This is a pre-release post, but as we are getting very close to the launch I thought it was about the right time to say a few introductory words. I've wanted to write Flash tutorials and release sample character builds for years, but life has been busy and the amount of work overwhelming to the point where I have started and stopped a few times.
About 7 years ago I learned how to use the History panel in Flash to record Commands, which allowed some batch processing and automating of repetitive tasks – a concept I was very familiar with from my work with Photoshop Actions in the past. Later I found out that Flash's architecture allowed functionality to be added through additional panels, commands and shortcuts. I have always been a fan and a supporter of open source and free software, free sharing of knowledge and information. The project was slowly taking shape and finding the right people for it was crucial.
Vlad, my long time friend and colleague, with whom we catch up once every 2-3 years when I visit Sofia, jumped on board with enthusiasm and contributed hugely with ideas about functionality, structure and methodical approach. His coding ability has always amazed me. Having a background in traditional animation and a lot of experience with usability design, multimedia and interactive projects, made him the ideal programmer and the perfect collaborator for this project.
Working together again after more than 8 years and reviving the Electric Dog brand, which we created in 1997 has been extremely enjoyable. We have accumulated a lot of knowledge over the years and we decided that the time has come to start sharing it with everyone who may be interested. The project has been in active development for about a year now. We have reached a stable and balanced functionality and I wrote lengthy notes in an attempt to describe the processes and methods used in building and animating digital cutouts in Flash.
In the recent weeks while Vlad was fixing the last small bugs in the code, I spent a lot of time learning how to use WordPress and modifying an existing theme (zeeSynergie) to suit our needs.
In the next post I will document some technical info about classes, styles and tags which I added to the CSS and may be handy for future contributors. There has been significant interest in the project among the people I have personally spoken with and I'm hoping that the global community of Flash animators and designers will find it useful and will join us in our attempt to document some good practices and share knowledge and tips.
In the next few months whenever I have time I will post tutorials and Tips & Tricks. I have already made a list of topics, so it really is only a matter of finding enough time to write. Till soon!∎
- Nickolay Tilcheff