Archive for the ‘Flash’ Category


Convert files to other formats with http://www.online-convert.com

Just go read the Webworkerdaily article.



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So I dropped my class for the summer. I’m not going to say I’m a quitter, but there are strategic and tactical reasons to walk away from something.

In this case, I hated the teacher.

My computer science class last semester, where we learned to program with the beautiful Alice software, was very challenging and difficult at times, like when I was spending entire Sundays trying to embed my commands in the neatest, most efficient set of loops. The problem with this class is that the teacher, though young and energetic, is too green for teaching. He even admitted that he didn’t teach Flash before this class. There were too many assumptions and cross referencing to programs and classes that are NOT pre-reqs (if I hear him say “just like Final Cut” one more time, I’d have to pour coffee on his iPhone). And with a class size of 8, it was too far in for him to adapt his lesson plan for us/me. I’ve been the slow kid, the old guy, the rookie before and done fine, but I’m cutting my losses for the summer. Flash is great, it is easy to learn and there are a lot of deeper levels to it, but when you’re dealing with projects for class with specific requirements, well…

… sometimes you gotta know when to leave…

… so you’ll be ready to go back in…

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Ahh class critiques tonight.

It’s that wonderful time when people shit on provide feedback on your projects up for public display. My 3 hours of Flash experience showed, but class was very nice. In the end, I was glad I didn’t bite off more than I could chew, and I saw how using the shape tweens was a better choice than the motion tweens, which we’ll be learning and using in our next Flash project.

Some really great projects tonight, including a great animation of a vector drawn deer running through a photo of a forest. The guy who made it actually hand carved the trees in the photo to insert fore, middle, and background, and it was very very very cool. I’m starting to like Flash a lot, but wondering if it’s worth the $180 for a student discount license for the software on my home PC.

Hopefully, in the next project or two I can import some screen caps of some good old comic folks, maybe the Black Terror or Sky Man to make some low grade animations, like those old Marvel cartoons.  These were great, comic panels with limited animation and dialog:

I’m partial to Iron Man’s intro myself…

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Tonight in class we have our project critiques. Not a big deal, usually a pretty dull class whenever I’ve had them. I can’t wait to hear what the pros in class have done for their projects.

In the meantime, I’ve become concerned about plugins after a Silverlight popup told me my work PC wasn’t up to date. Here’s a handy site for checking lots of your plugins, courtesy of the folks at Mozilla:


I’ve also been staring at my “old” Dell XPS 410 and think I missed the narrow window when I could have made a good return on ebay with it. At this point, the best move is to upgrade my existing PC memory with the Dell’s boards, and then strip out the Dell mobo, sell that and the case separately.

And finally,

I still can’t find a *current* copy of Flash for much cheaper than the $170-180 student discount.  Maybe it’s time to suck it up and buy it. Or maybe it’s time to decide if this is really something I want to do long term.

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Ground Control to Jackalope. Ground Control to Jackalope.
I made my first animation, so put your helmet on.
Ground Control to Jackalope, commencing countdown, uploading now.
Check youtube and please upload my flash animation project.

This is Ground Control to Jackowick, I’m trying to get a grade
and the papers want to know why my shockwave file isn’t uploaded.
Now it’s time to google “convert .swf to .avi” if you dare.

This is Jackalope to Ground Control, I’m frustrated at my desk.
And I’m typing in a most peculiar way and the websites look very different today.
For here am I sitting in a shitty Staples chair, far from community college.
My screen is turing blue and there’s nothing I can do.


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Class was terrible. First project, a 10 second animation, is due at the end of class next Wednesday.


No class until next Wednesday.
No open lab schedule yet.
I’m not a big Mac user, experience wise.
The college has it’s own network drive mappings where I have to save the project.

Now the combination of these makes for a perfect storm. Learning any new network is tough, but learning it on Mac is a short steep curve, and the college has changed their network mapping heirarchy since the last Mac based class I took there 3 years ago.

Now I know the Mac is “easy”, and it is, and not to brag but I’m a really smart guy at this stuff. But it’s frustrating when everyone else in class is native and I still have to translate mentally what commands to use. Seeing the photoshop natives  whizzing through the mouse and keyboard shortcuts while I’m thinking “alt… command… V… no wait… space bar… ” is frustrating, especially with such a limited amount of hours to work.

One guy in class, the old guy (phew I’m not the old guy this time) tried to interject when I asked the teacher how to bring something up. This guy went into speedreader mode shouting “ARE YA HITTING THIS KEY… GO TO SETTINGSFILEMODEPREVIEWRIGHTCLICK AND …”  I wanted to kick him in the nuts.

Meanwhile, this guy kept asking over and over about doing work in CS3 vs CS4 vs CS5 and saving his versions i.e. not understanding backward and forward compatibility. You don’t have to be a Mac whiz to understand that. I thought we were going to need to make venn diagrams and some Doc Brown alternate timeline chalkboards.

Sorry for the rant, but that’s how it goes. It just goes.

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Well, first class was… short.  Teacher looks like he walked out of a Gamestop, and you know he hates to admit to his WoW friends that he loves Wii games the best.

Anyway, looks like we have four projects to work through this semester. We’re using Adobe Flash CS4 Pro. Not that I’m disappointed, but CS5 apparently has Action Script for the iPhone, and there’s no mention of HTML5 development. But W3C is looking at candidate stage in 2012, recommendation set for 2020-2022… wtf. I know things move faster than expected with many aspects of the internet, but looking at how long people held onto and patched Windows XP until it was pried from their hands, (2001-2010), is it any wonder that Flash animation still has a lot of potential life with the laggards?

Plus hey, it’s a class. You learn your way around a software and how to design, layout, and build, which applies to any future generation.  If you can’t storyboard, you probably should get out of the director’s chair.

Here’s one of my favorites; talk about planning:

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