Posts Tagged ‘ microsoft ’

Zoe: Flash conversions to HTML5+CSS

This could be very big.

Web developers know that Flash support is diminishing. This is thanks to devices by Apple & Microsoft (at least)** that don’t offer Flash support, and, more important, due to Adobe’s own elimination of support for Flash on mobile devices.

I’ve heard of a few tools so far to do interactive graphical Rapid Application Development (RAD) in HTML5 instead of Flash. However, this one caught my attention.

Zoe is a stand-alone application which significantly helps in converting existing SWF (“Shockwave” Flash) animations to Canvas+CSS. In other words, the work that’s already been done for some Flash applications can be translated to a standardized methdology available on an ever-increasing set of browsers. (Examples: Internet Explorer 10, Chrome.)

Zoe is even sponsored by Adobe itself (as is Edge, another HTML5 development tool which you should also check out).

As we get further and further from Flash viability on anything but current laptops/desktops, I believe there will even be a significant market for developers offering to convert existing websites’ Flash content to HTML5. Perhaps they will find Zoe and such tools useful.

As a real world example, it appears that Atari may have used Zoe to help with converting games to HTML5 for their new touch arcade. Zoe and some other tools are also mentioned if you explore the Developers section at that link.

** Apple’s decisions about lack of support for Flash could take up an entire article.

As for Microsoft, its new Windows 8 operating system is extremely tablet-friendly, with at least a dozen tablets by various manufacturers slated to run on this OS by November. And the IE10 “touch” browser that comes native with Windows 8 will offer no Flash support at all (but full HTML5 support). While there is a browser included on most of these tablets that will still support Flash, I believe Adobe’s own actions prove that Flash is heading into the sunset, however slowly.

 

The unboxing of me

I just received the FedEx package containing me.

FigurePrints can produce 3D figurines of avatars from Xbox Live (XBL) and other online platforms. I’m fascinated by 3D printing, as it is used very successfully, for example, in Formula 1, and was intrigued with being able to have a collectible memento of the process.

The FigurePrints process for a customer is very simple. My XBL avatar quickly appeared on the screen.  The XBL representation is a reasonable facsimile of me as a cartoon, so I wasn’t hesitant to immortalize it in a bonded, coated plaster. FigurePrints offers the choice of selecting from multiple poses for the figurine.

Some pictures of the finished figure are at the bottom of this post. I’m certainly happy with it. It’s about 3 inches tall from base to the top of head, and under its base, there’s a FigurePrints Microsoft Tag. The entire process of production and shipping took about 3 1/2 weeks.

Details of my online cartoon, such as my wedding ring, goatee, glasses, and even my facial mole, have been successfully captured.

There aren’t many “cons,” except to say that a 3D figurine caricature of an online caricature is bound to not look quite right. For example, the mini-me is scrawnier than my online avatar, who, like the real me, has a wide chest. Also, its neck is skinnier and longer than my avatar’s or mine. I will bet that at least the second issue would have been resolved by a different pose. But hey, if FigurePrints is erring on the side of skinnier and scrawnier representations, I think that’s better than erring on the side of being too bulky.

As I say, I am very happy with the figure. Living in a time when we can recreate ourselves as digital proxies to compete in online sports and other games is interesting enough. Being able to use a company like FigurePrints to then summon ourselves out of the machine, almost literally “from thin air,” is even more impressive.

(Just FYI, this post was unsolicited by either FigurePrints or Microsoft, and I received no compensation or discount of any kind on this service.)

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