Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wrapping up a couple of projects

Tonight I put the final polish on two projects, my new brettoppegaard.com home page, and the blog for Camas School District Superintendent Mike Nerland.
The home page, I suppose, will never be done. But I want to launch it now with the capabilities I have in Flash and then work on refining this idea as I learn new techniques in the program. Flash is a very picky critter, very picky. I originally created a couple of buttons for this oPhone concept a few weeks ago. I came back to it, after my Lynda.com trial period had expired, and I could not remember every little minute switch that needed to be switched to get a darn button to work. So I spent a couple of hours banging my head against my desk, and then I signed back up for Lynda.com ($25 a month). It was money well spent, I guess, because after another hour or two, I was able to figure out the tiny little step I had passed over. Can you tell I was frustrated? Anyway, I finally was able to get the button to work, and, like anything I have done in Flash so far, everything looks so much easier in hindsight. Creating a button, adding sound, etc., have all been a snap once I spent hours and hours going over and over the simple 48-step process. Can someone please explain to me why Adobe can't turn a symbol into a button, then make the button follow one of several commons scripts (such as hyperlinking to another page) or keep the option for a custom script, so all the code monkeys of the world could get their kicks.
I really don't dislike programming. I started writing code in the mid-1980s. I basically get the ideas. But it's so very boring to do, and I'd much rather focus on the bigger picture of realizing my vision. That said, I really like the flexibility of Flash. If I can think of it, I pretty much can do it in this program. That's power!
The second project is the blog for the Camas School District's superintendent Mike Nerland. The last few steps were to snap an interesting photo of him and turn that into a banner, which I did tonight. Nerland and public information officer Doreen McKercher were very appreciate of this effort, and they seemed to learn a lot, which made the whole process worthwhile for me.
Now, I just need to turn all of this experience into a huge academic paper. Better spend my energy on that.

- Brett

2 comments:

Chris said...

Looks pretty good, Brett; this is a very cool mode of interactivity that you've come up with. Glad to see the oPhone filling up with "apps." I'd kind of like to learn more about flash at some point--it's a powerful tool indeed.

As a side note, you could also get the same effect on your splash page through some CSS positioning. It's a neat trick that I've seen here and there and was going to pull in to my Rushton design before it got horrifically complex due to too many images. Might work with the limited number of images you're working with, though.

And wait--paper? What's that? :)

Monica said...

Brett,
I really like the solution you came up with for the portfolio portion of your personal website. It's a lot more inviting (for me anyways) and the organization facilitates delivery of the content. I think it's quite effective.

I second your frustrations with Flash. It's rewarding once you've created something that actually works but there's a steep learning curve, that I often feel like I'm just starting to climb.