Visit: zedii.v.2


Creator: Zayd Junglee
Time taken: 2 weeks
Platform: Text files and Flash
Software used: Notepad, Adobe Macromedia Flash 8, Adobe Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, Adobe Photoshop, Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9 and Goldwave

This was a University project during my first year, as well as a very big step in terms of advancing onto, what I would call, intermediate ActionScripting(AS), without being asked to. This project achieved a total of 80%. I was very pleased with the outcome, however there were a few minor problems, which I will take into consideration, in future designs.

Originally, I found it difficult to design a new website, acting as my portfolio of work. My inspiration for design was at it’s worst, through all the other work I had at the time. Essentially it had to be an e-folio (online portfolio). The idea of creating several random circles in Flash, lead to a sophisticated and unique design (some-what game-like).

I’ve always wanted to make circles interactive in some way. I’m still not sure why it’s the case! I think it’s the visualisation of looking through a deep hole… Which I still felt I did not achieve (something to bear in mind for future designs!).

I wanted the design to be an interactive base, allowing the user to browse through the section while experiencing some form of animation. Therefore, tweening the opening and closing of circles favourably acted as memorable sections (alongside the colour-coding the circles).

However, inexperience took over as my method of coding resulting in masses of “If statements!” This resulted in a strategic combination, that worked according to which circle was currently open, followed by which circle the user wishes to view next. However, the purpose of the If statements – to act as a closure of the current circle (through reverse animation), followed by the animation of the circle the user picked.

All in all, the idea of creating a “list of combinations,” only made the flow of code more complicated. Yet, the outcome was successful in this case (finally)!

Other than that, there were several AS based “modules,” which were called in to provide a fully dynamic appearance to the website. On another note, I learnt that nearly all coding should be placed in the first frame of the movie as well as every layer should be given a “meaningful name”. I followed this advice, as much as possible realising how advantageous it is.

Dynamic content includes the animated background of stars/glowing movement, (i.e. moving at random intervals – both velocity and location), as well as the “scrolling-image browser” located under the gallery and actng as a method to demonstrate my portfolio of work. Furthermore, all content pages were grabbed from external text files, supporting basic HTML tags.

Taking the “scrolling-image browser” as an exmaple, I found this method extremely useful, as it was a combination of XML and Flash (a MUST! when it comes to flexibilty of coding!). Essentially, all the images, links and descriptions were called by their corresponding XML file, rather than pre-loading all these items within the flash (reducing file sizes dramatically!). Therefore, the requested area/content the user wishes to view will only be downloaded as and when the user views it.

I felt very proud of this method, having commented it all the way to remind me of the structure and meaning of how such a “scrolling-image gallery” is created using purely AS (i.e. no physical symbols in the library).

Overall, the website did have one other disadvantage. Although designed on a high spec machine (1.7ghz Centrino laptop), the website seems to use up 90% of the CPU power (whoops!). On the other than, it is not really noticeable…

I only realised this as several CPU demanding programs were loaded at the same time, on my machine, while my website was running in the background. The website began to slow down, which queried my curiosity as to why this was the case.

CTRL+ALT+DELETE explained all. While the culprit remained mysterious, I came to realise it was the constant alpha-animation (star/glow animation) occuring underneath another flash animation!

Aside that, I felt I have created one of the most successful websites to date. It is clear, concise, unique, elegant and most of all – takes less than 10 seconds to load! (given a broadband connection!).

I will always use this website as a reference to making other websites and in the mean time – will remain as my Flash e-folio website. It has really helped my development.