egypturnash: (Default)
So I've been helping Rik pick up programming - specifically, Actionscript 2, in the Flash 8 environment. I did a little toy program to illustrate some basic point-at-an-object-and-move-towards-it kinds of things.

And then, on a whim, I switched to Flash CS3 and tried getting it into Actionscript 3.

Errors everywhere. Errors errors errors. Digging into it I discover that it's gone from a cute, happy, quick Javascript derivative into something that feels like every story I read about how verbose and painful Java is. Names of properties have changed all over, for no immediately obvious purpose than to make all your old Actionscript habits a source of pain. And to do almost anything you have to explicitly import packages. That are always going to be there in the furshlugginer runtime anyway. What the fuck? A cheery little language that you can knock something up in quickly has turned into this bondage and discipline monstrosity that requires days of head-breaking study just to get a simple little example working.

When Rik was starting to fool with Flash coding, I unknowingly suggested that maybe he should just start with AS3, since everyone who wants a Flash coder is starting to whine for AS3. He decided not to, and I think that was a good choice. AS3 is fucking hostile. It does not want you to touch it unless you're willing to give over a significant portion of your life to learning its syntax and conventions. This is in stark contrast to the older versions, which were presented as simple little languages that <sneer>even a right-brained artist like youuuu</sneer> could pick up and do something with.

Actionscript is turning into a language with all the user-friendliness of C and all the succinctness of Java.

And the editor continues to be aggravating, as well. What the hell is up with these weird sticky zones for the palettes at all four edges of the screen, that resize them in useless, unpredictable ways when you accidentally move a palette too close to them?

edit. an example of the HURT. )


Apr. 2nd, 2007 05:52 pm
egypturnash: (cat's cradle)
I just looked at Adobe's presentation of the new features for Illustrator CS3. And half of them seem to be "make it act more like Flash". It's got Flash's eraser, it's got something just like double-clicking a symbol to edit in place, and ALL THE PALETTES have gotten the HIDEOUS CRAP of Flash's palettes smeared all over them.

Those fucking ugly Macromedia palettes came about because ADOBE SUED MACROMEDIA. And now Macromedia's HALF-ASSED, AGGRAvATING, but not copyright-infringing, reimplementation of the idea is GETTING SMEARED ALL OVER ILLUSTRATOR like RETARDED MONKEYS SMEARING SHIT.

The features boil down to:
- does not crash on Intel Macs (I've heard AICS2 is quite unstable on Intel Macs)
- claims of major speed improvements
- finally, some options to make the point handles bigger
- you can have multiple crop rectangles for different output destinations
- some kind of color harmony explorer I'll probably never touch because I managed to grow a color sense years ago
- better cut and paste between Flash and AI
- Flash's lame-ass faux-bitmap eraser tool*
- Macromeda UI design retards shat all over Illustrator's palettes

I think it's time to take a serious goddamn look at alternative tools. Macromedia's hideous redesign of Flash was a large part of what made me absolutely uninterested in seriously looking for work in the animation world - and now Illustrator's getting all Flash-like. Fuck. This like the Blackwing going extinct times a thousand. This could be the fucking K-T boundary for my favorite art tool. If I have to constantly coax a "context-sensivive Control Panel" into giving me the options I want, Illustrator will be just as frustrating as Flash became.

* Perfect for erasing crude holes in your shitty-looking autotrace images!
egypturnash: (Default)
One-frame scene at the beginning of your movie. Loads the whole damn thing and manifests a 'play' button; comes back to this when the movie loops unless you put a 'play again?' button at the end. I'm sick of having to rebuild this from first principles, or go hunting for this kind of crap when I can barely remember Actionscript syntax, you see.

Flash 6 or above. Simple graphics are best. Pick colors and shapes to harmonize with the cartoon, of course.

