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This year’s Macworld, due to hit San Francisco in January, is shaping up to be an epic event for visuals and motion graphics. True, Macworlds of late have paled in comparison to the heyday of the conferenece, but this year looks extraordinary, especially if you’re interested in motion graphics and visuals, especially since there’s a mini Flashforward rolled up into the goodness and the whole event takes place on the eve of Flash 9’s release. I’ll be in on the action with a session on January 10 (just slip out of one of the other events and drop by for an hour if you have to), and will be in the area all week — read, we should have some great parties.

And, Flash aside, I’m fairly certain this will be the first appearance of Processing at Macworld, so anyone else who wants to find ways to slip Processing onto the show floor, let me know.

Some brief highlights:

Flash @ Macworld

This is what I’m most excited about: all the joy of Flashforward meets the revived joy of Macworld Expo. Top figures from Adobe and some of the leading gurus of the Flash community will be converging in a full day of awesome Flash power. My personal picks:

  • Keynote: Product managers Mike Downey (Flash) and Mike Chambers (Apollo), among others, will talk about Flash on the Mac.
  • Animation with Flash: Chris Georgenes will talk about animation and will even deconstruct some finished examples.
  • ActionScripting: Here on Create Digital Motion, we’re all about cutting-edge generative graphics, which means you’d better learn to dig into some code. Aral Balkan will lead two sessions introducing ActionScript and bringing in a little AS3 discussion.

Flashforward @ Macworld, January 8 [Full agenda]

Advanced Flash and More Sessions

What’s missing? All of this focuses on Flash 8 Pro and ActionScript 2, and it’s fairly intro organized. Fortunately, Rick Shupe is doing an all-day workshop Wednesday that will get into Flash 9 and ActionScript 3 (the latter being useful even if you’re focused on open source, fully code-based development):

Advanced Flash

As usual, Macworld coolness conflicts. Sit in the back of Rick’s event and sneak out for my own one hour, or we can start a letter-writing campaign to try to convince Rick to take an early lunch break at 11a. Or my session can come on a field trip into his session. Or we can just crash it. Or I can use it as an opportunity to show off streaming video by appearing virtually at his session. I know I can come up with some solution here.

The Power Tools Series 1 and Power Tools Series 2 conferences have lots of other cool stuff happening, too, covering Adobe Creative Suite, Apple’s production tools, and video production.

Reactive and Interactive Animation and Visuals

Now, my session is only an hour fifteen minutes, but I intend to pack as much eye candy – tricky demo – bizarre strageness into the event as possible, even if I have to wrangle three MacBooks just to get it all running.

US902: Playful Animation and Motion Graphics that React

Sensors? Check. Generative animation? You bet. Live video input and motion detection/analysis? For sure. I’ll be focusing on free tools, so open source Flash, Processing, and Quartz Composer. I also want to keep this accessible to people who have never seen this stuff before, so if you know some non-mavens attending Macworld, please encourage them to drop by. And they’ll get to play with sensors and motion input from cameras, too. If I can turn my Macworld session into an interactive rave, I’ll do it.

Can’t Make it to California?

Needless to say, between Flashforward and all of these other sessions and events, you’ll be able to get as much on Create Digital Motion as I can blog during Macworld week. I’ll also make sure to include complete notes and some code/patch samples for my session so no one has to miss out. (That said, there’s still time to book a flight or try to convince your employer that you should come to Macworld. Remember when employers all used to pay for that? Sigh.)

Calling Readers

Are you a visualist / interactive designer / motion graphics artist based in the Bay Area, or planning to attend Macworld? Drop me a line via the contact form, as I want to keep track of CDMx readers who will be around. Party schedules are generally packed, but there’s talk of doing a visualist/VJ event during the week, and I’ll at the very least plan a meetup. Windows users are welcome, too, of course.