Just in case my DryerFox post didn't make it apparent, I'm not a graphic artist. But I can hack away with Adobe Fireworks with the best of them, so that's what I did. I googled for the biggest image I could find of a front loading dryer, and I found the image on the left.
Here's what I did to get the one on the right:
I spent a bunch of time learning & fiddling with Fireworks. At least 50% of this project time was due to my lack of design skillz.
- The black background was easy to turn transparent.
- I then split the image into 4 layers: the control panel, the lid, the frame, and the drum.
- I stretched the lid and frame to make the dryer more squarish.
- I repositioned the unstretched control panel appropriately.
- I made the drum as large as possible, even making the rim thinner, to maximize the portion of the browser window that will show inside the drum.
- I got rid of the squarish reflection on the glass bubble. I used the "magic wand" selector in Fireworks to find all the similar connected pixels, and then I just lowered the brightness.
- Then I realized that the image was actually a top-load washer, not a dryer. Agh! Darn you inaccurate search engine metadata! But my result looked pretty, so on I went ...
OK, now I that I had graphics, I needed some decent sound FX. Here I have a bit more of a background, having spent 6 years designing digital audio equipment. Normally, I'd hop on over to Sound Dogs (think iStockPhoto, but for sounds), since they have such a huge library.
But one of the main inspirations for this project is the nagging sound of my own dryer, which is right next to my home office. So I just brought my MacBook Pro into the laundry room and recorded it directly using the built-in mic.
I needed to disable the "Use ambient noise reduction" setting, since ambient noise was exactly what I was after.
I cranked up the input volume and recorded a 40 second run of good heavy load of towels, complete with the wonderful clunk of the relays kicking in when the dryer shut off.
Alrighty, I had all my media assets, so then it was off to Flex Builder to create the app, covered in the next post.