Day 0093 – Reflection
December 4, 2010, 9:37 am
Filed under: MFA

Great week in the realm of coding and Flash.  I spent the bulk of Thanksgiving break rebuilding my website in Flash, teaching a virtual mouse to be ‘smart’ in action script 3.0, and built a wall in Second Life and made it explode using the programs physics engine code.

First, the website.  Originality the site was designed in Photoshop and built in Dreamweaver.  Although CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are interesting, I imagine for my personal website when I launch a new look and feel, it will be drastically different.  As we where learning flash for the second half of the semester, I was amazed by the power of the program layout tools.

Finally started to put in some content, portfolio work, artwork, links, etc and that makes such a difference.  You can check it out here.  Still filling in some areas, but I will spend the next week fine tuning and debugging (Photo section does not work on all browsers – Yikes).

I must take a moment to thank my wonderful girlfriend Michelle for all her input.  She convinced me to simplify and tone down the aesthetic and put some clothes on.  Original comp had the intro page with me in my underwear.  Hilarious, but maybe not  the best idea.  Also photosopped some PJs and a tee shirt on my coffee time page were I am wearing a robe.  Much better.  Proud of how much I have learned in such a short amount of time.

Second update, Second Life.  For one of our classes we are required to do ‘Captured Responses”.  They are reflections on the reading and lectures that are supposed to push you artistically and technically.  I always seem to pick some super advance concept that takes hours (days) to pull off.  The concept was to build something in Second Life and film the event for a video.

What I didn’t anticipate was the ‘random event factor’ of the virtual world and the time setting up camera shots.  You can’t set up actual cameras, so I had to borrow Michelle’s avatar and use her ‘eyes’ as the camera and capture the action with SnapZPro (image capture software) and brought footage into iMovie to composite.

Falling off the structure, random people walking through the shot, walls falling down, somebody building a castle around me while filming all became challenges I didn’t expect.  At the end of the process, I ended up making a second movie from the outtakes.  I will post both videos on my website in the next week.

Final update is on Action Script 3.0.  Again I pick a project that pushes my skills to the limit.  I wanted to make a maze, and have an avatar run through it.  The movement was supposed to be based off randomness but I wanted to give a tiny bit of intelligence so he could navigate long corridors more easily.  I started to build a tiny virtual memory and based decisions depending on what happened the last couple of moments.

Don’t misunderstand, the avatar is very dumb but it can turn corners and walk down halls (slowly and spastically).  As I am testing the sim, I included a trail, so I can see where he has been (also it has a habit off sometimes jumping over a wall, cheater).  What is funny, the trail starts to look like the  avatar is bleeding.  Still tweaking but getting close to completion.  Here is one of the attempts.

Back to work.  Final projects for one class due Sunday at midnight.  It will be nice to have something crossed off my list, but I miss sleep.


1 Comment so far
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Amazing work. Love the new website particularly with samples of your drawings, paintings, etc.

Maybe some time (for Christmas?) you could look at Lauren’s website and tune it up for her.

With Love

Comment by Peter Brownell

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