Each month, we bring together a selection of the best tutorials and articles from across the whole Tuts+ network. Whether you’d like to read the top posts from your favourite site, or would like to start learning something completely new, this is the best place to start!
For many of our readers, this time of year is filled with family, friends, and celebration. In this tutorial, we will explain how to create a festive cocktail using Photoshop’s 3D capabilities just in time for your New Year’s celebrations. Let’s get started!
In this tutorial we will be teaching how to integrate elements from different sources to create a realistic photo manipulation with dark and conceptual elements. You will learn some lighting and blending techniques as well as some interesting post-production tips. Let’s get started!
With collectables, the packaging of the product is often as important as the craftsmanship of the product itself. In this two-part Tuts+ Premium tutorial, author Tim Kyde will explain how to create packaging for a high-end 1/6 scale action figure. Part 1 of this tutorial will explain how to shoot your own photography and create a print-ready outer sleeve and inner packaging for our action figure. This tutorial is available exclusively to Tuts+ Premium Members — Join Now to get started!
Retracing the steps you’ve taken is a helpful way to understand how well you’ve executed your vision – whatever that might be. What could you have done better? What should have been avoided? Today, I’ll share what we’ve learned (and are still learning) while crafting Gradient. It’s an experience that has changed everything for us.
I’d imagine that I represent a large portion of the web development community. I’m very intrigued by CoffeeScript; I’ve even learned the syntax and used it in a few demos. However, I haven’t yet taken the plunge and used it in a real project. It comes down to this one question for me: is CoffeeScript something that is truly worth investing time and effort into learning?
As the year comes to an end and we pack up our vector tools for some well deserved rest and relaxation, let’s take a look back at some of the best and most inspiring Vectortuts+ articles and tutorials for 2011.
Vectortuts+ loves Illustration and discovering new talent, so today we are proud to be launching a new community project that combines both, the Vectortuts+ 2012 Calendar Design Project. The best thing is, you can be a part of it! Find out how to get involved, at the jump.
In this tutorial we will learn how to create Watercolor Background using a Gradient Mesh, tools of deformation and Blending Modes. The techniques which are described here allow the creation of complex textural backgrounds in a simple and effective way.
“What did you find most memorable about the world of web design in 2011?” That’s the question I posed to some of our industry’s shining stars last week. One word cropped up more than any other (can you guess?) and everyone had plenty to say. See for yourself after the jump, and let us know what rocked your boat in 2011!
I don’t like CSS. Plain and simple. It makes the World go round on the web, yet the language is restrictive and hard to manage. It’s time to spruce up the language and make it more helpful by using dynamic CSS with the help of LESS.
Figuring out html email will test the patience of any human being. A seemingly small formatting issue will inevitably arise and you think to yourself, “self, I’m a world class web developer type person schooled in the latest and greatest html5/css3/whatever, I can tackle this with plenty o’ keystrokes to spare.”
There arent many photographic practices that date back further than still life photography. When photography originated, it was necessary for exposures to be quite long, so photographing static objects was the ideal subject matter. However, as the technology developed, the fascination for capturing still life has remained and is still one of the most viable photographic professions today.
A lot people believe their photography will improve “if onlyâ€¦” With the holidays approaching, a lot of avid wanna-be photographers, amateurs, and professionals will be making wish lists for gear that they erroneously believe will make them better photographers. There are many forums, YouTube videos, and articles pandering how camera/lens/light/brand/voodoo doll will make your photos better. Today, we’ll examine that idea.
“Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” an infamous movie quote inspired by a pathway to a land of dreams. Wherever your paths take you and whatever amount of stairs you have to climb, its always worth it to see whats at the end, but more importantly to enjoy the journey. Today’s collection gathers dozens of images of paths and stairways, images that symbolize something different to every person.
Today we’re super excited to bring you this amazingly detailed character model from Cgtuts+ regular Shaun Keenan. Shaun has re-created “Pyro” from Valve’s hit game Team Fortress 2 in glorious detail, and is making the model available to the Cgtuts+ community for free!
