Web Design TV from .net with… er… me!

Pretty embarrassing but what can you do? 🙂

Filmed at the official MAX hotel in downtown LA: The Westin Bonaventure, which is such a weird hotel but I really like it in a kitsch sort of way. I heard that the architect was a fan of the early 80s TV show Buck Rogers, which would explain all the concrete, chrome and glass elevators. Although I heard that it wasn’t great to stay there, mainly due to the fact that all the towers are circular, making vaguely triangular (and claustrophobic) rooms.

Either way, I couldn’t resist the strange gym equipment in the atrium in concrete “pods”. And Paul Wyatt decided it’d be a good location for an interview 🙂

I talk about Big and Small, future projects from Plug-in, the MAX experience and the EuroMaxInvasion.

And for the star wars fans, here’s me with the actual award winners, Thaniya and Andy from MLB.com 🙂


Simple Flash 3D drawing API

I’m most passionate about hiding complexity with simple APIs, which is one of the reasons I’m so excited about Hype.

A few weeks ago Peter Elst told me that he was trying to find a simple way to draw 3D shapes, and so I helped him with a bit of code. He’d done some great work, and it really inspired me to continue to simplify things even more.

Get Adobe Flash player

So I spent a couple of hours putting together an experiment to see whether I could build a simple 3D drawing API for Flash that works more or less exactly like the 2D Flash drawing API.

I’m not sure whether this was the right approach but I thought it would be a fun experiment nonetheless and a great way to canvas opinion and get some feedback and ideas!

So here it is FlashDraw3D. The first thing you do is create a Graphics3D object:

var g3d : Graphics3D = new Graphics3D(this);

As you can see you pass it through a reference to the DisplayObject that you want to draw into. Once you’ve made it you can then draw into it :

g3d.lineStyle(1, 0xff0000, 1); 
g3d.moveTo(-10, 0, -10);
g3d.lineTo(10, 10, 10);

With of course the same syntax as the 2D drawing API except with 3 (x, y, z) coordinates instead of 2 (x, y).

And just like the flash drawing API has a drawRect, we have a drawCube :

g3d.drawCube(0, 0, 0, 100, 100, 100);

I’ve also added a couple of extras :


Just to show that it’s 3D :-). I really should have added rotateX and rotateZ but hey I only did it in a couple of hours. 🙂 I’ll add it soon I promise.

And also some handy 2D to 3D converting commands :

g3d.moveTo2D(mouseX, mouseY, 0);
g3d.lineTo2D(mouseX, mouseY, 0);

Where you can pass through 2D screen co-ordinates that are converted to a 3D position at the z depth you gave it. In the example that comes in the code base this is used to draw in 3D with the mouse.

Please note : it’s very much a rough prototype and it’s absolutely not optimised at all! It’s incomplete and poorly documented. I’m just putting it out there to see what you think.

Download the code at http://code.google.com/p/flashdraw3d/source/checkout and give it a try! I’d love to hear any suggestions you have. (Polite ones anyway 😉 )

Here’s the code for the above example :
Continue reading “Simple Flash 3D drawing API”

I paid Jennifer’s parking ticket

If you saw my presentation at Flash on the Beach, MAX, or FlashPitt, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to get hold of Jennifer Blackwell for some time now.

After a month of voting on iwillpayyourparkingticket.com, you chose the winning tweet from twitter.com/jenwell, and I couldn’t be happier with your choice! It is so in line with the spirit of the website.


But of course my messages to Jennifer were ignored; sadly she just thought I was a British weirdo. (And she wouldn’t be entirely wrong 🙂 ) So what could I do? In a last ditch effort to contact her, at Flash on the Beach, I asked the audience to tweet her to reassure her that I was genuine, and around 100 people sent her @ replies on twitter!

So to cut a long story short, I arranged to meet Jennifer in New York as her boyfriend lives in Brooklyn and our travel plans overlapped by one day. Her boyfriend Brian very kindly filmed our meeting where she told me the story of her parking ticket and when she first realised I was trying to find her. Note that just like in Minneapolis, I paid Jennifer’s ticket in a mixture of currencies 🙂

Now we’ve had our first winner, we have some more work to do on the website, including being able to see the top ten best tweets, previous winners and also adding donations so this project doesn’t ruin me 🙂

Big and Small nominated for BAFTA award

Title says it all really! Suffice it to say we’re all totally blown away here at Plug-in Media in our new offices in Brighton’s North Laine. We’re in the category for “Children’s Interactive“, the same category our friends (and neighbours) at LittleLoud won last year. We have stiff competition, but honestly, it’s honour enough to be nominated. Needless to say though, wish us luck for when the awards are announced at the end of November!