Friday, January 28, 2011

A Wii Friday Funny

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Image Source: http://cache.kotaku.com

This week we decided to take a funny look at one of our favorite computer toys from around the home: The Nintendo Wii.



There is an exciting new Wii game being released later this year for very old people, here is an exclusive sneak peek:

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Image Source: http://www.funny-potato.com

This comes hot on the heels of another highly successful new release - the Wii dishwashing game!



But no other Wii game can rival the intensity and excitement of
"Grab the Sticker":


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Image Source: http://s002.radikal.ru

Fresh from Wikileaks, here are the Top Selling Nintendo titles expected for 2011.

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Image Source: http://www.infendo.com

There are plenty of videos on YouTube about Wii accidents, but we figured it would be simpler to summarise them into one simple photo collage.

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Image Source: http://www.slipperybrick.com

But one Wii accident video which we just couldn't pass up was Hitler breaking his TV with the Wii remote.

(Warning this video contains some colorful language which some people may find offensive).



Finally, here is our all time favourite Nintendo Wii video. It's got mathematics, its got engineering, it's got drama and pathos, it's got a whole lot of Lego pieces!



So why not play some Wii with your besty this weekend, and live life to the full.

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Image Source: http://farm3.static.flickr.com

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wondershare Flash Gallery

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The Photo Slideshow in this post is of a recent holiday to Warnambool in Victoria Australia. We photoshopped our pictures, and then used Wondershare Flash Gallery Factory Deluxe to make the Slideshow.

Note that the Slideshow starts automatically, and so if you hear strange music while watching the YouTube videos, you will need to scroll down to the flash slideshow and pause it.

We then made a two part Tutorial about how to use Wondershare Slideshow maker. The Tutorial videos have been uploaded to YouTube.

Here is Part 1 of the "Wondershare Flash Gallery Factory Deluxe" Tutorial.

(Note that in the bottom right hand corner of the YouTube player, you can change the resolution from "360p" or "480p" up to "720HD" and watch this video full screen in High Definition).



Here is Part 2 of the Tutorial Video. (Note that in the bottom right hand corner you can change the resolution from "360p" or "480p" up to "720HD" and watch this video full screen in High Definition).




The following Wondershare slideshow contains the finished Slideshow from the Tutorial.

(Note that it is quite a big slideshow and may take quite a while to load in).

We also found that the Slideshow plays "glitchy" on our Blog sometimes and restarts before the correct ending. However, on our Webpage full size link, it works fine. In the past we have only done slideshows up to 5 Meg in size, whereas this one is 9 Meg, and so maybe this is a problem. Also the music does not last the full slideshow. It all seems to be an internet connection speed problem, and not a Wondershare problem.



If you would like to see the above slideshow full size, then click on this link: http://www.passyworld.com/passyHTMLs/WBoolPhotos

If you want to know more about how to make Wondershare slideshows using their great Flash application, then click the link below:

http://www.wondershare.com


and then under Products and Digital Photo Tools locate "Flash Gallery Factory Deluxe".

(We have been using this particular product for a while here on our Blog site and highly recommend it).

If you are an Apple user, then you probably cannot see the Flash slideshow. So we also filmed it with Camtasia 7.1 and uploaded it to YouTube.

Here is the finished Holiday Slideshow video on YouTube:




It sure is a wonderful Wondershare world.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tim Hawkins Friday Funny

Tim Hawkins staring outside a church
Image Source: http://www.celebrationbaptistchurch.com

Tim Hawkins is an extremely talented American comedian. He does stand up comedy, as well as writing funny songs and send ups of other songs.

One of our friends in the US recently sent us a link to the following video about "Old Rockstars". This is how we found out about Tim Hawkins here at Passy World. He is a really funny guy, and an excellent guest for our Friday Funny.



We all know how lousey outsourced Tech Support can be. Tim Hawkins has written a song all about it, along with the other common joys of computing.




Tim's "I Work at Subway" song is typical of the parodies and remakes of famous Top 40 songs that he does.



Here is a Tim Hawkins song about not drinking beer, combined with a very simple but effective Flash animation.




Tim Hawkins also does regular stand up comedy as well as his songs.

Here is a great rave by Tim about Parents.



Another excerpt from Tim's stand-up routine, but this time all about Playgrounds.



There are a few other funny Tim Hawkins videos on You Tube, so be sure to check them out sometime. If you live in the USA and get a chance to see him live, then do it.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

PowerPoint 2007 Animations

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PowerPoint 2007 can be used to build great story book animations. Passy's students make these as part of their ICT course and really enjoy it.

In this post we will show you how to make a basic PowerPoint animation, and then showcase some animations that our students have made.

