Switching from iPhone to Windows Phone 8

Most cell phones reviews are done by analyzing hardware specs, running a few applications and speculating how the device’s features are evidence of the legendary iPhone killer. Very rarely are reviews done by someone actually switching from their preferred handset to the new device that is the object of their scrutiny. This is more than a review, it’s a journey, a story if you will, about what it really means to switch from the iPhone to a new Windows 8 Phone. Why Windows Phone? In researching this decision, I found similar statements to, “If something is working well for you, then why switch?” To be honest, I feel the same way. I love my iPhone and have been an iPhone user since version 1; having every intention of upgrading to the new iPhone 5. So this post isn’t about any Microsoft vs Apple fanboy business. Technorati Tags: htc, iPhone, iphone Read the full article…

HTML5 Canvas scrolling in Win8 and IE10

This week Microsoft released Windows 8, it’s *13th Operating system, and with it the 10th version of Internet Explorer. Win8 promises to be an OS that works and looks the same across multiple devices. So you might be surprised when you try to interact with your HTML5 site/app/game in IE 10 on a tablet. Moving your finger around the page does not register, scrolling or dragging horizontally actually moves the browser window or creates a new tab; depending on the direction. Luckily there’s a simple fix, when preparing your HTML5 web app for IE10 on tablet, remember to add the “-ms-touch-action” css property to the Canvas tag and set the value to “none”. ?View Code HTML<canvas id="html5-canvas" style="-ms-touch-action:none;"></canvas> This property lets IE10 know that the Canvas app is not static content, allowing all those gestures to be picked up by the app or game. Learn more about -ms-touch-actions, as well Read the full article…

Cutting the Cord to Cable TV

The internet is like a massive well, brimming with video entertainment, but can it provide enough quality programming to replace your current cable provider? Many have already cut the cord with their telephone company, opting instead for an internet based service that has put a few extra dollars in their pocket every month. With the average cable bill at around $75 per month, the prospect of doing the same with your cable company has the potential of even greater monthly savings. Online video services, such as Hulu and Netflix, are currently offering free and low cost, legal alternatives for viewing some of the most popular cable and network shows begging the question, “Why am I still paying for Cable?” Technorati Tags: Apple TV, Cable TV, free cable, video streaming, watch tv online Read the full article…

Illustrating In Illustrator 101 part 4 of 5

Artists through the ages have pushed the limits and innovated new mediums to communicate to the world. Color has always played a huge roll of how art was received. In this chapter in the Illustrating with Illustrator series, we will discuss color and the different ways to apply color to our work. Color Schemes: Color schemes are two or more colors that are used to identify a message or reinforce a brand. A color scheme normally consists of at least a primary and secondary color. Not to be confused with a painter’s primary colors red, yellow and blue, a primary color is the dominant color in the color scheme and can be any color. There are many methods to developing strong color schemes, from collecting paint chips at the local hardware store to using applications such as Adobe Kuler. Most of the time we are given a brand identity that Read the full article…

Pyramix: New and Noteworthy According to iTunes

We are pleased that our latest application, Pyramix, was listed in the New and Noteworthy section of the iTunes Store for iPad word games. In the last couple months we have released 7 of our own iPhone, iPad and Android applications. Here’s the rundown. Technorati Tags: android, apps, Flash, games, ios, ipad, iPhone, mobile Read the full article…

Adobe Developer spotlight: Todd Williams

Wow! Spotlighted by Adobe, this is really awesome! I couldn’t want to let the month go by without acknowledging how cool it is to have my pretty mug share the Adobe Devnet homepage with those of Kevin Lynch and Ben Forta. It is a great honor to have Adobe notice the work we are doing over here in Tampa. Thank You! The Thank You Speech: I would first like to thank…. (music starts playing) .. and It is an honor…. (Large suited men are closing in) … the world would be a much better place if … (being dragged off stage still clinging to the microphone, dragging the podium behind us) .. and in closing I would like to say…. BTW: My mom now has a print out of the Adobe Devnet homepage on her fridge, as well as bumper sticker on the back of her car saying “My son Read the full article…

Illustrating In Illustrator 101 part 3 of 5

Defining Shapes Lines: Some may think that illustration is all about the lines, comics and other art styles may give this impression. I use line-work in most of my illustration styles, though not always black lines. If you do not use lines in your work, you use color or some other means of creating contrast between forms and objects. It is this contrast between colors or light and dark values that produce the lines we think we see everyday in the world around us. We will discuss the use of line-work and contrast to properly define shapes using light and shadow. Comic artists may use line-work, but on closer inspection we find that those lines do a lot more then just define the shapes of the drawing. The line weight varies as it contours each element. This line variation builds the foundation of the form which gives the illusion of Read the full article…

Building Tiled Backgrounds Using Photoshop and Illustrator

I can’t wait to get back to publishing Flash tips and code, but we’ve been so wrapped up in ChessJam lately leaving so little time to clean up code and make things more component-ized. I am enjoying the break from programming though, doing illustration again has been very rewarding. Fixing Blotchy Textures: In producing tiled textures for some of the background paintings and 3D renderings, I found that even though the tiles did not really show any seams, they were creating some weird patterns over the whole tiled area. They needed tweaking without a long and laborious process of exporting and rendering. The key for me was to have a realtime preview of what I was working on, seeing how the tile would look tiled over a larger surface while I was painting in Photoshop. There may be better ways, we always appreciate feedback, but this worked really well and Read the full article…

