Archive for August, 2011

New article on using Flash Pro efficiently

Longtime Flash Pro, Flex, and AIR developer, Dmitriy Yukhanov, has written a new article for the Dev Center listing over 60 tips for efficient use of Flash Pro. Categories include:

Most of the tips are illustrated and quite easy to understand. This is one of the most comprehensive articles on this topic that I have seen.

You can let Dmitriy know what you think in the comments on the article page.

Resources for loading external SWFs

A ton of Flash users visit Adobe’s we site every month wondering about how to load an external SWF file from within another SWF. There are a lot of resources with answers to this question, and I recently realized our own TechNote on the subject was kind of old and crusty. A bunch of users who visited it were having some pretty obvious follow-up questions that weren’t answered by the TechNote as it was, such as:

  • How do I load more than one SWF?
  • How do I load a SWF into a specific location in the display list?
  • How do I resize the loaded SWF?
  • How do I set its X and Y location?

So I’ve attempted to answer these questions with an updated code sample and a set of sample files you can download from the TechNote.

I also added a bunch of links to quality resources that elaborate on loading content and on the display list:

Note also that if your app is running on iOS, you can load external assets, but no ActionScript code.

I’d love to know if you find the updated TechNote helpful and if you have suggestions for further improvement. Let me know in a comment here or on the TechNote page.

How to get started with ActionScript 3.0 in Flash Pro…

Flash Pro is a big tool, more like a hardware store. You can do a lot of things in it without ActionScript, but with AS, you can do infinitely more things. Just like with Flash Pro itself, there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the quantity of learning material out there for ActionScript 3.0. Learning ActionScript is itself a big task, and it requires learning some basic concepts of object-oriented programming, which isn’t necessarily hard, but for many people, it’s a whole new way of thinking that they haven’t had to do before.

Here are a few hand-picked resources for getting started with AS3 that hopefully will give new users confidence to try ActionScript and to know that they are looking at some of the best resources for learning it. These are all video tutorials.

  • Code Snippets and AS3 enhancements – Code snippets were introduced in Flash Pro CS5 and provide pre-written code that you can apply as a way to get a lot of basic functionality implemented without learning really any code. They are also a great way to begin learning ActionScript 3.0 because they are very small in most cases and reading them will quickly begin to shed some light on the conventions that are used.
  • ActionScript 3.0 101 – Flash Downunder – In this one, Paul Burnett gives a nice long intro lesson covering a lot of the basics. He’s a really good instructor with a good pace.
  • Building an application – This is a quick lesson by Todd Perkins that gives a basic intro to some must-have concepts, including event listeners and stop() actions.
  • ActionScript 101 with Doug Winnie – This is Doug’s show on Adobe TV. There are many, many episodes that go from the basic to more specific topics. Most of the episodes are 5-7 minutes long. A great free resource from a very good teacher with a manageable pace. Note that the episodes are listed in reverse chronological order (newest first) on the Adobe TV page.


Some solid resources for getting started with Flash Pro

One thing we see very often in the community are users wanting to know where to get started with the process of learning Flash Pro. We recently added a new learning guide to the Dev Center, which I’ll link to below. I’d also like to point out a few other quality tutorials that are great for new users.

The Flash Pro 5-Step Learning Guide provides a nice step by step approach to getting up to speed with Flash that not only tells you where to start, but also where to go second, third, fourth, etc. Following these suggestions should provide you with a nice route through the forest of Flash learning content out there.

Here are 2 good videos and a tutorial that are great places to start also: