Thank you FlashPitt

I am at the airport waiting for my flight home to Ottawa and wanted to take the time to really say thank you to everyone involved in Flashpitt. Special thanks goes to Val, Jason, Joe, and Josh for making it such a great event. They have really done a great job in making Flashpitt one of the best flash conferences. I also wanted to thank the attendees. I was really overwhelmed by everyone who came up to me, who say my session from last year and told me that they had started playing with Arduino and Phidgets. This is really the reason why I speak at conferences and am hoping that next year when (if ?) I come back next year you will tell me about the IPhone applications you have built.

As well as spending a great day at the conference I was able to spend some time with some of my best friends in the world.

Friday night Seb, Stacey, Boris and I had to finish some work and couldn’t go out to the pre-conference party. So we sat ourselves in the lobby and had a great time singing to old 80′s and 90′s music.

Julian Dolce busting it down from BitchWhoCodes on Vimeo.

Groove in the Heart – by Seb & Julian from BitchWhoCodes on Vimeo.

The next was great as well and had a lovely dinner with Val, Seb, Jer, Scott at this restaurant called the Library. After a lovely time there we headed over to the after party at the Bicycle Bar? I think it was called. It was a really great space and meet lots of cool people. Once that party started to wind down Jer, Val, Joe and I walked over to another bar along the river. It was a pretty interesting bar with a live band. Everybody seemed to be having a good time and dancing on their chairs. We decided to join in on the fun and jumped up on a bench, but Jer went straight for the table. Apparently this is frowned upon and he was quickly escorted out of the building. It was actually quite funny and was a great way to exit the bar.

Jer, Seb and I stayed an extra day in Pittsburgh with the hopes of taking in some of the city, but Jer and I where too hungover to even really move from our hotel rooms. So we slept until it was time to take Seb to his first ever hockey game. It was great fun watching the game with him and my favorite quote of the week was “It’s brilliant watching these little men sliding around”.

Now I am close to being home and sad that the conference is over, but looking forward to my own bed. It’s been a very busy month between FOTB and Flashpitt and am looking forward to a relaxing couple of months the rest of the year.

Thanks again to everyone who attended both my workshop and session and to all of those who put the conference on. And to everyone who couldn’t make it this year, see you next year.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 10-18-09 · 3 Comments »

Fuel ANT Tasks

At Fuel Industries our projects always start with a FLA, but we use FDT for all of our coding. We wanted to have a way that we could publish our projects from FDT as well as run daily automatic builds. This is easy when working with Flex because Flex has a command line compiler, but Flash doesn’t. So we wrote custom ANT tasks in Java that will allow us to publish fla’s in multiple ways.

Here are a few examples of some of the things you can do.

First you can simply compile fla’s

<target name="fla_publish">
	<flash>
		<fla file="${src}/redsquare.fla" build="publish"/>
		<fla file="${src}/bluesquare.fla" build="export" swf="${src}/bluesquare.swf"/>
		<fla file="${src}/greensquare.fla" build="test"/>
	</flash>
</target>

The fla task can take multiple different types of values for the build parameter – publish, test, and export.
publish will simply publish the file at the current settings set for the fla.
test will compile and run the swf in the Flash IDE. This is like hitting cmd-enter/ctrl-enter
export will export the swf. In order to use this mode you must specify a output swf file.

You can also publish and test Flash CS3 Flp files

<target name="flp_publish">
	<flash>
	     <flp file="${src}/fuelanttask.flp" build="publish"/>
	</flash>
</target>

If set the build mode to “test” it will look for the flp project default file and compile that project last and test the default file.
The nice thing about using the flp task is that if one of your files has a compile error, it will stop the build process and alert you of the error. This is different then the IDE as it just keeps compile the project and you won’t see if one of your files compiled incorrectly.

We have also created a task called buildnumbercommand. This task gets the local SVN revision number and inserts it into a BuildNumber.as file. This way we have the build number accessible in ActionScript and we are able to display it automatically in our files. For instance we place ours in the right click menu so our clients can see what version of the build they are looking at.

<target name="version">
	<buildnumbercommand path="${src}" />
</target>

The path parameter is the directory in which the BuildNumber.as file is located. Below is an example of BuildNumber.as

package
{
	public class BuildNumber 
	{
		public static const BUILD_NUMBER : String = "1";
	}
}

Here are some of the other parameters for the Tasks

flash task

path – This is needed on Windows only. This is the path to your Flash IDE executable and is defaulted to the default install location for CS3 and CS4. C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Flash CS3\Flash.exe and C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Flash CS4\Flash.exe. If you have the Flash IDE installed in these locations you can omit this parameter.

version – accepts either “CS3″ or “CS4″. The default is “CS3″. This is used to determine which IDE to compile your files in. “CS3″ is the default and can be omitted if you want to use CS3.

deleteaso – true | false will delete your aso files before compiling any files. The default is false.

closeDocs – true | false will close your fla after it’s compiled. The default is false. This is ignored when compiling a flp project and will always close it afterwards.

quit – true | false will close the Flash IDE after all the files have been compiled.

verbose – true | false has some more output messages during compilation.

fla task

file – the path to your fla file

build – valid values are “export”, “publish”, “test”. The default is “publish”.
publish will simply publish the file at the current settings set for the fla.
test will compile and run the swf in the Flash IDE. This is like hitting cmd-enter/ctrl-enter
export will export the swf. In order to use this mode you must specify a output swf file.

swf – the file path to a swf to be compiled. This is only needed when the build parameter is set to “export” and will be ignored otherwise.

flp task

file – the path to your flp file

build – valid values are “export”, “publish”, “test”. The default is “publish”.
If set the build mode to “test” it will look for the flp project default file and compile that project last and test the default file.