As a lead up to this work, students are taught the basics of PowerPoint effects, using material from a previous blog post at this link:
http://passyworldofict.blogspot.com/2010/08/powerpoint-special-effects.html

Students also need to do some prerequisite work in GIMP, Photoshop, or Fireworks so that they can obtain cartoon characters which do not have white backgrounds on them, as well as crop images. Eg. Students learn how to obtain images from the web, and remove their backgrounds and change the background to transparent by saving them as .PNG or .GIF files.

The first story book animation which all students make is "Lucy and Molly".


This is the story of a girl called Lucy who has lost her pet dog "Molly" and sets off to find her. This story was originally developed by ICT teacher Melinda Varley.

Here is a YouTube video all about how to make this animation.



The PDF step by step instructions for the Lucy and Molly animation are contained in the PDF document below.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:


We suggest you make your own Lucy and Molly animation in PowerPoint, as it will teach you all of the basic skills required to make a PowerPoint storybook.

Once all students have completed the Lucy and Molly story, they are set an assignment to make their own PowerPoint story animation of at least 30 slides, and include hyperlinks for story path branching. They must also have speach bubbles which appear sequentially as the characters speak, and dissappear immediately afterwards. They achieve this by applying entrance and exit "custom animation" effects to their speach bubble callouts.

Stories which students have made include the following:

Disney Stories, Winnie the Pooh, Sesame Street and Elmo, Nursery Rhymes,
Movies, James Bond, Comic Superheroes, Computer Games, Girls Going Shopping, Teletubbies, Diego, Dora the Explorer, Simpsons, V8 Supercar Race, Nintendo Mario, Japanese Anime, Barbie, Monsters Inc, Bananas in Pyjamas, Pacman Game, Alvin and the Chipmonks, Harry Potter, Toy Story, Lilo and Stitch, Pokemon, Yugio, Sonic, Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stick Figures, Random Clip Art Stories, and so on.

The possibilities are only limited by their imaginations.

Here are a few excerpts from some of the PowerPoint Stories that my Year 7 ICT students have made for their assignments.

(This video is High Definition so you can to change the resolution from "360p" or "480p" up to "720HD" and watch this video full screen).



This next video is a very entertaining PowerPoint animation that one of my students made. It features a story about super heroes in New York City.



The following PowerPoint animation was not made by any of my students, but is one that I found while searching YouTube.

It is brilliantly done, and the sound effects and music really put the finishing touches onto this top quality production.



So that's it for PowerPoint Animations. Why not try it out for yourself. You could even make a short two people talking set of slides to break up a more traditional PowerPoint presentation with some interesting special effects.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wondershare DVD Slideshow

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Here at Passy World we recently purchased a fabulous 8-in-1 bundle of multimedia software from Wondershare. The DVD slideshow builder is awesome, and so well thought out and easy to use.

Here is a quick video showing the General concept of getting your photos into the project, and then applying the preset styles to them.



Here is a more detailed video of an earlier version of the software.



First of all, let's just say that the name "DVD" in this software is a bit limiting, because the software can actually output in virtually an video format you like. And the output can be to your hard drive, to mobile devices, or to a DVD.

We decided we would take around thirty of our Washington DC photos from last year and build a quick slideshow to show everyone how easy and powerful this product is.

Here is a Tutorial video we made here at Passy World on how to use the Wondershare Slideshow maker.

Click on the video's 360p right hand corner and increase it to 720 HD and
then go full screen to be able to see all of the screenshots clearly.



With a bit of trial and error work, we completed our slideshow. We then did an initial "Create" save as an ordinary PC size Mpeg4, which only takes about five minutes to render to completion. We then watched this video in full screen mode to check everything was okay.

We then re-saved it as HD Mpeg4 at 30 frames per second using the "Create" function in Wondershare. The file size for 3 minutes of video was around 200 meg, and so it takes about an hour to upload to YouTube. We found that it is best to render the final video into the highest HD quality to get nice clear results.

Here is the finished Wondershare slideshow of Washington DC on YouTube.

Make sure you change the bottom right hand corner resolution to HD and watch the video in full screen mode.



Finally, here is another Wondershare slideshow video we made and handed over to Australian Rock band "Thirsty Merc". See our previous post at:
http://passyworldofict.blogspot.com/2011/01/thirsty-merc.html for more details.




If you would like to get your own copy of this fabulous Wondershare software, then click the link below:

http://www.wondershare.com/pro/dvd-slideshow-builder-deluxe.html

The software is currently marked down $59.95 to only $48 and is excellent value.

Another excellent product that we use here at Passy World is "Video Converter Ultimate". For more details on this product, click the link below:
http://www.wondershare.com/pro/video-converter-ultimate.html

They also have many other excellent multimedia products, and there backup support is awesome.

It certainly is a wonderful wondershare world!

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thirsty Merc

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Recently we went to a brilliant summer outdoor concert here in Melbourne, and saw a great Australian band called "Thirsty Merc".

