Moving on

Warning: this website is now closed, and comment writing is disabled. I’m moving the content of this site to The new domain name makes for a better package name, and is a less suspicious domain for email – as sad as it is, it’s less likely it’ll be classified as spam because it’s not from a * domain (for example, my previous * emails almost always went directly to the spam folder of gmail accounts).

No content (posts and comments) will be lost as I’ve exported the full contents of this blog to the new website, but blog posts are hidden until I fix the new blog theme.

Posted on 23/Jul/2008 at 8:10 am | Comments Off | Categories: Misc

The beginning of the end

Well, 87.5% done.

I haven’t talked much about it here, but back in january 2005, I went back to college – only 10 years later than usual (I’ve started working when I was 16 and never actually got a degree – I’m 30 now). The plan was to get a bachelor degree in Digital Interface Design, and it was meant to take 4 years of my life to do so.

Fast forward to this day and I’m almost there – with my 7th semester just finished and going to the last one at full speed, it’s hopefully just a matter of time until I’ve checked this out of my life’s to-do list.

This is the main reason I haven’t been posting here for a while. Also one of the main reasons why I have neglected important updates to projects like Tweener (much to my frustration, believe me).

This post isn’t one of those common “Hey, I haven’t been writing for a while, but I’m alive” posts though. It’s more to let some friends – which I know read this website – know what I’m up to and a kind of a little look back at the past few years.

Well, this last year of college is the year we’ll all be finishing our bachelor thesis. While it’s different from what you’d expect from similar projects found on universities in the United States or Europe, it’s still a pretty big project and something that’s meant to occupy all the time I have left.

My own thesis is some cool (or so I hope) image and sound synthesis software built on top of Flash 10. I won’t talk about it too much here yet since it’s in a very early state and not very usable, but I can barely wait until I have something cool to show.

The other biggest reason why I have been away is that, despite college stuff, I’ve also been focusing on doing my real work. If it wasn’t clear from this great interview by Mathieu Badimon for the FWA website or this article for the same website, I’ve been working remotely since late last year for Firstborn as a dedicated Flash developer. I couldn’t be happier as it’s actually a place I’ve wanted to work for for a long time; the story of how this happened is actually an interesting story of some wishful thinking that turned out to be true much faster than I expected, and I’ll probably have to write a few more words about it some day.

All in all, this is being a tough year – too much happening at the same time. I feel kind of like Indiana Jones running from a huge stone sphere that’s about to crush him. Still, it’s been pretty thrilling and it’s bound to end pretty soon as I finish my graduation.

Or just restart in a different fashion.

Posted on 25/Jun/2008 at 7:54 am | 12 Comments | Categories: Fnk, Misc, Tweener

Here’s Flash Player 10

GPU compositing and surfacing. New drawing API. New text API. Simple 3d for accurate plane rotation. Custom effects with Hydra and AIF (now called Pixel Bender). New File Reference for local file reading. Support for larger bitmaps. New context menu goodies. Something for dynamic sound generation. Yes, Astro is now in public beta.

Demos here. Install here. More information here. See the release notes. This is another good third-party post. As always, Tinic Uro has some more details for the nerds.

Edit: oh f*ck, a new playerglobal.swc is available already (allowing people to compile Flash 10 content with Flex).

Posted on 15/May/2008 at 7:45 am | 1 Comment | Categories: Actionscript, AIF/Hydra, Flash

FIVe3D goes all the way

FIVe3D – the vector-based 3d rendering framework by Mathieu Badimon – has just received a significant update, bringing it to version 2.1. New features this version brings:

Back Face Culling, Flat Shading, Z-sorting, Space Drawing functions, Bitmap3D class, Video3D class, Sprite2D Class, Letter Spacing, Text Width

I’d be content with just z-sorting, but the number of new features is pretty overwhelming, bringing this class on par to the bitmap drawing features of existing 3d packages such as Papervision3d, Away3D and Sandy. Awesome.

As a showcase of the new capabilities, you can see an example of a 3d video being played here.

Posted on 12/May/2008 at 9:18 am | 1 Comment | Categories: Actionscript, FIVe3D

FIVe3D now available for AS3

FIVe3D, the vector-based 3d engine for Flash by Mathieu Badimon, has just been ported to Actionscript 3 and is available for download on the project page. Also important, Mathieu has made available the panel component used to create the Actionscript-based font data (describing the lines and curves of each font glyph for text drawing in 3d). With this in their hands, people can even create extrude and plane-creating functions for other 3d packages if they need.

