One By One Design

FITC Amsterdam – Day 2 in a Nutshell

Started out the day with Andre Michelle’s “Boing-Bumm-Tschak (Flash 10 Sound API)” presentation. Very beautiful stuff. The biggest thing learned here is that manipulating sound is not so different from manipulating graphic items. That is, reverb is nothing more than a basic “easeout” formula and flanging is just elasticity applied to sound. Some useful tips he shared: use linked lists as much as possible, never create objects at runtime as it’s wildly costly – recycle them instead and, of course, use a good coding structure. He ended the presentation with a look at the hobnox audiotool which was just insane. I ended the presentation by introducing myself and letting him know that the little “Behind the Curtain Coding Award” that’s been displayed on his website’s front page for years is there largely due to me (well, me and Robert Reich – the old BTC coding mods). He seemed mildly bemused, but didn’t really know what to say. I just ducked out as a line was forming up behind me.

Next up was Lee Brimelow’s “Flash Platform Polymath” presentation. Here Lee gave a good rundown of what disciplines a Flasher should be comfortable with to move ahead these days: visual design, audio/video/motion, general web development, actionscript 3.0, and, needless to say, Flash and Flex. Not a hugely informative session, but a good overview of just what I do everyday. Remember thinking my bosses should be here for this just to see exactly what they’ve got. My fave quote of the day: Know something about everything and everything about something. The one thing I’ve always disagreed with is Lee’s encouragement of decompiling which he brought up here. I wanted to ask if he would recommend that someone learning c++ or assembly should decompile the actual Flash executable, but decided not to be so mean.

Then came Mario Klingeman’s “Tinkerer’s Box”. Here he gave some great and inspirational examples of art derived from subdividing triangles, stippling, and convolution filters. Really gave me some ideas I’d love to jump into.

After lunch, came Gmunk’s “Gmunkkickdown” where he announced he recently got back into hallucinagenics. It showed in his newest work. Some great 3d and motion design work on display (including some wind up toy porn), but nothing really to take away except the idea that the more you look at, the better you’re gonna be (the opposite of Garbage in, Garbage out).

Then came James Eberhardt’s “Introduction to iPhone SDK for Flash Developers”. Through no fault of Eberhardt, this was pretty much a waste of time. I should have known that Objective C isn’t something that could be learned in an hour. I really came away with nothing from this except a few glimpses of XCode, the iPhone Simulator and Interface Builder. I should have went to the “Cool Shit” session with Hauwert, Delisle, Brimelow, Michelle, and Ebert. Live and learn.

Last up was David Carson’s replacement, Theodore Watson. Both my wife and I were pretty disappointed we wouldn’t be seeing David Carson (who couldn’t be there due to mysterious circumstances “beyond FITC’s control”), but we were in for a real treat. Theo spoke about openFramework and I have to admit this is the first I’d ever heard of it. Basically, OF is the C++ version of Processing and it looks like a blast to play with. I will definitely be downloading the SDK or whatever they have available and giving it a go. I need to learn some CPP and this looks like a great way to jump on in.

All in all, FITC was definitely a great time. I’m already looking forward to coming back here next year. Assuming I don’t move to Amsterdam before then…

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