Flash on the Beach is back in town and I am ready to rock n roll! Or put it simply, willing to make my brain hurt with too many ideas and too much information. Having spent the weekend at White Air festival, the Monday morning session needed a strong ingredient (caffeine was not enough) to start the day. And it seems I was not the only one who thought about it. John Davey did also…
John Davey is the FOTB organiser, a super-cool-great-crazy guy (and we love him for that) who knows quite well how to make us have a great time. If you want to find more about him, I found this interview by Dan Thomas. Check it out… It’s worth having a look, John is talking about FOTB and why this is one of the hottest events on the conference calendar.
So as I was saying before, we all needed something to wake up and begin our voluntary exposure to inspiration and knowledge. And what a better way to do that, by giving us The three Mariachis, who performed the opening song (where I remember them singing “Oh, I curse the day, I chose Graphic Design”), in a faux mexican accent.
The day continued with Richard Galvan and Mark Anders delivering the keynote. They treated us with a sneak peak of Flash CS5, codenamed “Viper”, and it looks like there is a better intergration between Flash Professional and Flash Builder. Towards the end, they also demonstrated the improvements on the Deco BrushTool.
“Casual Game Architecture: How to finish coding a game without despising it”
Keith Peters talked about the need of a game architecture and what it should consist of. He divided games into two categories, event-driven ones (such as a sudoku game) and input-driven games (such as a platform game). In the first case, design patterns such as MVC are good to use, while on the second case such patterns are not appropriate. He also talked about the “anemic model” which he described as one where it’s objects have little or no behaviour and their logic is implemented outside. A brief talk about what a game needs (see image below) followed, where he explained that since “a game is more than a game loop” additional scenes/states are required. Finally he gave a sneak peak at his latest project, a Flash game toolkit “Asobu”.
“Inverse Kinematics in Flash CS4″
Lead the Hand and the Arm will Follow…After attending this session, I can’t wait to get my hands on Inverse Kinematics in Flash CS4. Rich’s session was great, and easy to follow. He started by explaining the basics of IK, and he moved on by demonstrating the bone tool with the help of a character’s arm. He continued with movie clips and armatures in Authortime vs Runtime. What I found quite interesting is Shape Armatures, where the end result is smoother, similar to a “snake” movement. Though IK shape morphs can produce overlaping shapes, this can be fixed with the Bind Tool. The presentation also included how to register, pose, animate and load an Armature. To get a better understanding of his session, feel free to download his slideshow at the companion site for Learning Flash CS4 Professional.
Rob Chiu (The Ronin)
I’ve seen Rob Chiu previously, and he is an amazing director and motion designer. I was not going to learn the new Spark components in Flex 4, and an Adobe Hall meeting was not what I was looking for. Well, maybe I was just looking for excuses to treat my self with a Rob Chiu film! And it was a more than welcome break from Flash…Rob started his presentation of his showreel, and then focused on his new film Fear/Love which is a story of kids growing up in London. He showed us in detail, the process he went through, from casting the right people, auditions, finding the location and how he put his ideas together to create the final movie. Great stuff!
Cybernetic Art Revisited
Dr Woohoo is one of my favourite speakers, and I was glad he was back again. His session was mind-blowing, as he really knows how to combine imagination and technology. I was amazed by his 3D ribbon painting and his experiments with the ZCam (used in Microsoft’s Project Natal). A fantastic session!
I loved this session. I really did…Hillman Curtis talked about his recent work on portraits and how to frame objects. He presented us with pieces of his work, including a documentary on David Byrne. Very interesting session where I left re-learning how to find the story in a single image. Beautiful!
While waiting for the inspired session
Joel Gethin Lewis
The first FOTB inspired session was given by Joel Gethin Lewis, a talented interactive designer/artist. He started by presenting us 3 projects, while he was working at United Visual Artists. First one, was the interactive light show for Massive Attack, then the creattion of the first set of interactive Christmas lights on regent St, and finally a responsive floor based installation, Contact. He also talked about openFrameworks, and that it was a great way to complete a project when the deadline is tight. Last, but no least he talked about his collaboration with Daito Manabe, a Japanese musician who has attached electrodes to his face and played music with them! Amazing!