Amy ArcWelder & Dialog Engine

Amy ArcWelder was my first real attempt at doing some kind of scripted animation in Flash. And rather than keep it simple, I decided to expand on the type writer effect from the original Flash Hacks book and built my own dialog engine. I was also into the character Erin from those Esurance commercials and wanted to try something similar – the hot female lead in a predominantly blue-collar male demographic. From this, Amy ArcWelder was born, built in Illustrator from Clip Art and sketches.

When I first started taking over the marketing side of OTC’s robot business, I was always puzzled how we could penetrate a shallow yet predominated market and get people to listen. Our welding equipment was like the Rolls Royce of its kind in industrial factories – but was priced as such, hence most people immediately found us out of their league. We launched a small campaign around the lines “I’ve seen it and still can’t believe it!”, and promoted it for our trade show booth that year.

And for the record, I admit that the dialog between Amy and her solution specialist is pretty craptacular. Que lastima…

Dialog aside, I’m not sure why Amy never made it past that show. I was a bit frustrated as I had hoped to see her in more, with better animations, and a chance to continue using the dialog engine I built. Would have been so awesome if we could have farmed out some old school timeline animations with Amy saving the day now that she knew about OTC. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Just had no time, I guess.

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Audio Slideshow Player Alpha

The Audio Slideshow Player is a project I started developing for NYI in 2009. Our original concept was to clone something similar to the slideshow player on the NY Times website, but for offline purposes. The application itself is basically a custom mp3 player that also can show a slideshow of pictures, set in time with the audio.

To do: I would really like to add a seek() feature to here, and am currently experimenting with a build that uses the NetConnection class to do this. Also, I would like to develop a Flex or Air app that would generate the XML file for the time durations and image URLs – currently, this is a manual application.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”” width=”700″ height=”600″ targetclass=”flashmovie” fvars=”xml=”]

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Plotty early Flash Build

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.

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