So Adobe, What’s the Deal With Bordeaux? Oh, and MXNA, I Miss You.

First a teaser back in December. Now a leak at a booth at NAB? Hmm. Weird. Come on already, drop the knowledge. Something is definitely coming out from Adobe soon, just go check out the various Twitter search engines and look for Adobe, you find a few tweets on it. Some big stuff on the horizon. Crossing my fingers! If nothing else, it looks like Mike Chambers and others at Adobe are working to get MXNA back up… lets go! Good work guys, need the MXNA for my daily Adobe blog fix.

SWFShot v0.1 Released. Save Images of SWFs Greater Than 2880 Pixels

I sometimes need big images out of my flash files. By big, I mean larger than the 2880×2880 maximum size allowed by the Flash player. It just so happens that Flex has a way around it, and so SWFShot was born. Read on to learn more and download it. (more…)

Registered for RIAPalooza… How about you?

In the Chicago area? Interested in talking RIAs? Sounds like this might be up your alley. If you’re registering for the event, too, let me know. I’d like to get an idea of the level of interest for events and topics like this in the Midwest. If you are in Central Illinois (Peoria, Bloomington, Champaign) and attending, I especially would like to hear from you!

Help me choose what to print… 16″x16″ Kuler/ColourLovers palettes on acid free paper.

I’ve been posting color mashups for a while now… just about have that out of my system and ready to move on to some other pattern generation, but first I’ve been working on the output phase of the work. Making something tangible out of those 1s and 0s… So, I’m using that same codebase to produce some large prints on acid free paper with Adobe AIR, and getting them framed/matted. I only have enough $$ to do about 3-4 of them, though. I’d like your advice… which palettes should I choose? I’m going to be putting them in 20×20″ Black matte metal frames on 2″ acid free matte board behind UV reducing anti-glare plexi-glass. If you have Kuler or ColourLover palettes you’d like to see in a high res form, email me, maybe you could end with some high res files yourself… Read more to see the images.

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RIAPalooza… Say Wha?

Who’s going to this? RIAPalooza I’m interested in learning more about this platform agnostic and “PowerPoint-Free” zone, but there is no info on speakers, sessions or agenda. The only sponsor is MS at this point, so I’m not sure what to think… How about you? Are you going? It’s free. Woot! It’s in Chicago. Woot! It’s ‘power-point free’ Woot! It is sponsored by MS. Woot? If you have dirt on this event, dish it! It’s only a month away.

Coming Soon, SWFShot. AIR ImageSnapShot Tool for Flash/Media content

Followup to my post yesterday… I’m started wholeheartedly on my snapshot tool, tentatively called “SWFShot”. It’s to be an AIR app that allows the user to create high resolution output images of loaded Flash content from the users hard drive. I hope to have a functional prototype in the next few days. Time is tight these days, but I will continue to post my progress… It’s currently in a tab navigator and skinned with a slightly modified template from Scalenine. Here are some screenshots of the panel… Keep in mind the final app will be a full screen window less app, with the content loading in the background of the panel. Should be interesting anyway. If you have thoughts or suggestions… fire away, I’m all ears. Read on for screenshots and the app’s “read me” content.. (more…)

Why is the ImageSnapshot class not in Flash? Taking steps to get big images out of Flash.

I don’t know if I really have a good post here, just want to know why a very useful, very powerful class that is in the Flex framework isn’t in Flash’s AS3 classes. For those of you who are Flash users but not Flex developers, you may not really know about this class (good explanation here, at Doug McCune’s blog.), but it acts as a shortcut/helper class to assist you when creating snapshots out of display objects or anything that implements IBitmapDrawable. It’s pretty nice.

One thing that this class does that is especially cool is let you get around the 2880×2880 pixel limit imposed on all Flash display objects, including our good friends Bitmap and BitmapData. I have been working around trying to get higher res images out of some of my comps lately and I have all but given up using Flash for it. Even when you run Flash through as an AIR app, and use sneaky tricks like employing AS3Corelib (which is a great selection of classes, I might add) to encode a container sprite as JPG or PNG and output them as files to your local machine you are still limited to the 2880 ceiling. Now, I have seen explanations on why the limit exists, and yes, it makes sense for web apps, but if you are already creating a signed or even an unsigned app for that matter that has to run as administrator on a machine, I see no reason why the 2880 ceiling exists. With monitors gaining pixels with every generation, I’m sure this will change someday, but hey… I’m impatient. No really, I am… ask my wife. ;-)