This Tuts+ Premium tutorial series covers a variety of basic techniques for both creating and projecting matte paintings using Photoshop, Maya and Nuke. The first part of the tutorial will cover how to approach the creation of a matte painting, the research and background knowledge you need, the concept, and finally starting to create your matte painting in Photoshop. Log in or Join Now to get started!
In this tutorial by Cristian Pop, you’ll learn how to create a nice flying papers effect in 3d Studio Max using the power of Thinking Particles. We’ll start by creating the paper shapes and materials, then move into Thinking Particles to set up the rules and look at how we can combine them to create the flying paper effect.
In this tutorial we are going to take a look at a simple, but interesting idea. The main point will be to show you how to work with footage that is out of focus making if difficult to track. After we track it we are going to attach the camera interface elements and fake some depth of field to create the illusion that they are floating in space and shift in and out of focus like the rest of the scene.
Ever wonder how to get smooth footage from your video camera? Today you will learn how to build a Camera Dolly that will help you acquire this type of footage. Get out those dusty power tools, buy some cheap supplies at your local hardware store, and you’ll be on your way to capturing some amazing footage in no time!.
In this tutorial well be creating a Time & Space Vortex (like that used in Doctor Who) completely inside of After Effects. We will be using Trapcode Particular and Trapcode Shine to create the vortex. I will then teach a vital Expression that drives the camera and completes the Effect. Once you have mastered the effect, you can personalize it to create whatever Time-Tunnel you desire! All of Time and Space awaits you…
Compression can be a tricky one to get your head around, and even if you’ve got your head around the threshold and ratio settings without the attack and release times being set correctly it will always be difficult to get the desired effect. This quick tip will outline a really handy trick I learned from a friend a few years ago which allows you to get your attack and release times just right. It’s primarily designed to work on drums but the same principles will apply to any percussive sound.
Ever have a mix where you wish the drums were bigger, more energetic, more in-your-face? I first heard about this technique in Bobby Owinksis, The Mixing Engineers Handbook, and it has since become a staple in my bag of tricks. The technique is a more aggressive take on parallel compression that can really add punch to your mix.
In this segment of our mix down tutorial, we are going to begin to look in depth into depth. Depth within any mix and listening situation is paramount to proper sonic understanding. Much like we see in 3D, we hear in 3D and taking out any one of these dimensions only serves to create a flat and unnatural sound. As such, the most common tools which give the illusion of depth (reverb and delay) become an important and necessary part of mixing.
Sometimes you may find yourself needing to modify the behavior of a component for a user input event. This article will explain how to do so by modifying the event object in-flight, before it’s processed by the component. That’s right, you can lie and cheat. In code.
With the year 2011 at a close, it is time to reflect upon some of the major industry events of the year. A lot happened… we’ll pick out some of the bits and pieces that will be most interesting to browser app and game developers from the world of industry, web, runtimes, operating systems, mobile, and more!
In this tutorial, we give you a starting point for creating AJAX interaction in your blog. We follow a step by step process, showing you how to load posts based on the viewers page scroll. The tutorial covers enqueueing scripts, setting up an AJAX handler, how to get a file outside of WordPress to use WordPress functions and access the database, and logic for loading posts on user page scroll.
Here on Wptuts+, we talk a lot about the ‘how’ and less about the ‘why.’ Of course, we are a tutorial site, so that’s the goal, right? Well, as a followup to last month’s article on the “Cardinal Sins of WordPress Plugin Development“, today we’re going to look at a few practices that, if every developer followed, would make the world a better place (well, at least our world!).
The Kindle Fire is the new touchscreen and e-book reader from Amazon. This device has generated a lot of buzz, and for good reason! It is currently the best selling Android tablet, with millions of units already sold. This tutorial will teach you how to begin making apps with the Android SDK specifically targeted for the Kindle Fire.
