Microsoft Max was shown off at PDC, letting us see the great effects via Avalon.
Romain Guy is doing killer work with Swing, and just showed off Twinkle, which is a Swing demo using JOGL and Java2D to create a great looking UI.
Check it out to see the seemless effects, and how it isn’t rocket science also. You can grab the source. Romain has acknowledged that we don’t have a nice tool to build these yet… but we will get there.