Illustrating in Illustrator Better Faster, The Happy Frog

The Happy Frog Illustrator Tutorial Video (HD) Here is my first screen cast with an introduction to illustrating in Illustrator. Included are some very important tips in creating great illustrations in less time as well as an overview of the illustration process. We will create a Happy Frog character almost completely using the ellipse tool. There are 5 rules to Illustrating in Illustrator, Better Faster. They are mentioned in more detail here, including four reasons for cleaning up strokes in your final artwork. Technorati Tags: Adobe, Divide, drawing, happy frog, Illustration, Illustrator, Paths, technique, Tutorial, Unite, video Read the full article…

Photoshop Tips Though the Years

Can you believe Photoshop is almost 20 years old? It was initially distributed as scanner software by a company called BarneyScan in 1988 and Adobe officially released Photoshop 1.0 in 1990. A tear comes to my eye as I think about all we have been through and how much Photoshop has evolved over the years. “Our baby is all grown up! sniff, sniff.” With each new release came new features, some highly anticipated while others I still wonder what they are used for. As an artist though, is it really about the features? The art is created inside you, we use the photoshop as a tool to express our creations to the world. It was just a lot more barebones back then. I guess this is my version of the famous story, “Walking To School Barefooted, Uphill Both Ways”. That’s right, when I was a young man, we didn’t have Read the full article…

Illustrating In Illustrator 101 Part 2 of 5

Construction Wether I am illustrating an imaginary device or something I use everyday, it is good to understand how the object is or should be constructed. Other information like functionality, and how these objects are interacted with are very important in making our illustrations more convincing. Questions you could ask yourself are how much heft and mass does this object possess, What kids of materials are used to build this object? How does this information effect how light reflects/refracts off the object. These evaluations help us understand how the details should be rendered. The object could be steel, but is it built assembled with welds, bolts or both? The object could be made from concrete, Styrofoam, wood, glass or plastic molds. Each material is assembled differently with different types of joints. The time when an object is built also will give us a clue as to the type of assembly Read the full article…

Adobe launches Tour de Flex

It is official, Adobe launches Tour de Flex, the update to the Flex 2 Component Explorer. Check it out here Tour de Flex. Check out the About link in the drop-down in the upper right, to find links back to this blog (Todd Williams) and our company HD Interactive. Also Greg Wilson has more background on how this version can to be. Technorati Tags: AS3, component explorer, Flex, flex.org, hdinteractive.com, Tour de Flex Read the full article…

Free Fullscreen Kiosk Web Browser

Building a Fullscreen Kiosk Web Browser using Flex and AIR. There are a number a fullscreen web browsers/plugins out there, but not all of them are free. We have used a couple different ones over the years for kiosks that need Web Browsing capability or to display an HTML based kiosk application. Next time I can just build one, all I need is a few lines of code and a touchscreen monitor. I am impressed with AIR’s webkit (HTML Component), it is light and loads pages pretty fast. Here is an example of building a serious utility with very few lines of code. The core fullscreen browser takes only 4 lines of code in Flex 3. Technorati Tags: Adobe AIR, AS3, Flex, free, fullscreen browser, HTML component, installer badge, kiosk, mxml, webkit Read the full article…

Illustrating In Illustrator 101 part 1 of 5

Sketches & Guides This series will cover the basics of illustrating with Adobe Illustrator from start to finish, geared more toward novice Illustrator users with a few intermediate tips along the way. Some of the principles discussed are applicable to most illustration programs and illustration in general. This collection of posts will be based on a philosophy of illustrating Quick, Clean and Correct. Discussing time saving tips, preparing your artwork so that it can be easily used by others for web and print, and how to achieve consistent results based on your style. Everyone who reads this post has their own unique illustration style. I am in no way trying to convert people to my personal style, but hope that what is shown here can be incorporated to refine that style and produce beautiful graphics in a more efficient way. Technorati Tags: Adobe, Design, drawing, grids, guides, Illustration, Illustrator, pen Read the full article…

Illustrator Tip #11…

…and The Most Important: Learn as many keyboard shortcuts you can. This is not an illustrator only tip. As with any app that you work in and expect to be proficient at, you should learn the key-board short cuts. In the manuals that come with the box, there is normally shortcut charts. If you did the download, you can find them online. Most Adobe apps have the ability to re-assign key-board short cuts as well. I would suggest against it, unless it is necessary, because if you ever go to work at a different location, or have to show someone something on a different computer, it helps if the shortcuts are the same. Some reasons we have had to change shortcuts in the past are, In Illustrator CS2 and previous, The shortcut for switching between the hollow and solid arrow selection tools, was Command + Tab (Ctrl + Tab on Read the full article…

10 Adobe Illustrator Tips

With the nature of vectors being smaller than bitmap images in file size, I typically try to illustrate everything I do for Flash in Illustrator first. I love Illustrator as an illustration tool. Although Flash has made some great progress it’s illustration tool set, it just does not come close to the power and features of Illustrator. I also find Illustrator really fast for laying out design projects and more illustrative graphics then modeling and detailing in photoshop. Like any relationship, my affection for illustrator is not without frustration and we have to learn to accept some of the faults, if you can pardon my Dr. Phil type metaphor, to make it work. So here are some workarounds for some illustrator issues and a couple tips to help you work better with this great tool. Technorati Tags: Adobe, Design, drawing, Illustration, Illustrator, technique, Tips, Tutorial Read the full article…

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog. It is pretty weird that I have been involved in building blogs and social network type sites for clients, yet I only now getting around to posting something online for my self. The web has been a great source of learning for me over the last few years and thought it was time to give something back.  I have a few posts already planned out, most are Flash tips and tricks, and a few already in the works. Most of the flash tips are based on my experiences as a designer learning AS3, then I would like to share some other classes and older AS2 stuff. So stay tuned and in the mean time go build some cool stuff.   If you would like to see some samples of past projects I have worked on, check out www.hdinteractive.com . Technorati Tags: AS2, AS3, Design, Flash Action script, interactive, Read the full article…