FITC Amsterdam – Day 1 in a Nutshell

Just got back to the great loft apartment I’m staying at in Amsterdam and thought I’d jot down some impressions thoughts and notes of Day One of the sold out FITC conference while they’re still fresh in me little noggin.

First up was the Keynote opening featuring Serge Jespers, Lee Brimelow, Mike Chambers, and Paul Something from De Monster. Lee Brimelow promised Adobe was looking into CS4 stability issues then gave an interesting little tip about the new Deco tool in Flash. Seems the tool is powered by editable javascript files that can be customized to do what you want. He gave no example, but it got me thinking and I can’t wait to get back on my own pc and try some things. Mike Chambers pointed out that AIR has reached 100 million installs in the year it’s been around and a new minor release is scheduled in the very near future. Paul came out to show what can be done in AIR by demo’ing a De Monster app, Blackbox – a device which allows multiple designers and developers to share files -which I cannot wait to try out. Serge Jespers came out to talk a bit about Flash Lite and how eventually mobile devices will be sporting a full version of Flash 10 allowing mobile developers to leverage full on AS3.

Next up I hit the “Integrating Live Action Content with 3D” presentation by Dan Lacivita from First Born. Mostly this was just a showcase of First Born work, but there were a few insights and tips that may prove useful in future studio work of my own. The most interesting parts were the demonstration of the hidden easter eggs in the Lowe’s site.

Next came “Professionally Pushing Pixels with Flash 10” presented by Ralph Hauwert. This was mainly a demonstration of 3d in Flash 10. Admittedly, most of the concepts/code presented went right over my head (never been much of a 3d programmer), but the examples of Flash 10 running 3d using a combination of PixelBender, Flash, and Alchemy were just amazing. We’re talking about 500,000 particles running at a consistent 60fps. Yowza. He wound up with a quick preview of a Doom level created in Papervision3d X – built specifically for Flash`10. Very nice. The quote I remember most: “when I play with new ideas, I either succeed and innovate or I fail and learn.” Highly inspirational little phrase.

Then came “Things Every Actionscripter Should Know” presented by Grant Skinner. This was advertised as being geared towards beginning coders and I almost didn’t go, but I’m glad I did. Grant puts on a great presentation and it was quite motivational. He basically broke the Flash world down into scripters, developers and architects and spoke about how to evolve into the latter. He went over things such as when not to use a tweening engine, resource management, basic OOP concepts, and Design patterns. He ended up by saying everyone should read up on UX (User Experience) which I intend to do as soon as I get the opportunity.

Then came “Papervision3d Simplified” from Seb Lee Delisle. This was a bit disappointing. Seb seemed a bit unprepared and disorganized which was a shame as the guy definitely knows his stuff. Not much learned there, and I wish I had joined my wife in the Hi-ReS presentation instead. From what I heard, that was amazing.

Finally came “New Works” by Joshua Davis – the perfect way to end the evening. Inspiring, motivating, and always entertaining. If you ever get the chance to check out Joshua Davis speaking somewhere, jump on it. I’m still dizzy.

All in all, a great day. Can’t wait to see what’s coming up tomorrow…