Posts Tagged Five3D

FITC Toronto 2010 Recap

Ya what happens when I drink coffee at 3 in the afternoon? Well yeah, I can’t sleep; so at least I will do something positive with my time. FITC Toronto 2010 ended last week and I was pretty busy there as I was covering the conference for Applied Arts. I wrote 3 summaries for them (1, 2, 3) but these were mostly just recaps. What I want to do here is to write what I got out of this year festival.

Flash In The Can

Storytelling and the attention to details

One thing that stood out was the importance of storytelling. From North Kingdom putting stories even in their preloaders to Alex McDowell that writes an entire biography for a house in Fight Club, storytelling should be at the hearth of everything we do. Which bring me to the other point: attention to details. No elements in a production should be there for nothing, everything should have a purpose, a story. At no point in a project should you start rounding corners, if you do, it will show up in the finished product. It is hard when you are working on it, but you should keep this in mind, stay focused.

Making your tools

There was supposed to be a presentation by the president of firstborn Dan LaCivita, but unfortunately he couldn’t make it to the conference. So instead we got Mathieu Badimon (creator of FIVe3D) and Eric Decker showing how, when they encountered repetitive tasks in projects, they would build tools to help them. That advantages for doing this are pretty obvious; if the client wants to change something, you just make the change in the tool and reexport the data, plus you learn a ton while building the tool. These tools ranged from handwriting animation font creators to character path tools. Those tools where amazing and we saw that they reused some parts from tool to tool (like path drawing). This was a common thing through out the conference. People were making tools that would export them usable assets for the Flash projects. So I thought this isn’t a bad idea, the next time I encounter a problem that has repetitive task to it, instead of solving it by brute force, I am going to build a tool for it.

Best of show

I couldn’t do a recap without speaking about the best presentations I have seen. Jason Theodor and is talk about Creativity and Chaos was really inspiring and was the best I have seen this year. He generously gives his slides on slideshare, so I suggest you see them, it won’t be as good as seeing him talk but it is still pretty good. Jared Ficklin also gave a great presentation; he is a great entertainer and his curiosity is contagious. Finally I really enjoyed the Brendan Dawes’ talk about the grammar of interaction design.

A little extra

Last year I stopped by the booth of the creative group and took a leaflet to be well surprised by the quality of it. The best part of it was that it was a salary guide and it covered most of the employes of a digital agency. So this year, I went to the booth wanting my updated salary guide for 2010 and it took the form of a calendar. While browsing through it, I saw that they went a step further this year by making an online tool (click salary calculator on the right) where you can enter your fonction and where you live and it will give you a salary range. I think this is pretty awesome and very useful. I just moved to New York from Montreal and had no idea a all what salary  I should ask; I would have killed to have this tool like at that moment. So now you know, go check if you are paid enough.

It was the third year that I went to that conference and as the last years I came back from it fully motivated and with plenty of new ideas for blog post. Stay tuned for more

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Why Flash is not disappearing

All the debate about Apple vs Adobe really got me thinking lately. Last night , I woke up at 4 in the morning with the idea for this post. It suddenly hit me. Most of the latest trends on the web happened because it was allowed by Flash. If you think about 3D, Augmented Reality and ChatRoulette; all of those could not have happened if Flash didn’t exist and are currently not possible to implement using HTML5.

3D

3D really picked up when Papervision3D ported there library from ActionScript 2 to ActionScript 3. ActionScript 3 made it faster so you could actually do some interesting 3D without automatically killing the user’s CPU. Right after that we saw a wave of Flash website all using 3D in them. I’m not saying that was good; plenty of sites used the 3D for no reason at all except for the fact that it was cool. Now that the hype on 3D as dimmed down, we see better uses of the library. My point is that Flash opened up new possibilities. There are now a few more libraries for 3D (Away3D, Sandy3D, Five3D, etc) and I don’t think those would be possible with the current state of javascript. Right now everybody speaks about HTML5 and the Canvas but, boy, JavaScript is so not on par with ActionScript 3. jQuery makes it better but still. Here is a good example of a site that uses 3D.

3D models in Flash

Augmented Reality

AR was all the buzz last year and 3D is what really made it possible in the browser. AR is a concept that has been around since the 90s but it never picked up until it came to Flash because it made it accessible. For AR you mostly need 3D and a camera. The webcam is easily accessible in Flash and since Flash is so ubiquitous. Now video is possible with HTML5 but webcam won’t happen; maybe HTML6. So as AR evolve we will see tons of new applications coming our way.

GE augmented reality

ChatRoulette

Now ChatRoulette is really interesting. I don’t know if it is going to last or if it is going to disappear or change, but it definitely showed an interesting facet of the internet ( not talking about the impressing number of male exhibitionists out there). ChatRoulette could use the webcam and a media streaming server, but that is not what is happening here. Already all that is not possible in HTML5. What ChatRoulette is using is the new P2P service Stratus by Adobe integrated FlashPlayer 10. That is a new feature in the Flash player that most people are not aware of. What it does is that it connects users directly to send the video without going through the server ( in this case the ChatRoulette server) so it save a lot of money in bandwidth. Is this a cool feature? fuck yeah. Is this close to being included in HTML5? Not in years.

Chatroulette interface

The general conception is tying Flash to video, but that is not all that Flash does right. 3D, AR, and P2P are just some examples I took to illustrate the fact that Flash is pushing the web forward; I can easily think of many more: microphone access, Pixel Bender, ActionScript 3 (so much more fun to work with than JavaScript), AIR, etc. And that is just what is available right now in Flash Player 10. I can’t wait to see what will be available in the future.

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