Tuesday, November 08, 2005

USING FLASH

I am pushing a serious deadline this week--a ton of illustrations for use in a web-toon which will be created in Flash. In order to help the process along, I have been trying to re-acquaint myself with Flash. In short, it's been a little bit frustrating. The rewards are obvious (right Jared?)... Still there are some things that drive me up the freaking wall!!

First, keyboard shortcuts are different than just about every other program I use so there's a substantial dropoff in usability. Also, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. The old "apple-spacebar" zoom-in feature works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't, I end up dragging a huge part of the illustration off the stage. Which brings me to another irritating feature that sometimes doesn't work: apple-Z undo. Flash will sometimes crash if I try to undo too far back... It also doesn't undo accurately.

Second, making selections is a hassle. Flash will sometimes just not select what you've "selected" just for spite. Also, making and editing multiple selections is all but impossible. In Adobe Illustrator, it's possible to make a multiple selections by holding down the "shift" key. You can they easily change colors and transform the selection. I haven't figured out how to do this in Flash yet. What seems simple and intuitive turns out to be hard as balls to figure out.

Third, working with Illustrator files is sort of frustrating. Sometimes Flash just refuses to import an Illjustrator file. It just refuses. I have to export the illustrator file as a *.swf file and THEN import it in Flash. It seems like a minor step, but it is frustrating.

About four years ago, I helped animate and design a "web-toon" called "kung Fu Kiwi" which actually won some awards. That project was created in a much older version of Flash and seemed to move a lot more smoothly than this one. I just don't remember being this FRUSTRATED with Flash.

On the positive side, The animation capability is something that all but erases all the frustrating aspects... It takes some getting used to but it's a lot of fun. Also, the html capabilities rock. I am already trying to figure out some cool stuff to add to the old website. Stay tuned! I also like how smooth the drawing flows in Flash. There is a great crowquill-look to drawings in Flash. For creating great, vector illustrations there's really nothing better.

I'm sure all of this stuff just takes more learning and more patience than I am willing to give at this point. I wish I could post some examples of what I am working on but I signed an NDA which prevents me from sharing. Maybe after I get finished, I'll be able to post some other examples.

Now that I've vented, I feel better...

1 comment:

hyacinth said...

I understood about 5% of what you just wrote, but the need to vent I get 100%.