Thirsty Merc are an Australian rock band, originating in 2002 in Sydney, Australia. The band's name comes from a gas guzzling Mercedes Benz which belonged to lead singer Rai when the band was first rehearsing.

The band consists of Rai Thistlethwayte vocals/guitar/keyboards, Phil Stack (bass guitar), Karl Robertson (drums), and Matt Smith (guitar).

Thirsty Merc have released one EP entitled First Work, and 3 studio albums; Thirsty Merc, Slideshows, and Mousetrap Heart. The band has sold over 200,000 albums, has toured extensively around Australia, and have received heavy airplay in Australia on a handful of songs. After breaking through onto the Australian music scene they were nominated for four ARIA Awards in 2005 and Rai was nominated for Song of the Year at the APRA Awards in 2008 for Thirsty Merc's top 2 airplay hit "20 Good Reasons". Their song "In the Summertime" was selected as the theme song for the Australian TV reality show Bondi Rescue and has been the theme song for seven consecutive seasons.

Current Lineup:
  • Rai Thistlethwayte; Guitar, piano, singer-songwriter (2002 – present).
  • Phil Stack; Bass guitar, backing vocals (2002 – present).
  • Karl Robertson; Drums, percussion (2002 – present).
  • Matt Smith; Guitar (2010 – present).

Former Members:

Matt Baker; Guitar, backing vocals (2002–2005).
Sean Carey; Guitar, backing vocals (2005-2009).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirsty_Merc

Here are some great songs to listen to by Thirsty Merc.

"Twenty Good Reasons" has been a big hit for the band, and is a great song.



Tommy and Krista is a classic love story, and this retro style film clip is awesome.



"In the Summertime" is definitely our favorite "feel good" Thirsty Merc song here at Passy World.



"Someday Someday" is another great tune by the guys.



There are planty of other great Thirsty Merc songs on YouTube, so check them out, and you can then buy a few of them at the Itunes store.

Finally, here is a Wondershare DVD Slideshow we made of photos we took of Thirsty Merc playing live at the "Red Hot Summer" series of concerts in Melbourne.

TM are a fantastic Australian band, and put on a great show on a glorious relaxing summer's day at the Morning Star vineyard.


The Wondershare DVD Slideshow maker is a great tool for turning photos into a multimedia presentation. We will be doing a review of this excellent software on Passy's World very soon.



Here is a link to the individual Photos from the Slideshow:
Facebook Thirsty Merc Photos

So that's it from roving concert photographer Big Passy.

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We are definitely having a great summertime here at Passy's World.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, January 14, 2011

Facebook Friday Funny

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Image Source: http://files.sharenator.com

Let's start off this week's Friday Funny by launching into song. Here's a nice little folky song about FB that's already had over 7.6 million views.



Facebook is good fun, but it's not perfect. It certainly doesn't meet everyone's needs.

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Image Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com

Here are some interesting comments about Facebook by a lady who seems to have a very similar video style to Ray William Johnson. (Which is of course a good thing).



There seems to be a lot of problems associated with some people becoming quite addicted to Facebook. Their most common passtime becomes poking around "Facebooking".

Here is a quick self-diagnosis guide that we actually found on Facebook.

You Know You're a Facebook Addict When....
  • You hear someone say something funny and say "Thats going in my quotes".
  • You have a ton of homework, and can't stay off facebook anyways.
  • You start saying lol and btw and o-emmm-geee, even when you are just talking.
  • You take a picture and wonder what all your facebook friends will think of it.
  • You find yourself changing your Facebook status dozens of times a day.
  • You have have the app on yopur phone to get live updates but still feel the need to always have it open on your laptop.
  • You check facebook in the morning, during school when you can, after school, and at midnight when you still have to do a research paper that is due tomorrow.
  • When the first thing you do with your new boyfriend/girlfriend is change your facebook relationship status.

Here is a very helpful video all about "Relationships" and Facebook.



One difficult type of relationship on FB, is one with your parents.
Mothers on FB can sometimes be a real problem.


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Image Source: http://images.triplem.com.au

Here's a video about a hypothetical situation where Facebook is actually "real".
(But it is real isn't it?)




Yes indeed Facebook is very real, as per this next video of Facebook in the real world.



FB can be so real and confusing to some people, that becoming a fan can mean just that.

