Cross Program Coding! (Among other things)

I’ve been learning a lot here in my last year at Dynamic Digital Advertising. I had a pretty good background in 3d animation, 2d animation, and other forms of graphic animation from my college experience, but before coming here I had never really touched any aspects of coding or programming. But when you’re at a high profile marketing agency like DDA, you’ll need a wide array of skills to keep up with client demand for fresh ideas and projects.

We’ve been working on a project that combines Flash animation, Shockwave 3D, and website programming to great effect. Throughout this project, I’ve had to help conceptualize and model a planet, implement a Flash spaceship interface, and plug all that into a Director file that exports as Shockwave 3D for the web. This is something I had never attempted before, and stood as quite a challenge. But I was confident that with the help and experience of the rest of the video, programming, and animation teams here at DDA, as well as the vast resources available online, I could pull it off.

It wasn’t as simple as I thought. Director uses a programming language called Lingo, which is similar to Flash Action Script, but differs enough so that if one isn’t familiar with it, one could easily overlook simple mistakes. That in turn can cause major bugs and problems running the program. In addition, Flash’s current version (Actionscript 3) is not compatible with the version of Director I was using (an ooolld version… Director 8.5.) Not even Actionscript 2 is compatible. I had to revert to AS1, also pretty old, and it limited the functionality of my Flash component quite a bit.

With a little luck, though, and more than a little assistance from the helpful folks at the Director Online Forums (which deserve to be way more active than they currently are), I was able to rig up something that worked, and worked well. I just finished up today – now we have only minor tweaks to go before we launch.

More updates on that project to come!