Optimising my application

All of sudden my application has started to lag or run slow when changing between pages and as yet I am not entirely sure why.  In my search for answers, I looked at the websites below to see if I could find a solution to the problem.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/optimize_content_ios.html

http://www.yeahbutisitflash.com/?p=3237

The advice on these sites has not only been useful but very informative and I have put into action some of their suggestions; specifically my application now does not feature as many vectors, although some still remain to preserve functionality.  My app also now makes better use of the GPU, this has improved but not solved my lag issues and for now the problem is as yet unresolved, so further investigation is needed.

Difficulty importing some of my images from illustrator

As part of my process I create my imagery in adobe illustrator which is a vector based drawing programme, this makes it ideal for importing into adobe Flash which also uses vector graphics but something has been going wrong; some of my work is being distorted and some work is taking forever to import or in some cases crashing Flash during the import process.  Part of the problem is that for some reason the stroke width is changing during import, this is very frustrating and I am yet to ascertain why, the other problem seems to be that in efforts to create effective imagery I am putting too much in, they are too complex, so I need to try and simplify my imagery without losing effect.

Exhibition

The second years are at the stage of exhibiting their finished M.A projects and we have been asked to exhibit some work, just to give an indication of our own projects.  The staff have made the decision that we are only allowed to exhibit something in a frame that the school is providing, with a short piece of text that gives an indication of our study to go alongside it.  My work is completely digital so this task does not suit me at all and thus to start off I was quite perplexed by this task but in the end I came up with an idea (with a bit of help from Gareth Sleightholme).  Gareth suggested documenting somebody using my application in photographs which is a good idea because ultimately I am making an item that is intended for use, and although I like this idea I felt some pictures of a user using my app on an iPad would not really be an accurate reflection of my work.

I felt that this approach could easily just be interpreted as a child using an iPad, which is like painter just exhibiting a paint tube, the iPad is just a medium and thus, this way of documentation does not in my opinion have enough of a focus on my actual application.  So I thought that instead of exhibiting a piece of work as such, I could create something more like an advert.  I took my inspiration from the minimalist approach taken by apple in their advertising and I came up with the image below:

I really liked what I came up with but it still felt wrong for the exhibition, so I came up with a compromise that merged the photographic documentation idea with my advert idea and the result is below:

I am happy with my exhibition piece, it may not fit with the work of the other students but as you may have guessed from reading my blog, my work does not seem to fit very well with the work of my peers in any way but at least I found a solution in this instance, but this process has raised questions about how I am going to exhibit my work in next year’s final exhibition.

I feel the only way that viewers will get a thorough appreciation for my work, will be through interaction with my application.  The imperative word in my previous sentence was viewers, art school exhibitions or exhibitions in general are aimed at viewers but my application is designed for users, which is a totally different experience.  So my task will not be easy and a simple answer would be to have a working version of my application on display, on a working iPad that people can interact with but here lies the problem.  The exhibition will be in situ for over a month and thus I cannot and will not leave my iPad at Hull School of Art & Design for over a month and Hull School of Art & Design does not, as far as I am aware currently possess an iPad that could be used, nor does it possess a secure display unit for such a device.

This all lends itself currently to the possibility of me not been able to have a working version of my application on display at next year’s exhibition.  If this is the case, no doubt suggestions will be made that I document the application in photos or video but as I mentioned earlier I do not feel this would be a fair reflection of my work, as the type of interactivity featured in my application simply needs to be used to be fully appreciated.  A year is a long way off at the moment but I do not believe that it is too early to be considering my exhibition, and my current feeling is that without exhibiting a working version of my application, I feel my best option would be to not exhibit at all.

File corruption

I had just finished some simple animations that I had added to my application and the result was just what I was hoping for,  it looked great but as I made a few slight tweaks all of a sudden there was a problem; the text started displaying as symbols rather than letters and I could not work out why, so I closed my file and proceeded to re-open it, hoping that it would just be a glitch that had somehow corrected itself but to my surprise the file would not re-open as it was corrupted, oh the joys of working with flash, I best get started again.