I should really have been studying GLSL shaders today, but I thought I’d put together a quick ActionScript animation for Christmas Day – it’s only ActionScript – should take me an hour or two, tops… Six hours later I finished this. I really am dreadful at estimating durations =P
Anyways, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to my Mum & Dad and everyone in my family, my beautiful wife and the wonderful kids I get to share time with, my friends in the UK and the AU, and everyone who’s been a part of my life and helped to make me the person I am today.
My love to you all & best wishes for the future,
Source code, for those who want it, can be found: here
As I’m teaching the programming section of Certificate III in Media, CUFDIG302A – Author Interactive Sequences, I’m going to post up my slides as I go along so anyone who wants them can learn ActionScript 3.0 – but as well as just the coding side of things, it’s useful to get an overview of what Flash is, what it isn’t, and what a couple of the most commonly used tools do. So here’s a Flash CS4 & Drawing primer…
There’s a download link to the slides along with some legal gubbins regarding their use after the jump, so if you’re new to Flash and want a quick introduction, you’ll find the knowledge to start from absolute basics, learn the difference between raster and vector artwork, working with layers and drawing and grouping objects right here. This is just a quick primer, and is meant to tie in with the ActionScript slide series, where pretty soon we’ll be drawing things and then instantiating and manipulating them through our ActionScript code.
In this exercise, we’re starting from the beginning and creating selections from one image to combine with another, and we look at some feathering of selections to get rid of hard edges between contrasting visual elements. What you end up creating is shown below:
Very simple, very quick – useful if your Photoshop skills are a bit rusty, or if you’re just starting out.
You can find the document (in MS Word 2K3 format, so viewable in Open Office and MS Office 2K3 & 2K7) which steps through the process, with lovely, lovely screengrabs and the like here.
If you don’t have a copy of Photoshop CS4, you can get a free 30 day trial from the Adobe website, or, you can do the same things in a free open-source program called the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). The GIMP can do most of the same things Photoshop can do, but the user interface is rather different, to get around this, there are versions of the GIMP which have been modified so that their user interface more closely matches that of Photoshop, and these are GIMPhoto and GIMPShop.
I’m teaching a class on ActionScript 3.0 this year so I’ve been making slides for it, and in the spirit of educational freedom I thought I’d post them up here to see if they’re of use to anyone. The original class I’m taking is Certificate III in Media, CUFDIG302A – Author Interactive Sequences. For those of you unfamiliar with the Australian education system, this means that the course is quite rudimentary, and is aimed at students aged 17 and over.
These slides will not cover the in-depth use of Flash CS4 tools (instead I’ll post a quick Zero-Week primer soon), but will cover some interactive design techniques. Mainly though, they’ll teach you how to use ActionScript 3.0 with Flash CS4 – from the ground up, starting from scratch.
There’s a download link to the slides along with some legal gubbins regarding their use after the jump, so if you fancy learning ActionScript – you’ll find the knowledge to start from absolute basics right here, and over the coming weeks we’ll ramp up to Symbols, Classes, Events, Object Orientation, Interaction, Sound, Collision Detection and all that other good stuff. We’ll even make a couple of flash games – which should be quite fun :)
I got a comment about ActionScript 3 the other day which asked a simple and fair question (paraphrased as):
If you’re just using simple shapes like circles, is it faster to draw them to the stage with drawCircle, or to use MovieClips/Sprites to draw them?
Did I know the answer? Um, no… So I knocked up a quick bit of flash to find out. Before you’re given the answer, why not have a quick ponder about what you think will happen? I’ve got to admit, when I did this I got completely the wrong result! Ha! Shows what I know about anything…
Brief analysis plus source-code n’ file after the jump…