What’s next for Singularity?

Seems to be a popular question as of late. I’m coming off a very intense project and getting ready to start a new one, so spare time is still short. I am planning an online demo of closest point to a Bezier (quad and cubic), possibly illustrating a couple different approaches to the problem. Collision with a Bezier is next on the list as this feeds into some work with organic interfaces and elements that are attracted/repulsed by a Bezier curve.

Towards the end of the year, I hope to release some work on spline-based methods for generalized easing in animation. After that, I really need to return to work on the rigging classes. If, however, you would like to see something in particular, comment away and thanks for visiting.

100K Visits

It was about 14 months ago that the blog formerly known as Singularity became ‘The Algorithmist.’ It’s kind of exciting to see the hit counter reach 100,000. Thanks to everyone who has linked to this blog and I hope people continue to find information of value here. On that note, I’m in the process of finishing up the first phase of a very large project this week. Look to see some more computational geometry demos starting in August.

Thanks again!

Sometimes you see rewards beyond the payday

We’ve all been there – we slave away on an app. – it gets changed a thousand times because the client or design team can’t make up their mind – then, finally it’s accepted and we get paid. Maybe it’s nothing more than a fancy site that looks cool but doesn’t even serve the client’s business purpose. Who cares; we take the money and go onto the next gig.

The reason I’ve always liked working on educational applications is that it’s really fun (and rewarding) to help kids learn. I spent five very hard months working on the first version of Voyager’s TicketToRead client last year. It’s press releases like these that I really like to see,


Wouldn’t it be nice if they all turned out like this?

Tiling FCS3 Library Symbols in Flex

Something I’ve had to do a couple times in the past, so here is one way to do it. Suppose you need to tile a MovieClip symbol in a FCS3 library (perhaps a composite of vector and bitmap graphics) inside some DisplayObject in a Class used in a Flex app.

In FCS3, set the linkage properties to a Class of something like com.myclient.myprojectname.symbols.TileableSymbol with a Base Class of flash.display.MovieClip. Set your friendly neighborhood publish properties to export a .SWC. Publish the file to a symbols or libs or some other suitable folder in your Flex project.

In the Flex project properties, select Actionscript Build Path | Library Path tab and make sure the folder containing the published .SWC is selected by clicking Add SWC Folder. You should see the exported .SWC; make sure the Framework linkage is ‘Merged into code’.

You may need to clean the project in order for the symbol to be visible. In the script for whatever Class is responsible for tiling the symbol, import com.myclient.myprojectname.symbols.TileableSymbol (or whatever more suitable name you choose).

Suppose you have an instance of BitmapData called _bitmapData. The code would look something like

var myTile:TileableSymbol = new TileableSymbol();

_bitmapData = new BitmapData(_tileWidth, _tileHeight);
_bitmapData.draw(myTile, null, null, BlendMode.NORMAL);

var g:Grapics = myContainer.graphics;
g.beginBitmapFill(_bitmapData, null, true, true);
g.drawRect(0, 0, widthToTile, heightToTile);

If the tileable symbol is nothing more than a standalone bitmap in the library, the process is easier. If there is sufficient interest, I may create a downloadable example of both cases, especially as there are some variations of this approach to illustrate.

Open Pandora’s Box

Just started listening to Pandora and am customizing ‘Rush Radio.’ It’s pretty interesting how the application serves a mix of songs that I can immediately disapprove. As the playlist progresses, it’s really like a radio station is being customized just for me – already listened to several favorite Rush and old-school Van Halen tracks. This weekend, I’ll have to get some better speakers for the computer 🙂

Enjoy the 4th if you’re celebrating it!