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Image Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com


Signs You are Addicted to Facebook
  • Stopping before you leave the house to inform everyone that you are about to leave the house.
  • You are spending more time changing your status update than actually doing anything worth commenting on.
  • You are changing your profile picture every time you change your clothes to keep it recent.
  • You start using Facebook as a verb. As in "I'm going to "Facebook" so and so or I was "Facebooking" last night.
  • You leave a party early because you can't wait to get all of the pictures you just took up onto the computer and tagged.
  • You plan all of your social activities on Facebook instead of using the phone.
  • You get jealous of other peoples plans and feel left out even though you don't personally know them.
  • You are unsure whether you are actually "in" a relationship until the other person makes it Facebook official in the Relationship Status section.
  • You feel you might need therapy because someone you barely knew 20 years ago won't accept you as a friend.
  • You get mortally offended if no one responds to the clever quote it took you 20 minutes to come up with.
  • You purposely try to recruit people you do not even know to up your "friends count".
  • You pretend that you are doing some really exciting things so others will find you interesting enough to want to be your friend too.
  • You engage in a "war of wills" not wanting to be the one to actually invite someone to be your friend and wondering how long it will take for them to ask you.
  • You invite someone you can't stand to be your friend.
  • You have to pretend you don't know someone when meeting them for the first time, yet you know their deepest, darkest secrets thanks to a mutual friends' pages.
  • You only check your email to see if you have an update on Facebook.
  • You get insane if your friend number drops and you go crazy trying to figure out who deleted you.
  • Your Facebook wall looks like it is covered with graffiti because you have so many applications on it.
  • Your usual bedtime is now two hours later than it has been in years.
  • As soon as you meet someone the first thing you do is go home and "Facebook" them.
  • You visit sites and articles that list the reasons you are addicted to Facebook.
Source: http://www.helium.com/items/1349304-funny-ways-to-know-if-you-are-addicted-to-facebook

If this is how you look in the mirror right now, then you are definitely a Facebook addict!

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Image Source: http://lh5.ggpht.com

This last video caught our eye here at Passy World, as a very well made Adobe Flash animation.



If the whole FB thing gets too much, then remedy this by strict adherance to the stern advice given in the Facebook Anthem:



Sorry but I gotta go now and do an urgent Status Update: "Passy has blogged another Friday Funny!".

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How to Paint a Room

Painting Eqipment
Image Source: http://buildipedia.com

Even though we'd love to spend our whole summer break holidays nerding away here at Passy World, there are also some domestic jobs that need attending to.

One of these involves beautifying Passy World by doing some indoor painting. Since we have spent a bit of time on YouTube doing a crash course in Painting, we thought we'd share the results with you right here.

Unfortunately we didn't find any amazing computer technology that simplifies the tasks of painting, So for redoing our room, it looks like it's all brushes and rollers.

No doubt for large scale Industrial jobs there are amazing paint Robots, and all sorts of computerised wizardy, but here at Passy World, the ipod music in the ears will be the only advanced technology we will be using.

YouTube How to Paint Videos

The "SHCS" have an excellent channel on YouTube of more than 30 videos on how to paint, and these are high quality productions.
Access these videos using this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSHCS

The "ExpertRealEstateTips" channel on YouTube is also very good, and has some videos that we have featured later in this post.

So after an exhaustive search of the web, here is Passy World's Free six step "Painting 101" course, for anyone who's never handled a paint brush.

Step 1 - Getting all the Equipment Together

This is not exhaustive, and might be incomplete, but this is what we think we will need for our paint job.

Equipment List: Paint, small buckets or ice cream containers for holding paint, Ladder, an Edger Tool, Mini Roller, Big Flat thin brush, Angled brush with thin tip, Large Roller, Paint Pan, Roller extension handle, Drop Sheets, Old Newspapers, Box Cutter, Blue Masking Tape, Caulking Gun, Caulking Filler, Filler knife trowel, Sandpaper, Sugar Soap Wall Wash, Overalls, and a Peaked cap to keep paint off hair and face, ipod or radio, latex disposable gloves, old towels, sponges, and rags for mopping up, water bucket.

Just remember that it is very important to be extremely careful when bringing all of this brand new equipment home from the shops:

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Image Source: http://media.ebaumsworld.com

Possibly some very slow careful driving back from the paint store will be the order of the day.

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Image Source: http://thelostjacket.com

Step 2 - Preparation

How To Prep For Painting



First of all we are going to need to fill up all those gaps with a Caulking Gun.

How to Cut the tip off a Tube off a Caulk Filler.



How to do the Caulking & Bridging of Large Gaps.



The next job will be taping up all of the parts we don't want to paint.

Here is a video on How to Apply Masking Tape to Skirting Boards.




Step 3 - Cutting In Brush Painting

Basically we need to go around all the edges first, which is called "cutting in", and then we get to do the rolling.

First of all, How to Cut In on Walls.



Here is a bit more about Cutting in Wall Areas.



We also need to know "How to Paint the Corners of Rooms", as part of the cutting in work.




Step 4 - Painting with the Roller

Once we have done all the fiddly cutting in, we are ready to do the rolling.

