FiTC 2008 Recap

Well, today I am back at the house from FiTC (actually got home last night) and I just wanted to talk about some of the stuff I saw when I was there. As usual, the conference was awesome and inspirational so I just wanted to quickly go through a couple of the cool presentations.

The Adobe Keynote
Adobe as usual showed off some of the upcoming features in Flash 10 as well as some other stuff. They didn’t show everything, obviously, but the new tweening stuff is awesome. It is not necessarily that useful for coders who tween with code but for people who do a lot of things like banner animation and such its great. You can tween something and it adds a path to the tween which then can be edited with bezier curves or resized without you losing your tween. You can also scale the frames up or down, meaning that the animation stays consistent over the amount of time you had initially set even if you scale the timeline part of it down (its basically a proportionate timeline).

They also showed off the new “3D” classes (well, actually, the panel in the properties) and it basically makes my DistortionTweener obsolete so that’ll be nice to have that functionality built into Flash after 9 versions. 😛

Eric Natzke
When I went to FiTC in 2006 I missed Natzke’s presentation because I thought it’d be a better idea to check out some Red5 stuff. Red5 is cool and all, but there is nothing like seeing Natzke’s stuff. VERY inspirational and his prints are awesome, although he doesn’t really have that many for sale as I found out after going to his site trying to buy some of the stuff I saw at the presentation. This presentation was more of his experimental work not commercial work so it was cool to see that.

Grupo W
I didn’t really know who Grupo W was but I had seen their work, a lot. They are the ones behind the Fermin and Stuntman campaigns which were awesome sites. I kind of went to this presentation by default because I didn’t really want to see anything else at the same time. I was blown away and it was one of the better presentations at the festival. They are a relatively small Mexican studio and their English wasn’t extraordinary but it was good enough to convey their thoughts and their work. If you don’t know who they are, I highly suggest you go check it out and sift through their work. Amazing stuff. We actually stood the whole time because the presentation was full (the presentation in the room next to us got canceled) but we didn’t mind at all as the work more than made up for it.

Lee Brimelow
Lee did a presentation on AIR and it was on pace with his usual teaching style if you are familiar with his video tutorials. There was some good jokes in the presentation but overall it was really nice to see all the things AIR can do (we didn’t see ALL of them, but some of the very useful things). It makes me want to get into AIR more but of course everything I saw at the conference has made me want to get into everything more so its tough to decide what to tackle next.

Joshua Davis
When Joshua Davis is in town I usually go see him speak (or when I’m at the same conference as he is). I don’t go because I think his work is beautiful; it’s actually not really my style but I can definitely appreciate the work. What fascinates me about his work is the way he goes about creating it. It’s amazing to me to see how he finds ways to come up with some of the crazy stuff he does. For an added bonus, see the end of this post.

Buck
I don’t do motion graphics but I’ve always been a fan of it because I did multimedia in college and did some After Effects here and there. Buck was a company that I was pretty familiar with and I think their work is amazing. They showed off more amazing work and talked a bit about their projects and it was just great to see.

North Kingdom
This was one of the two reasons I initially decided to go to FiTC. I absolutely LOVE NK’s work. One of the presenters (the co-founder, Robert Lindstrom) was not able to make it because he got the flu before getting on the plane so there was only one of them present (CEO David Eriksson) but he went over some of their work and just showed how awesome they were. It was also a plus that he sounded totally like James Earl Jones so it gave the presentation this awesome overtone when he was speaking. 😛

Grant Skinner
This is I believe the 3rd time I’ve seen Grant Skinner speak and he does the usual talk about his experimental stuff and I do the usual promise to myself that I’m going to start an experimental site or at least do more experimental work. Well, I think I’ve finally decided to do it after seeing his, Natzke’s, and Davis’ stuff all at once and been inspired by art generated by code. So thanks Grant Skinner for once again kicking me into gear that hopefully will not fade quickly with commercial work again.

