UPDATE: The Adobe Connect archive of the workshop has been posted.
Workshop description: Flash is no longer just a plug-in; it has evolved into a massive suite of tools, services and techniques called the Flash Platform. Used for everything from character animation to interactive video to full-featured applications that rival their desktop counterparts, Flash plays a major role in shaping how users experience content on the Internet. This workshop will introduce the Flash Platform with specific emphasis on programming in ActionScript 3.0 and MXML and the basics of working in Flash and Flex (and how you decide when to use which).
For those attending today’s Flash Platform Workshop, this is the place to download the source code and slides.
I encourage you to leave comments on this post with your feedback (positive and negative!) about the workshop. Thanks!
This is the final installment of a four-part graphical dissection of the “slabtype” text layout algorithm I developed for Public Secrets. For an introduction to the algorithm, visit The slabtype algorithm, Part 1: Background. To review some calculations that set the stage, visit Part 2: Initial calculations. To get into the real meat of the algorithm, visit Part 3: Iterative line splitting.
In this post, we’ll wrap things up by doing our final layout of the text, followed by the source code for the algorithm. The iterative sequence we explored in the previous installment successfully turned our original text:
into seven separate lines:
We’re almost done. Our next task is to assemble these lines into a slab by scaling them all to an identical pixel width:
And finally, to scale the entire slab to fit inside the original box, allowing for a minimum amount of padding on each side:
And with that, the algorithm has run its course. In conjunction with the treemap algorithm, the slabtype algorithm allows us to dynamically lay out the entire contents of a screen like this
using only a collection of quotes as a starting point. Due to randomization in the input to the treemap algorithm, even identical collections of quotes are never laid out in exactly the same way. Within Public Secrets, you can briefly see the dynamism of the slabtype algorithm in action when a box containing a quote resizes as it moves from one location to another—the text inside shifts around to keep pace with the changing dimensions of its enclosing rectangle.
This algorithm was included in Public Secrets as a method called formatInscription, which is reproduced below (AS 2.0). I hope this has been a useful exercise—I’d love to get your feedback, questions, or suggestions for improvement.
Making music out of the data of interplanetary exploration.
Here’s a list of links to works cited in my recent talk “Storytelling in the Age of Divided Screens” at Gallaudet University.
I’m very happy to announce the launch of “Timeframing: The Art of Comics on Screens,” a new website that explores what comics have to teach us about creative communication in the age of screen media.
To celebrate the launch of Upgrade Soul, here’s a screen shot of an eleven year old prototype I made that sets artwork from Will Eisner’s “The Treasure of Avenue ‘C’” (a story from New York: The Big City) in two dynamically resizable panels.
The last couple of months have seen an uptick in published commentary on Strange Rain, much of it owing to notice the app received at this year’s Modern Language Association conference in Seattle.