How to Use a Roller - Basics



The "SHCS" guys reckon that walls should be painted in long vertical strokes progressing along the wall. This is probably great on big walls, but for smaller areas like kitchens, perhaps the horizontal, then finishing off vertical method might be better.

Here is a great video on putting it all together to paint a whole room.



The guy who made the previous video has a great series of videos on YouTube under the "ExpertRealEstateTips" channel. As he emphasises in his videos, it is paramount to do a clean tidy job. Taping old newspapers over all windows and cupboards is a must.

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Image Source: http://farm3.static.flickr.com

Step 5 - Painting Doors

How to Paint a Paneled Door - there is a definite method for painting those fancy paneled doors that most people have in their houses these days. We found a great pair of videos on YouTube on how to do this the correct way.

Here is the first video - "Part 1 - The Panels".



Now for the second video: "Part 2 - The outsides flat sections".




Step 6 - Getting Help

Our final tip is that no matter how much they plead with you, NEVER let the kids help with the painting, or get anywhere near any of the equipment!

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Image Source: http://www.mediabistro.com

So there won't be any blog posts for a while, because Big Passy will be doing a lot of Van Goughing around the house the next few days. Needless to say he'd much rather be out painting the town, than painting the house.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Flash Talking Animals



Make sure you have your speakers on, and click the round circles to see and hear the marvelous animals.

Here at Passy World, we recently saw a very popular free app on the IPad, where infants can tap a thumbnail clipart of an animal, and then the screen can go full size, showing a photo of the animal and making the sound the animal makes. We decided we would make a similar game in Adobe Flash using Actionscript 3.0 .

We built the project up gradually in steps, using videos from YouTube to find out the technical bits we needed to include in our project. Step by Step building and testing is always a great approach to creating new apps, and we thoroughly recommend this methodology.

First we needed a project where we can click a thumbnail and then have the picture go full size. We found the following YouTube project that fitted this requirement.



So our first stage of building the project was to make some small 70x70 pixel button images with animal names written on them like Cat, Dog, Pig, Cow, Bird, etc, as well as find some good pictures of these animals on Google Images. The pictures can be resized in Flash, however for file size optimisation we resized them first using Photoshop to around 450x450 Pixels.

We got some nice button template backgrounds off the web, and then used Fireworks to make our buttons. It is important to make the button edges smooth by making the background transparent, and then painting around the button edge (use soft rounded brush) in the same hex color as the Flash background is.

We made our Flash project 540x360 pixels, so that it would easily fit on our blog page, and made a heading and changed the background color.

Next we followed the YouTube video and got our project going to that we could click a button, and have the image of that animal displayed on the stage.

Note that we found in CS3 we do not have the "chain link" resize option in properties, and so had to use the Flash resize tool (3rd down on tools side bar).

However, we later realized that CS3 has this same function when you have the size padlock undone in the properties.

It is also important to remember on the pictures layer in Flash to label the frame in the properties as pic1, pic2, pic3, etc.

This completed Step 1 of our Project. We tested it and our buttons and pitures worked well.


Step 2 of the Project

The next task was to get some MP3 animal sounds from the web. We found the following great websites with free sounds. If they fail to downlaod, then just use right click "Save Target As" on the download icon for each one.

http://www.freesound.org
(have to join up using an email address, but it's totally free) and http://www.freeinfosociety.com .

We used Roxio Media Creator to edit and convert WAV and FLAC sounds into MP3's where required. (Flash works best with MP3s).

The mp3 sound files do NOT go into the Flash Library. Instead, they have to be stored in the same location as the Flash SWF file. This can be a folder on the PC for testing, and later on at our website on the Internet.

There is a PDF document later in this blog post which has the Actionscript Code for importing in the sounds, and making them play when buttons are pressed.

Here is our Step 2 Flash Project that contains Fireworks buttons in it, and our animal sounds.




Step 3 of the Project

The third and final step that could be done to this project would be to make our buttons a bit fancier. However to do this, we found that we needed to replace the buttons we made in Fireworks, with some Flash buttons, so that we could introduce lighter colored rollover states and so on.

Here is a Video that shows how to make these type of Flash buttons. Click on the 360p bottom right hand controller and watch it in HD as Full Screen.



However, we found that we could edit our Fireworks buttons in our existing project. All we have to do is double click the "btn1" object in the Library, and this will take us into button editing mode, just like in the YouTube movie.

We copy into the "Over" state frame, and then we click on the button, and in the Properties, change the color box to be "brightness" and set the slider up to 30%. This will make a lighter color button as our rollover button.

However, because we colored in around our round buttons in blue, our buttons now become squares when moused over and don't look so good. We therefore decided to abandon the Fireworks buttons.

So we really need to modify our project, and remake the buttons in Flash. (Font used in Flash was a simple Century Gothic size 22).

