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Multi-Touch Flash, flosc : Flash OpenSound Control April 22, 2008

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We were using this method to track and migrate data from Processing to Flash… it’s not extremely efficient but can get the job done. I imagine this could come in handy if you wanted to utilize a single machine/camera setup that feeds data to multiple exhibit stations…

Flash Flosc

We figured It was possible to do multi-touch within Flash using this method but it required some heavy work within the application. At the moment, I have not read up on any implementation of Flash with multi-touch/multi-track or gesture via the Apple multi-touch touchpad. I have asked the question on some forum groups and emailed some inside contacts at Adobe Flash but no one has officially said that they support the multitouch classes/methods and functionality through Flash or that they have had a reason/functional applet to do so.

Blob Detection

Some garbage collection should be implemented on the Flash side otherwise it tends to crawl to a complete stop eventually. We are hoping to do more with implementing it in Flash AS3 this summer. Do let us know if you have any success or another way to implement this approach to motion tracking and gesture recognition. (more…)

End of life… Polaroid February 14, 2008

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Polaroid GallerySo 1st quarter 2009 will be the end of an era in instant gratification photography (ala film)… Polaroid is discontinuing this remarkable little product and selling off the remaining inventory of film and cameras. Considering how bad their previous line of digital cameras are I am not sure why they thought it was a good idea to discontinue this niche product line completely and rely on digital cameras… However, consumers aren’t remaining silent – a Facebook group dubbed “Save the Polaroids” cropped up and it’s growing in number.

Hopefully someone will pick up the instant film license and reinvigorate this great film medium for future designers and photographers. Who hasn’t taken a shot and peeled back the film to transfer the image to something else!? With luck excess inventory might still be available from niche producers … similar to how Gocco was handed off after the parent company discontinued that series of personal screenprinters.

Fear not nostalgia buff… If you’re interested integrating Polaroid images in your digital world there is a host of flickr, wordpress and flash resources available. For a great example of open source flash Polaroid gallery (creative commons license) check out Polaroid Gallery v.1.0.1 from Norwegian designer Christopher Einarsrud.

PC World’s look at many of the great Polaroid commercials over the years.

NEW/NOW EAT January 3, 2008

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New Britain Museum of American Art will feature the EAT Collaboration in a NEW/NOW interactive exhibition that opened on December 16, and will be on view through Feb. 24, 2008.

EATThe EAT collaborative came together to create a visual metaphor that explores how consumerism affects the collective aesthetic. The group consists of educators, animators, advertisers and technologists. The EAT collaborative members are from North Carolina; several of them have studied at the North Carolina State University College of Design. The project is an on-going collaboration that uses cutting edge technology and design to address contemporary issues in culture.The EAT collaborative explains that the NEW/NOW piece will simulate a Japanese koi pond where fish emblazoned with advertising interact with the viewer. The animated fish change in appearance and behavior, engaging the viewer visually while delivering advertising messages.

The EAT collaborative includes Lee Cherry, Pat FitzGerald, Ted FitzGerald, David Millsaps and Amanda Robertson.

More at EAT Collaborative’s website.

Flash Image Gallery December 14, 2007

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Flash Gallery

There are two questions I often get asked by students (just about to graduate)… the first is “How much do I charge for design work?” and the second is how do “I do I make a portfolio website?“.

As for the first, that could take a few blog posts… I have a great primer for fine artists as well as interactive designers if you are curious let me know and I’ll post it.

If you are interested in making a portfolio website you don’t have to stick with just HTML or just Flash. You can integrate the two if you plan ahead. Also, you don’t need to make a static HTML gallery in the website… there is a good range of options to choose from including Flash, PHP Gallery, Flickr. I’m going to introduce some simple Flash Image Gallery options. There are also quite a few designers that are taking advantage of Blog engines (wordpress, movabletype, expression engine) to create website portfolios – i.e. http://www.kevinevans.net/.
Some reasons for using Flash resources:

  • You don’t have the time to work on a whole new Flash gallery
  • You don’t have the skills for Actionscript or XML
  • You are looking for a clean interface to include in your existing design/layout
  • You took that Digital Imaging class but can’t find your archived CD with all the FLAs on it

Four great resources are available that include Flash, XML features. They use a very similar web2.0 look and feel when it comes to the GUI. I’ve used them before when a customized XML/PHP Flash Gallery is not needed, recommended them to clients in the past and they have been helpful in getting things up and running fairly quick w/o much overhead.

All of these types of Flash image galleries can be easily made on your own by following examples on the web (Kirupa, Ultrashock, Actionscript, FlashKit, et.al.) but if you are looking for something to get up and running fairly quickly these options might be for you. If anything, they might give you a good idea on what to include in a Flash Image Gallery if you wanted to build/customize one on your own.

  • Monoslideshow, monoslideshow.com
  • Postcard Viewer + Image Viewer + Simple Viewer from airtightinteractive.com
  • FlashGallery, flashgallery.org
  • SlideShowPro, slideshowpro.net

MonoSlideshow is around $20 and includes a spiffy Ken Burns effect on images. It doesn’t include an option for getting a hold of the actionscript code.

AirtightInteractive family of Flash Image Viewers are nice. The Postcard Viewer is pretty slick in that it creates a gridded thumbnail and zooms into the selected image. Simple Viewer is straight forward thumbnail left column and image on the right. These product lines are free unless you want to dabble with the code then the pro versions run you $45.