I first posted about some adventures about FIVe3D here, and everything that’s written there still stands, so it’s worth reading for people who doesn’t know FIVe3D yet.

Posted on 13/Apr/2008 at 9:09 pm | No Comments | Categories: Actionscript

Adobe AIR for Linux Alpha released

Adobe has just released an alpha version of AIR for Linux. It’s not feature complete but now that the framework structure is there, I guess we’ll see it reach stable status in no time. An SDK is also available.

You know what’s funny? There’s a project I’m building that I’ll want to make available as a standalone download later this year. I knew AIR was available for Windows and OSX only, but the Linux demographic is an important part of my project’s target. So here was I thinking “Hey, I wonder if Adobe AIR will be ported to Linux some day?”, when I decided to go looking for information about it on Google, having one of the first results returned being the news that it has just been released. Creepy.

Posted on 31/Mar/2008 at 9:28 am | 3 Comments | Categories: AIR, Flash, Fnk

An initiative for more serious sound control with Actionscript

I had seen this before, but have to admit I ignored it at first (I had the impression it was just some random Adobe conference, based on the name): the Adobe, Make Some Noise initiative is a “campaign for enhancing Flash Audio”. Led by André Michelle, Joa Ebert and Kai-Philipp Schöllmann, they aim to convince the powers that be that Flash needs to support audio in a more powerful way. And even if AS3 is already a huge improvement in terms of audio support, I have to agree – with Flash 10′s great new visual features such as AIF support, advanced audio control would be a good match. Still, anyone in doubt can have a look at the audio projects these guys gave under their belt and know how well-founded their requests are.

Coincidentally, advanced audio composition and synthesis in Actionscript is one of the important points that I’m tackling on my graduation paper/project (due later this year), so I’ll be following these developments closely…

Source: Agit8

Posted on 21/Mar/2008 at 6:22 pm | No Comments | Categories: Actionscript, Flash, Fnk, Misc

Tweener extensions

The fair lady time has been specially rigorous with me as of lately, not giving me too many opportunities to fall into the hands of my mistress of spare time experimentation and open-source maintenance. As a result, I haven’t posted here in a while and, worst of all, there are a lot of Tweener updates (including a considerable internal rewrite and updating the example sources) that I have to constantly pause. The world goes on, though, so here’s some long-distance winking she has been sending me.

While Tweener doesn’t have special property modifiers for Catmull-Rom curves yet, Makc has a great post explaining how to convert Catmull-Rom splines to Bezier splices. For some odd reason I seem to have missed his original post on the Tweener mailing list so I hadn’t seen the actual code, but let me take this opportunity to congratulate and thank him on some cool code.

Takayuki Fukatsu has also just sent me notice of an AS3 special property class he has created for Tweener. It’s called MatrixShortcuts and it can be used to Tween properties of a DisplayObject’s transformation matrix, as well as some global transformation properties.

Always a flirt.

Posted on 6/Mar/2008 at 8:13 am | 6 Comments | Categories: Tweener

Election 2008: Do the right thing

I don’t live in the United States and obviously I don’t vote there, but I believe the decisions of its leader have ramifications on a global scale and, as as many other earthlings do, I hope the best candidate will be picked by voters.

In that vein, I’d like to suggest actual voters to read CNET News’ tech-friendly candidate comparison and see how their candidates stand on a number of different tech- and internet-related topics.

Furthermore, CNET also has a special section for coverage of the 2008 elections. It covers tech-related news about the candidates, and has a number of different links that may help one deciding on a candidate worth a vote.

Posted on 8/Feb/2008 at 10:16 am | 4 Comments | Categories: Misc

New gotoAndLearn website

The year of 2008 starts with a bang as Lee Brimelow releases version 2 of the gotoAndLearn website. There are plenty of Flash and Actionscript tutorial videos featured on the website, including video, sound, and 3d, and I’m quite pleasured to find one of them being about animating with Tweener. Thanks, Lee! (also, thanks to Jeff Guthrie for the tip).

Posted on 2/Jan/2008 at 11:56 am | 2 Comments | Categories: Actionscript, Flash, Typography