Ever since I saw the Deep Zoom presentations at Remix08 Melbourne I was gob-smacked at how cool they were I wanted to give it a try. The smooth zooming and panning was incredible to watch and was much better than the boring old Powerpoint transitions.

So how do I do this ... well, as usual the first step was to Google for the solution and the best links I found about the topic were ... here and here

They made it sound relatively straight forward but I struggled a little along the way. In particular I couldn't find an easy way to generate high resolution images from powerpoint, and the high resolution images are the key for a decent looking deep zoom experience as I found out.

Anyway's, here's what I did ...

1. Use PowerPoint 2007 to create the presentation, which by the way has awesome image generation capabilities for roundpanels, arrows, smart art, etc. Even a humble developer such as myself can create pretty good looking slides that a hardened designer would take the time to glance at.

2. Next, upgrade to latest deep zoom composer, you'll probably also need to install some silverlight goodies to get this going.

3. Generate some high resolution images from PowerPoint. The higher the resolution the images the better experience you'll get out of DeepZoom. Powerpoint allows you to save each slide as an image which is great, simple and easy ... but I couldn't figure out how to maximize the resolution. There are a few settings you can tweak and apparently some registry hacks but nothing I tried seemed to work. When you view these images in your deepzoomed presentation they appear really blurred which is no good for anyone.

So I went down the track of saving the PowerPoint presentation as a pdf using the PDF995 print driver which works great.

Now I just needed to produce high resolution images from the PDF ... which you can, but I couldn't find a tool that would do it for free without watermarking the images.

So out of pure frustration I just used the snapshot feature of the Acrobat reader, and pasted each slide image into Paint.NET, and saved that as a PNG. A little monotonous but it gave me much better resolution images than PowerPoint.

I'm sure there is an easier way than this, so if you find one then please let me know.

4. Then just use the deep zoom composer to setup you presentation and export it. This produces a couple of projects, Silverlight and Web Application, with a html page containing the silverlight deepzoom object. Open this up and as long as you have the Silverlight plugin installed then you away laughing. Well almost.

Increase resolution for full screen browsing.

depending on your screen resolution you'll most likely want to increase the default resolution produced by the Deep Zoom Composer, otherwise the deep zoom appears in a bounded window within the browser, and I wanted a full screen experience when pressing the F11 key on IE7.

So you'll need to open up the solution file in Visual Studio which may mean installing Silverlight 2 beta 2 ... argh! More on that later. So if you manage to get that installed then ...

Modify the Page.xaml width and height of the UserControl ...

<UserControl x:Class="DeepZoomProject.Page"



**Width="1280" Height="1024">**

... and also the MultiScaleImage tag...

I also changed the width and height of the silverlight object in the html page of the Web Application project

object data="data:application/x-silverlight," type="application/x-silverlight-2-b2" width="1280" height="1024"

... then rebuild the project.

Now when viewing in the IE browser hit F11 and yet again you're away laughing. Well, almost, really...

Hosting a Silverlight site with IIS6

Since I wanted to access the DeepZoom presentation from other machines in the network I created a virtual directory in IIS6, pointed it to the DeepZoom Web project, but when I tried to browse the html file I experienced a javascript error.

The contents read something like ...

Unhandled Error in Silverlight 2 Application

Code: 2014

Category: Initialize Error

Could not download the Silverlight application ... blah blah blah

Apparently you need to do the following ...

  1. Enable the content expiration setting to be one minute

  2. Register some MIME typesand file extensions...

xap application/octet-stream

.xaml application/xaml+xml

  1. Change the execute permissions to "Script Only"

then presto ... all is good.

Solution I found was in ...

http://weblogs.asp.net/javiervillarreal/archive/2008/06/14/silverlight- error-2104-could-not-download-the-silverlight-application-in-iis6.aspx

Thank-you kind sir.

Fixing Silverlight beta 1 to Silverlight beta 2 problems

... and there are plenty of them.

In getting this to work I experienced some mild unpleasantness, almost approaching the absolute disgust I faced when trying out the alpha releases of silverlight which required a complete reinstall of my OS! .. there's a couple of days I'll never get back!

Anyway's, try here for starters ...

http://weblogs.asp.net/bradleyb/archive/2008/06/18/fixing-setup-errors- installing-silverlight-tools-beta-2.aspx

and read my contribution ... http://silverlight.net/forums/p/18765/64872.aspx#64872, yep, not much.

Personally though, my installation is still a little stuffed, as I can't debug silverlight applications ...

so I'll probably end up reinstalling all VS and silverlight stuff :-( unless I find a solution in the next couple of days.

Technorati Tags: Deep Zoom,Silverlight




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