uri object and also includes a UriSource property of type Uri. The SilverlightTapToDownload1 project mimics a program that needs to download a bitmap whose URL is known only at runtime. The XAML contains an Image element with no bitmap to display:

<Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
            <Image Name="img" />
</
Grid>

BitmapImage requires a using directive for the System.Windows.Media.Imaging namespace. When MainPage gets a tap, it creates a BitmapImage from the Uri object and sets that to the Source property of the Image:

protected override void OnManipulationStarted(ManipulationStartedEventArgs args)
        {
            Uri uri = new Uri("http://www.charlespetzold.com/Media/HelloWP7.jpg");
            BitmapImage bmp = new BitmapImage(uri);
            img.Source = bmp;
            args.Complete();
            args.Handled = true;
            base.OnManipulationStarted(args);
        }

Remember to tap the screen to initiate the download!

If you want to explicitly use WebClient in a Silverlight program, you can do that as well, as the next project demonstrates. The SilverlightTapToDownload2.xaml file is the same as SilverlightTapToDownload1.xaml. The code-behind file uses WebClient much like the earlier XNA program:

protected override void OnManipulationStarted(ManipulationStartedEventArgs args)
        {
            WebClient webClient = new WebClient();
            webClient.OpenReadCompleted += OnWebClientOpenReadCompleted;
            webClient.OpenReadAsync(new Uri("http://www.charlespetzold.com/Media/HelloWP7.jpg"));
            args.Complete();
            args.Handled = true;
            base.OnManipulationStarted(args);
        }
        void OnWebClientOpenReadCompleted(object sender, OpenReadCompletedEventArgs args)
        {
            if (!args.Cancelled && args.Error == null)
            {
                BitmapImage bmp = new BitmapImage();
                bmp.SetSource(args.Result);
                img.Source = bmp;
            }
        }

Notice the use of SetSource to create the bitmap from the Stream object.

Summary

I hope this article helps you to learn about how to use Bitmap and Texture in Silverlight and XNA application for Windows Phone 7.