Posts Tagged B-Reel
So from my last post you know that I left B-Reel and that I am back in Montreal. I haven’t posted much because I haven’t been working much. It’s been really good times, but not that good work wise. There are a lot of reasons for that, but mostly because I am in what I would call a transition state. I am not living in my apartment yet (September 1st) and that causes my lifestyle to be quite different (lots of travel time, no desk, no office, no gym, lots of food). But I did get some work done just not that much as I could have.
Building games is not building websites
It is quite different to be franc, mostly because the challenges are different and because of that I haven’t found much topics to write for this blog. I think it is my fault a bit, I chose to do a game that is very close to an application and doesn’t rely so much on the graphics. I thought this would be a better idea, because I could save a lot of time by doing so. The good thing also is that it is based on a lot of interfaces (visual, not code) and I website building made me very good at making interfaces. The challenge that I face is more about where to put the logic and how to organise my code.
Finding how to make it work (or make me work)
My trick right now is to go to a coffee place and work from there. That has been working quite well for now, but starting Tuesday I will have an office space and I really look forward to it. Working from home is just not doing it for me, I watch TV or do some other random stuff that I won’t do if I am in a working place. Now all I have to figure out is how to wake up earlier in the morning.
My latest project was for Wonka and is basically a 360 video player. It was fun and little and made me explore a bit. I got to play with Stage3D to compare the speed, plus I tried the new native mouse cursor (MouseCursorData). None of that made it in the final site but still was fun to try out. So here you go explore the Imagination room and don’t forget to look around:
If you only knew how many times I have heard this sentence (it’s just a test baby!) in the past month. Yeah, B-Reel did the production on this HomeAway microsite that accompanied a Super Bowl ad. At first, this site included some of the best 3D face upload ever seen on the planet, but we had to cut down some pieces due to how the Super Bowl ad was received. Anyway that doesn’t lessen what we achieved with this site and the level of deformation we submitted the 3D face was pretty impressive and funny. All that was made possible by building upon what was previously achieved by my colleague Will Adams and by working very closely with the 3D / Motion department. So here you go, enjoy the ministry of detourism:
And remember, it’s just a test baby!
Oh yeah, get it while it’s hot and live. Mistubishi Live Drive: drive a real car over the internet using your keyboard. Pretty impressive project if you ask me. My part in it was pretty small but the team here at B-Reel did an amazing job. It might not look like it but there is a lot going on in the back, hardware wise and server wise. Anyway go see for yourself and be one of the first to drive a real car through the internet. http://drive.outlandersport.com
Now that this is done, what comes next? A real race where the real cars are controlled by users? An helicopter test flight? The possibilities are endless!
Well it’s been out for a while now, but not all the parts were there so I didn’t want to talk about it. Now that it is complete, I can. This is my second project I did at B-Reel and probably the biggest I ever did. I would be very curious to know the number of lines of code in this project, I am sure it would be pretty high. I wish I could find an Eclipse tool for that. Anyway, very cool site, very nice videos and a fun set of tools (you can’t use the SmackTalk one unless you play in Yahoo! fantasy football, but you can use the others). Check it out:
Going to the gym makes me want to write. Kinda weird, but kinda makes sense too; tire the body to let the mind flow. Anyway, I have been having this idea for a little while: The FWA has a great load of data but the only available visualization of it is in the profile section where you see the all time list of the agencies that won the most FWA. I mean there could be so many other interesting ways of displaying the data.
I came to think about this because, some of you might know, six months ago I started working at B-Reel NY. At the time that I was looking for a new job, my main benchmark was exactly this profile page; I wanted to work in one of the best agency (or production company) in the world. I think that at the time, B-Reel was 7th or something, just below 2Advanced Studios. Now you see I have nothing against 2Advanced Studios, I think they were amazing in their time and I remember being baffled by their hi-tech interfaces, but I don’t think they are still leaders in the rich experience website area. I mean they won an FWA in 2009 and the one before that is in 2007.
I know that the FWAs are not the end-all be-all metric to determine if an agency is good or not, but for me, as a developer, it sure was my main metric, and it is pretty accessible.
So, what I am proposing is that someone build a data visualization application that would enable the user to create different graphs based on the metrics that are currently being saved in the FWA databases.
These metrics are:
- Town or country
- Client (not in the database but can be deduced)
- Front-end Technology (not in the database but can be deduced)
There is a lot of information that you can get out of these metrics; it would be interesting to see which agency was the best in 2009 or 2010, it would be interesting to know which country was the best at a certain year, it would be interesting to notice the rise of HTML5 in 2010, it could be really nice to know which client you can push more because they accepted crazy ideas before.
How to do this? Well the simplest way would be to pay an intern to recreate a database for you by going by hand and redoing the data entry of all the FWAs won. You could also do a script that will scrape the data from the current site, I mean there is an html page under the Flash site. Hell, you could ask Rob Ford himself, I am pretty sure he would willing to give more exposure to the FWA and would give you access to the data (well maybe, I mean, I never talked to the guy).
So, am I ever gonna do this? Nah, I have no time. Would I be happy if someone did it? Hell yeah! It would show the world that I currently work for the best rich web experience production company in the world (haha, yeah I am a bit biased in all this). So here you go, a good idea, go ahead and do it! Please…
This isn’t the next article I wanted to write but it was on my list since Flash In The Can Toronto (2010). It comes from all the talks surrounding the refusal from Apple to let Flash on the iPad ( i guess we can just say iOs now). During that period a lot off people (including me) where uncertain about their future. I mean when someone as powerful as Steve Jobs tells you that your job shouldn’t exist, you think about it twice. Out of the turmoil that ensued, some voices touched me more than others. What they were saying is that they, as developers, weren’t tied to a technology and that if Flash was to disappear tomorrow, they would still have a job. That got me to think. A lot. The next thing that affected me was something I heard at FITC concerning designers. How they don’t call themselves ’Photoshop Designers’ or ‘Corel Draw Designer’ (I tried to think of another product than Adobe but just could come up with Corel Draw (who uses that anyway), but you get the idea). I think this follows a bit the same vibe as the comments from the Flash dudes.
With that being said, it gives me security. I think I am not alone in this situation. I think Flash gives a mean to express themselves to a lot of people and because of that, you can be sure that these people will produce tons of cool shit with it. And other people will want to see that cool shit. That gives a reason for Flash to be. Someday there will be Flash on the iOs. You can be sure of that (I mean Steve Jobs has an expiration date, right?)
Lot’s of changes for me in the coming weeks. I have left Twist Image (wanted to write this post before but it’s been crazy times). I have been with them for nearly 3 years and worked on numerous projects for great clients, namely Pfizer, the Home Depot, TD, Dairy Farmers of Canada, etc. When I started I knew nothing about ActionScript 3, Object Oriented Programming and Design Patterns so I can say I learned a lot there. What makes a great agency is the people that work there, well I can say that there are lots of awesome people at Twist Image. I saw a bit what was coming down the road for the Flash projects and you should definitely check out what comes out of Twist Image in the coming months.
Where I am going
Well I found a job as Senior Flash Developer at B-Reel in New York. I have never been to New York so it’s a pretty big change for me. B-Reel as always been in my top choices for a workplace so this is like a dream come true. I will be starting in a week or so and I am pretty excited about can’t wait to be in New York, can’t wait to start working.
So to finish I leave you this Jay-Z video, I could have put Empire State of Mind but I felt On to the next one to be more appropriate.