Update (March 25th, 2009) : Grant Skinner’s gTween and Tweenlite are being merged.
There are a lot Tween engines out there. Here are a couple available for Actionscript development.
- The FuseKit. (AS2-based tween engine. Moses Gunesch manages this site. I discovered this tween library at Lee Brimelow‘s Flash tutorial site at gotoandlearn.)
- The GOASAP site is Moses Gunesch’s AS3 Tween engine library
- Grant Skinner did a major rewrite of his gTween engine recently (Feb 2nd, 2009).
- KitchenSync (I first came across this at the Head conference online conference.)
- Tweener (Available for AS2 and AS3. The documentation is very helpful. I use this library for my AS2 development.)
- Tweenlite (Recommended by Papervision2D’s blog.)
When I had scoured sites over the internet, I could not really find any preference over the other. With exception to Papervision 3D Tutorial site, a blogger named Charlie [If somebody can tell me his name, I would like to know] recommened Tweenlite over Tweener for its superior speed rendering. Anyway, I am sure that someone will have some kind of speed comparison tests.
Flash Camp is coming...
Flash Camp is coming to Montreal. Mike Potter is coming to Montreal to give us a pep talk about Flex Builder, Flash Catalyst and etc. Free food, Free t-shirts, and more…
Find out at the swfmontreal site.
Last year, I used the CasaFramework in my localization projects and pretty much saved me from further angst in Font usage in AS2 Flash development.
Recently, Aaron Clinger and Michael Creighton have released an AS3 version of the library. Also a new AS2 version has been released as well. (v. 1.5) I am sure there are many frameworks and libraries out there. I just mention this because they have a very good community base. I don’t know what I would do with out it in my AS2 development.
You can find the library at: http://casalib.org.
This is old news but I’ll post this anyway. (I’m so busy, it’s ridiculous!)
You can find the latest player on:
Lee Brimelow already posted some tutorials on how to get your hands dirty on creating swfs to run on the Flash 10 player. You need to update your Flex SDK.
You’ll find the tutorials at http://www.gotoandlearn.com
What I am looking forward to are the:
1) 3D API
2) Advanced Text rendering
3) Use of PixelBender (Formerly Hydra) to create your own filters
Links to sites for 3D and Flash development…
Papervision 3D: http://blog.papervision3d.org
Paperworld 3D: http://paperworld3d.com
WoW-3D Physics Engine (Compatible with Papervision 3D): AS3 3D Physics Engine : WOW-Engine
The release of AIR along with Flex 3 last month (as well as an update to Flash CS3) gave us the possibility of creating intermittent internet connected desktop apps instead of being bound to the browser. (Can anyone say. “Click here to activate this ActiveX control?” in their IE explorer? Yeech!) Well, I’ve been developing such applications waaaaay before AIR caused a stir in the Flash community. These SWF2EXE applications converted your Flash .swf movies and pretty much added more functionality with additional commands. (It would be a good idea to do a feature by feature comparison between Adobe AIR and these SWF2EXEs.) Some of them created screen savers, and others became full-fledged applications. To see a list, check out the wikipedia definition at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWF2EXE_Software
I just browsed over to Northcode and discovered that they recently released Version 3.5 with AS3 and Flex support. I’ve been working with their SWF2EXE converter since version 2.5. (I got to know them better when I had visited their office when MX2004 came out and are involved in supporting the Ottawa Flash based community.) Northcode have a good support system and reply to your inquiries on their bulletin board system efficiently and were helpful when I was stuck troubleshooting my apps. Most of the comments that I have perused indicated better OS stability — even when Vista came out when compared to other SWF2EXE applications. (I am not sure about this now since most of the companies have upgraded their products.)
You can checkout their website at: http://www.northcode.com and start out with their trial version. (It’s an unlimited trial so that you can have lots of time playing around with it before you need to buy it.)
If you are creating executables exclusively on a Windows environment, it is a good option to check SWFStudio out.
MDM is probably the other alternative if your target OS is on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.
While looking over some source code that I had downloaded from Adobe, I tested my movie and was wondering, “Where did my bandwidth profiler go?” It turns out that my publish settings had been set to “AIR 1.0”. Just a recommendation that if you publish something, it might default to AIR. So if things don’t seem right, just check your publish settings.
I have been looking here and there through some AS3 articles. Particularly about creating a preloader. I had quite an experience.
Normally in AS2, I have a three step process in creating flash movies.
1) Preload the main movie (using this.getBytesLoaded and this.getBytesTotal) and then us onEnterFrame to monitor its progress with some kind of progress bar
2) In main movie, preload some other external assets (using movieClipLoaderInstance_mcl.load(“some_swf.swf”, mc_instance_mc); with all the event listeners etc…)
3) Test the movie
From what I am observing, the best AS3 practice doesn’t recommend the AS2 approach. In a sense, I need to unlearn my AS2 mindset to know how things work in AS3. While scouring on the web, the most popular choice is to:
1) In the main movie, preload all other assets through using a document class (e.g. in Java standards, you can specify which of your class files to be your Main class; It’s a class that extends the MovieClip class)
2) Test the movie
There is an excellent article on the Adobe site written by Big Spaceship’s Jamie Kosoy at http://www.adobe.com/devnet/actionscript/articles/lightweight_as3.html . The thing is about this article that he includes some extra utility classes (ie. Out.as) For a first time user, it might throw him off. I was hoping of just starting preloading in a more simpler approach. Anyway, it’s a recommended read.
Other articles on AS3 Preloading:
Koen De Weggheleir’s blogs are also pertinent to this subject.
- Mad Vertices by Jim Foley is a Papervision 3D Tutorials site. You can find it at this link:
He also includes tutorials using Swift 3D.
Lee Brimelow posted that he will forward all of our gripes about the Flash code editor to be modified for the next release of Flash (CS4) through his blog. The link is here: http://theflashblog.com
On the subject of the code editor, there are many in the flash community who have developed their own. I happen to use Flash Develop (www.flashdevelop.org). SEPY is another. And Eclipse is another. (I believe that you would need to purchase the AS2/3 plugin though.)
Lee recommends AS developers to use Flex. At this stage, I haven’t attempted to use Flex just yet because:
1) Lack of knowledge of AS3 (I am currently in the middle of reading Colin Moock‘s “Essential AS3” book. BTW, check out his site, it’s really cool. His clickable items are on the picture of the computer monitor. Neato!)
2) Don’t have Flex and am waiting for Flex 3 to come out so that I can begin there.
3) Just to jump over the learning curve from AS2 to AS3. (Big Spaceship and Senocular have tutorials for migrating over from AS2 to AS3).
I know that a lot of AS developers have been asking me: “Where have you been?” My Answer: Coding in AS2! Well, I am having my chance beginning next week to dig into AS3 when I go on parental leave. I hope this works out. I met Grant Skinner in Toronto before the AIR tour in Toronto and says that Flex is like a burger with the fixings and Flash is like the whole cow. I also heard that once you get started, you’ll never want to get back. Well, I will see.
Until next time.