The approach was to remake the buttons in Frame 1 of the buttons layer, get them working, and then F6 Insert keyframe copy them into frames 2 and 3.

Now that we had new Flash buttons, we went in as per the YouTube Video and made them go darker when moused over, by clicking on the rectangle**, and changing it to a darker blue, like the guy did in the video. Note that we can click the button on the stage, or in the library to get into edit mode on it.

**We found we had to click off the button and then back onto it while in the button editor to get to the rectangle. Note that we made our "rectangles" so rounded that they became circles, we did this by setting the roundness to 34, back when we drew them.

This third version of the Project is the one that is actually at the start of this blog post.

Here is a PDF document showing the Actionscript Code:



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:



If you would like to download a zip file of the final version of our project, then click here.
Choose the save option in your web browser, and save this to your hard drive.

http://www.passyworld.com/AS3Animals/Animals.rar

Winrar is a free download that can then be used to extract the .FLA flash project file. Get "Winrar" for free at http://www.cnet.com/topic-software/winrar.html

So that's enough Doctor Doolittle-ing with the talking animals for now.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Friday, January 7, 2011

Parental Friday Funny

guys with bottles
Image Source: http://cdn.yusrablog.com

This Friday Funny goes out to all the parents who are spending quality time with their kids over the Christmas holidays.

The title of this first video says it all.



Here is another video along the same lines. But really can you blame the parents for just wanting to play with their kids?



Being a dad has certainly changed over the years, and here's proof of that.

Fathers Then & Now

Fathers of 1900 didn't have it nearly as good as fathers of today; but they did have a few advantages:

In 1900, fathers prayed their children would learn English.
- Today, fathers pray their children will speak English.

In 1900, a father's horsepower meant his horses.
- Today, it's the size of his minivan.

In 1900, if a father put a roof over his family's head, he was a success.
- Today, it takes a roof, deck, pool, and 4-car garage. And that's just the vacation home.

In 1900, a father waited for the doctor to tell him when the baby arrived.
- Today, a father must wear a smock, know how to breathe, and make sure film is in the video camera.

In 1900, fathers passed on clothing to their sons.
- Today, kids wouldn't touch Dad's clothes if they were sliding naked down an icicle.

In 1900, fathers could count on children to join the family business.
- Today, fathers pray their kids will soon come home from college long enough to teach them how to work the computer and set the VCR.

In 1900, fathers pined for old country Romania, Italy, or Russia.
- Today, fathers pine for old country Hank Williams.

In 1900, a father smoked a pipe.
- If he tries that today, he gets sent outside after a lecture on lip cancer.

In 1900, fathers shook their children gently and whispered, "Wake up, it's time for school."
- Today, kids shake their fathers violently at 4 a.m., shouting: "Wake up, it's time for basketball practice."

In 1900, a father came home from work to find his wife and children at the supper table.
- Today, a father comes home to a note: "Jimmy's at baseball, Cindy's at gymnastics, I'm at adult-Ed, Pizza in fridge."

In 1900, fathers and sons would have heart-to-heart conversations while fishing in a stream.
- Today, fathers pluck the headphones off their sons' ears and shout, "WHEN YOU HAVE A MINUTE.."

In 1900, a father gave a pencil box for Christmas, and the kid was all smiles.
- Today, a father spends $800 at Toys 'R' Us, and the kid screams: "I wanted X-Box 360!"

In 1900, if a father had breakfast in bed, it was eggs and bacon and ham and potatoes.
- Today, it's Special K, soy milk, dry toast and a lecture on cholesterol.

In 1900, a Father's Day gift would be a hand tool.
- Today, he'll get a new iphone app.

In 1900, a happy meal was when Father shared funny stories around the table.
- Today, a happy meal is what Dad buys at McDonald's.

In 1900, a father was involved if he spanked the kid now and then.
- Today, a father's involved only if he coaches Little League and organizes Boy Scouts and car pools.

In 1900, when fathers entered the room, children often rose to attention.
- Today, kids glance up and grunt, "Dad, get out of the way of the television."

In 1900, fathers threatened their daughters suiters with shotguns if the girl came home late.
- Today, fathers break the ice by saying, "So...how long have you had those face piercings and full body tattoos?"

In 1900, fathers were never truly appreciated.
- In 2011, fathers are never truly appreciated.

Jokes Source: http://www.ahajokes.com

Today we may have all the mod cons, but there is still a lot of Bad Parenting going on out there.

picture description
Image Source: http://media.ebaumsworld.com

Here are a couple of wonderful crusaders of all things good, showing us exactly how we can help re-educate all of those bad parents.



But when all else fails putting up with the kids on holidays; desperate times call for desperate measures.

kids in pets transport
Image Source: http://images.paraorkut.com

We need to trust our evolutionary instincts, and remember it's all about the whole family thing.

apes with kid
Image Source: http://images.paraorkut.com

In this difficult day and age, it's up to the parents to take control and teach their kids all the right things.

