The practical outcome of this thesis consists of two applications - !scribble and !scribble-import.
First, !scribble enables the user to create complex interactivity or motion without any real programming. It is a tool to define properties and behaviors of visual objects in a graphic way and to present and share the outcomes.
Its most prominent features are the combination of behaviors, the incorporation of user input and the possibility to retrofit the user’s own scripts into the application.
The application is easily extendible and allows the user to integrate his/her own visuals.
It is possible to use nearly every kind of asset Director is capable of importing: bitmaps (JPEG’s, PSD’s, GIF’s, PICT’s, BMP’s), Flash-files, other Director-movies, Videos or formatted text (HTML, RTF). This allows the easy integration of already existing elements, and the use of other interactive or animated content (Gif89a, Director and Flash-files) offers even more complex and stunning effects.
!scribble works like the rock’n’roll guitar-player’s battery of effect devices. There is an input – an accord or a mouse movement – an effect-widget producing an output - sometimes again interconnected with a patch cord to another electronic gadget – and in the end some outcome: a trembling loudspeaker or a fascinatingly moving sprite.
The application is intended as a tool for users in education and production. Its target group consists mainly of designers interested in interactivity and motion. A basic knowledge of mathematics is recommended but !scribble can be used as well as a tool to visualize math in an educational context. After some examples are shown or the basic principles were explained, most users will be able to start building their own applications.
As a starting point, the examples provided and included in the distribution are quite efficient to give an overview of the tool’s features and power. Additionally, within the application, tooltips act as guidance for the user.
After successfully creating an interesting example of interactivity the user can save the settings to an external file. !scribble writes the current state into an XML-file and stores the used visual objects within an accompanying folder.
The second tool which was developed is called !scribble-import and allows the use of settings created in !scribble within multimedia-projects. The tool, running as MIAW-Xtra within Director, reads a setting file, creates all needed scripts and sprites and defines the behaviors’ properties as needed.
The main advantage of this tool is the direct incorporation of the designer’s input into the final project. The designer’s experiments do not have to be programmed again and the result will look absolutely the same as the prototype the designer created.