This past week, I started learning Flex. For real this time. I’ve done simple tutorials in the past, which were straightforward and easy to follow. But really, I don’t think you can’t learn a language until you really set out to build something that doesn’t exist. It’s the trials and errors that teach the nuance of the language.
So then, Plotty! Plotty is essentially a Flex-based app that will allow users to create / load new tilemaps for a game engine I’m working on. My original idea was to leverage the existing Tilelist component, but quickly found out its columns and rows have a mind of their own and would not work for something that requires the precision we need. This left me with two options: build my own or figure out the complexities of the Grid component, which may have done the job with a proper ItemRenderer. Grid seemed straightforward for small layout stuff, but not something that would eventually hold 1000×1000 tile maps.
The conclusion I came to was to build my own Component in ActionScript instead. It’s still a work in progress at this point, written over the course of Saturday afternoon and Sunday night, but it loads tilemaps, allows the user to modify them, then export the map (XML). This will all get tied in to the Flex app, but for now works well enough for local purposes.
The version below was built in Flash. I’ve since refined it to work in Flex, and should have something good to show this weekend.
This past October, my coworker Chris Corradino and I hit the floor of the PDN PhotoPlus Expo, one of the largest photography trade shows in the nation. Having both worked and attended several large trade events in the past, this one was special for me as it was my first time to go as the press. Chris and I went around and interviewed several key people from companies with a very quick-and-dirty web 2.0 approach: a Flip HD camera and a Zoom H2 audio recorder.
I was particularly impressed by Animoto, makers of some impressive video rendering software where the user uploads their pictures and music and the software does all the transitions and panning. My sample clip – built from stills of my band DBCR and one of our demos – came out well, so I led the interview with Eric Bjornard, their VP of marketing.
The Lionforce House Configuration App was a rewarding yet ambitious web application I helped my friend Jeff from Smolinski Interactive Design. Lionforce needed an interactive solution for their customers, and the end result was a house customization tool, where the user selects a house model and then the individual options per room.
My task was to develop the back-end of the site, which included creating a the user login and registration system, as well as the functionality for saving / loading houses.
Another on-going experiment I started late last year is my band’s homepage, dbcrmy.com. Rather than go all Flashy or WordPress, I kept this as down and dirty html / css. There was something about going back to the roots of making a site from scratch that was appealing to me. Might just end up moving it into wordpress in the end, would make a great example of converting a static site. But for now, it serves its purpose, and gets our message out.
Big Mapple was a project I joined, which was part of the Big Apps competition. I came in a bit late in the game to help with chopping up the design and laying out the html / CSS code for the site. We didn’t win the competition (that’s a different story), but we definitely had one of the most original designs, which made it a fun project to hack to pieces.
Here’s a short feature I put together during my trip to Japan in 2008. I’ve always been a huge fan of driving films, so the idea was to chauffeur around a dog that needs to get a drink. That, and there’s something mesmerizing about watching those shutters open up at the back of Reiko’s parents house.
Another film experiment from my trip to Japan in 2008. We were stranded at this train stop in Jokoji Japan, a small, rural village outside of Nagoya where the trains seldom stop. I ended up shooting a lot of footage of the trains passing by and really wanted to do something with it. The song Insensatez inspired me to tell the story of me stopping the train for m’lady. I really enjoyed the simple pleasure of having titles on the screen tell the story, much like an old film would have had, and I added the film grain filter and some slightly greenish color to give it that dated feel.
eThon was a tech demo I worked on for a company called Ionif. My job was to develop both an avatar editor for customizing the user’s runner, as well as eventually developing the game play for a version of Bejewled that had items and power-ups.
I was able complete the back end portion with a user login / registration system, as well as a way to save and load their custom avatars, when the project was abruptly cut short. Due to scheduling and financial conflicts, the project is currently shelved.