So then I was doing something like this linked example to get around it. You can use the numbers on your keyboard to move the canvas around. “C” toggles mouse visibility, “1″ moves the sprite back to it’s origin point, “2″ slides everything left by a bunch of pixels (I have a MacBook Pro, so it’s slightly less than 1440), “3″ moves everything to the right by the same amount, “4″ moves everything down by 600, “5″ moves up by 600… you see where I am going with this? I move the canvas, take the screenshot and then stitch them together in Photoshop. This allows me to get a pretty big canvas. But, it’s a pain. To get a 10k x 10k image (something that will give you a nice 2-3 foot size print) takes dozens of images. So I thought back to some stuff I have been playing with in Flex (more on that in an upcoming post) and want to do the same here. But that requires the ImageSnapshot class which is missing from Flash CS3… hmm. How vexing.

So, now, I’m currently planning on making a Flex developed app that will be deployed as AIR that will take an input SWF, allow you to set your dimensions and DPI and then use the imageSnapshot class to get a big fat uncompressed image out of it. ImageSnapshot supports up to 8192×8192 images of around 256meg. Has anyone seen an app like this around already? I certainly don’t like duplicating efforts as free time is at a premium. Thoughts?

Related to this post… I’m getting curiouser and curiouser as to why AIR doesn’t have a PDF encoder (especially since blazePDF is dead and is only AS2). I know I could find some uses for it. Postscript charts and elements from Flex or Flash anyone? Sounds nice. Especially with all the great work being done over at Degrafa, and the rumblings of the mx:Graphics stuff to come in Flex 4.

Apply Vector Drawings as a Graphic Filter/Treatment to an Image

My fellow Bradley Multimedia faculty members and many of my colleagues at Iona (some of them the same people ;-) ) have been working feverishly on the media for a large event Bradley University will be hosting next week to kick off it’s Renaissance Campaign. The work done thus far has been tremendous. A full week of green screen shooting, two full weeks of post and lots and lots of hours are going into this. I’ll let the respective people working on the shoot, motion graphics, quiz engine/SMS gateway and webservice powered live updating Flash trivia games and Dataton Watchout system powering the 4 high lumen linked projectors blog their own part of the production (I know I left some links out there, sorry all…). My good friend and a designer I respect, Jim Ferolo had asked me to help on the project. He wanted me to produce a generative drawing effect that would sample some HDR photos and use the campaign’s logo to create a graphic wash/drawing effect on the images. To see the results continue… (more…)

1 Issue of Adobe Edge – 2 Articles very worth reading.

The ‘as of lately very good’ Adobe Edge Magazine’s most recent issue has a couple articles especially worth noting. One on creating a click-through mock-up in Fireworks and one that reviews a number open source CMS choices. I thought both had some really salient points and I’d like to offer my take on them. (more…)

Flash CS3 Export for Quicktime Small Gotcha.

This tripped me up for a couple minutes. With the release of Flash CS3, the export to Quicktime/AVI functionality was greatly improved. You can now create a video file directly from Flash that respects ActionScript, nested movie clips etc from the IDE. I wrote a post on this feature a while ago and have been using it fairly often. Found a little gotcha earlier today that made me stop and think… Tried to export a movie that was 69.5 seconds long. The time input field on Flash’s export window allows you to type in the time like such:

doné─˘t type this iné─Â

But, upon entering this information as specified above, you can no longer export the movie. No error message, no crash, nothing. A hint at the cause of the error is there glaring you in the face next to the field (a depiction of the input format expected)… (hh:mm:ss.msec) However, tabbing out of the field does not apply the mask to the field, nor does a warning message or automatic conversion or validation of the number occur. After a bit of head scratching, I suddenly recalled that 69.5 seconds was indeed 1 minute, 9.5 seconds and altered the input in the field accordingly, like so…

type this in!

Voila. It worked. Now, I know, I know… I should have noticed the cue on the dialog box instructing me how to input the data and followed suit. I didn’t. Should Flash have recognized my ignorance and gave me a hand? One would hope so. So, lesson learned. If you want to have Flash output a movie based on the desired runtime you are looking to achieve (which seems to be necessary if you have deep nesting of movie clips or lots of ActionScript, etc), you must *gasp* do the math to convert the time from seconds to “time code-like” notation yourself. No help for you!

Little usability headaches like this cause a lot of support issues for Adobe, I’m sure. I would consider the lack of properly formatted discrete fields for the hour, minute, seconds values a bug. Without proper guidance from the UI or a mechanism to prevent the user from failure, the software fails to be easy to use.

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