The first entry: Flash

Like a lot of kids, I was entranced by animation. My childhood was littered with flipbooks, doodles, and at least one zoetrope I built from a kit. I even had an electronic toy called the Etch-a-Sketch Animator that let you create 12 black-and-white “pictures” on a 30540-pixel screen and make them play back in sequence. This created possibly the worst animation ever, but to a 10-year-old it was the coolest thing!

This love for animation was lost for a few years, as I got deeper and deeper into computers. As I moved through high school and kept learning new operating systems and programming languages, I was starting to realize that one day working/playing with computers could be my career.

Then, in my sophomore year of college, I was introduced to Flash. All of the books I had read about Disney, Warner Brothers, and Hanna-Barbera came flooding back to me. With recklessabandon I learned everything I could about Flash—and was done after about a week. Flash wasn’t exactly complicated in those days, and ActionScript didn’t consist of much more than stop and play.

The good news was that I was in a perfect place for keeping pace with Flash as it grew—my programming background along with my love for animation let me keep on top of every new version of Flash as it was released. I was in the enviable position of being able to just ride the wave from version to version.

During that time, I spoke at and attended a lot of Flash conferences, where I was lucky enough to meet both Tom Green and David Stiller. If you’re ever in a room with Tom, you’ll know—the raucous laughter is your first clue. Tom has a real exuberance for learning, teaching, and life in general that is all too rare in this world. He is constantly striving to learn more and discover new ways to convey that knowledge to his students. As for David, he is from the true old school—a modern-day Renaissance man. He struck up a conversation with me about obscure board games a few years ago. The conversation wound its way through quantum mechanics, the proper brewing of Turkish coffee, and toy building, and technically is still going on today. I am proud to be able to call on him as a contractor for my company and even more proud to call him a friend. Ever since Flash Animation and Flash Components have become my main goal.

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~ by denzil77 on July 4, 2008.

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