Adobe MAX, Day One

Day one of Adobe MAX is nearing the end of sessions and the beginning of networking and fun—pizza and beer with the software product teams, and an afterparty for the press hounds. I attended three sessions:

  • Flex 101: Introduction to Flex 4 turned out to be a good pick for this Flex novice. Flex (now renamed Flash Builder) is a complex application and this session was well done but rushed due to the keynote, which ended over an hour late! We did some basic FB techniques such as data binding, creating custom components and building a user interface with multiple controls and objects controlled by an external XML file. I’m sure it was an easy session for regular developers but it was just right for a novice: tough but a good learning experience.
  • Motion Tracking in After Effects was more in my area of expertise, as I’ve done some work with Mocha, the surface-tracking software included with After Effects CS4. I think Mocha was a great addition to After Effects and Jeff Foster gave us a straightforward Mocha tutorial, overlaying a license plate image on video of a driving car and tracking the car’s motion. One thing I learned was that Mocha has been updated to version 2 since I wrote my After Effects CS4 review, and the interface looks improved. The other tutorials, which were more interesting to me, focused on the Stabilize Tracking function in the Tracker panel. This has all the tools you need to stabilize handheld video so it doesn’t look like it was shot on a dinghy.
  • Ajax For Designers with Greg Rewis is a good session for beginners and intermediate web designers but it’s a little rudimentary, especially the basic JavaScript tutorial that starts the session off. Despite this, there’s little tips and tricks throughout that may surprise you. One is the fact that you can Ctrl/Cmd-click any item in Dreamweaver’s Insert menu and insert the object without messing with any dialog boxes. Right now we’re learning about the jQuery framework, which I’ve been using myself in some of my recent website projects. The session is a really nice learning experience for those who haven’t used Ajax frameworks before.
  • That’s all for now, I will try to write more as I learn new things! Tomorrow’s schedule includes the Flex/Adobe AIR Boot Camp, a session on the Open Source Media Framework and the MAX Bash.