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Flashforum Konferenz 2010 - Day 2

Flashforum Konferenz 2010 - Day 2

After a great AudioTool party last night and a large number of 'Kölsch', the second conference day started late for many attendees.

Hearing Andre Michelle DJ'ing at the party was a joy and the Studio 672 location is perfect for geek parties. As opposed to many conference parties, here you can both enjoy the music AND talk to all the people you want to without having to scream all night. I don't know why conferences always seem to organize parties in noisy clubs when all people want is to meet and talk. FFK and AudioTool got this right.

Due to the volcano eruption on Iceland, my day started even later than intended. All air traffic in northern europe is closed so I had to change my plan of going home today. I'll get to spend some extra days in lovely Cologne, so I really don't mind but at the moment it looks like the trip home will take quite some time. I started my day by checking out a session on authoring content for Windows Mobile 7. It's still looking good, but it's really not what I want to do. Fun having a peek at though and I can easily see that Microsofts offering with free development tools and services are tempting. The room was only half full though as Dr. Johannes Mainusch session on Web-Performance tuning was so packed we couldn't even get in.

Next up was a session on Multitouch that started with a supposedly short marketing presentation from 3M but the guy went severely over his time limit. This affected Wolfgang Henseler's session a bit but it was a good, solid session going over how Multitouch changes computing interfaces from GUIs to NUIs (Natural User Interfaces). This really affects how we interact with and build our applications so it was a good reminder.

Flash Games Invade the 3rd Dimension!

Seb Lee-Delisle

Seb's lovely british accent and his charming, modest appearance makes you feel right at home when attending his sessions. At the start of his talk, he told the audience that he'd tell three lies during his talk. The ones that revealed them would get a prize. None revealed them as they were well hidden, but the audience had fun trying to find them.

After a fastforwarded version of PluginMedia's showreel, Seb started warming up the audience with particle emitters, LEGO webcam toys, difference maps used with glowsticks, bursting bubbles with your head - all with audience participation. I've heard about the Glowstick-based voting system, but seeing it in real life was great fun!

 

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Have you ever seen an Audience multiplayer game? The audience then got to play 3D Pong controlled using the glowsticks on the main conference screen. If the crowd on the left waved their glowsticks the paddle would move right and vice versa. Seb also showed his multiplayer Moonlander game http://www.sebleedelisle.com/games/moonlander/ , the Big and Small site as well as the new ZingZillas site, both done for the BBC. If you have kids, make sure you show the these sites - they'll love them! Seb was careful about giving credit on the ZingZilla site as he had not worked on it himself.

In the Q&A session after the event, one of the attendees asked him "What 3D engine do you like the best - Away3D or Papervision?". Seb handled this one as a true diplomat by saying he only had experience with Papervision so he didn't really know.

Next up was a commercial mini-session about mini's! Mini's are a new application concept from the tablet maker Wacom. They have created an API for Adobe AIR that supports the tilt, slant and pressure values  from the pens, making it possible to create a brand new kind of applications. Since I've used Wacom tablets for more than 12 years, this sounded tempting to me. Could be a fun kind of user input. http://mini-developer.wacom.com

 

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Image by Marc Thiele

Der Apparat

Joa Ebert

It's always fun to hear the crowds reaction when Joa says "this was easy" as mere mortal programmers would probably have used half a year to the same. Joa Ebert started his presentation on Apparat - the toolkit he built to create and decompile SWF files. The session summarizing the things he showed at FOTB several months ago as the optimizer and the java/C# to SWF compilation. He then decided this wasn't good enough so he left it there and on advice from Jens Franke he learned himself the Scala programming language.

Joa really loves Scala and his new projects shows this. After rewriting his SWF generation tools to Scala, he started tinkering with new ideas. His roots are still in Flash and his daily work is done on the awesome Audiotool. Using Scala he still creates nifty tools for himself and others such as bringing functional programming to Actionscript via the funk-as3 project (http://code.google.com/p/funk-as3).

 

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Image by Marc Thiele

My German isn't excellent but I do get most of it. I had a hard time understanding why Joa spent the second half of his presentation showing his testing setup, but eventually it became clear that testing has become an important part of Apparat as the AudioTool has grown. It was interesting to watch, but I think it may have been above the head for many attendees. Then again - it's often like that with Joa's talks. You walk away and say "That was cool" while not really grasping it all.

Return of the blob

Frank Reitberger

I saw Frank presenting on metaballs and blobs a year ago and it's a fascinating topic. He had left the topic alone for a while as he couldn't find ways to get the speed he wanted. When he started playing with PixelBender he all of a sudden got what he needed.

First he made the 2D metaballs and this time they played at 40fps almost no matter the amount of blobs. When this was in place he started playing around making water, slime and many other things. The next step was applying warps and distortion to a grid that distorted the underlying image - still at 40fps. Amazed at how performant this was, he took this to the third dimension and the speed stayed around 40 fps with a decent amount of triangles on screen.

 

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The rest of the session took this to really experimental angles involving objects such as a hairdryer, arduino board and a big waterpistol!

 

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FFK organizers Sascha and Marc saying goodbye and thank you for the first 10 years

 

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Some of the speakers now stuck in Germany due to the filght restrictions. German holiday FTW!

About Jens C Brynildsen

Jens has been working with Flash since version 3 came out. Since then, he's been an active member of the Flash community. He's created more than a hundred Flash games (thus the name of his blog) but he also creates web/standalone applications, does workshops and other consulting. He loves playing with new technology and he is convinced that the moment you stop learning you die (creatively speaking). Jens is also the Editor of this website.

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