Being a Flash designer

Posted on Feb 15, 2010 in Thoughts

I had one of THOSE weekends. You know, the kind that you work away, hunched over in front of the computer, while everyone is outside enjoying the sunshine. Actually, I hope that you don’t know it. It’s not a great feeling. It’s final project time, and while yes, I’m glad that I have sensibility to know that I can’t leave it all to the end and still expect to produce a great finished piece, sometimes I wish that I was a little less careful and took a sunny day off to enjoy the fresh air outside my bedroom window.

Even worse is that Sunday night, with tired eyes and sore shoulders, I felt as if I hadn’t accomplished nearly what I was capable of in that time frame. It wasn’t until I had to log my hours into BaseCamp, a time-tracking and file managment system that we’re provided with at VFS, that I realized how much I had actually accomplished. Seeing the breakdown of the hours that I had put into the project, definitely helped to put things into perspective.

Unlike the students in the motion stream in class that have visuals to represent their process all along the way, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that you might never realize goes into interactive projects. Building a project from the ground up, combining several newer code libraries with poor documentation takes time and patience. Learning curves really aren’t curves at all. They’re more like steep cliffs and gullies. You never know when you’re going to fall, or when everything that you’ve been fighting with for the last 32 hours will all of a sudden “click”. Even the Flash and Flex software itself still hold unknowns for us. Thankfully Taura found a button that allows us to edit multiple frames at once. This is a big time saver for us. Simple solutions for time intensive work of relocating registration marks seem so simple after the fact, but figuring out the answer can seem like such a big hurdle at the time.

I don’t want to come across as losing interest or having second thoughts about the project. I’m glad that I have the challenge and opportunity to work with such cutting edge technology. But it’s not all roses. There’s definitely periods of frustration and maybe even a little bit of anger when things don’t turn out, or take longer than expected. This is the life of the flash designer/developer. And it’s one that I embrace fully.

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