This tutorial will demonstrate how to build a custom progress bar by creating an image uploader with Titanium Mobile. Specifically, the demo project will allow you to select an image from the device photo gallery and upload it to a remote server for storage. Both the Titanium Mobile code and the server-side code will be explained. Now, let’s get started!
We’d like to wish all our readers a very Happy New Year! Why not take a look at our Holiday Wishes post to see a video message from the Envato HQ team, and find out more about what you might have missed over the Christmas period.
We hope you’ve enjoyed everything that we’ve had to share this year, and look forward to publishing thousands more top-quality tutorials, articles, freebies, and resources in 2012.
With the year 2011 at a close, it is time to reflect upon some of the major industry events of the year. A lot happened… we’ll pick out some of the bits and pieces that will be most interesting to browser app and game developers from the world of industry, web, runtimes, operating systems, mobile, and more!
Early in the Year…
In the first part of this year, we saw the release of Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” – a tablet-specific version of the popular mobile operating system. One of the items that this version of the OS was faulted for was its initial lack of Flash Player support. This would later be remedied, but not before a lot of negativity was expressed over the omission. Now that the year is almost at its end, we have a greater understanding of what may have contributed to this delay… and it is a sad reminder that even for large enterprises, resources are far from limitless.
The year was still relatively young when March brought us more interesting developments. Adobe released a project on Labs, code-named “Wallaby”, an AIR application that converts specific FLA files to HTML-based output to perform animations in the browser when Flash is not supported (iOS/WP7), or when HTML output is desired. With Adobe now talking about HTML output directly from Flash Professional, one wonders whether that may be the end result of this prototype? The same month also brought us AIR 2.6 and Flash Player 10.2 for Android, which finally provided Honeycomb tablets with mobile Flash Player.
At this same time, Unity came out with a huge surprise announcement: future versions of the platform tools would be able to compile to SWF in order to support Stage3D in the Flash Player. This announcement opened up a whole lot of existing 3D tooling for Flash developers (especially since Adobe basically has no 3D tooling support for games), and a wider distribution market for current Unity developers as well. Both camps benefit! This was also a clear demonstration of Adobe’s initial strategy around Stage3D: allowing tooling providers and framework engineers to build higher-level components around the core Stage3D APIs.
We also saw an interesting move from Microsoft during this time, with a public effort by the company to convince users of IE6 to upgrade their browser through the ie6countdown.com website. When even Microsoft is running a campaign to get users to upgrade from IE6… well… need I say any more? The website is actually an informative little resource that tracks the decline of the much-despised browser. Here’s looking forward to 0%!
A number of major announcements from Adobe occurred in the Spring, and seemed to center around the 360|Flex conference in Denver. First, Adobe announced Creative Suite 5.5 and an entirely revised release schedule: instead of a new version of the Creative Suite every 18 months, Adobe would be releasing a new version every year to keep tooling relevant in light of the rapid changes taking place on the web and through mobile devices. The announcement was followed a few weeks later by the availability of CS5.5 alongside major updates to Flash Builder, Flash Professional, and the Flex framework.
During 360|Flex, the Adobe Flex team took the stage to make another important announcement: the founding of a new relationship between Adobe and the community in the form of the Spoon project. While Flex had actually been an open source framework for years at this point, there was no organized way in which the community could actually contribute patches and changes in an acceptable fashion. The Spoon project would establish a modified fork (or spoon [oh, now I get it - Ed]) of the codebase that would be community driven. Patches from this fork would then be accepted and integrated into Adobe’s version of Flex as need be. Now that we sit at the close of this year, we can see how vitally important this announcement was to the current situation…
In other Adobe news, Flash Player 10.3 was released and Adobe demonstrated Flash Media Server 4.5 and the implementation of HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) – a form of streaming technology that chunks data into tiny packets for transport over the normal HTTP protocol while also allowing multi-bitrate support for varying devices and connection speeds. This enables FMS to stream video to iOS using the HTML <video> tag. Cool.
