Day 1 at FITC Toronto 2008
Anthony's first love is music, second love is math, third love is code; yet, if his girlfriend of 8 years saw that, he would go missing.
With work experience in marketing, and a background in fine art and computer science, Anthony one day hopes to achieve the status of business mogul.Â Any help along the way, especially while he is still a student, would be appreciated.
As I let it take me into the core of the Hilton, the FITC banners and Head Hunter ads become ever more clear. Suddenly I am behind a group of Designers and Developers, all trying to pick up their passes. Thankfully, it doesn't take too long for the crowd to clear and usher off to their presentation of choice. When it is my turn, I am given my press pass, and a grab bag, filled with mostly pamphlets, but also a few neat stickers, nifty temporary tattoos, and a paperweight.
It is now 9:45 am, and I am late for the How to B.S. Better seminar, so I browse the kiosks. Each kiosk has something to give away; pens, blow up beach balls, and I even get some playdough. At the Aquent booth they have Rock Band for the PS2, and when I get a chance, I show everyone how bad I am at it. I tryout a great interactive installation called BATTLESHIP, and I get as much information as I can from James Eberhardt, on how it was implemented using a modified WiiMote, Bluetooth dongle, the wiiflash server, and flash sockets for communicating back an forth. Suddenly it is 10:35 am, and I am 5 minutes late for Becoming AS3.
I try to slip in quietly and find a seat; yet, it is so packed, I consider myself lucky to find a spot on the wall instead; oh yeah, this becomes a pattern for the rest of the day. R. Blank, is the presenter, and I have to tell you, he is good at it. He goes through the various basics of migrating from AS2, delves into inheritance, and talks about a few things I, currently migrating myself, was unaware of; such as: the undocumented function addFrameScript(); how the Sprite class can be considered a Movieclip without a timeline; or about the fact that in AS3 an object must be on the display list to be visible. This is one of the better technical lectures of the day, and tons of people pile to the front of the room at the end to pick his brain; it obviously should have been longer.
I move to the 3D Now talk, and I am shown the various capabilities of the Papervision3D engine. Although the talk, to my disappointment, was more of a panel discussion, rather than a DIY, it did offer a great question and answer session with a couple members of the Adobe crew. Someone asks if their will be added hardware support for 3D acceleration, and gets the response “we need to figure out 2D first” from an adobe rep; however, with all the interest in this field, and the attention it draws to the flash player, it does seem a logical step. Given the cooperation that adobe seems to be lending to the Papervision3D team, I would say that it would be a fair guess to assume further development and continued support is highly likely.
I bounce around the next few sessions, and I watch the keynote speaker Mike Downey go over the benefits of Flex development; yet, then comes Erik Natzke's show stealing presentation Beyond the Knowledge: The Art of Playing. Although not actually a how-to, Erik's presentation relays some of his methods, and his process of breaking down objects into their physical elements to help him conceptualize an object hierarchy. This session is filled with great ideas, great music, and exceptional artwork that is formed from the use of programmatically accessed pixel information in combination with creative use of vectors and filters. A great piece of advice Erik relays to those whom may wish to create something similar to his work, is to hit those old math and physics text books, or to go out and buy the dummy versions; for, a solid foundation in math will allow your concepts to flurish.
After the Toronto team wins the Cut&Paste design challenge, I say “see-ya-later” to a few people I have met. This was a great day for rubbing elbows and capturing concepts. I only hope tomorrow will be as good. A few people are still trying to get me to come to the after party for the free food and alcohol provided by one of the event sponsors; yet, at this point my elbows and feet are sore enough and I repeat my goodbyes. I jump back into a cab and head home; time to try out what I have learned.
Again, I would like to say thank you to FITC for hosting the event, and to Actionscript.org for providing me with the opportunity to be involved.