And while I'm making Flash-related reference notes for myself: DON'T TRUST IT TO SAVE. 'Save and compact' can and will die mid-save. SAVE AS A NEW VERSION LIKE YOU DID BACK ON WPH because FLASH IS STILL GLITCHY. I go use other programs that don't regularly shit their own bed and I forget this and I lose work and I am full of hate and sadness.

This loader can be as pretty as I want it to be, or it can just be quick and dirty like the one I just did.


on "loader" clip (it HAS to have a name!):
onClipEvent (enterFrame)
	gotoAndStop (Math.floor((_root.getBytesLoaded()/_root.getBytesTotal())*this._totalframes));

(bugfix, october: movieclips don't comprehend non-integer frame numbers; I have to clamp it manually.)

in the loader clip:
* any (simple) animation, where frame 1 is 0%, and frame n is 100%.
* frame n contains the play button:
on (release) {;

and don't forget the credit/copyright button(s) in the loader page:
on (release) { getURL("");}
egypturnash: (Default)
Lordy, how I hate symbolizing stuff in Flash.

The current bit I'm working on started with inking some stuff in Toon Boom. Looks nice, came out much prettier than it would've if I'd inked in Flash. TB lets you turn the canvas around like you were using a real animation disc, so you can pull a nice line out very easily. (Painter and OpenCanvas do this too. I think Expression did as well but it's been a while.)

But then I take the elements I made in Toon Boom, and I export them as a SWF, and I bring those into Flash and I start the dreary, boring work of turning everything in the scene into symbols. It's boring and unautomatable. When I'm low on estrogen as I am right now, it's frustratingly hard to shrug and just plow through it. And I need to deliver this thing as a Flash source file, so I really don't have any other option but to use the damn program.

Every time I've had to symbolize stuff myself, it took for. fucking. ever. Or felt like it. The actual animation takes next to no time next to this phase, for me. Despite it's awkwardness, drawing in Flash may well be the best choice, because I can symbolize each drawing (or part of a drawing) as it's finished, instead of having to bring it in, possibly cut it apart, and put it back together again - I'm working on the timing and the drawing and the coloring and everything all at once, and the boring, technical job of symbolizing happens invisibly. This is how I did the animated appearance of Dr. Procyon for the COG. Inking in Flash was painful, but symbolizing was painless.

I'd have finished this piece yesterday if not for the fact that I've been slowly, slowly symbolizing it in fits and starts all night long. More fits than starts.

Once I get it all symbolized it probably won't be more than an hour or so of work to time it. *sigh*
egypturnash: (Default)
The long-term solution to Flash driving me crazy? Stop taking jobs that involve it. I thought this gig with American Greetings would involve less than it did, but so far it's been almost entirely Flash work. The last gig that drove me crazy mid-summer turned out to be almost entirely Flash crap too. I need the money, so I'll grit my teeth and somehow deal with the fact that Flash is utter shit and that there seems to be no other option, but I gotta resume trying to start that theoretical illustration career.

I just took one of the first steps in never taking another Flash job: I took almost all mentions of it out of my resume. I still list myself as being a Flash director for Spümcø a couple of times, but all of my gigs that were previously "flash animator"? Now they just say "animator". I will not take any new work involving Flash unless it pays a hell of a lot of money and has insurance. I will create elements that will go into Flash; that's fine. But once I've phased out this emoticons/winks stuff from my life and found other regular gigs, I'm going to delete Flash from my hard drive. And maybe someday down the line, I'll be able to animate for myself. Flash makes me cringe at the thought of any kind of animation for months after using it. Flash sucks every single iota of joy out of animation for me by making the process painful and awkward.

I want things that make me pissed-off and annoyed out of my life and I seem to keep letting Flash back in because of money reasons. And it never pays me enough for the amount of hate it causes in me.
egypturnash: (Default)
Gnyah. I installed Classic so I could install Flash 5 and have properly separate frame/instance palettes, so I can actually get this stuff done without going completely crazy. Except I just realized something:

Flash MX2004 only has the option to save as MX2004 documents or as MX documents. Flash 5 can't understand these.

