The Next Big Thing in Interactive Design

Justin | design,interaction | Friday, June 13th, 2008

Adobe is currently working a project codenamed, “Thermo.” It will be the most intuitive process for converting Photoshop and Illustrator designs into interactive applications. The program looks similar to Dreamweaver’s code and design views. When you switch to the code view you can see that the application is producing Flex code underneath, so designers and developers can collaborate throughout the process.

Thermo also has one of the best user interfaces that I’ve seen in an application. There appears to be essentially one menu, which alters its content based on the context. When dragging around or scaling an object, the coordinates and dimensions are displayed next to the cursor. This type of interface design will likely eliminate the need to have dozens of panels open.

Thermo also solves a problem that studios have be wrangling with for years with their Flash and web applications. How do I should the customer how the product is going to work? Storyboards work relatively well for linear narratives, but interactive narratives often branch in several directions. So some studios go to the trouble of making elaborate Flash prototypes for the client so that they can sign off on the project. This can be extremely costly. Thermo promises to make such a strategy cost-effective by enabling the designer to produce a simple interactive application in seconds. See the videos for proof.

Another Flash Timeline Extension

Justin | Animate/Flash,extensions | Thursday, June 12th, 2008

This one selects a range of frames that you enter.

Select Frame Range.mxp

3 New Flash Extensions for Managing Long Timelines

Justin | Animate/Flash,animation,design,extensions | Thursday, June 12th, 2008

These should cut down on the dragging and scrolling and searching. I got tired of dragging a selection across hundreds of frames only to lose it all with one slip of the mouse.

  • Select Empty Layers command
  • Select Frames to Start command: this takes your selection and selects all the frames before it as well
  • Select Frames to End command: this takes your selection and selects all the frames after it as well

Downloads

  1. Select Empty Layers.mxp
  2. SelectFrames_toStartAndEnd.mxp

Queasy Tools Panel – New Flash CS3 Extension for Designers & Animators

Justin | Animate/Flash,animation,design,extensions | Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Queasy Tools is a new set of quick and easy tools for Flash designers and animators. This panel provides the fastest way to create tweened animation with easing in Flash (and now Animate CC) as well as putting together a set of common design functions in one location. Feature list and free download below…

UPDATE:

Details on newer version (1.5.0) features available here.

Screenshot

Queasy Tools Screenshot

(more…)

Brad Bird on Innovation

Justin | links | Friday, April 18th, 2008

Lessons from a master on creativity and innovation.

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