C# – Rendering an image at runtime in WPF


I have posted several questions related to this problem I am having and I am starting to believe this cannot be done. Here is the back story.

I have an ASP.NET application from which I want to generate a .png image. This .png image needs to be constructed from either XAML or a WPF Visual Tree. Because of this, I must generate the .png image in an STA thread. Everything works fine until my XAML/WPF Visual Tree includes an Image (as in a System.Windows.Controls.Image). My .png file gets generated correctly except the Image element does not show the referenced picture. The referenced picture is located at a remote URL. No errors or exceptions are thrown.

How do I create a .png image from some XAML/WPF Visual Tree that includes a System.Windows.Controls.Image element? The resulting .png must include the picture referenced in the Image element. I have tried the following code in a variety of ways:

string address = "http://imgtops.sourceforge.net/bakeoff/o-png24.png";

WebClient webClient = new WebClient();
byte[] imageContent = webClient.DownloadData(address);

Image image = new Image();
using (MemoryStream memoryStream = new MemoryStream(imageContent))
  BitmapImage imageSource = new BitmapImage();
  imageSource.StreamSource = memoryStream;
  image.Source = imageSource;

// Set the size
image.Height = 200;
image.Width = 300;

// Position the Image within a Canvas
image.SetValue(Canvas.TopProperty, 1.0);
image.SetValue(Canvas.LeftProperty, 1.0);

Canvas canvas = new Canvas();
canvas.Height = 200;
canvas.Width = 300;
canvas.Background = new SolidColorBrush(Colors.Purple);

// Create the area
Size availableSize = new Size(300, 200);
frameworkElement.Arrange(new Rect(availableSize));

// Convert the WPF representation to a PNG file            
BitmapSource bitmap = RenderToBitmap(frameworkElement);
PngBitmapEncoder encoder = new PngBitmapEncoder();

// Generate the .png
FileStream fileStream = new FileStream(filename, FileMode.Create);

public BitmapSource RenderToBitmap(FrameworkElement target)
  int actualWidth = 300;
  int actualHeight = 200;

  Rect boundary = VisualTreeHelper.GetDescendantBounds(target);
  RenderTargetBitmap renderBitmap = new RenderTargetBitmap(actualWidth, actualHeight, 96, 96, PixelFormats.Pbgra32);

  DrawingVisual drawingVisual = new DrawingVisual();
  using (DrawingContext context = drawingVisual.RenderOpen())
    VisualBrush visualBrush = new VisualBrush(target);
    context.DrawRectangle(visualBrush, null, new Rect(new Point(), boundary.Size));

  return renderBitmap;

Thank you for your help.

Best Answer

You are rendering the output bitmap correctly, it is just the input bitmap you are screwwing up :).

BitmapImage requires access to the StreamSource property until it fires the DownloadCompleted event, but the 'using' block Dispose()s of the MemoryStream before it has a chance! You could simply unwrap the MemoryStream from the using block and let the GC handle it (if you do, I would recommend setting the BitmapImage.CacheOption to BitmapCacheOption.None, so it uses the stream directly, rather than a copy), but I would use the UriSource property and wait for the DownloadComplete event before rendering.