Saturday, February 27, 2010

NYTimes on Animator William Kentridge

Published: February 26, 2010
The Museum of Modern Art’s “William Kentridge: Five Themes” lays out the strengths and weaknesses of this prominent South African artist’s work with a forthrightness that is almost touching.
Click here for full article.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Artiste O' The Day

Sir Garrett of Eldenhalle sends us this lovely site of Raphael Lacoste's work. Nifty concepts from Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, and the like. Also, Raphael's been studying his art history hasn't he? Piranesi, fo' sho'. And check out the Friedrich shout-out below.
Here's Caspar David Friedrich's The Sea of Ice from 1823-24. Friedrich's one of those guys that we should all dig on. Cheers, Caspar!

Lithia Motors Internship - Looking for a FLASH designer

 Hey guys, here's a very cool opportunity. Lithia is looking for a paid intern for 10 hours of work per week. Needless to say, this would be brilliant professional experience: national company, major brands, wide distribution of your work, etc. etc. If you're interested, here are the specs:

Build a flash element for a Lithia store. The winning student
(s) would have an opportunity to present their work here at Lithia, or we
could come there to review.

What we would like to see from the designers as part of the project, is a
flash build that has:

technical elements of:
1. follows IAB standards
2. is under 40K
3. size is 300x250
4. 15 seconds
5. one loop
6. a swf, fla and jpg (the jpg is the final frame used for browsers that do
not have a flash player)
7. if Rich Media can be incorporated, that is an added bonus

Lithia elements of:
1. includes store logo, Reno Subaru, logo attached
2. includes a vehicle
3. the final frame would have a strong call to action
4. uses a circus theme or spring cleaning theme

We would like to see creative by March 8th if possible.

Here's the Reno Subaru logo:
Let me know if you have questions, and get your work to me by Friday, next week! Get that career goin'.

Final Critique Times For Miles' Classes

Art 351 Interactive Studio: Wednesday, March 10, 7:30-9:30 a.m.(!)
Art 399 Concept Art O' The Rich & Famous: Wednesday, March 10, 3:30 p.m.
Art 353 3D Modelin' & Lightin': Tuesday, March 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Art 450/496 "Special" Projects & Capstone: Wednesday, March 10, 5:30 p.m.

Have all yer work blogged up and ready to present.
All critiques will meet in the regularly scheduled labs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Excellent Bill Wray

Lots of nice stuff at Bill Wray's site. I like the backgrounds he did for Samurai Jack.

Controlling MovieClip Timelines!

Your event handler will look something like this:

function onYourButtonClick(event:MouseEvent):void

If you wanted to control a clip within a clip, use dot notation!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Mac vs. Adobe: It's Civil War, I Tells Yuh!

Articles on the Adobe Apple feud. Will Flash survive??? Probably, but hopefully emerging much improved by the struggle.
Wall Street Journal
The Guardian
New York Times
As an artist/animator, I like Flash, I really do. To me, its strength is the integration of drawing, animation, and programming into one nifty flexible environment. Yay, for me. However, that's not why Flash is a dominant web presence. I think Flash has risen because it has serious Adobe market muscle behind it. In its evolution, Flash has become a classic bit of bloat-ware--it can do things like play video and generate slideshows for the web, but it's by no means the best way to do those things. Sure, Flash has a video player, but most people hate it and want it dead. And why the hell should people be forced to use Flash to make a web slide show?

So, what's the point of all this? As an academic teaching studio art and "emerging media," I don't like the idea of perpetuating olde techniques and approaches to doing things just because I know how to do them. Over the past few years, I feel that some complacency has set in, that we're still using a lot of this corporate bloat-ware because that's what us olde perfessers know what to do. There's much more to say on this subject, but I'll end it for now with the thought that I want to make sure I'm not teaching some corporate party line, but rather some basic principles and concepts that my students will be able to adapt and develop into their own approach to things.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Here's How To Start and Stop Sounds (Flash AS 3.0)

Here's the .fla file for you to download.
Here's the .as file for you to download. (right-click and save as for best results!)

// here's where you import the Sound and SoundChannel classes
    import flash.display.MovieClip;
    public class Main extends MovieClip
        //these first variables are to hold sounds that have been imported to the Library
        var noo:Noo;
        var waterloo:Waterloo;
        var ooh:Ooh;

        //this creates a variable to contain a SoundChannel. To play a sound, you must have
        //a SoundChannel to play it in.
        var soundChannel:SoundChannel;

        public function Main()
            //here we load up the sound variables with instances of the Library sounds
            noo = new Noo();
            waterloo = new Waterloo();
            ooh = new Ooh();
            //here we load the soundChannel variable with a new SoundChannel.
            soundChannel = new SoundChannel;
            //here are the Event Listeners!
            //buttonRoll is the instance name of the button in my scene.
            buttonRoll.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_OVER, onButtonRollOver);
            buttonRoll.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_OUT, onButtonRollOut);
            buttonRoll.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, onButtonRollClick);
            //here are the Event Handlers
        function onButtonRollOver(event:MouseEvent):void
            //this starts the waterloo sunset guitar playing in the soundChannel.
            soundChannel =;
        function onButtonRollOut(event:MouseEvent):void
            //this stops any previous sounds that have been playing in the soundChannel.
            //this plays the annoying noo sound
            soundChannel =;
            trace("out of this world");
        function onButtonRollClick(event:MouseEvent):void
            soundChannel =;
            trace("clickin and tickin");

