29 May 2009

Flash Pixel Explosion Tutorial

Well, kinda tutorial. First of all, check out Xuroq, Open Source Flash Solutions website. All code downloaded from there is open source, which means you can use it in whatever way you want, but for the sake of honesty and brighter future don't claim it's yours, that's very 20th century attitude.

What I'm interested in right now is Flash Pixel Explosion 151 kb file. Download it and extract anywhere on your hard disk, let's say new folder \kaboom. Inside \kaboom folder you will find two new folders \kaboom\com and \kaboom\gs and two additional files kaboom.swf and kaboom.fla. Latest one can be opened with Flash CS3. Do it.

Open document Library if it isn't already open and locate xuroqflash.png file. This is the one we will change first. If you right click on file name and choose properties you can see image dimensions are 415x100. Create new image with same dimensions with your favorite image editing software.


Import your new image to Library with File _ Import _ import to library. Next we will replace images. Double click 'clip' library item to edit. Select previous bitmap image and delete it. Drag from the library you new image and place it approximately in same position as Xuroq image. Save file with different name and test it.


You can also edit 'btn' movie clip, add action buttons or just edit text like me.




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28 May 2009

Dark Ages are over - FFD is out!


When "Web Developer's and Designer's Journal" stopped publishing (last issue I know of is issue 2/2007) I was surprised and disappointed, because I know how much one quality magazine about Flash and Flex means to developers.

But dark ages are over and this time new people are about to take over. New magazine is out, 100% devoted to Flash and Flex developers community (online forum included).

Here are some of the subjects you can read-your-eyes-out about in newest issue: Mark Grossnickle writes about How to become a Flash/Flex Developer? Lee McColl Sylvester's article is about Animating with ActionScript. Create your first ActionScript game in minutes by Damien Davidovic. Flex Application Architecture by Andrei Cristian Ionescu. You will also read about FLEXing your business application by Sidney de Koning, Doug Ensley and Barbara Kaskosz write about Blender to Flash workflow.

Remember, this is just a part of subjects covered, so you know where your next destination is ...

FLASH AND FLEX DEVELOPERS MAGAZINE

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22 May 2009

It's never to late (shuffle AS function + more)

My statistics show how search array AS functions post is very popular, even two and a half years old! I also see how I never answered Lance to his comment how shuffle function works. So, Lance, two and a half years later here it is.


How does shuffle function works?

We have two arrays, starting array 'before' (b) and final array 'after' (temp). In every while step we have next process:

1 - first we take randomly chosen element from first array,
2 - than we push that element into new array temp
3- and finally with splice we remove that element from first array, which reduces its length. Iteration works while there are element inside 'before' array. OK?

example:

before = [3, 65, 202, -4];
trace(before);
after = shuffle(before);
trace(after);

Variable templen doesn't have to be Number. If you change type to Object, function will work with Strings, arrays within arrays, Objects.

example 2:

before = [3, "hello", [4, 7, 9], -8];
trace(before);
after = shuffleB(before);
trace(after);

Here is one more ActionScript search arrays function. This one takes two arrays and returns difference array, meaning it deletes all elements of second function which appear inside first function:


function difference(a:Array, b:Array):Array{
var bCounter = b.length-1;
while(bCounter >= 0) {
var aCounter = a.length-1;
while(aCounter >=0) {
if(a[aCounter]==b[bCounter]) {
a.splice(aCounter, 1);
}
aCounter -= 1;
}
bCounter -= 1;
}
return a;
}

example 3:

a1 = [3, 5, 7, 9, 3];
a2 = [3];
trace(a1);
a3 = difference(a1, a2);
trace(a3);

To be continued ...

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15 May 2009

Free FLV to WMV Conversion

update: if you can't manage by yourself contact me and I'll help you with conversion
- - -
This is something I've been asked about several times, so I decided to post quick and free solution on how to convert FLV file into WMV.

There are several ways to make this video formats conversion and I'll show you one simple solution which doesn't require and previous knowledge. Go to and download small freeware program flvtowmv from Lumixsoft. Setup file is 3.76 Mb in size and installation is straightforward.



How to use it? Click on Add button and locate FLV file you wish to convert. Set output folder if you wish. Set video quality somewhere between lowest and highest. Output file size depends on this settings. Set video size. Finally click Convert button. Process is pretty fast. You are done. Quick and easy.




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bonus: get your free Dropbox online storage >>

 

12 May 2009

Flash CS4 for dummies book review

Like always we don't have to wait too long after new Flash Authoring Tool release for new books to appear. Series 'for dummies' is maybe most familiar out there and Flash CS4 book is among us. Written by bestseller author Ellen Finkelstein and Gurdy Leete this 400 pages book can easily meet your beginners needs. The Flash CS4 For Dummies book consist of 6 parts.

A Blast of Flash - this part has two introduction Flash CS4 chapters. You will learn when to use and when not to use Flash in your website design. This part is only for newcomers to Flash because it offers basic knowledge of how to create new document where the panels are, etc. Everyone with any experience in previous Flash versions are already familiar with this stuff. You can also read about how to set the Stage, how to add metadata to your file, how to use libraries and templates.

1000 Pictures and 1000 Words - part of the book will explain you some of the creative details like using pen tool and working with shapes. You will read about making your own graphics and importing other people's art. Manipulating objects is another subject of this part. While reading this chapter in one moment I had to check if this is book about Flash or Illustrator ?! Anyway, in this part more about cool text effects and using layers.

Getting Symbolic - creating, editing and using symbols. How to create instances, how to add filters and blends. One of the new Flash CS4 features is ability to change single instance 3D position and rotation. This only works for Flash Player 10 (AS3.0) publish settings. This part has another good chapter about Buttons.

Total Flash-o-Rama - Animation is everything. This part of the book is all about animation. You will finally learn how already famous Inverse Kinematics works (Bone tool). In this part also more on 3D space and editing motion paths. You can read about new Motion Presets and how to use them effectively. That's not all. You will meet Motion Editor which will satisfy everyone's curiosity guaranteed! Prepare yourself for some construction work since you will have to deal with things like armature and kinematic chains. This part finishes with valuable chapters about Sound and Video.


The Movie and The Web - is part about components, interactivity, preloaders and creating web sites using Flash CS4. In this part you can read a lot about publishing your Flash files.


The Part of Tens - as titles says, detailed answers to 10 most commonly asked questions, from 'How can I combine two flash movies' to 'How do I dynamically load music from the web'. Finally, you can read about 10 best flash resources and 10 flash designers to watch link lists.




Enjoy.

*_*

04 May 2009

Flex Files Competition

This competition is all about stock Flex files, but if you can't hold yourself and built complex app it will be accepted also. Competition is organized by Envato - FlashDen in order to populate new stock files category within theirs great marketplace.


Flex marketplace category consist of these subcategories: Data & Graphs, E-Commerce, Effects, Forms & Input, Forums & Community, Image Manipulation, Image Viewers, Maps, Media Players, Preloaders, Skins & Themes, Time & Date, Utilities. FIRST file accepted in each of the subcategories wins $50. I'll repeat that, you only have to be first one, with ANY file.


After competition ends on May 22nd, best overall Flex file author will receive $200 prize. That's $850 total competition prize money.

Follow banner link to read more details about this competition or join FlashDen if you are not a member, it is one of the conditions for participating.

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