Run for the hills! Plug-in Media has landed!

Plug-in Media home page - exploding skeletons

Filmed in PLUG-IN-O-VISION, it’s become the living, breathing manifestation of Frankenstinian innovation. Dare you enter and bear witness to Flash wizardry, actionscripting of monstrous proportions, terrifying illustration and insane creativity?


In other words, after months of development, and nearly 40,000 lines of code (I just counted!) the Plug-in Media site is finally finished!

Just in time for Flash on the Beach, where I’ll be explaining how we produced the real-time generated 3D with texture mapping and light sourcing.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

News Flash!

Flash on the Beach in 20 days!

It's so exciting to have an international Flash conference, right here in my home town. I'll be speaking in the morning of day 3, and I'll be taking you on an exciting quest to find that elusive 3rd dimension! In other words, how do you do cool 3D Flash stuff? I'll tell you all about it, and I'll go easy on the maths I promise 🙂

So in anticipation, here is my Flash on the Beach must see list.

Day 1:
11:00 - and straight away we're stuck with a dilemma... Craig's work is amazing, Angie's a local animation guru, and Tink really knows his stuff. I think I'll have to go with Craig Swann, because he's the most relevant for my work, and I love physical computing. Sorry Tink and Angie!

13:30 - Dave Schroeder - I hung out with Dave in Texas, and he's a cool guy. If you've ever struggled with sound design in Flash you need to see this session!

15:00 - Aral Balkan - An excellent chance to see my friend and neighbour in our home town! Always a confident and engaging presenter. Although. Can. We. Have. More. Than. One. Word. Per. Slide. This. Time. Please? 😉

16:30 - Erik Natzke - You have to see Erik. His work is such an inspiring mix of creative and technical.

Day 2 :
09:30 - Brendan Dawes Another creative superstar. Unmissable.

11:00 - Joey Lott I've been watching Joey's sessions on, so it'll be great to see him in the flesh 🙂 Although I think any aspiring freelancers out there should check out Snow.

13:30 - Pete Barr-Watson Another local and friend. Flash seems to be used more and more for broadcast work so this is especially relevant. Although if you haven't started using BitmapData objects you need to check out Rich Shupe.

15:00 - Keith Peters I love Keith's work, (although frustratingly I'd pretty much worked out all the physics before his Making Things Move book came out). I can't wait to see what extra juice he's squeezing out of the new Flash 9 virtual machine.

16:30 - Hillman Curtis Hillman shows that when it comes to video production, it's all about the idea. His work is truly inspiring.

Day 3 :
09:30 - Bzzzz get up people! Yes I know you were at the FOTB party last night but we got some cool 3D Flash stuff to learn! So obviously come and see me. Or see Robert Reinhart, if you like video. He's nice too. But I have one more D than him 🙂

11:00 - Jobe Makar Jobe's a great guy, and he literally wrote the book on multiplayer games. But if you're not into games, go see Niqui. She's cool too.

13:30 - Hoss Gifford Yep, Hoss has certainly piqued my interest. If only so I can learn how to spot the "wanker client". 🙂

15:00 - Chris Curzon Me and Chris worked together at Kerb, and he is a crazy genius.

16:30 - Mario Klingemann I love how Mario chops and slashes at the web, and puts it back together again with the Pritt-stick that is Flash. And a really nice chap too. What better way to end the conference?

19:30 - PLUG-IN MEDIA PARTY It's not open to the public, but I thought I'd mention it anyway. If you're a speaker or a friend, let me know and I'll get you one of the hottest tickets of the conference. 🙂

Well I have to say I'm extremely impressed with the line-up. John and the guys at FOTB have managed to pull together virtually all of the big Flash names from all around the world. I can't emphasise how important this is going to be for the UK Flash community. Seriously unmissable. I mean it.

Flash bandits take over dSCAPE designers night

Seb presenting dSCAPE Flash Bandits night. Illustration by Dominic Minns of Plug-in Media

Last night was dSCAPE’s designers’ night, this year taken over entirely by Flash bandits! The event was sold out with around 200 attendees, and I was co-presenter along with Tara Solesbury from Wired Sussex. As self-appointed Flash ambassador of Brighton, it was great to catch up with all the local Flash companies and see their latest work. All the presenters had amazing work to show off, and it’s no real surprise that I’m friends with pretty much all of them. I am after all the Flash slut of Sussex 🙂

I opened the evening, with a first look at the new Plug-in Media site, now up for public beta testing. Closely followed by FlashCodersBrighton mascot, Jerome presenting StudioTonne‘s cool sound toys.

Another FlashCodersBrighton member James Ellis Marsden (FuturLab) demoed their new Flash game Prism, which is looking pretty smart. (although I still haven’t quite worked out how to play it… 😉 ) We also had animators John Davidson of Blunt74 and Richard Mitchelson: both animators working in the broadcast arena. It’s really interesting to see how Flash is used to produce animated TV shows.

LittleLoud, another company we work with regularly, showed off some beautiful new interactive work. They prove that you can achieve really high quality cinematographical (is that a word?) style with Flash.

And last but by no means least, Kerb showed some outstanding animation and games. I worked with Kerb a few years ago, and it’s great to see that they’re still producing some of the best Flash work in the industry. Plus it was good to catch up with ex co-workers Zeb and Dylan, a pair of the finest illustrator/animators in our field.

And just when you thought that was more than enough excitement for one night, there was even a raffle for Adobe software and highly coveted Flash on the Beach tickets.

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Tara, Nick and the rest of the team at Wired Sussex for making this event such a huge success, and particularly for giving the Brighton Flash community a chance to show their wares.

A cacheAsBitmap vs superCacheAsBitmap demo

Here’s another demo of the work we’ve been doing on a custom cacheAsBitmap utility, we’re calling superCacheAsBitmap.

The circle in the middle of the demo is made up of 1000 transparent lines, so you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s very slow to render using traditional methods! Click Move Clip to get things started, and you’ll see what I mean.

Select the cacheAsBitmap option and it’s speeds up! Yay! But now hit the Rotate Clip button, and we’re back down to a grind. This is because the MovieClip’s appearance changes and the Flash Player has to re-render the clip every frame.

So now select the superCacheAsBitmap, and we’re back up to speed! We’re creating a bitmap and rotating that instead. You’ll see though that the quality isn’t very good, but often when we’re moving things at speed this isn’t a problem. But if it is, just select superCacheAsBitmap with smoothing and this time the player rotates the bitmap with interpolation. It’s slower but not as slow as without caching.

[swf file no longer available]

Code coming as soon as I package it up!