28 April 2010

Making the most of the freebie...

So I've just been through the entire 4+hrs of Lynda.com training on Flash CS4 Professional Essential Training. The majority was mind numbingly boring as it was stuff I already knew or was very similar to my CS3 experience but I was loathe to skip any of it as there were occasionally nuggets of gold scattered through out in the form of new tools, different methods of use etc. It was also nice to go through the 'Intro to AS3' chapter and not be freaked out by the code (which I recall doing the first time I saw AS3, way back when). I'm actually quite looking forward to playing with Flash again soon! (Although also plan to do at least some Photoshop CS4 and AS3 training in and around my projects. Might have to look at extending this subscription...)

Speaking of projects, I started on the story outline for 'The Adventures of Byron & Otto' this morning (the flash project for my nephew) and was quite happy with the idea I'd developed around a boy and his cat finding a magical key that opened doors to adventures etc. I've just had a chat with my brother and have been told that the story already exists i.e. there is a standard B&O story that starts of the storytelling at bedtime and it's something I can't mess with. *sigh* that's fine, I'm sure all my thought and work on my idea won't be wasted - I'll just have to add it to my ideas folder... Anyway, I've given instructions for the creation of a storyboard, sourcing of photos they might want to use and recording of sound for voice overs etc. so now, like with any client job, it's time to wait for content :-) In the mean time, I've been thinking I might animate the whole thing (or a lot of it), which means I can work on character & expression boards etc. I'm trying to think of what style to go with. The Little Ninja keeps popping into my head :-)

27 April 2010

New projects and flash stuff!

So, I just had a lovely long weekend in project limbo - still awaiting client sign off pre-live launch for the LIF2 site, so made the most of being slothful as with the new week comes new projects!

I've had an email from an ex-colleague who is in the process of setting up her own company and asked if I might be interested in designing/building her site - yay! Might be paid work, but also gives me a good chance to start from scratch and work in all the stuff I've learned along the way. I'm going to do it 'properly' and follow good user centred design process, so I'll be fishing out the old client questionnaire this week.

I've also had an idea for a couple of Flash projects. One is animating the Ashtanga yoga primary series, including a voice over with the names of the poses and breathing. I want to do it to help me learn it (as I'm still getting stuck on parts in the 6am Mysore classes), I haven't found anything like that out on the net and I think it would actually be really challenging from an animation perspective (might be more challenging than I expect, like the dance sequence in my uni project...). I think it would be a good way to try out the bones tool in CS4 which looks rather interesting!

I also had a call from my 6yr old nephew asking me to create cartoons starring him and his cat, having Batman-esque adventures. I've created short animations for him before, starring the family, occasionally with his voice over added in, so I think he's after something along those lines. I think this is something I might be able to include some level of interactivity into (and AS3!) so I might investigate this first. Although it means coming up with a story to animate...have to to away and be inspired, like I used to at uni. Speaking of inspiration, really enjoyed reading this article on the Myth of Inspiration - it got me thinking about what original ideas and design, mean...

I purchased CS4 Design Premium the other week and Adobe kindly threw in a 30 day Lynda.com subscription (I assume to make me feel better for just missing CS5?), so I've been scanning some of the early Flash tutorials just to refamiliarise myself with the software. It's been quite handy actually, learned about a couple of tools I haven't used much and keen to give them a test run...

But for now, I have to run - I've actually got an interview with an agency dude - I'm looking forward to having a chat with him to try to work out why people aren't thinking I want a junior role...

08 April 2010

Prepping photoshop file for devs


Great article for newbies on best determined practice for prepping a photoshop file for developers