26 November 2008

YouTube Mashing

I was listening to BBC 6 Music, a cracking radio station that plays amazing new stuff you've never heard of, when I was sent the standard YouTube comedy clip of kittens doing silly things.

I was listening to Smoke Fairies - Living with Ghosts when I opened the kitten video.

By pure luck, I opened the video at the perfect moment in an almost seemless mix with the radio.

Try it yourself, follow these instructions:

  1. Load each video in a separate browser tab or window.

    Here's the Smoke Fairies video:

    And here's the "Lookin' Kitties" video:

  2. Press pause on both videos until they're completely downloaded.

  3. Cue the Smoke Fairies video to about 1:48

  4. In a quick manoeuvre, start the Smoke Fairies video, then flip to the kitties video and press play.

Goes together pretty well doesn't it?

So budding DJ's, get out there and start a new trend,
"YouTube Mashing" ! But don't forget, you heard it here first ;-)

24 November 2008

Glenbow Museum - Art Pad

Here lies ArtPad:


Technically it's a fantastic site. I only worked on a very small part of it myself, but many of my colleagues worked very hard to produce a site which is artistically stunning, yet adheres to strict accessibility standards - a tough job!

A big hurrah to everyone who worked on it. A slow clap to the fact it was poorly managed, vastly over budget and released 2 years after it was initially completed.

04 November 2008

Accessing Scenes in loaded SWFs (AS3)

Ok, ok, I can hear you now, "don't use scenes, silly boy!", but really, they're the best compromise to allow animators to freely draw avatars and allow me to control the avatar orientation with each scene.

Animators would send me swfs containing scenes named as each avatar orientation (N, S, E, W etc). I would then load these swfs into the game and use the scenes to control the avatars orientation. The problem is I couldn't access any of the scenes I got from the animators swfs. My proof of concept worked perfectly, but when I got the real stuff, it wasn't working!?

If I checked loadedMC.scenes.length, I would get a value of 1 instead of the expected 5, yet it would still cycle through all the scenes, but where were they?

I asked for the fla's and all seemed fine. However there was 1 minor difference: the animators were using Graphic symbols on the timeline in each scene, not MovieClips. I added a blank MovieClip to each scene and hey-presto, the scenes were accessible!

So if you use scenes, make sure you have MovieClip symbols inside them, otherwise you won't be able to access them at run-time.

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