October 19th, 2007 – 12:21 pm
Tagged as: Content Master

I finally got shown how to create simulations in Flash. Phoar a lengthy process it is!

The one word that sticks to mind from this week – Keyframes!

Every screenshot exported using Adobe Illustrator (Photoshop didn’t have batch export to PNG, but Illustrator did) needed to be imported into Flash. Once imported, each image required an individual keyframe on the timeline. Each new screenshot (which was all edited/cut up in Photoshop to just show a change) – then sat on a new layer, positioned on top of a bulk image in a new keyframe. Then finally, some Actionscript is adjusted to say what point simulation is at in relation to the step-list. This process was repeated throughout the whole sim!

This was a long and fairly complicated process to get through. Given that a template for creating simulations was already created made the job 200% easier! But I couldn’t imagine how we’d have to create each simulation if we didn’t have any templates to work from.

However, as much as nobody enjoyed doing simulations, I actually loved doing them! Merely because I enjoyed taking the template apart (which was originally created by MSL) and understanding what was where, why it was there and how it linked in with localisation at Microsoft’s end.

It was an amazing opportunity (though not really necessary) to explore the complexity in dynamic integration of multimedia – something I enjoy delving into.

Nevertheless, I got working on simulations this week, which felt like it even though it felt like an eternity to complete just one! But over this week in October, I surprisingly picked up this procedure very quickly and snapped up some of tips and tricks to make it easier. I developed my first simulation within three to four days.

On top of it however, there was another file that needed to be developed and synchronised dynamically with Actionscript (an XML file outlining the narration text tips to go with each change of a screen shot when appropriate).

I have a feeling definitely I am going to enjoy these next few weeks!

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