One of the bigger announcements that came out of the Google I/O conference this year was the Google Chromebook. The Chromebook is a netbook-class device that is meant to run only browser-based applications, resulting in super-fast startup times and persistent storage in the cloud. Google also announced a new update to Google TV built on Honeycomb. With this, not only would every user get the benefits of an updated Android OS, but the Android Market would be enabled on Google TV devices, allowing developers to target these systems alongside smartphones and tablets. (The lack of Market access on the original Google TV was a huge oversight, in the opinion of many developers.)
One last notable item for Spring was the release of the BlackBerry Playbook. This was a long time coming and provided customers looking for a powerful tablet device an alternative to iOS and Android, since the Blackberry Tablet OS is built upon QNX – known for its stability and overall reliability. Unfortunately, the tablet hasn’t really taken off since the device still doesn’t have a native email client, calendar, or Angry Birds*.
*Yes, I am kidding about Angry Birds. Mostly.
A lot happened over the summer months. Flash Builder 4.5.1 was released by Adobe, adding full Flex mobile support for Android, iOS and Playbook. Prior to this, developers needed to use all sorts of tricks to compile applications for all these devices; with 4.5.1, it could all be done through the application GUI. At the same time, Adobe also released AIR 2.7 and mysteriously dropped support for AIR on Linux Desktop with the allowance that Open Screen Partner members may adopt the responsibility to get future versions of the AIR runtime on Linux distributions… although, at the time of writing, nothing has yet come of this. (What’s going on, Adobe?)
In Apple’s world, Mac OSX 10.7 Lion was released – marking what may be the first signs of iOS influence within the desktop operating system with an integrated app store and advanced gesture support. Many were taken aback by the integration of mobile-like elements and concepts into a desktop OS… but since then, Windows appears to be taking a similar path, so this is probably not going to be an isolated idea.
Google took a cue from Adobe’s “Wallaby” project and released their own Flash to HTML conversion tool called Swiffy. This tool differed from “Wallaby” in that it converted SWF files instead of FLA files, and used an entirely different output. Still, the spirit and limitations of both tools are shared: convert old Flash-based content (AS2, limited capability graphics) to something that can be read natively through web browsers.
In July Sony made news due to their joining the Open Screen Project, as well as their release of some interesting Android-based tablets. They also announced the “Adobe AIR App Challenge” to get developers interested in targeting their tablets using AIR 3 betas along with ActionScript Native Extensions (ANE) which targeted specific features of their hardware. With Adobe’s recent new focus on gaming, this was an attractive contest for developers to participate in and it gave users exposure to new possibilities with ANEs in AIR 3.
In strange tablet news, the HP TouchPad with WebOS was released – and then discontinued merely weeks later. This was notable for Flash developers since it was long expected that Adobe was working closely with Palm and then HP to get mobile Flash Player on PalmOS/WebOS devices. Obviously this was never to be. Since that time, users have been able to get Android running on the system, giving the tablet a certain post-mortem desirability.
Around the same time that Edge first saw the light of day, Adobe also launched a new beta resource website, called The Expressive Web. This is a project which Adobe has put together with the goal of creating both a resource and a showcase for some of the most creative and expressive features being added to the web. In addition to highlighting and providing information on 12 new HTML5 and CSS3 features, the site itself makes extensive use of new features such as CSS3 Transitions, CSS3 Transform, Web Storage and more to provide a visually compelling resource for learning about HTML5 and CSS3.
Summer also marked the end of the Adobe AIR Marketplace. The service existed for three years and was a good distribution channel for AIR applications at the time. Since then, a number of other markets have emerged on both mobile and desktop, making Adobe’s offering a bit redundant. One of the most unfortunate things about this closure is that a lot of people had links to the AIR Marketplace for app downloads… these all went dead on August 31st.
