Monday, January 16, 2012

Silverlight 5 Toolkit, 3D and crappy installers..

   I'm in the rather grueling awesome process of tech reviewing my friend Pete Brown's new book, Silverlight 5 In Action.  As a part of that, I had to get setup with the Silverlight 5 Toolkit in order to get the new 3D templates. 

   Frankly, I'm rather excited at the prospect of playing around with 3D stuff in Silverlight.  We've come a very long way since the days of just displaying simple things like a clock in a browser plugin.

   So, I install the toolkit and start up Visual Studio 2010 and choose a Silverlight 3D Application


I called my project “Silverlight3dExample”.  Now, Visual Studio fires up the hamsters in their wheels and all the other rube goldberg-esque machinations inside and comes up with this lovely tandem of errors:



So, after a bit of googling, I realized, much to my chagrin, that I neglected a rather important notice on the screen of the Toolkit:

Note: You must install XNA Studio in order to use the new Silverlight 3D templates.Otherwise the new templates will not show up.

Oh.. uhh.. oops.  Seems kind of odd that such a big missing prerequisite isn’t also detected by the installer, but, whatever…

So, I download XNA studio and install that… more whirring, banging from my machine ensues.  Then, just in case things won’t recover gently, I decide to create the solution from scratch again.  After all, I hadn’t done anything yet.

Woohoo! all 4 projects successfully created!


Sweetness, right!?  So, I hit Ctrl-Shift-B (build command for you mouse-using pansies out there) and voila, everything builds!  Just kidding!  Now, I get this obvious and very helpful error:

Compile error -2147024770

(0, 0): error : Unknown compile error (check flags against DX version) D:\Dev\Book…Silverlight3dExample\Silverlight3dApp\CustomEffect.slfx

Umm.. OK.. Googling… googling… uh… yeah… Apparently, there’s another prerequisite missing that the installer also doesn’t check for: DirectX 9.  So, I download that and install (cringing at every single “installing XX update from 2006” message – how can that really not break my machine?).

Finally, it actually builds!  No thanks to the Silverlight Toolkit guys (well, some thanks, since they wrote it in the first place!), I can now continue to review this chapter of what really is a pretty killer book, you should buy it. Now.


  1. Sorry for the late response, this notification was in my SPAM folder.

    Actually, it was 4.0, if I remember correctly.

  2. for me it doesn't work even after installing xna game studio 4.0 I still cant make this 3d silverlight template work, program cannot load content from web and app projects. I tested it on web developer 2010 express, visual studio 2012 express web and visual studio 2012 pro trial.

    any idea what I am missing? I installed everything what was available in microsoft web side ^^ why installer do not telling me whats missig... that's a question....

  3. @Lord Raven

    XNA Game Studio doesn't currently work with Visual Studio 2012/.NET 4.5. If you had either installed *before* you installed GS4, you may have run into installer problems.

    I encourage you to ask on the forums at and provide details as to the exact problems you're running into.

    Pete Brown