I have this horrible, horrible fear that I'm going to end up with three versions of this piece of shit on my machine, because MX can save as MX or 5 source files.

And GODDAMN FUCKING BROKEN INTERFACE MAKES ME WANT TO SMASH THINGS and I don't like using software that puts me in that state of mind.

And this fear is true, because the source files I have from American Greetings are MX2004 documents.

i have one and a half gigs of this piece of shit on my machine, plus the huge amount of crap they splatter into ~/preferences/ and ~/library/application support/ and /library/application support/ to support my desire to avoid using the shitty, hate-inducing interface. This is fucking stupid.

I'm fucked either way. Goddamn it.


Nov. 10th, 2005 06:21 pm
egypturnash: (Default)

Now jerking around motion-tweened symbols is going all broken. I HATE THIS FUCKING THING. Goddamn piece of shit. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

I found their suggestion box the other day, after seeing that 8 was broken in exactly the same fundamental way, and actually got some email back from someone there. Wow. Except they just said that they "can't" split the instance/frame properties back into separate palettes. They suggested a pathetic band-aid to the UI of "double-clicking a frame selects the symbol in it". Feh.

Goddamnit, I'm about at the point where I'm going to do what I did for Pepe the Bull, and go back to Flash 5 because the fucking interface isn't fucking completely broken like it's been since MX on. Even though I was hoping to save space by not having Classic on my machine.

I'll still have to have newer versions of Flash around to deal with some of the source files I get - luckily, MX has one worthwhile feature, 'save as 5'. They added that in after people screamed in horror that they were stuck in the very very crashy initial release of 5.

Is it just me, or does having to deal with Flash mean lots of cursing from me? This, dear readers, is a lot of why I left the animation industry: I kept ending up with jobs where i have to try and use this obnoxious, broken piece of shit, and the prospect of going out and looking for more work using it was never pleasant. It's like I accidentally ended up with a career in putting needles in my eyeballs or something.

a quote

Oct. 31st, 2005 11:47 pm
egypturnash: (Default)
"My loathing for this tool is deep and complex and far more intimate than I would like it to be." - me, on the subject of Flash.

I finished off the first of what will hopefully be a fair number of little things for American Greetings today. This is what I was using Flash for - in particular, a package of animated emoticons for MSN Messenger*. Depending on whether or not they want the source files as well as the rendered gifs, I may be greatly altering their workflow to suit my sanity - changing file structures, changing the complete toolpath. I'm already doing that a little, because they're using Freehand and Fireworks, and the only Macromedia app I'll grudgingly have on my machine is Flash. I really need to figure out how to bend my resume to admit that I worked with that tool, but avoid looking like someone who should be hired to do stuff in it; it really makes my blood pressure rise precipitously.

No Halloween fun because of this, and because of [ profile] queenofstripes being sick, and other things. Oh well.

*which I will never see in use because it's Windows-only, and because everyone I IM with uses AIM, and because animated emoticons make me scream. But MSN Messenger is all flickertwitchy, and expansion of the flickertwitchiness has been monetized. If I go work on this stuff with my laptop in a cafe, I will be so Internet Two Point Oh that it'll hurt.
egypturnash: (Default)
So I'm doing some freelance work that involves Flash. It's reminding me how much I hate Flash, and how much my hate for it grew with each successive version - each UI change since version 5 has been towards more bullshit between the user and the animation. I'm thinking of asking if they actually need the .fla source files, or if any tool is fine to use as long as I generate files that fit the specs. I keep meaning to try out Toon Boom.

I remembered that Flash 8 came out recently, and that they actually went and asked around the world of people using the damn thing for pro animation what they might want in the way of new tools.

There aren't any screenshots of the new version on Macromedia's site. There are movies - presumably encapsulated with Flash. There are no static screenshots.

Flash 6, MX, and MX2004 all sucked. )

I keep meaning to try out Toon Boom.

edit: Flash 8 still sucks. )


egypturnash: (Default)
Margaret Trauth

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