FlashGallery is free, no source code. However, it’s a pretty robust system that gets your images up quick.

SlideShowPro is similar to FlashGallery however it’s a bit more powerful and can connect to a backend database. It’s a bit more pricey running at $40 but unlike FlashGallery, it will also do FLV movies inline, so that’s great for portfolios with animations.

Ecotonoha – Green Project August 27, 2007

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Ecotonoha - Green Project

Ecotonoha Is A Project – To Nurture A Virtual Tree Collaboratively, And At The Same Time Contribute To The Actual Environment To Cope With Global Warming. As You Make Ecotonoha’s Leaves, The Virtual Tree Will Grow, And As Ecotonoha Grows, Real Trees Will Be Planted By NEC.
Note: Massive Flash and Processor Hog.


Back Home Productions – Flash Designer/Developer August 21, 2007

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Back Home Productions

PT/FT Flash Designer/Developers Needed

Back Home Productions is currently seeking candidates for a Flash Developer position with 2-3 years experience designing and programming interactive Web-based presentations with Flash/Actionscript. Need strong flash animator/designer with moderate action script experience for interactive on-line flash demos. Flash 8 experience preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Flash, Actionscript and PhotoShop

Compensation, DOE: ~$35hr-$55hr

To apply, please submit your resume and any examples/links to:

Back Home Productions, LLC

FlicFlix August 1, 2007

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A Flash Animation Composition for Comic Books and Animated Flipbooks

We had a fantastic opportunity for students and guests to experiment with short animation stories and world building to create a sense of place and perspective for creative exploration. Students created short animations using FlicFlix, A Flash animation applet which integrates live video and real time green screen chromakey technology to fully immerse students, characters and props into the animation world.

ChromakeyUsing a mash-up approach that utilizes different software applications, we were able to allow students to drag and drop creature/character objects into background scenes, paint/draw and utilize Flash media rich features. By integrating open source and creative commons information, from Flash developer, Mario Klingemann (Quasimondo.com), we took advantage of the web camera and chromakey applications for the green screen feature. We integrated this feature into the FlicFlix applet to quickly allow students to immerse themselves into their own story and animation.Other off-the-shelf software titles such as iSight Photo Booth, Snap-Z Pro, Business Card Composer and Plasq’s Comic Life allowed us to quickly create animated flipbooks and comic books to showcase their stories. As expected, the chromakey activity was a big success and a fantastic introduction for students into digital design and animation.


Vuvox, Flash presentations on-the-fly July 12, 2007

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Vuvox 02VUVOX is a step up from YouTube but not quite the same this semi-Web2.0, meida-rich, application service provides an alternative viewing experience to the standard image/photo gallery or animation/video amalgamation.

It is in semi-Beta and endeavors to be an easy-to-use, online and mobile media-creation service that enables consumers to capture, produce and instantly share their life experiences. VUVOX currently pulls in personal media from an online site, PC or camera phone and automatically streamlines production using contextual story suggestions.

Taking canned Flash presentation applets and slideshow applets Vuvox can integrate your images into a media showcase – without the 100’s of lines of actionscript code or hours of tween-tweaking. In addition to saving, storing, tagging and distributing your work you get simple html snippets to put your creations into your website/blog or integrated into your Facebook page.

Vuvox 01

Blend your photos from Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or any RSS feed into rich interactive presentations, creating feeds of life experiences that you and your friends can share, directly from your Facebook profile. Connect to Facebook photo albums and present them as rich presentations. Syndicate ‘Live’ feeds of media you can share on your profile and across your network of friends. Customize your own styles and personalize in endless configurations.

Vuvox has some standard visual Web2.0 elements. There are a few presentation formats that look very similar to the applets used at Flash Airtight Interactive (Flash Postcard Viewer), Bill Harvey Music and BBDO. Vuvox has essentially taken some of the more innovative Flash photo viewers on the market, replicated them, tied them to a giant database, integrated it into a social network and made them easily accesible to everyone… Some examples beyond the classic pan left/pan right photo gallery include 3D space zooms/rotations, image tree w/random growth and polaroidlike embedded image/videos.

Seadragon and Photosynth July 11, 2007

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A brief (pseudo) example was shown during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference of this method of viewing large datasets of images and content. Apple’s demo used images of DVD movies on a large wall (Finder/Cover Flow). This takes it to a whole other level with an extremely fast and jaw-dropping example of multimedia innovation this time from Microsoft. This system takes advantage of the collective work of users on the web, uploaded content and tagged information. We developed a similar concept using Flash actionscript and flickr for use in an online portfolio/image gallery applications and 3D spaces; however, it was nowhere near the speed of Photosynth.

TED Seadragon

Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from around the Web, Photosynth (based on Seadragon technology) creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectations. Curious about that speck in corner? Dive into a freefall and watch as the speck becomes a gargoyle. With an unpleasant grimace. And an ant-sized chip in its lower left molar.

View the TED Photosynth Demo

Testdrive the Photosynth Technology
(Windows XP SP2 and Vista Only)

Freelance: Website Design March 14, 2007

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Andrews Tool Works needs someone to do a website (re)design…they are looking at moving to an interactive site. They have used students before from NC State, and really like the work they do. This is a paid freelance opportunity…it wouldn’t be an internship.

The contact person is: Ty Dembicks (tdembicks@andrewstoolworks.com) Mention Renee McHugh through the Advanced Media Lab as point of contact.