So now we have two major players in mobile – Apple and Microsoft – saying “no” to mobile Flash Player in favor of a pure HTML experience. (Unfortunately, this goes against the HTML5 spec, since the spec actually now allows <embed> as a valid element!) Even more shocking were the increased rumors that Microsoft may be scaling back hard on Sliverlight moving forward. A rough time for Silverlight developers, indeed.
October brought us Adobe MAX, at which Adobe revealed their new cloud platform, the Creative Cloud, and also a series of touch apps for tablets that aim to bring creative expression to tablet devices. While tablets are commonly seen more as consumer tools, Adobe wants to change that perspective and these tablet applications go some way toward that goal. The Creative Cloud also includes a subscription service to the Creative Suite for about $50 a license. Not too bad – but not everyone wants to be bound to a subscription model. We’ll see what the details are once this is all finalized next year.
There were also a number of new releases timed around Adobe MAX, including Flash Player 11, AIR 3, and Edge Preview 3. The Flash Runtimes included many great new features, among which is Stage3D (formerly Molehill) which allows full GPU-accelerated 3D rendering in the browser. In fact, during the Day 2 keynote, Adobe was able to show off the full Unreal engine (ported to AS3 using Alchemy) running in Flash Player 11. Pretty spectacular. It is also worth noting that practically all of the new touch apps were built with AIR 3.
Even with all of the great announcements for Flash developers, many who left MAX did so with a sense of foreboding… Adobe seemed to be talking up HTML a lot more than Flash – and if you didn’t go to any of the Flex futures sessions, you probably came away with a rather empty feeling. This would play out in the weeks ahead as Adobe made some rather dramatic decisions around the future of the platform.
Winter Falls… Hard
On November 9th, Adobe was scheduled to have its regular analyst meeting to talk about how things were going for the company and lay some groundwork for the direction of the year ahead. Also, as has become custom, everyone expected there to be a bit of restructuring and associated layoffs around the same time. What actually happened is something the industry is still reeling from.
Reports began spreading the evening before that Adobe was set to announce the end of the mobile Flash Player. There were also rumors that the entire Flash Professional team was laid off. Now, rumors are often just that and do not ever actually see the light of day. Many in the community thought that with Adobe being so strong on mobile Flash Player with so many successes that this had to be just another ugly rumor and could not possibly be true.
Unfortunately, this time, the rumor was 100% accurate. A press release and blog post the next morning confirmed that Adobe did intend to drop all future work on mobile Flash Player! Even more alarming was that statements around the dismissal of mobile Flash Player were always framed by statements declaring full support for HTML – even going so far as to point to HTML as the superior technology. This rightly upset a good number of Adobe’s strongest supporters in the Flash and Flex community. In addition, many well-known public figures at Adobe were part of a 750+ company-wide layoff. That’s 10% of the company’s total workforce. Ouch. For more information, I suggest reading Mike Chamber’s post about the situation. Fortunately, the rumor about the Flash Professional team has been declared false.
Later that week Adobe posted more information about their plans for Flex and revealed that the SDK would be contributed to the Apache Foundation and maintained by Spoon, Adobe, and the community at large. Spoon, if you recall, is an organization established in April of this year which had the goal of working with Adobe to open the Flex SDK up for greater community involvement. This is the next logical step in that process. Keep in mind that Flex has actually been open source since 2006… so this has been a lengthy process. Having all of these projects (including PhoneGap) now under Apache is a good move; the Apache Foundation is respected and established. Not only has Adobe contributed the Flex SDK, but also the new generation Falcon compiler (and an experimental version of the compiler called Flacon JS), BlazeDS, and an internal set of testing tools. Flex will not shrivel and die there – Adobe has now made some truly AWESOME contributions to the open source community!
Adobe is halting development on the mobile web browser version of Flash Player for Android. This effectively places future versions of Android on the same level as iOS regarding Flash Player.