UPDATE : the ANT tasks have been put up on Google code. The source, examples, documentation, and the compiled jar can be found there

http://code.google.com/p/fuelanttasks/

This is a video of me showing how to use them at Flash On The Beach during the speaker throwdown

FOTB09 – Jam Throwdown – Julian Dolce from John Davey on Vimeo.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 09-23-09 · 23 Comments »

I finally caved and joined the Twitter world

I have been able to resist for a really long time now, but being at 360 iDev made me realize that as a IPhone Developer you are really missing out if you aren’t on Twitter. A big portion of the community communicates using Twitter, and more importantly a big portion of Apple employees use it. 360 IDev was a great conference and it was really cool to be introduced to a new community. I mostly go to Flash conferences and it was great to meet new people in this fairly new community. You can follow me on twitter @juliandolce

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 03-08-09 · No Comments »

Speaking at 360|iDev

I just recieved confirmation that I will be speaking at 360|iDev this year on Interface Builder. Interface Builder is a really cool application, but can be cumbersome at times when you are learning it. I plan on going through some of it’s features, as well as how to use the IPhone components and how to integrate them into your applications. If you plan to attend, or even if you don’t, and there are certain things you would like to see covered or know, feel free to add them in the comments and I will do my best to try and answer them in my session and on this blog.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 01-26-09 · No Comments »

PNG Image Cropper

At FOTB Brighton I presented on our process for developing the Fairies and Dragons Happy Meal toys. One of the things I showed was how we took a png sequence exported from Maya and cropped them to reduce the amount of alpha. To do that I built a WPF application in C# that would look at a folder and read in every png that was in there. For every image the application runs through each pixel and tries to determine all of the unnecessary alpha and crops it. The cool thing is that when the file gets saved out again it saves it with the x,y offset in the filename so that we can use a JSFL script to import all the images so the animation lines up.

Here is an example. Note : Everything in red is actually alpha I just filled it in for demonstration purposes.

Image Cropper

First select a input folder. This folder would have all of your images are in. Make sure the images are named sequentially.
Next select a output folder. It’s best if this folder is empty as this will be the folder where all of the cropped images will be placed.

Original Image

Here is a sample of the original image named Animation_Test.1.jpg.

Cropped Image

Here is the cropped image with the new name Animation_Test.1._163_95.jpg
As you can see it appends the x,y offset to the end of the filename ( 163, 95 ).

The final step is to run the JSFL command included with the application.

Select an empty layer on a timeline and run the command. It will prompt you to select a file from your output folder. Don’t worry which file it is because it is simply getting the folder not the file path. Flash will now import each image in the folder to a new keyframe and position the image at the x,y offset in the filename – in this case 163,95.

Feel free to download the application and give it a try.
You’ll need to have .NET 3 Framework installed for the application to run.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 10-28-08 · 4 Comments »

Flash On The Beach 09 Miami

In case you missed the announcement at Flash on the Beach this year, the conference will be held in North American for the first time next April. Spring time is when the conference circuit really starts to get busy and I can’t think of a better way to start it then spending a week in South Beach. Like every Flash on the Beach conference it is likely to sell out so make sure to get your tickets early. The conference site has been refreshed and tickets go on sale in November. This year I went to my first Flash on the Beach in Brighton and had an absolute blast and I am sure 09 Miami and Brighton will be no different.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 10-27-08 · No Comments »

FlashPitt 08 Presentation Links

Here are the links that I showed in my presentation.

Places to buy

http://www.imagesco.com/

www.sparkfun.com
www.robotshop.ca
www.dgikey.com
www.jameco.com
www.phidgets.com

Reference

http://www.marumushi.com/apps/remotedriver2/

http://2005to2007.fabrica.it/tuned_stairs/old/index.html

http://www.uva.co.uk/archives/

http://www.arduino.cc

http://www.phidgets.com

Books
Physical Computing
Making Things Talk
http://terrisperber.mycyberway.com/celebrex9466.html
http://terrisperber.mycyberway.com/celebrex1571.html
http://terrisperber.mycyberway.com/celebrex1809.html

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 10-10-08 · 4 Comments »

FlashPitt this Friday

Just a reminder that Flashpitt is this Friday. I am really looking forward to this event as it is the first one, and I really enjoy the smaller conferences as it has a certain intimate feel to it that other bigger conference don’t have. I am really looking forward to seeing and meeting Golan Levin. If you aren’t familiar with his work check out his site chances are that you have seen some of it. He really does amazing work.I am going to be speaking about getting Ardunio and Phidgets to talk to Flash. I am going to show some examples and some projects that I have been working on. If you are interested in getting into this stuff than I recommend checking out the session. There will be a little bit of code, but just enough to get you started and pointed in the right direction to explore it on your own.

If you are going to be at the conference be sure to come say hi. I am also going to be there for most of the day after so if anyone has any suggestions on things to see in Pittsburgh let me know.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 10-07-08 · No Comments »

Flash On The Beach Tickets End Tomorrow

This is just a friendly reminder that if you are thinking of going to Flash on the Beach, which you should be, that ticket sales end tomorrow.

There is only a few handful of tickets left so hurry now to get your place sorted out!

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 09-04-08 · No Comments »

IDF Keynote Webcast is up

The IDF keynote that we were apart of is up online. It was my first IDF and I have to say I had a lot of fun.

http://www.intel.com/pressroom/kits/events/idffall_2008/video.htm?iid=idf_home+tab_audiovideo#

Session: Anand Chandrasekher
Click – launch webcast
Fast forward to 26 min and you will see Warren our CCO.

Continue reading » · Rating: · Written on: 08-22-08 · No Comments »