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Here're the Interactive Storybook Files with Button Jumping

    import flash.display.MovieClip;
    public class Main extends MovieClip
        var startPage:StartPage;
        var hillPage:HillPage;
        var pondPage:PondPage;
        public function Main()
            startPage = new StartPage();
            hillPage = new HillPage();
            pondPage = new PondPage();
            //add event listeners
            startPage.hillButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, onHillButtonClick);
            startPage.pondButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, onPondButtonClick);
            hillPage.backToStartButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, onBackButtonClick_Hill);
            pondPage.backToStartButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, onBackButtonClick_Pond);
        // here are the event handlers
        function onHillButtonClick(event:MouseEvent):void
        function onPondButtonClick(event:MouseEvent):void
        function onBackButtonClick_Hill(event:MouseEvent):void
        function onBackButtonClick_Pond(event:MouseEvent):void

Useful Movie Clip Properties

Access these properties with dot notation!
For example:
to access the alpha properties of "startPage".

Anyhow, here's a list o' properties.
alpha = transparency        Takes a value from 0 -1. Default is 1 (opaque).
height = height in pixels   1 is lowest possible value. Decimals are okay.
width = width in pixels     1 is lowest possible value. Decimals are okay.
rotation = rotation in degrees  0 to180 = clockwise. 0 to -180 = counter clockwise.
scaleX = horizontal scale of an object    Default is 1. This is a percentage, so .5 = 50%, 2 = 200%, etc.
scaleY = vertical scale of an object    Default is 1. This is a percentage, so .5 = 50%, 2 = 200%, etc.
visible = visibility  This is a Boolean value. It is either true or false.
x  =  x position on the stage    In pixels. Up left of stage is x = 0, positive x is to right of stage.
y = y position on the stage      In pixels. Upper left corner of stage is y = 0. positive y is down stage.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Whoa Concept People! Whoa! New Critique Date!

 Alack, Professor Miles has to leave class early today and Wednesday, so. . . dramatic music. . . we'll move the full class critique to Monday, Feb 22. We'll have small group critiques today instead. So, present your work and discuss your schemes for the final project. Now stop reading this and git to celebratin' our dang Presidents.

Monday, February 8, 2010

David Hockney

Check out an alternative to the geek-chic neo-realist approach to concept design. Why, it's good ol' David Hockney!
and a little thing called modernism/post-modernism. . . Mon Dieu. Screw the ambient occlusion and caustics!!! Just bust out the good ol' flat COLOR.

Ryan Church

Thanks to Garrett Ross for this link to Ryan Church's site. Make sure to check out his bio, links and working methods section. EEExcellent.

Art 351 - How To Jump Around The Timeline

Create a new blank layer and call it actions. Select the blank keyframe and open up the Actions palette (Window > Actions).

Here's the basic code for jumping around in your timeline.
To add it, click on a blank keyframe in your actions layer and open up the Actions palette.
In the code below, "button1" is the name of my particular button instance. To give your instance a name, select it on the stage and enter an instance name in the Properties palette.

Also note that the "(10)" after the gotoAndPlay command means I want to jump to frame 10.

  function(evt:MouseEvent):void {

Here's the same file with a second button added on frame 1

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

He Came To Rock You

Samuel Palmer, Cornfield By Moonlight, 1824

Samuel Palmer from his Shoreham period. Hell yes, people.

How To Upload and Embed .swf Files

1. Open Fugu. It's in your Applications folder.

When opened, it'll look like this:

2. In the"Connect to" box, type:
like so:

3. Follow the login prompts and your network directory 
will appear on the right. Double click the public_html folder.

4. Now, you can drag and drop files from your computer to your account. Hoorah.
5. Now, you can access files in your public_html folder by typing the url into any web browser.
Here's the url:
Here's an example using my username and a .swf file.

6. To embed the file in your blog, use the code at this link. Just like I done it down below! Make sure you're in "Edit HTML mode," or it's going to look awful funny. Also make sure you enter the height and width properly! I tend to keep my blog .swf embeds to just under 400 px wide. Set and check your height and width in flash before you export your .swf.
 Remember, your height and width settings are under Modify > Document. . . in Flash. Here's the click-able embedded .swf

Monday, February 1, 2010

Art 351 Assignment 4 - Jumpin' Jehosaphat!

This assignment has two parts:

A. Create a library of 10 buttons, just for kicks.

B. Create an interactive timeline-based story the user will navigate using buttons to jump around the timeline.

1. Script and thumbnail out your story. We'll look at these this Monday, Feb 8. Make sure you post your work to your blog.

2. Shawn will be coming in to demo some basic sound recording on Wednesday, Feb. 3!

3. This piece will be due for critique on Wednesday, February 17.