They are doing this as part of a massive reorg to shift resources to mobile AIR on Android and iOS. They are also focusing on tooling and contributions to open web standards. This is a good thing, overall.
IMPORTANT: Flash through mobile AIR on iOS, Android, Blackberry is going nowhere and is being given more resources. Again, this is what most developers have been working with – not mobile Flash Player in the browser.
Mobile Flash Player 11 is not going away on Android – but if Android handsets want to continue with new versions, they must license the source and compile it for their customers. It will remain available for download and use in the meantime.
Mobile Flash Player source is being licensed to those who wish to compile for their own platforms (like Blackberry does now). So mobile Flash Player may not be going away at all. It depends on the partners.
Adobe is also furthering efforts in HTML through projects like Dreamweaver, jQuery and WebKit contributions, Apache CallBack (PhoneGap), and notably their HTML/CSS/JS motion and interactivity solution Adobe Edge.
Flex is being placed under the Apache Foundation (where PhoneGap will also reside) and will recieve continued (hopefully envigorated) support by the Spoon project, Adobe itself, and possibly other corporate contributors.
An update for mobile Flash Player 11 will be provided for users of Android 4.0 (ICS) and Adobe will continue to support the runtime through security patches and bug fixes.
A mix of good and bad news – the good was absolutely ruined by the way the bad was communicated.
Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” was finally released in November. One of the great things about this announcement is that Google has released the source to both ICS and Honeycomb! All of the Android tablet manufacturers out there can finally take advantage of this resource. Even though Flash Player does not currently function with ICS, Adobe has committed to providing an update on Android that will get this working on the new OS.
The web standards community set up movethewebforward.org which aims to get individuals involved in learning and contributing to standard web technologies in their own way. It’s a particularly good resource for those who may need some guidance along the current web landscape, though it does look like there’s something for everyone here.
In a surprise move by HP, WebOS is going to be contributed to the open source community. It appears that the OS is far from dead, and HP hasn’t ruled out the manufacture of new devices which utilize the WebOS platform. Never count anyone out.
Adobe hosted a small “Flex Community Summit” in San Francisco with 20 Flex developers from the community to discuss the future of the Flex framework. The stated goal of the Summit is to “fix the confusion, provide clarification, and rebuild trust.” Some of the most important takeaways from this discussion include:
There were robust apologies from Adobe executives around how the messaging was handled.
“For years to come Flex is going to be the best way to make applications for the web and desktop.” -Danny Winokur (Adobe)
Adobe’s involvement in future Flex will include “dozens of people”.
Apache Flex will target release runtimes.
AIR, Flex, and Flash Player (non-mobile) will continue to be supported.
“Flash isn’t just focused on gaming and video. Gaming helps push the envelop, but everyone can benefit from the improvements.”
“Adobe is committed to building applications with both Flex and HTML5, not just HTML5.”
“We have every interest that our runtime technology [Flash/AIR] is supported across as many platforms possible.”
Flash Catalyst has been discontinued. Design View in Flash Builder is slated for removal.
The new “Falcon” compiler will be ready for AS3 compilation in 2012. MXML compilation may be 2013.
There was a great overview of the Apache Software Foundation process by Roy Fielding, an ASF founder.
Adobe will no longer sign RSLs, this will be done through Apache.
Proposal for Apache incubator is almost ready.
A Flex whitepaper will be published in January.
There is still much to be done, but it is a good thing that things are moving forward in a positive way. 2012 will be an interesting year for sure.
We close the year with rumors that Silverlight 5 will most likely be the final version of that runtime. While Silverlight never caught on the way Microsoft originally positioned it (as a “Flash killer”), it is sad that so many developers who invested their time in the technology could be left with an abandoned runtime. Silverlight did much to spur Adobe to action – ramping up development efforts for the runtimes and tooling. Without competing technologies, there is always the possibility of complacency… and that’s good for no one.
