Monday, January 29, 2007

after action review

The dust has settled and the after action review begins (to steal a concept from the Army ). The Army is famous for doing after action reviews after almost everything, OK everything, especially when they are in the field.

Lesson #1: Keep it simple stupid (KISS), especially on deadline.

Lesson #2: Keep Flash development away from deadline productions, unless you really can’t.

Lesson #3: Stick to what you know, even if you can tell the story better in a way you have never tried before. The headaches and new hurdles are not always readily apparent when you start off on a ‘shortcut.’

Lesson #4: Add an extra day to development to allow for ‘technical’ glitches that may only arise on launch. So launch in private a day early to allow for overcoming obstacles like load time.

Lesson #5: Keep it short. Get in and get out. anything in Flash, Soundslides or otherwise gets really tricky and large after 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Believe me.

Lesson #6: Joe Weiss is a deity. IF you are trying to reinvent the wheel, don’t. Joe has done it much better than you can imagine or know.

Lesson #7: If you are designing a web AND print package, add one more day than you think you need to your schedule.

So, in general, a good time was had by all. Much was learned.

The nitty, gritty (for the hard core mojos out there.):

Compare blizzard version one with the final project. Yes, the audio is not synched to the flash, still learning how to do that. Yup, gotta fix that. The load time is close to soundslides, but it took a great deal of work to get it that close and the audio suffers in version 1. Once again Joe Weiss is a deity. Could you, I, we have accomplished much of the background texture in CSS or XHTML, probably (KISS). Other observations? Bueller? Bueller?

1 comment:

M_Fagans said...

Andrew Dolph wrote from the road and graciously allowed me to post the following.

Very nice to see the thought process going on between the two different versions. I do appreciate the texture of the background on v.1, as it gives just a little extra push on the end of creativity — something we very much need in this time of "slap-it-together" in SoundSlides era of multimedia. With that being said, do you know that everything you're attempting to accomplish, and more, is possible through an integration between SoundSlides and Flash? Using the lower thirds concept of design taken from linear editing of video tape, SoundSlides is essentially an "open source" program. Thanks Joe!!!

You could create a stage with your graphic as the background, and use the SoundSlides presentation as a component that loads independently in Flash. Have I lost you yet? If don't already know, go here and explore fully:

sound slides

The moment v.1 opened after a short load time, I immediately said to myself, "Whoa. Why aren't they integrating the two, and implementing a component to achieve this presentation and at the same time cut down on the Flash work?"

One little suggestion about buttons in Flash: For the sound on/off button, you need to make designate a "hit" zone for the mouse-over of that button, because when I roll over it, the cursor toggles with each character. So, go into button editing mode, and (assuming that your button is a button, and not a movie clip) there should be four labeled key-frames in your time line: up, over, down, and hit. You need to add a key frame in hit. Then after doing so, select the rectangle tool. Make sure that all the rectangle's properties are either white, or transparent — whichever you prefer, and make a rectangle either the same size, or greater than your button. Once you've finished exit button editing mode, and test the functionality of your button. The cursor should now exist in a consistent state when mousing over the entire button.

Now, one other note about audio. I'm not entirely certain what changed with your audio track between v.1 and v.2, but it sounds like the sound sampling rate is inconsistent between the two. V.2 sounds terrificly pleasant. What happened in v.1?

Finally, I really liked over-all feel, flow, and presentation of the two versions — technical difficulties aside. I would like to see a v.3.