Animation with Flash CS4′s Motion Editor

– taterboy | February 5th, 2009

Filed under: ActionScript 3, Animation, Flash, Tutorials

Was anyone else thrown for a loop as much as I was about Flash CS4s animation system? I knew the basics and played around with the new animation tools before, but then I had my first real animation job with it. Wow! that really sucked.

It is hard to say if the new tools are better then before, that all depends on your needs. If you want to do a quick animation, then stick with the classic tweens. If you want higher quality animation with some real fine tuning then the new tools are for you. I have to admit, if I had written this post just one day earlier, my option of the new animation tools would have been completely 180° opposite. Now I think they are great, so if you are frustrated now, read on and take a deep breath.
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iPhone Watch January 2009

– taterboy | January 26th, 2009

Filed under: iPhone

Converting AS3 to Cocoa Touch:
The iPhone is another interest of mine because it is just so cool. I would love to build apps for the iphone but do not know when I would have time to learn cocoa touch. That is why I am very interested in Andy Jacobs’ Blog and his tutorials on AS3 to Cocoa Touch. Now if I can just find the time, these tutorials definitely make understanding cocoa conventions much easier for an AS programmer.

AS3 Reference iPhone Application:
So what is the next best thing to having Flash on the iPhone? How about an Action Script 3 reference documentation application for the iPhone? Not sure when I would use it. Perhaps when they port the Flex SDK to the iPhone, otherwise I would rather use the online version with a huge monitor, full keyboard and mouse. I do not know why I still had to get the app, It is just one of those things that sound so good.

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Detecting Standalone or Plugin Flash Players

– taterboy | January 26th, 2009

Filed under: ActionScript 2, ActionScript 3, Flash, Flash AS2 to AS3, Flex, Tips

Maintaining version control on project files can easily get out of control when saving multiple versions of the same file. One tip is covered in an earlier post about swf based relative urls for flash/flex files. This tip works even if the host file is moved to a different locations. This way we do not need to save a live version and a local build version.

Why would I care which Flash Player type is used?
Some projects, like kiosks, will end up as a Flash Projector or AIR Application. Until the project is finalized and approved we may need to preview the project for our clients on the web. In AS3 some stage methods are only available to the standalone player. Instead of saving two versions of the same project, one to test the Projector functionality and another for online approvals; we can build one multi-purpose file.
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SWF Based Relative URLs in Flash or Flex

– taterboy | January 17th, 2009

Filed under: ActionScript 2, ActionScript 3, Flash, Flash AS2 to AS3, Flex, Tips

When a Flash/Flex app loads into a browser, all urls for the swf are now relative to the file that is hosting the swf and not the location of the swf file itself. This can create issues between testing the swf locally and viewing it on the live site.

Case Study:
When building a demo to display on this blog I have to create one version with relative urls to distribute as source and a separate sample for preview using absolute urls. This is because of the setup of the blog, some files like the index page display from the root of the blog while all the article files have unique urls based on title and date.
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Illustrating In Illustrator 101 Part 2 of 5

– taterboy | January 5th, 2009

Filed under: Digital Art, Illustrator, Tutorials

Construction

Wether I am illustrating an imaginary device or something I use everyday, it is good to understand how the object is or should be constructed. Other information like functionality, and how these objects are interacted with are very important in making our illustrations more convincing.

Questions you could ask yourself are how much heft and mass does this object possess, What kids of materials are used to build this object? How does this information effect how light reflects/refracts off the object. These evaluations help us understand how the details should be rendered.

The object could be steel, but is it built assembled with welds, bolts or both? The object could be made from concrete, Styrofoam, wood, glass or plastic molds. Each material is assembled differently with different types of joints. The time when an object is built also will give us a clue as to the type of assembly would have been used. We should carry that information or hints of that information into our illustration.
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Flash Actionscript 101, The First ActionScript I Ever Learned

– taterboy | December 21st, 2008

Filed under: ActionScript 101, ActionScript 3, Flash, Flex, Tutorials

This is it, the very first bit of actionscript code I ever learned, besides play() and gotoAndStop() of course. The lesson went down with an experienced programmer looking over my shoulder telling me what to type. After this little app was finished, my brain hurt only understanding a few of the lines we wrote. That code was referenced and/or modified on more then a few projects that came after, each time deciphering more and applying it to new functionalities.

The original script was back in the day of AS1, but I am going to present it to you in AS3. If you are a beginner to ActionScript then it is the perfect time to learn AS3.

We are going to start really remedial for a minute and go over the basics of the classes and objects we will be using. It is kind-of long, so if you already have the basics covered, you can skip to the Application code.
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A Simple Game Engine Using Random

– taterboy | December 1st, 2008

Filed under: ActionScript 3, Flash, Flex, Games, Tutorials

Using Random in Game Development, with strict guidelines, can bring some variety to game play.

This sample is not a single solution but an approached I used in developing Whacky Voting – a politically smashing game. It uses random with some strict rules to get rid of sequences that some players can easily remember, yet keeping game play consistent from one game to the next.

This demo starts with a configuration section, used to set up how we want the game to act. The engine it self could be organized a little better to be more transportable. It is commented pretty well though, so it should be easy enough to understand the approach as well as practical usage. Random is used to shuffle all of the objects that appear on screen as well as what container the objects are associated with.

Configuration:
We use config data for each game so that we can easily tweak game-play without hacking our code later. We can use arrays, xml or other data sources. Plan ahead and build config options into your game as it is developed.
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10 Flash/Flex streaming video tips

– taterboy | November 27th, 2008

Filed under: Flash, Flex, Tips, Video

In a Birds-Of-A-Feather discussion group at Adobe MAX last week. No remarks were planned, It was supposed to be a discussion, we hoped to talk to other developers about what’s new in using Flash video. We did not get a bunch of new information but we did get a lot of hard questions. Some of them were not fully answered and others were speculated upon. When I was asked my tips, I gave all I could think of at the time. Later that evening I remembered a couple more, some of my best ones.

So for those who went to MAX and those that did not, here are my official video tips for Flash and Flex.
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Adobe MAX 2008 day one

– taterboy | November 17th, 2008

Filed under: General Info

The first day of MAX has ended at 10:30 pm Monday night. East coast time is taking it’s toll, but I know I am not the only one. I just finished moderating a video tips group that was full of drooping eyes.

Today was a success with 4 new t-shirts and a few new tips learned. All of the sessions are going to be available for free at Adobe TV. I have heard the Flash Catylist (thermo) sessions were really good, the Flash Player Internals session had some nice insight on optimizing code, my favorite one of the day. The Flex Tips session showed off some features of Flex Builder that I never new existed and now will not be able to live without.

MAX 2008 Sessions added to Adobe TV – 12/11/08

MAX 2008 on Adobe TV.

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MAX continued

– taterboy | November 17th, 2008

Filed under: General Info

Max keynote is available online now. keynote

I cannot do it justice from my iPhone, so check it out.

Updates:

Apparantly the keynote video does not live at the address I placed above, that is what was on the big screen at the end of the keynote. sorry about that.
Here are a couple links of real live blogging (bet they had a laptop).
Liveblogging MAX 2008 Day 1 General Session Keynote

Adobe MAX 2008: Monday – Keynote

Tour de Flex on a 20′ screen, shot by Greg Wilson. Tour de Flex on a 20 ft Screen

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