MAX is Adobe’s annual conference, where they announce their new products and acquisitions, and give us all an idea of their current strategy. Last year they announced Flash’s 3D API, codenamed Molehill (now called Stage3D); AIR for TV; Edge, their new HTML5 animation tool; and more. There were also puppets. This year, long-time Activetuts+ writer Franci Zidar is at the event and will be filling us in on the details and sharing lots of photos. The second day’s keynote was aimed at developers – that means Flash and HTML5 news. Read on to find out more…
The Future of Flash
The next iteration of Flash Professional (codenamed Ruben) will also let you create sprite sheets from vector animations to get GPU accelerated animations and provide some other GPU acceleration focused improvements.
Check out Unreal Tournament running in the Flash Player (sadly not ported to AS3!)
A lot of the focus at MAX this year was on alternative technologies to Flash for rich media delivery. My guess is that you are already better off building sites requiring simple multimedia experiences with these other web standards since you’ll have a much easier job deploying them for mobile devices or they might, to some extent, work on them by default.
Adobe has also proposed two new features for CSS called CSS Regions and CSS Shaders. Regions allow the creation of scalable text regions of any shape that let text flow through or around them depending on screen size and Shaders create great looking effects and transitions for HTML elements.
So for anyone who finds this fragmented solution too much to handle, you can resort to new technologies like jQuery Mobile, PhoneGap, jQTouch, CSS3, HTML5 and others. All of these are incorporated in the new Dreamweaver so you can build websites for multiple platforms test them at different resolutions and orientations (landscape and portrait) and even deploy applications directly to Android or iOS.
Get Your Hands on the New Toys
For more information about everything announced on Day Two – as well as download links for AIR 3 and Flex 4.6 pre-release – head to http://adobe.com/go/maxday2
MAX is Adobe’s annual conference, where they announce their new products and acquisitions, and give us all an idea of their current strategy. Last year they announced Flash’s 3D API, codenamed Molehill (now called Stage3D); AIR for TV; Edge, their new HTML5 animation tool; and more. There were also puppets. This year, long-time Activetuts+ writer Franci Zidar is at the event and will be filling us in on the details and sharing lots of photos. Read on to find out more…
Creative Cloud and Touch Apps
This year Adobe is shifting its focus to mobile and cloud solutions. The first and the main Adobe keynote address was absent of any mention of Flash and very little if anything was mentioned about its other desktop web authoring software solutions. In fact, yesterday’s main focus was on Adobe’s new Creative Cloud and its new mobile touch applications.
The big news was that Adobe had just acquired TypeKit and PhoneGap and integrated TypeKit into its online service as a part of the Creative Cloud. This will allow its users to license any font from TypeKit library and use it in their projects by embedding the font from their server; to do this, you’ll pay an annual fee instead of having to buy each font for your project. Adobe applications will also be a part of the Creative Cloud service and you will be able to download and use the applications by buying the annual subscription early next year, which is supposed to be “very reasonable”. The applications will be updated directly in the cloud, so you’ll no longer have to wait for (and buy) the full release to receive any bigger updates, as the software will be directly updated through the cloud.
Adobe is now focusing on cloud solutions where all your work and applications can be gathered in one place. The creative community part of the cloud services will offer some interesting features, like sharing your work, including working files which can be previewed, with extracted Kuler color palettes, displayed and hidden layers in Photoshop files, identified fonts from InDesign files and so on. We’ll have to wait and see but the cloud services do seem promising.
Mobile touch applications were another focus of yesterday’s keynote. New applications presented were Photoshop Touch, Proto, Debut, Collage, Carousel and Kuler, all for tablet or mobile. You can check their features at Adobe mobile apps site. Proto was the only one I felt could be actually useful; it’s an application for prototyping websites, with a range of supported gestures. I could easily see myself sitting with a client prototyping the website on the fly on my tablet device. Using Photoshop, Kuler or any other design tool on the tablet… not so much, although the news that Adobe is collaborating with Samsung on creating pressure-sensitive stylus capable tablets is also quite interesting.
