Flash from FlashForward in NYC
Part 1 - Live from FlashForward2000
Daily report - 7/24/00
New York City is a little more animated than usual. With 2700 of the world's best Flash designers from 33 different countries, you can understand why. All of us are here for FlashForward2000, the largest gathering of Flash developers in history! And what better way to get things going at a Flash conference than having Macromedia announce the newest version of Flash?
Macromedia Flash 5
That is right folks, Macromedia announced the newest version of Flash 5, and it is a major upgrade to our favorite multimedia package. The list of new features is long and impressive with Macromedia focusing on three areas of improvements. Macromedia wanted to make flash more approachable to designers, allowing easier integration into your existing web production work flow. The importance of creativity was also important as Flash 5 is poised to provide the most powerful range of design, layout and choreography tools for creative professionals. Macromedia also worked to improve Flash as a standard, not just for web sites, but for PDAs, WebTVs, Dreamcast and other computer appliances.
Colin Moock, Web evangelist for ICE Integrated Communications and Entertainment said "[Flash 5] is full of new and improved features that make content creation more intuitive, but the revamped user interface is worth the upgrade price alone."
Word at the conference is that Flash 5 will ship on September 1st.
- Better integration with Freehand and Fireworks
- Improved Macromedia Common User interface
- Pen tool for Bezier control
- easier work flow
- more functional
- dynamic, vector cursor
- interactive debugging environment
- load and pass XML data
- new 'Smart Clips' to make programing easier
- Movie Explorer with a search feature!!!
- ActionScript received a complete overhaul
- Easier programming environment
- Path editor points to ANY named clip in the file
- ActionScript can now control the properties of sound
After Macromedia's announcement, it was hard for anyone to follow their footsteps. Adobe did their best to show off a few design studios using LiveMotion, and some of the samples were great. Once they moved to discussing SVG their keynote took a turn for the worse. Adobe showed a SVG example of their office navigation system, and claimed that it could not be done in Flash. Well, most of the crowd thought otherwise, and the keynote suffered for it.
Monday saw three sessions and I, along with Patrick Rey of FlashAddict.com made a beeline to the Scripting classes. As did everybody else. The first scripting class was packed full, people were sitting on the floor to make room. The session, lead by Phillip Kerman, introduced the basics of scripting to one and all.
The afternoon sessions offered parts one and two of the Advanced ActionScripting, lead by Josh Ulm. Josh was a highly entertaining speaker, getting everyone pumped up after lunch and ready to go. Pens were flying across the page as the newer ActionScripters tried hard to follow the speed in which Josh lead the class. Both sessions were great, and Josh covered ActionScripting in a clear, if not speedy, way.
Flash Film Festival
The Flash Film Festival again packed the house with all 2700 attendees. Linda Weinman and Stewart McBride lead the event with special guests Chuck D, Professor Griff and someone who's name escapes me adding insight and enthusiasm to the show. the voting for the awards was all done through an Internet poll, so popularity factored into some of the winning entries.
I was very surprised at the entries in the Sound category, where three entries were just music loops and one was blatant samples from everyone from Ozzy to the Beatles. The only sound entry that used voice overs did not win either. The Navigation category also confused me with the choices. It seemed to be a contest for how 'cool' one could make their navigation, not how useful.
- Motion Graphics - www.yigal-azrouel.com
- Design - www.phish.com/farmhouse/
- Navigation - www.yigal-azrouel.com
- Sound - www.submethod.com
- 3D - www.alphazekko.com
- Game - www.newgrounds.com
- Interactivity - www.willing-to-try.com
- Business - www.barneys.com
- Cartoon - www.bulbo.com
- Activism - www.heavy.com
- Best of Show - www.heavy.com
After the Film Fest, Macromedia treated all to a party in near Cooper Square in Manhattan. With guest band the P-Funk AllStars, stilt dancers and lots of cool goodies, the party was a great success. The most impressive part of the evening was the trapeze show over the dance floor, what a sight! Everyone was there for a good time, and the guys from Ego Media made a great impression by all dressing in bright orange jump suits. The party went on into the wee hours of the morning, and Macromedia certainly had a great product launch to celebrate.