Thursday, July 23, 2009

Video: Color My World

Color My World, the next episode in the gripping and suspenseful series CodeDependent, is now available from Adobe TV. I hope this satisfies the great hue and cry for color-related tutorials.

This show is not so much about Flex code as it is about color interpolation. Okay, I take that back; I do talk a bit about arbitrary type interpolation in the Flex 4 effects, which is what enables the new AnimateColor effect used in the demo. But the main idea behind the show was a demo app I wrote to test out a couple of color interpolation alternatives for AnimateColor and some observations about the results. This is probably a one-off topic, the only one I'll ever do that approaches anything close to color theory - that's a subject that I haven't touched since my thesis. But it is interesting to see how interpolating colors in different color spaces can have a dramatically different effect on the resulting animation. And of course it's also interesting to see how cool arbitrary type interpolation is in Flex 4...

Here's the video:

Here is the demo application:

And here is the source code.



Christian Giordano said...

Sorry Chet, big respect for you, and what you are doing in the Flex SDK, but this seemed to me a bit pointless :P

Chet Haase said...

@Christian: Then you either missed the points or I wasn't clear enough. One of the reasons I did this was to talk about color interpolation in general; perhaps not germaine to most people, but terribly important to the people that actually need it and care about it. After spending my time in grad school studying color theory, I realized there is a whole sub-culture that cares deeply about color.
The other point, perhaps more relevant to this blog and my work in general, was to show how arbitrary type interpolation works in Flex 4, and how we take advantage of it for some of the built in effects like AnimateColor.

Sorry you missed the points...


Christian Giordano said...

Thanks Chet for answering. I was just a bit turned down by the utility of the HSB interpolation. Your help on Flex SDK and advocating its usage is very appreciated!

Chet Haase said...

@Christian: Yep, the HSB color interpolation definitely isn't for everyone. But there may be cases (especially those where the hue is not being modified but someone wants to animate the brightness or value) where HSB interpolation is the right choice. So we provide the interpolator in case it helps someone for their situation.

This brings up something that might not have been obvious about my blog so far: I want it to be a place where I discuss potentially random topics in graphics an animation that I find interesting (and hopefully others will find interesting as well). So although many of my blogs are how-tos about specific Flex or Flash APIs, especially with a focus on Flex 4 lately, I don't want to be constrained to those topics. If I find something interesting to talk about that's not specific to Flex effects, I'll launch into it. I figure the more we all know about graphics and animation in general, the better our Flex/Flash applications will be overall. So this tangent about color theory was partially one of these small departures: it was an interesting thing that I found when implementing our color interpolators that I thought I'd share. Maybe it doesn't apply to your situation, but maybe someone else can use that information. Or maybe in the future you may run across an HSB color situation and remember this diatribe on animating colors. Or maybe it's just of interest to graphics geeks in general.

Having said that, I doubt I'll do too many shows on color theory; I've done my time in that trench.

Christian Giordano said...

Your cause to make UIs richer is invaluable. Keep it up!