Posted Friday, May 13, 2005 4:04:04 PM by Jim Babbage
I'm an Ultra-Noob when it comes to Flash. Frankly, the application
overwhelms me, most likely because I overthink the process. So one thing
that CMX has helped me with is to learn a bit about this program, by
working with some of the cool extensions and tutorials created by our
Case in point: In the past few weeks, I have had TWO requests from
clients for an automated slideshow for their web sites. In the past I
have built these as semi-interactive photo galleries, making use of
other extensions and then hammering them into submission until the
gallery fit inside the page the way I wanted. After reading Paul Newman's
article on his CMX Slideshow Flash Extension I was not only intrigued, but completely hooked. I could DO this.
And I did, in less than an afternoon, including image selection and batch processing.
Let me tell you, I was tickled pink that this worked. Not only did I
do something in Flash, I also had an answer for two clients - which
means more work and happy customers!
After my initial elation wore off, the designer part of me kicked
in. I started wondering how I could jazz up the slideshow. I glanced
nervously at the drawing tools in Flash, but my hand knew better.
Fireworks was launching before I even thought about it. With some trial
and error and patience, I was able to do just what I wanted - and - get
the customized frame into Flash.
I must say, I love how I can move seamlessly from app to app in this suite of products. It makes for a very pleasant creative experience and smooth workflow.
I only scratched the tip of the iceberg with this little project but
it got me pumped. And it got me to use Flash more than - well more than
I ever have. Admittedly that
doesn't mean much to regular Flash users, but it has helped open my
eyes to the potential of the software - and unlock some creative
potential inside me.
And for those of you wondering . . look for a tutorial mighty soon on this process of discovery.
Category tags: Fireworks
Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 9:03:43 AM by Chris Flick
Alrighty then, folks...
I thought I'd jot down a few random thoughts about this week's CMX Suite strip. I don't know if this will be a "regular" habit of mine, but it is something I have been thinking about doing for a while now. Consider it a bit like "Inside the Actor's Studio" only now, you are entering "inside a cartoonist's head". If ANY of you ever remember the short lived FOX TV show called "Herman's Head", you get the idea.
Anyway... as you can obviously tell, today's strip was a product of being very mesmerized by Molly Holzschlag during TODCon '05 two weeks ago. Here's a little secret I'm going to share with you all... even though I probably SHOULD have known who Molly was prior to TODCon, I didn't. Heck, I didn't even pay attention to who was presenting all the CSS stuff that was at TODCon this year - I was just determined to attend as many CSS sessions as I possibly could to see if this silly artist could FINALLY wrap his head around the bizarre universe known as "table-less designs".
Well... that's not going to happen any time soon, I can tell you that!
But still, I forged ahead and went to the first CSS session at TODCon and was immediately blown away by Molly's personality. And, as many people will tell you - including Molly herself - she has quite an overcharged personality. And as typical with a personality like that, some love it and some can't handle it. Me? For whatever reason, I've always seemed to be more comfortable around people that have a personality like Molly's. And when I find someone interesting - like I did Molly - I start drawing them. Or, at least, I start drawing a representation of them.
As all the CMX partners will tell you, none of my cartoons of them - either in their strip or on their blog pages- actually looks anything like them. That was for a very conscious decision on my part. I've done caricatures in the past - I still do caricatures as gifts or commissions - so I could have easily spent a lot of time creating caricatures of all the CMX Partners but that would have taken a tremendous amount of time to duplicate in a web comic strip form. Instead, I wanted to create more of a "representation" of that person - make them a bit more "animated-like" so to speak. That meant having to sacrifice "likeness" for "simplification".
So, what does all that have to do with Molly?
Well, when you first meet Molly, two things immediately capture your attention - her hair (her wild, crazy hair) and her eyes. So that's where my sketches started. And before long, I suddenly had what looked like a Japanese Animated looking female character - only with long, crazy, curly hair. And, when it comes to drawing women, I absolutely love drawing long, wild and crazy hair. The crazier the hair, the better.
And Molly fell right into that category!
Now, the whole part about the CSS Jedi Warrior came towards the end of the conference in a casual conversation with Stef Sullivan - one of my fellow CMX partners whom I consider to be my personal CSS hero (Shhh! Don't tell her though. Let's just keep that OUR little secret, shall we?). Let me tell you... Being in the presence of those two ladies - with their awesome CSS skills - DEFINITELY made me feel like that poor shlub of a Storm trooper Commander who stopped Obi Wan and Luke in Episode 4 asking about R2 and C3-PO...
Originally, I thought I'd sketch Stef in a Jedi outfit ala Mace Windu and maybe we'd put it on a mouse pad and sell it at CafePress since I so love to draw Stef's cartoon character in all sorts of crazy outfits... but during the flight home to Virginia, I remembered the sketch I also had of Molly - and as ANY true Star Wars fan will tell you, Jedi Knights always travel in two's. In the Star Wars Universe, one's a master while the other is the apprentice. But I wasn't thinking in those terms here. I was thinking more along the lines of Mace and Yoda - both side by side and masters in their own rights - a description that I thought fit Stef and Molly perfectly.
Besides... who could argue with two hot female Jedi Warriors kicking some serious butt and having a bunch of hapless, clueless dudes eating out of the palm of their hands????
PS: I also don't have a CLUE who that last guy is that's in a baseball hat. I really don't. Sometimes, these characters just draw themselves.