Final day of the conference and the daily commute started to take it’s toll (I don’t know how people do long commutes everyday!) The first two days where great so I was really looking forward to today, and there was a couple of guys I was really excited about seeing.
Andre Michelle – Kling Klang
Today’s schedule threw up a couple of the clashes, the first being between Andre Michelle and Koen De Weggheleire. I opted for Andre as I’m really starting to get interested in what you can do with sound in Flash Player 10, and Andre is Mr Sound when it comes to Flash.
Yesterday I joked with my friend that FOTB was a sort of Glastonbury for geeks, and it genuinely felt like that at times during Andre’s presentation. The sound system in the Dome was awesome this year and Andre used it to it’s full potential. I have a degree in Multimedia and spent a fair bit of time at University study audio and sound production, and this presentation really reminded me of stuff I learnt there.
Andre covered a lot in the hour, going into decoding MP3s in Flash and using the ByteArray. He also demonstrated his Hobnox site and said that in the future he wants to make the application multiuser.
If your unaware of who Andre is do check out his site as he is at the forefront when it comes to pushing what Flash can do with sound. Particularly check out his Flash ToneMatrix, which has had over 3 million views.
Mario Klingemann – Connecting the Dots
Next up was Mario Klingemann (aka Quasimondo) who I remember being one of the best presenters last year. Mario is in love with Mathematics and calls himself a Math Groupie. I enjoy playing around with Maths and patterns too so I found his presentation very interesting and inspiring. Amongst other things he showed how he managed to send an image of the Mono Lisa via a Twitter post using some clever compression. He also recommended a load of good books on Mathematics, a couple of which I’m definitely going to hunt down and buy.
Colin Moock – Union and MegaPhone
Next up was the second clash of the day as I had to choose between Colin Moock and Seb Lee-Delisle. I’ve seen Seb present a couple of times and in fact it was his presentation last year that gave me a starting point for playing around with Papervision. Colin is a bit of a Flash legend though, and many people who have learnt Flash from reading books will probably have read one of his.
I really got a lot from the presentation as Colin cover both Union and MegaPhone. Union is a platform for multi-user applications and I’m really excited about playing around with it. Union has a freely available test server and you can find out more about that, and get a bunch of tutorials plus the documentation, on the Union website. Colin did a short demonstration live on stage, and created a simple chat application in 8 minutes.
The second subject Colin covered was MegaPhone, an exciting project by Jury Hahn and Dan Albritton. MegaPhone was perhaps the most interesting thing I saw at the conference, in terms of what we might use at the agency. To sum it up, multiple users can control a screen, in say a public space, using their mobile phone as the controller. I think the most appealing aspect is that you don’t need a fancy iPhone, or Android, you can do it with any old phone. Check out this demo video, I really think that MegaPhone is going to take off in a big way over the next year.
Both Union and MegaPhone seem like really exciting project that I really want to play around with sometime soon.
I remember seeing this session last year and was really looking forward to going along again this time. The session, similar to the elevator pitch, featured 6 of the events presenters, each with 10 minutes to talk about anything they wanted.
Featured presenters were Andre Michelle (talking more about his Audio stuff and pretty much finishing off his presentation), Mario Klingemann (again, finishing his presentation from earlier) and Grant Skinner (showing some of his experiments).
Jared Ficklin – Seeing Visualization in Nature & Code
Jared Ficklin was the penultimate presenter talking about sound in Flash. His talk was very entertaining, and he used a lot of props including a video of him displaying sound waves using fire.
Joshua Davis – Space
To end the conference everyone converged in the main hall for a presentation from Joshua Davis. Joshua is a really famous designer and if you ever came to my site when I was at uni (a fair few years ago) you would have noticed that I very much copied his design for my old Flash site.
Joshua gave a very amusing and interesting final presentation, and told us how a lot of his great work has steamed from playing around with code. It was a stark contrast to the ending of FOTB last year, which I felt left a slightly bitter taste in few peoples mouths. Anyway that was last year and Joshua did a fantastic job of closing the event this year.
One of the pieces he showed was based on Bezier Curves which I found very interesting as I’ve been playing around with them a lot myself recently for a site I’m currently building – I’ll post the code here sometime soon, once I’ve cleaned it up a bit.
All done for another year
So after 3 long days, 19 sessions and an unhealthy amount of coffee, FOTB drew to an end of another year. I really feel like I’ve learnt a lot since coming to FOTB last year, but this time round showed me there still plenty to discover, as Flash is always changing. I’m really please TMW paid for me to head down for a second year running, and of course thanks to John Davey for again organising a great conference.
Cue a hundred experiments using MegaPhone, Union, Pixel Bender, the FP10 Sound classes, Bezier Curves and all the other cool stuff I’ve seen over the past 3 days!