Chicago Area Adobe User Group Flash Showcase!

Join us this Monday to see the latest and greatest Flash projects in the works!

12/20/2010: Whether you want to come and show off your latest Flash project, or just see what kind of things others are developing, join the Chicago AUG group for a holiday get-together combined with sharing and seeing amazing Flash projects! December 20th, 6-8:30pm at our Chicago facility.

Adobe MAX 2010

Adobe MAX was two weeks ago, but it has been a busy two weeks since. So, finally, you will get a glimpse of all that I saw at the MAX conference.

To start, aside from the Jobs bashing and many discussions on the Flash vs. HTML5 situation, a major topic of discussion at MAX was multiplatform development. Adobe AIR has made it easier to deploy to different platforms like iPhone, Android, and Google tv.

I saw, first hand, how easy it was to create applications for Android using Actionscript 3.0 with both Flex and Flash. A few new additions to the API and some sleek new features soon to come to the masses in upcoming updates to Flash Builder and Flash Professional.

As for HTML5 vs. Flash, Adobe made it clear that the two were not interchangeable, but also that there is no reason that the two could not be use to supplement each other. They even showed off a tool that was being worked on that essentially took Flash animations and translated them to HTML5 as CANVAS.

Now for some neat sneaks:
-Dreamweaver is going mobile with some upcoming mobile site templates. Adobe is working with the guys from jQuery to get jQuery mobile fully operational.
-A really cool mobile media player with a working title of video tapestry was very cool and could potentially reinvent media playback on mobile devices
-3D animation in Flash with a new API built on top of mole hill

I’m sure there is more that I am just forgetting about but I’ll update the post with anything else I remember.

The Creative Suite Conference Sneak Peek, November 4th

Ascend Training has teamed up with Mogo Media for this year’s InDesign Conference November 2nd-4th. We are both excited to bring participants the opportunity to get a sneak peek into next fall’s Creative Suite Conference. The last day of the InDesign Conference, we will be offering a Sneak Peek Track where attendees will gain exposure to a variety of topics: Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, and HTML 5 to name a few. Those not signed up can still participate and purchase a 1-day pass for $99. For more information, please click on the link below!

The End is Near, Part II

Time is quickly running out for Ascend Training’s regularly scheduled CS4 classes. Our last CS4 hands-on training will be:

Dreamweaver CS4 Level 1, Chicago, Aug 30 – Sep 1, Deerfield, Oct 11 – 13

Ascend Training is happy to put CS4 classes on our regular schedule for groups of 3 or more people. We will also be happy to provide our CS4 curriculum for our on-site training. Any of our students taking CS4 classes are still eligible for 8 months worth of free retakes in the CS5 version of the class. Those retaking a class in CS5 who have originally taken CS4 classes will also have the option of buying the book used in the new class.

By Popular Demand…HTML Email Marketing

Wow! Ascend Training would like to thank everyone that attended last night’s HTML Email Marketing Event. Because of you it was a roaring success! Not only will we be repeating this event in Deerfield (date to be determined), but we have also added a new class to our offerings.

Description of class:

This 2 day class is aimed at those with little or no HTML experience who want to create effective email marketing campaigns. The class will cover how to use HTML to create email layouts and forms, import graphics, and generate cascading style sheets (CSS). Most importantly, the class will cover how to avoid being tagged as a “spammer”. Students leave with the comprehensive skill-set they need to return to the office and start their own e-marketing campaigns.

Creating HTML Emails: Building and Broadcasting Successful Email Campaigns, will be offered for a limited time at a special promotional rate. Regularly $895, you can register for this exciting new class for $635 (offer expires September 10, 2010).

For class details and dates, please visit our website.

Building and Broadcasting Successful Email Campaigns

The battle behind the screens – Flash vs. Silverlight

It’s definitely a war–it’s just that it’s a Cold War.

Since Microsoft released Silverlight, (and by the way, watch what happens when you surf over there) their answer to Adobe Flash, in 2007, there’s been a (sort of) silent war going on behind the two software giants about who gets to play your movies.

When you go to a site like Youtube or Hulu to watch videos (and who among us does not, these days?), isn’t it awesome how fast it is? How clear? How the videos you watch don’t take up space on your hard disk or really even slow down what you’re doing in the background? That’s because when you go to those sites (and soon others like Vimeo and possibly Dailymotion), your browser loads a plugin to let you read the Flash Video that someone has posted and that the website has slightly reconfigured–and plays it right from the source, like you’re looking through your computer to where the video really is, somewhere else. This means that anyone, anywhere can see it, which is good news for video producers and marketers alike. Just as Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux can all (usually) read the same types of files, now we can all see almost any type of video–the trouble is that not everyone feels like they’re making enough money this way.

Any guesses who? (*coughSilverlightcough*)

Well, you’re mostly right, but it isn’t JUST Microsoft. There are plenty of people out to get Flash, now that it’s the standard for video playback on the web: Sun Microsystems (who makes Java), plenty of open-source proponents, and Apple have either resisted or worked around integrating Flash into their video products (iPhone, anyone?) but more than ever, Adobe is realizing that if they want their product to stay at the top, they’re going to have to get into some heretofore unexplored venues. To that end, the rumors are flying about new tools for developing iPhone apps using Flash, putative Flash support on the theoretical Apple Tablet (if it exists, right?), and more.

Microsoft is responding to this by leveraging their power toward pushing Flash out of certain areas; ever notice that the streaming function of Netflix is run on Silverlight instead of Flash?

So here’s the question: both Flash and Silverlight are proprietary software, and both are the big boys when it comes to video playback on the web–now whom would we prefer as the keeper of our vids? Because someones’s going to win this battle–and either way, it’s going to mean a lot about how we get (and what we can do with) our video.

Freelancer Fiesta!

Join us for a freelancer extravaganza on July 21st! Ascend Training and the Chicago Area Adobe User group will enable freelancers and those looking for talent to come together and share their samples and upcoming projects. Ascend has served the Chicago creative community for 10 years, and The Chicago Area Adobe User Group is the longest-running user group in the area. Held at the Ascend Chicago facility at 410 S. Michigan Ave. Those using Adobe Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, InDesign or other creative applications are encouraged to attend.

http://www.ascendtraining.com/events.php

FITC Pre-Conference Open House

Join Ascend Training and FITC for a free pre-event June 21st at Ascend Training. We will be showcasing technologies such as AIR, AS3, Flash Design, Flex and ColdFusion. This event is open to the public, not only to conference attendees, and is held at the Ascend Chicago facility at 410 S. Michigan Ave