Group94
Just like NK, Group94 was the second reason I went to the conference. If anyone knows me then you probably know that I love G94’s work to the point where I’ve actually stopped going to their site because it makes me upset to see their work and how good they are. The presentation was just absolutely awesome as Pascal Leroy showed off their work and side by side Julian Hudson then showed how each project was made. They also showed off more commercial work than I had ever seen from them (they usually do smaller photographer and magazine sites and I wasn’t aware they did stuff for Nokia or Crysis) so it was awesome to see that as well. Julian always made everything sound so simple but it was really not, at all, and the way they handled the obstacles they faced on each project was just insane. Really great work and the best presentation of the festival in my eyes.

Robert Hodgin
Before this presentation I was not familiar with Robert at all. I knew of Barbarian Group but I didn’t know he co-founded it nor did I know he did Processing. At the start of the presentation he mentioned that he switched his mind and went away from the original description that was provided to FiTC and that he’d talk about Processing instead of Flash. This upset me because I’m not familiar with Processing and I am obviously there to see Flash stuff but there were no other presentations going on at the same time so I stayed anyway. Had I left, I would have been kicking myself in the ass. His presentation was just stunning and the stuff he is doing with Processing is amazing. He showed off a bunch of stuff that was timed to music and in all honesty half the stuff he said I didn’t understand but it was just awesome to see and I enjoyed it.

On Tuesday night Joshua Davis had an exhibition at the Umbra store in Toronto not too far from the hotel where FiTC was being hosted so Jessica and I decided to go. We ended up being the first ones in line which guaranteed us some of the Joshua Davis garbage cans signed by the man himself. Since we were the first ones in I got to barrage him right away with some questions I had about the way he generated his art which helped fuel me to want to pursue that kind of experimental stuff even more (to the tune of Skinner and Natzke). He answered all my questions and he was really nice about it. If he ever reads this, I apologize that all I had to say to you the first time we talked was questions but I just had a lot of stuff running through my mind and had to ask before the place filled up and I wouldn’t be able to talk to you. 😛

Overall it was a great time and I’m very happy we attended.

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10 Comments

Nice review, now i wish i had gone!

you should have, it was a really good time. maybe we can go to one together sometime and make sweet flash love.

Nice review Matt! Wish I could have gone but I was busy with other stuff out of town 😉

anytime man… it was nice chatting with you… you can always hit me up via e-mail with questions… it’s nice to get a break from work.

all the best,

Joshua

Hey Joshua,
Thanks for stopping by. I never though that you’d actually see my apology but the internet never ceases to amaze me. Just out of curiosity, how did you find this post? If I had to guess I’d say that someone on my blog clicked your link, you saw the incoming link in your stats and checked out the post, but thats a shot in the dark because I really don’t know how else you’d find it.

In actuality though, I did email you about two years ago with one of the same questions I asked you when we met at the store, the one about the postscript output. You never responded but I figured you probably got flooded with dumb questions like that all the time or it may have been filtered to spam as my email sometimes does. Anyway, two years later I got my answer and the universe is well again 😛

Hi Matt. I had Joshua Davis speak via teleconference at the Vermont Flash User Group meeting. He was awesome and so kind to give some of his free time to our relatively small group. Ok…gotta go on a Snacker Run at http://www.kfc.com.

Yeah, he’s a really good guy.

Hi Matt. Great site. I’ve been trying to figure out how to output postscript from an .swf and edit it in lllustrator for weeks. I right click the swf, print to a PDF postscript file and open it in Illustrator. Problem is that it’s a flattened image. I can’t for the life of me figure out how to preserve the vectors. Can you help me out?

Thanks!

Pete,
I’ve actually never done it but I remember Josh Davis saying that it’s not possible if your file is AS3, it has to be AS2 (no idea why). Other than that I can’t really help as i still to this day have not yet tried 😛

Hmm… Tried that but it’s still not working. I think the problem is not being able to print to .eps file. I’ll keep trying. Thanks for the response.

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