Shade Effect

Learn to create a Shade Effect in Windows App SDK with this Tutorial

Shade Effect shows how you can use DropShadow with an element to create a Shade Effect in an application using the Windows App SDK.

Step 1

Follow Setup and Start on how to get Setup and Install what you need for Visual Studio 2022 and Windows App SDK.

In Windows 11 choose Start and then find or search for Visual Studio 2022 and then select it.
Visual Studio 2022
Once Visual Studio 2022 has started select Create a new project.
Create a new project
Then choose the Blank App, Packages (WinUI in Desktop) and then select Next.
Blank App, Packages (WinUI in Desktop)
After that in Configure your new project type in the Project name as ShadeEffect, then select a Location and then select Create to start a new Solution.
Configure project

Step 2

Then in Visual Studio within Solution Explorer for the Solution, right click on the Project shown below the Solution and then select Add then New Item…

Add New Item

Step 3

Then in Add New Item from the C# Items list, select Code and then select Code File from the list next to this, then type in the name of Library.cs and then Click on Add.

Add New Code File

Step 4

You will now be in the View for the Code of Library.cs, within this type the following Code:

using Microsoft.UI;
using Microsoft.UI.Composition;
using Microsoft.UI.Xaml;
using Microsoft.UI.Xaml.Hosting;
using Microsoft.UI.Xaml.Shapes;

internal class Library
    private SpriteVisual _shade;

    public void SetShade(Shape shape, FrameworkElement element)
        var compositor = ElementCompositionPreview
        _shade = compositor.CreateSpriteVisual();
        _shade.Size = new System.Numerics.Vector2(
        DropShadow shadow = compositor.CreateDropShadow();
        shadow.Color = Colors.Black;
        shadow.Offset = new System.Numerics.Vector3(10, 10, 0);
        shadow.Mask = shape.GetAlphaMask();
        _shade.Shadow = shadow;
        ElementCompositionPreview.SetElementChildVisual(element, _shade);

    public void ClearShade()
        if (_shade != null)
            _shade.Shadow = null;

The Class that has been defined in Library.cs has a Member for a SpriteVisual then there is a Method of SetShade which will create a Shadow Effect for a Shape in a FrameworkElement by first creating a Compositor with ElementCompositionPreview you'll also notice the use of var, which means the type of the value doesn't need to be explicitly specified, instead it will be Inferred. Then a Compositor is used with CreateSpriteVisual is configured where various values are set for a DropShadow to display it as needed as a Shadow with the SpriteVisual. The other Method of ClearShade is used to remove the Shade Effect of the DropShadow from the SpriteVisual.

Step 5

Within Solution Explorer for the Solution double-click on MainWindow.xaml to see the XAML for the Main Window.
Solution Explorer MainWindow.xaml

Step 6

In the XAML for MainWindow.xaml there will be some XAML for a StackPanel, this should be Removed:

<StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal" 
HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Center">
    <Button x:Name="myButton" Click="myButton_Click">Click Me</Button>

Step 7

While still in the XAML for MainWindow.xaml above </Window>, type in the following XAML:

    <Viewbox Margin="25">
        <Grid Margin="50" Height="400" Width="400">
            <Border x:Name="ShadowElement"/>
            <Rectangle Name="Display" Stretch="Uniform" Fill="#FF5c2d91"/>
    <CommandBar Name="Options" VerticalAlignment="Bottom" 
        <AppBarButton Icon="Accept" Label="Accept" Click="Accept_Click"/>
        <AppBarButton Icon="Cancel" Label="Clear" Click="Clear_Click"/>

This XAML features a Grid with a ViewBox which is used to Scale elements, then within this is a Border that will form the Shade Effect for the Rectangle which is a FrameworkElement. Then there is a CommandBar with an AppBarButton to apply the Shade Effect of Accept and another to remove it of Clear.

Step 8

Within Solution Explorer for the Solution select the arrow next to MainWindow.xaml then double-click on MainWindow.xaml.cs to see the Code for the Main Window.
Solution Explorer MainWindow.xaml.cs

Step 9

In the Code for MainWindow.xaml.cs there be a Method of myButton_Click(...) this should be Removed by removing the following:

private void myButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    myButton.Content = "Clicked";

Step 10

Once myButton_Click(...) has been removed, type the following Code below the end of the Constructor of public MainWindow() { ... }:

private readonly Library _library = new();

private void Accept_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    _library.SetShade(Display, ShadowElement);

private void Clear_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)

The Method of Accept_Click will call the Method within Library.cs of SetShade from an Instance of Library called _library created with new() and Clear_Click will call the Method of ClearShade.

Step 11

That completes the Windows App SDK application. In Visual Studio 2022 from the Toolbar select ShadeEffect (Package) to Start the application.
ShadeEffect (Package)

Step 12

Once running you should see a Rectangle and CommandBar with the Accept and Clear options.

Shade Effect Running

Step 13

You can select Apply to set the Shade Effect and Clear to remove the Shade Effect

Shade Effect Output

Step 14

To Exit the Windows App SDK application, select the Close button from the top right of the application as that concludes this Tutorial for Windows App SDK from!
Close application