Things My Mother Taught Me
  • My Mother taught me LOGIC..."If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can't go to the store with me."
  • My Mother taught me MEDICINE..."If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they're going to freeze that way."

  • My Mother taught me TO THINK AHEAD..."If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job!"

  • My Mother taught me ESP..."Put your sweater on; don't you think that I know when you're cold?"

  • My Mother taught me TO MEET A CHALLENGE..."What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

  • My Mother taught me HUMOR..."When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

  • My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT..."If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up.

  • My mother taught me about GENETICS..."You are just like your father!"

  • My mother taught me about my ROOTS..."Do you think you were born in a barn?"

  • My mother taught me about the WISDOM of AGE..."When you get to be my age, you will understand."

  • My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION..."Just wait until your father gets home."

  • My mother taught me about RECEIVING...You are going to get it when we get home.

  • and my all time favorite thing - JUSTICE..."One day you will have kids, and I hope they turn out just like YOU..then you'll see what it's like."
Jokes Source: http://www.ahajokes.com

Here is an excellent summary diagram of how this whole passing on of all things valuable occurs within the modern close-knit family unit.

picture description
Image Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com

But it's not all nasty unhapiness, and there are still plenty of fun times to be had for the modern family.

For example, parents just love to dance and so do their kids.
Because Dancing is fun... right?




Let's hope you all get to enjoy some quality family time this weekend.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wii Grand Slam Tennis

Nadal plays a big shot
Image Source: http://www.wiids.co.uk

At one of the recent post Christmas sales, we picked up a heavily discounted copy of Wii Tennis. This game has been out for a while, and friends of ours had said it was good. They were not wrong! This is a great game and is so realistic and addictive, it even surprised us here at Passy World.

We highly recommend getting it if you have a Nintendo Wii. If you don't already have a Wii, then get one, because they are great fun, especially when friends come over to visit, or if you want to play against all sorts of random people online.

Here is Grand Slam Tennis Intro video by EA Sports.



The game has lots of famous players and tennis courts from all around the world. There is even the Austalian Open with the real commentators such as John Newcombe and Pat Cash. In addition, there is a pro shop where you can pimp up your players.

This next video is a Grand Slam tennis in depth tutorial by EA who are the makers of the game.



Serving is tricky for beginners. You need to use the Wii controller to toss up, and then just swing down and flick your wrist at the end to get a powerful serve. So basically you toss up, and serve all with the one hand. This is the only part of the game that is different to real tennis. Everything else in playing the game is just like the real thing. It is indeed an awesomely realistic game.

Here is a video that gives some useful advice about Serving, and moving in to the net, to play serve/volley style games.



One thing not mentioned clearly in any of the tutorials we have seen thus far, is using the A and B buttons. Eg. With our controller we found we were able to press the A button to do a high Lob, and use the bottom of controller back button to make shots land in short close to the net. This is very useful to know, and definitely helps win points.

With the Australian Open Tennis coming up this month here in Melbourne, it is the perfect time to be playing this game here at Passy World.

So let's swing those controllers and serve up some aces!

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Monday, January 3, 2011

CS3 Flash Modern Slideshow

Intro Pic of Flash Project

This post is all about making your own basic Photo Slideshow using Adobe Flash CS3. Below is a Photo Slideshow we made here at Passy World.

(It is 1 MB is size and may take a little while to load in).


Click the controller in the top right hand corner to progress through the photos.
(Right hand double arrow = Autoplay continuously).



Making the above slideshow involved using an existing template that comes with Flash Cs3. When it runs full size it is 640x480 pixels in size, and the caption text at the bottom of each photo is a little larger and easier to read.

In CS3 Flash, to access the free template and get started we simply do:


File > New > Templates tab > then More.. > 'Photo Slideshows' > 'Modern Photo Slideshow' .

We can then do Control > Test Movie, (or Ctrl-key + Enter), to run the sample slideshow and try it out.

The default Flash project had a big ugly controller, and so we did some editing** to remove most of it, and end up with a small streamlined controller in the top right hand corner of screen.

** This editing involved a lot of picking and clicking to find each of the items that we wanted to delete or modify.

If you would like a ZIP file containing our modified Template .FLA file, then click the link below and save the zip file to your own hard drive.

Winrar is a free download that can then be used to extract the .FLA flash project file.
Get "Winrar" for free at http://www.cnet.com/topic-software/winrar.html

Download our Passy World Slideshow Template by clicking the link below, and then saving the file to your hard drive using your web browser.

http://www.passyworld.com/passyMisc/PassySlideshowTemplate.rar


Resizing our Photos to 640x480 Pixels for Flash

The one drawback for this slideshow is that we have to have all the pictures we are going to use saved as JPG's and all sized at 640x480 pixels.

