Today I finally managed to start working with Cascade! I read all the instructions and feel fairly prepared to breeze through the tutorial. I did my first changes to my site and it looks pretty good (related picture below). More updates on my progress later.
We had the STA presentation last Friday, it was a great way to get closure on TBH and look at all the work that fellow STAs had done over the year. It was also a way to look at the future and what I will be doing over the summer and next year.
RBTL has been my main focus since we finished TBH. I’m doing good progress on the site, almost about to finish with the first poem. After that it should be more copy-paste and less coding. I developed almost 2 pages this week. The first one was Rimes, which shows the rhyming scheme for a poem. It was actually pretty tough to get the correct forming on those rhyme letters (ABBA and such). It was fun to make the animation aspect of it and see the page come to life with the colors. A picture below.
I also started development on a second page called Sonorites. This one is special because it’s the first one I’ve done with a double sidebar, this means that a second one pops up from the bottom of the first. It’s a cool-looking animation, but tough to set up. A picture of it in action below. I still need to work out some of the details like the coloring on the titles.
Also at the end of this week I took an hour to learn about Cascade. Bryan was kind enough to teach me how to do some basic things. I will probably be doing a lot of that during the summer.
I’ve been a little sloppy about blog posts since we came back from spring break. Lots of things have changed. We finally finished all the TBH animations, therefore I have been assigned to focus on RBTL. It was tough restarting the project after so long but I think I have finally brought it up to speed. I developed the page called Enjambents based on my previous work, I think it really helped me remember what I was doing and how. Then I used the same ideas to make a page called Scansion. This one did not work at first. It took me a couple of hours to track a tiny bug but I got it working now. Pictures of both below, they look better in the site.
Now a little bad news, we are not done with TBH. We have been looking back at all the interactives we made. Some problems aroused with one of my first projects: the main menu for the Kids part of TBH (Kids-main). The animation works well but the way browsers handle tabs and information makes it not work. Suloni commissioned me to make a mock-up of a new main menu. I did and she managed to convince the lady in charge of the project to change it. It makes me sad to drop all my previous work, especially since it’s once of my favorite interactives, but it was necessary. It’s much subtler now, but also more functional.
The days when we won’t ever have to open Canvasser again are coming faster and faster as we finalize the last of the interactives. This week I worked on the last two assigned to me: Burying the Dead and Life in a Pueblo. They were both pretty basic “scenery with clickable objects” interactives like the ones I used to work on when I started here. My first shift of the week I worked on the Photoshop files that I would need in order to make the interactives. I modeled them after Life in a Rockshelter, my first assigned TBH project ever. Once I got approval for that I moved on to Canvasser. Making these was actually not super hard, it took me one shift each. You can see the results below.
With one shift left in the week and nothing to work on I took one of the last animations from Bryan in order to make his workload smaller. I worked on that for the last few hours, getting screenshots for the pictures that I’m going to need and editing them. The layering and dragging are going to be a little tricky on this one but I expect to be done next week. This would be my last TBH animation ever and hopefully we can start doing some real web development!
This week was pretty busy for me school-wise, so I didn’t really get much focus during work. I just worked on Doorways for the whole week, but at least I have something to show for it. I finally finished the interactive! It was a pretty long process, during the week as I tested it in comparison to the original one I kept finding new things that I had to change. Over the weekend I finally had time and peace to sit down and setup every new window and popup that I could find. I used the testpset function on Canvasser a lot, since buttons on background layers (like the doors on the main frame and the check out the evidence) would be activated even if you clicked a layer above the actual button. It was also kind of a hassle to restore everything so that the initial animation, which I had disabled so that I could work on everything else, ran and looked good.
This on the top is the first door button, which has a fade followed by a slide with clickable pictures.
This is the third door button, which also has clickable pictures.
Anyways, I have a new week now and new projects waiting for me to complete. I don’t think we’ll be able to finish all TBH by March, but I think we’re really, really close.
This week I’ve been focused on TBH like the last ones.
I was working on Doorways to the Past for the first half of the week. I set up all the second windows that pop up when you click the ‘Check out the Evidence’ button. I’ve been having issues because there’s just too many objects and nested things that I need to include. For example, in the third door, after you check out the evidence each picture has a hover effect that makes it bigger. This is hard to set up since it means there’s now about 4 layers of objects working at the same time. Also, since we don’t have hover I’ve been forced to explore Canvasser to find new solutions. My idea was that, instead of using 2 different picture objects, I would use a condition to make the same picture grow when you click it and shrink when you click it again. I was trying to set that up but I couldn’t get it to work. I gave up and decided to ask Nick later. When changing some other things in the interactive I ran into an error where my output wouldn’t show. That basically meant I could’t work on this for the rest of the week.
The second half of the week was more productive. I started working on those old interactives I mentioned before: Prairies and Marshlands and Prehistoric Texas. Suloni gave me new design ideas for those so I was able to quickly implement those. For the first one I just ignored the hover effects. For the second one I used a two button system in which by clicking the map you get a button that comes up. By clicking that you open a link. I finished those two, effectively getting 2 interactives off our to-do list!