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20 January 2010

Understanding shearing using Matrix object

Any display object in AS3.0 Flash project has transform property and among other things you can use this property to shear (skew) that object. Easy way to do this is to use Matrix object. Now, Matrix object isn't so difficult to understand, although it is scary to some (for unexplainable reasons). All you have to do is understand it's parameters and what they do. Here is simple list.

Matrix(a, b, c, d, tx, ty)

a - x scale of display object
b - y shearing of display object
c - x shearing of display object
d - y scale of display object
tx - x translation
ty - y translation

Let's add some Sprites and see how different parameters values change display object. First create new Flash AS3 project, open actions panel and input these import statements.

import flash.display.Sprite;
import flash.geom.Matrix;
import flash.display.MovieClip;
import flash.events.Event;

We will create few boxes and place them on stage.

var box:Sprite = new Sprite();
box.graphics.lineStyle(1, 0x0000ff); // blue object
box.graphics.drawRect(0, 0, 100, 100);
box.transform.matrix = new Matrix(1, 0, 0, 1, 50, 100);

var box1:Sprite = new Sprite();
box1.graphics.lineStyle(1, 0x00ff00); // green object
box1.graphics.drawRect(0, 0, 100, 100);
box1.transform.matrix = new Matrix(1, .5, 0, 1, 50, 200);

var box2:Sprite = new Sprite();
box2.graphics.lineStyle(1, 0xff0000); // red object
box2.graphics.drawRect(0, 0, 100, 100);
box2.transform.matrix = new Matrix(1, 0, .5, 1, 150, 100);

var box3:Sprite = new Sprite();
box3.graphics.lineStyle(1, 0x000000); // black border object
box3.graphics.drawRect(0, 0, 100, 100);
box3.transform.matrix = new Matrix(1, .5, .5, 1, 150, 200);

Take a look how different values of b and c parameter shear display object along x and y axis.

This also works for any display object. Feel free to create new MovieClip, give it linkage name gBox. Use next code:

var gBox1:gBox = new gBox();
gBox1.x = 400;
gBox1.y = 150;

var gBox2:gBox = new gBox();
gBox1.x = 400;
gBox1.y = 150;
gBox2.transform.matrix = new Matrix(1, .5, .5, 1, 550, 300);

Here is the result.

You can even include shearing effect inside animation. Create another box Sprite and add counter variable. This variable will track amount of shearing. For testing purposes use simple onFrame function.

`var box4:Sprite = new Sprite(  );box4.graphics.lineStyle(1, 0x000000);box4.graphics.drawRect(0, 0, 100, 100);addChild(box4);box4.x = 500;box4.y = 50;var counter:Number = 0;stage.addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, onFrame, false, 0, true);function onFrame(evt:Event):void{ if (counter > .98) {  counter = 0; }else{  counter += 0.01;  box4.transform.matrix = new Matrix(1, 0, counter, 1, 0, 0); }}`

That's all. Now you understand shearing using Matrix object. So do I.

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12 January 2010

SearchArray AS3 Functions

By far the most downloaded file from this blog is search array functions which have been downloaded more than 2050 times until today. Mattaka noticed in comment how union function is no different from intersection function, but actually function name is wrong - it is functions which returns intersection of two arrays.

I have rewritten all functions into ActionScript3.0 version and added one more. Combine function takes two arrays and returns single resulting array. If two given arrays are a[1,2,3] and b[4,5,6,7,8] resulting array will combine them into c[1,4,2,5,3,6,7,8].

Class comes with usage examples. I'll try to add some new functions soon.

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04 January 2010

HowTo create Flash video captions using Subtitle Workshop

My choice for creating Flash video captions is simple work-flow which uses Subtitle Workshop, free subtitle editor. I'm using software version 2.51 which has support for 56 different formats, but doesn't have support for TT format (Timed Text), W3C standard used for Flash video files. More about Timed Text specifications.

However, you can very easily find this format support and implement it into Subtitle Workshop. Learn about integration. Bottom line is you only need single .cfp (custom format) file.

What you do after downloading this 1 Kb file is unzipp it and move to ...\URUSoft\Subtitle Workshop\CustomFormats folder. Open your Subtitle Workshop software, go to File - New Subtitle and create few dummy lines. When you need to save, choose Save as - custom formats and select (or load) your new TT format.

That's all there is about it, you are ready to make captions with you home made videos. Multilingual support is available.

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