What About Flash?
There was a general sense after the keynote address that Adobe is not willing to commit to Flash as its platform of choice and is avoiding the issue while turning to alternative solutions for mobile deployment through PhoneGap and its other digital publishing solutions.
The Community Lounge at MAX
Yes, the ‘F’ in FOTB stands for Flash, but Flash on the Beach is so much more than a conference solely about the Flash Platform – or even one aimed specifically at Flash Developers. It is a rollercoaster of inspiration, education and downright good fun. Here are a few of my highlights from the latest and greatest FOTB. I’d love to write about everything I went to and experienced but it would take days; come next year and you’ll see what I mean…
This was my fourth consecutive year making the tweet-filled train journey to sunny Brighton for FOTB and John Davey (organiser) sure knows how to throw an awesome conference that brings you back year after year. The lineup over the three days was crammed with award-winning designers, developers, and people that just make you go WOW. With three separate theatres hosting three awesome speakers at a time it really is a headache deciding which session to attend, but there is no doubt that whichever way you go, something will make your eyes widen, your jaw drop and your brain question reality.
Carlos Ulloa – Love the Future
I’m a huge fan of Carlos and his work and this is the third time I’ve seen him speak at FOTB and he didn’t disappoint. Following the Adobe keynote he spoke of two projects, the first of which was an iPod/iPhone/iPad application named ‘HelloFlower’ built using Unity3D.
HelloFlower is available free on the App Store and I seriously recommend you download and have a play since it’s a gorgeous app where you can design your own flower by manipulating the petal outlines and colours. You can then share your result in their online gallery or on Facebook etc.
He then went on to mesmerize the entire theatre with a yet-to-be-released interactive experience titled ‘Lights’ for the UK singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding, built using WebGL. I am a huge fan of music visualization and this was simply awesome, particularly since it was built without the aid of a plugin. I can’t wait to see it again when released and would put money on an FWA heading their way. Keep your eyes peeled for this one!
He gave a great insight into how his ultra-cool team was constructed and how important it is to have such a thorough and detailed resource library at your disposal for any project you undertake. It’s incredible to see the original raw shot footage and then the final cut giving an idea of the blood, sweat and tears that goes into post production for those several seconds of film. You can see the final clips here.
Bradley also produced the titles for this years FOTB which he also briefly went into the making off. Have a watch below and then checkout the credits list – he called in a life’s worth of favours to make this and when it came on before the keynote we were all rather blown away.
Seb Lee-Delisle – Pixels for the People
This is the fifth time I’ve seen Seb speak and he always puts on an awesome show that’s full of interaction with the audience and this session was no exception. Using the audience’s phones, Seb pushed waves of colour across the room simply by having us all connect to a webpage within the browser. We then played Nyan Cat and the guy sat next to me won with a ridiculously fast reflex time! This was a really cool demo of what I’m sure will be an awesome installation somewhere in the future!
You can read more about the process here on Seb’s blog. Long live Seb!
Cyriak – Destroying My Laptop With AfterEffects
I remember seeing Cyriak a few years ago at FOTB and found his work highly entertaining as well as technically very impressive. A piece I found particularly fascinating was a music video constructed with only a few seconds’ footage of a street somewhere in the US.
After demoing several other rather entertaining animations – some more serious than others – he started working on a piece live in front of us, sharing an insight into how his workflow and wild imagination piece together these crazy concoctions. Awesome.
Jared Ficklin – Visions From the Man Cave
I love this guy. Having seen him make a music visualizer hooked up to a modified BBQ a couple of years ago I knew we’d be in for a treat this time around. Pushing visualisation into the physical domain there was fire, smoke and moustache history from the man cave. Such an entertainer!
I’m already buzzing about next year’s event which looks to be titled slightly differently to reflect the fact that the conference is not all about Flash; however, I’m sure John won’t let us down, whatever happens.
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