FITC Edmonton recap and dead drop

FITC Edmonton is now over and it was a really cool event. These smaller events are great because you feel like you get to know almost all of the attendees. During my stay I gave a full-day workshop on Flash CS4 in addition to a regular one hour session on the same subject. Based on the feedback I received, people really seemed to enjoy them and learn a lot. It’s funny because my evangelism actually starts to convince me. After the workshop I thought, damn Flash CS4 does have some great features.

I decided to do a mini dead drop and announced over Twitter that I would be embedding some clues in my presentation slides. Each slide had a little symbol on it which was actually from the Webdings font. If you translated them it gave you the code of balloonboy. Later, when I demoed Flash CS5, I had a custom panel with a URL in it which was also in the Webdings font. After going to the website and entering the code you were taken to a page with the GPS coordinates along with a photo of a rat. The dead drop coin was inside of a hollowed out fake rat that I procured from the largest mall in North America, the West Edmonton mall. The winning team was a group of developers from XGenStudios. They took the photo below after retrieving the winning rodent.

I missed the first day of the conference because I was trapped in my hotel room working on my slides and watching coverage of the Balloon Boy. I did manage to watch all of the sessions on the second day and they were great. I finally got to see Ralph Hauwert’s realtime graphics session and it blew me away. Most of us in the audience didn’t understand most of what he was talking about but you really didn’t have to. I especially liked the section of tessellation where he showed how to take a simple 3D object and continuously divide it into a much more complex mesh. After Ralph was James Patterson who I have seen speak before and is always a great time. He showed his progression from pornographic stick figures to VH1 ads to amazing 3D tool creations. His Rotten Fruit Tardis is one of the coolest Flash pieces I have ever seen. Go over and try it to see for yourself.

When I arrived at the Edmonton airport for my flight home I ran into Erik, Toby, Ralph, and Andy. They were trying to figure out whether or not the girl sitting across from them was Hilary Duff. They offered me $5 to go up and ask her. I did and it was indeed the Duff. She was wearing thick black glasses in an attempt to disguise herself. She didn’t seem exactly thrilled to be identified. But she hasn’t been a hit movie in a while so she should enjoy the attention.


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