Sarah and I are, right now, attending Adobe’s Flash Camp for flash 10.
It’s like a hack-a-thon pre-release thing for CS4. Sarah is writing some code but I’m eschewing the hacka-a-thon thing and just watching the demos of the new flash tools and player.
But they are giving us a copy of the Flash Authoring Tool and Flex builder. So I feel like I should blog about it to pay them back a bit.
They are doing really cool things.
Fantastic Contraption runs about 14% faster on the new player and it cleans up some memory leaks I couldn’t track down. Although some of the animation stuff adds in new memory leaks. I hope those will be gone by the time it hits release.
The FAT is getting a huge update. So big that I’m sure alot of animators are going to have to re-learn alot of what they do. I’m not a FAT expert and I find doing anything in it a frustrating experience. So instead of these sweeping changes uppsetting me and my workflow they just make things work in a much more sensible way. It’s like they sat down and just said “ok, this is stupid. how should it have worked to begin with?” and just made it work like that.
The native 3d stuff is cool as hell. They have two seperate ways to work with 3d. One is the standard import stuff, write code to control stuff, full on 3d workflow.
The other is for animators. So you can define planes with pictures and graphics on them. And then define their location in 3-space and in relation to eachother. And then move them around. Even in the FAT. So this is a quick way to get some 3d effects in your UIs.
Right now a guy is demoing the inverse-kinematics stuff. Which is really cool. You actually define a skeleton and how it bends in the FAT and then you can animate the skeleton really easily.
Which, if I understand it correctly, should make it really easy to make a character walk programatically along uneven terrain and stuff. Which is wicked.
And there are some new API changes to the flash library. Some stuff that Sarah’s company has been waiting with for with baited breath actually.
And the Flex Authoring tool is getting alot better. Like it will intelli-sense your own classes now.
So I like what they are doing. Ties into the graphics card. Opening the SWF format. Very cool stuff.
Lets hope things keep going this way and M$ doesn’t take over the field with Silverlight and then stagnate all innovation. Like they do with everything they touch.