After so many years using the same tool (Flash), you may end up becoming a master of using that tool and nothing else. Despite that a good amount of visual problems can be solved using just one tool, it may not necessarily be the case that the single tool is the best one to do a particular job. Speaker Andrew Bell ("Out of the Frying Pan") wanted to open up minds by sharing how he was able to use alternate tools to accomplish some of these tasks. He described the challenges he was faced with, the options available and went in depth as to how some of those options were very limiting.
One example to highlight was an Ambient Occlusion-based composition that he implemented 5 different ways. The end visual outcome generally turned out to be the same. However the efficiency and the time required to create it vastly differ.
|Implementation||Strengths||Weaknesses||Speed||Lines of Code|
|Flash AS3||+Ubiquitous||- Slow
|Processing||+ Strong community
+ Clients are asking for it by name
+ Easy to
- Java is an island (it's not a first class citizen
in visual problem solving)
|C++||+ Huge community
+ Fast Performance
+ Good dev tools
Learning it opens up a whole new literature of libraries & plugins
|- Tough learning curve
- Not in tune for visual programming; you
need to learn someone else’s library
(C++ Visualization library)
|+ Provides common platform for C++ visualization
|- Getting started is difficult||1x||Not available|
|Maya + Python||+ Head start with visual stuff; leverages Maya's assets
+ Opens many visual possibilities; can experiment more in Maya
|- Not aimed for programmers||2.5x||24|
The point is this: “Why try to ride the Tour de France using a tricycle?” By re-evaluating what other alternative tools are out there to solve the challenge, you can save time doing more important things by using the best tool for a particular task.