However, if we have Adobe CS3 Photoshop, resizing is very quick and easy. The Crop tool can be set to 640px x 480px maximum size, and provided our photos are bigger than this required 640x480 size, we can crop a section of photo, save it as .JPG, and it will be the exact correct size for our Flash project.

Photoshop Crop Settings

Note that we saved each of our 640x480 photos in Photoshop using "Save for Web and Devices" as JPG type, with quality set to "High".


Replacing the Default Flash Project Photos

To replace the default photos with our own photos, we have to go to the Library in Flash, (Window > Library), and then click on the "photos" folder.

Next double click on the tree icon next to the first photo, which should bring up the following panel:


Photo Properties Panel

Now click the Import button, and on this panel, navigate to our own photo, and click "open" to have it replace the default photo. We also have to manually rename the photo to change its name in the Library.

Next we need to change the caption at the bottom of the photo. First we need to click the correct black dot keyframe on the "pictures" layer to get our desired photo is displayed.

We then click on the same position black dot in the "Captions" layer, and this should take us into edit the caption. We then need to click on the "T" text tool, then click our mouse into the caption and edit it:

Caption Modifying

After the caption is edited, simply change off the "T" tool and onto the black pointer arrow tool, and then click off the caption area, and we are done.

We can repeat this process for the next three photos we have, since the default project comes with a total of four photos.


Adding Extra Photos to the Slideshow Project

Firstly we need to add each of our 640x480 photos into the Flash Library. Do
File > Import > Import to Library > then navigate to the photo we want, and click open.


(It sometimes takes a couple of seconds for the photo to be imported). We then need to drag the photo from its place in the Library into the "Photos" folder.


Next we have to click at the top of the Flash Timeline and highlight in red all of the last frames like this:

Insert new blank frames

We then do Insert > Timeline > Frame, (or Press F5), which will produce a set of blank frames at the next position at the end of the current timeline.

We now click onto the "Picture" Layer, where the new empty rectangle shaped frame is, and do Insert > Timeline > Keyframe, (or press F6). This will make a duplicate copy of the last photo in the animation. We now click on this photo on the Stage, and in the properties panel we click the "Swap" option.

Swap picture function

On the resulting panel we can click the new photo we just imported, and it will be swapped in onto the stage. All we have to do now is the Caption.

Click onto the Caption at the last current frame, and do Insert > Timeline > Keyframe, (or press F6). This will make a duplicate copy of the latest caption.
We then click onto the "T" text tool in Flash, and we can then edit in a caption for the new photo we have just added.

We now repeat the following process for all of the photos we need to add:
  • Import our next photo to the Library, and move it to the Photos folder.
  • With all of the last frames highlighted in red, Press F5, (or do Insert > Timeline > Frame).
  • Click on the Pictures Layer and Press F6, (or do Insert>Timeline>Keyframe).
  • Click the picture on the stage, and in the properties panel do the Swap to bring in our new picture.
  • Click on the Captions Layer and Press F6, (or do Insert>Timeline>Keyframe).
  • Use the "T" tool to edit the caption for our new photo.

Deleting Photos

Click on the top of the timeline of the frames you want to remove, and do
Edit > Timeline > Remove Frames.


Making the Slideshow Start Automatically

If we want to have the slideshow start by itself as soon as the page loads, then we need to change some of the Actionscript Code. This is detailed in the following PDF. Click the link below to access the PDF instructions document.

http://www.passyworld.com/passyPDFs/SlideshowAutoStart.pdf

If you would like to download our Passy World Auto Slideshow Template, then click the link below, and then save the file to your hard drive using your web browser. (Use Winrar to expand the .RAR file out to the .FLA file).

http://www.passyworld.com/passyMisc/SlideshowTPauto.rar


Putting the Slideshow onto a Web Page

Our Slideshow with 12 photos ended up just under 1 meg in size, and so it takes a few seconds of load time on the web page or blog.

We could use Dreamweaver to make a new HTML page, and then use Insert function to put our Flash onto the DW page. However for our Blog post here we have uploaded the .SWF file to our live "Passy World" website and then used the following blog post insert code:

(Note that the actual code needs to go continuously across the page and must not have the large spaces between items shown here. It also must not have any line returns, and needs to run continuously as one big long line of text.).

SWF embed code for Slideshow

So that's it for making a Photo Slideshow using Flash CS3.

If you would like a much more sophisticated and easy to use Flash Slideshow maker, then we suggest you use Wondershare's "Flash Gallery Factory Deluxe".

Click the link below for details on how to buy this great software that we use right here at Passy World on a regular basis:

http://www.wondershare.com/pro/flash-gallery-factory-deluxe.html


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi