Kim Cavanaugh

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Top Stories by Kim Cavanaugh

PowerPoint has been capable of accepting and playing back videos for quite some time, at least as far back as Office 97. In most cases the process is quite simple. Go to the Insert menu, click on Insert Movies, and away you go. At least in theory. The reality of the situation is that your success with video in PowerPoint may vary wildly. Sometimes things will play back absolutely perfectly, especially if you use the same computer with the same operating system to create and encode the video, create the PowerPoint file, and play back the slide show. When a single machine is used, your results are generally pretty good, although there may be times when the audio and video lose their synchronization. For the most part, as long as you stick with a single machine, video in PowerPoint works just fine. But what happens when you develop your video and PowerPoint show on dif... (more)

Uncovering Fireworks Masks: Masking with Bitmaps

In last month's article I led off with the same quotation from Yeats. At the risk of seeming culturally challenged, I'll lead off with it again for the second treatment of how masks function in Fireworks, simply because it is so apt. A mask in a graphical editor like Fireworks (or Flash, among others) has the same function that Yeats describes ­ to control how much we can see of the object behind the mask. The interplay between the mask and the mask wearer is what makes our hearts beat. And of course, when we're dealing with art in any form we do want to get the hearts of our vi... (more)

Uncovering Fireworks Masks

It is not so much what is behind the mask that matters - just as Yeats so famously describes - as is what is revealed. This is certainly true of graphical masking techniques in general, and particularly in the case of Fireworks masks where you have so many options for hiding and revealing your creations to the world. A mask is simply a graphical object that is placed on top of another image and given instructions on how it should interact with its partner. Masks are always a pair of objects - the masking object and the object that is being masked. The beauty of masks is that the... (more)

Reflections on the State of Almost Everything

I've had a few days now to recover from and reflect on my experiences at this year's TODCon (a.k.a. "The Other Dreamweaver Conference"), held this year in Orlando. I'll talk about the personal and fun side of TODCon near the end of this article, but for now I'd like to run through those things I learned while attending sessions, hanging out in the hallways with some of the smart people in attendance, and in late night conversations at dinner and the hotel pool bar. All of those add to the experience of TODCon, and you can learn a lot by simply keeping your ears open and making y... (more)