Playbook tests

Having a look at the Playbook development using Flash Builder. I had installed on Windows and ran up the VMWare simulator for the Playbook. All seemed to be fine, but then I couldn’t see the Create New Actionscript Mobile Option in the menu, so was a bit stuck. So I thought that I’d check the Mac version. Here, that menu was available, so I decided to give this a try and then ran into the problem of there being no VMWare Player version for the Mac. I decided to try the VMWare Fusion trial to see if it worked, but might try Virtual Box later as that is free. I can’t see other people with the same Windows problem, so when I get back to the office I might reinstall and try that again. (Worked after I uninstalled and installed again! – (edit) but needed to be in a fresh workspace)
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FlashCamp, London

I went over to the Barbican to have a chat about what the major aspects of Adobe Max were; a quick update. I wasn’t sure in the end whether to go, but I’m glad that I did. It gave me a reason to have another look at the Flash Builder update that has just arrived. I have been pushing more Flash free web interfaces since having the iPad and using it to develop interfaces with. It just seems so much cleaner than all that code and project set up in Eclipse, but I was also feeling guilty. I had slipped away from the testing and structure that the Eclipse environment gives and slipped into using the odd bit of notebook or textWrangler to update some of the files. I really need to get back to moving to a path of unit testing and one button deployment with rollback.
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Birmingham Flash Camp

Spent a sunny day going on a train trip up to Birmingham for the Flash Camp. I decided that I’d like to listen to Mike Jones talk about components again, with a Flex 4 flavour this time. It was well worth the trip, not just for Mike but there was an interesting bunch of speakers there; a reminder on Away3d and the best demo I’ve seen of the Catalyst workflow. Friendly group up there; I recommend you get to some of the future meetings.

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Thoughts on wireframes and mock-ups

I started looking around for some software that would allow a team to sketch out some quick interfaces to show clients, but I didn’t realize how many people were writing software for this. What’s more, I didn’t realize that all of them would have some special features that would would cause me to bounce around them for hours. I had to give several a test before knowing what I was looking for. Wireframing apps have been around forever, but there is a huge gap in price and facilities and these two factors are now always linked. I’ve been using real applications to mock up my screens in the past, so that no effort is wasted; I normally use Flex, Dreamweaver or Visual Studio, but more recently have needed to get into Expression Blend and now Flash Catalyst. These are all excellent tools, but when you’d like someone else to take some of the workload, you need something that they can pick up and run with straight away. Here I look at some of the utilities that might help to do that – iPlotz, Balsamiq Mockups, FlairBuilder, Axure, Protoshare among others.
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flashcamp_UK – a fine day out

I went across to see the Flash Camp the other day. Organised by Chester of Emak Mafu (there must be a story behind that name!) and interspersed with Robin and sundry other Adobe types, it was an excellent day out and worth going; new people to meet; lots of ideas; not quite as in depth as the Flex Camp last year but lots of stimulation nevertheless. This is just a quick note to keep some of the memories and the links around for myself and anyone else that might find them useful.
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Away3d normal map – second attempt

It seems as though I’m trying to work out the odds of all the dice throws. I’ve been going through all the variations in making a normal map to suit my dice in the away3d scene. I’ve eventually succeeded in getting a version that works out of 3dsMax. Harder than I thought it would be, but maybe I should have thought through the maths rather than just guess at the right checkboxes. Continue reading “Away3d normal map – second attempt”

Away3d dice with normal map

[Edit – Link not working here]

[Edit – I’ve added another post to take this further, where the map is working correctly – Jan 09]

Over Christmas, I’ve had some time to try and set up a demo for away3d using the Normals mapping that has been added recently. This is the dice demo that I ended up with. Not perfect lighting yet; if the top face stays in position and you rotate the cube on its axis, I thought that the face should remain lit the same, but it darkens as you rotate. I shall work on the code or my normals map a bit more. Arrow keys will turn the die; click and drag to hover around. Not bad for only 12 triangles though. Continue reading “Away3d dice with normal map”