Oct 032011

In a flash class recently I was asked which technologies some one needs to be aware of and competent with when dealing with web design. In answer I quickly knocked a simple ideas chart to showcase which web technologies you need to know, and also some notes about where things are/were and where they are going…

Which web technologies

Which web technologies

The big thing of course is html5 and Flash. As you can see from the diagram, everything Flash can do (broadly speaking) can be done in HTML5, with the caveat that HTML5 covers CSS3/JavaScript/HTML5 and things like WebGL.

Apr 212011
new layer commands in Flash CS5.5

new layer commands in Flash CS5.5

Unless you have been living under a rock the last couple of weeks, you will be aware that Adobe have announced an incremental upgrade to CS5 – CS5.5. As a result, I thought I would post some details on what is exactly new in Flash CS5.5 – and is it worth upgrading or waiting for CS6.

I will take a particular feature and blog about it and give you an example of its use, so you can make up your own mind as to whether it is worthwhile. So here goes – New features in Flash CS5.5 no:1 – Enhanced layer control.

Mar 282011

As a companion to my series on creating Interactive documents with InDesign, I’m going to highlight some of the more interesting work being done commercially with InDesign.
The first example is Born Presents created by designers Belle & Wissell.
Born Presents is an electronic publication celebrating 14 years of Born Magazine. The sample is located in Adobe’s showcase gallery.

Image of Born Presents magazine

Born Presents Magazine by Belle & Wissell

Belle & Wissell used InDesign CS5 to create an immersive, animated publication which is both beautiful to look at and intriguing and satisfying to read. The publication makes extensive use of InDesign’s animation features to make fade-ins, pop-ups, hovers, embedded video, buttons, hyperlinks and electronic navigation.

Feb 272011

As a brief interlude from my InDesign interactivity series, here’s a very timely example of just what you can do with InDesign CS5’s new interactivity features. Marijan Tompa has created this flash based utility which demonstrates all of InDesign’s keyboard shortcuts.

screen shot of indesign interactive keyboard by Marijan Tompa

Indesign interactive keyboard

Hover over a key to see a summary of the shortcuts attached. Click on it to get a pop up screen showing more detailed information.

Screenshopt of Indesign keyboard shortcut details screen

Indesign keyboard shortcut details screen

Dec 282010

Recently a trainee asked me – How do we go about plotting a sine wave?  We were doing a basic ActionScript course and I was explaining the Drawing API, and how we could easily draw circles and rectangles etc. We then got into working out distances and I mentioned that it is all down to Pythagoras’ theorem, and from there we talked about cosine and sine and the question was  – How do we go about plotting a sine wave?

Well, drawing anything in ActionScript 3 can be accomplished by the lineTo() function, and it would have to run off an ENTER_FRAME event, so that gave us the skeleton functionality of our code…

Nov 282010
Going back to using WCK (World Construction Kit) and Joints, I thought I would post some more info, as someone looking at the blog post was having problems and needed some more visuals. So here are some WCK Joints visuals…
various Rectangle1 objects (named)
various Joint objects (not named)
One World1 object – all the other objects are inside this object
Drop a couple of Rectangle1 objects on to your stage (but inside the World1 object).
The Ball symbol is what I use for my Joints.
Now, drag over a Joint object, but position it on top of one of the Rectangle1 objects. This step is very important, as the WCK will use this overlap to work out how to make the Joint work.
Click on the Joint object on the stage (which should currently be on top of a Rectangle1 object). Then change the Joint properties as follows…

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Oct 262010

With the advent of HTML5, Flash CS5, and all the brouhaha about them both I thought I would jot down my thoughts on the matter. This post is about Flash CS5 and HTML5, it is not about Flash CS5 vs HTML5.

First though, here is a précis of developments…

Adobe have recently also brought out an HTML5 pack for Illustrator and for Dreamweaver.

Apple have reversed their decision to disallow Flash CS5 apps compiled into iApps onto the iTunes store (although the iPhone and iPad still do not have a flash player).

Sep 232010

In the past, when looking for physics simulations in Actionscript 3, I used Box2DFlash. Although it worked very well, the problem was the documentation.  It was terrible, and it would take me days to work something out and go through various examples, most of which didn’t apply to the latest version of Box2DFlash, but they were the only examples around.

Eventually I managed get a simple structure together, various boxes moving, bouncing and being able to be controlled by a mouse. I will eventually blog about the example I created as I think it will be a useful exercise for people usingBox2DFlash and for people who wish to see just what is possible in Actionscript 3.

Sep 102010

Yes that’s right, you can now build iPhone apps with Flash using the functionality which was introduced in Flash CS5, following Apple’s announcement last night that it is relaxing the rules in it’s “App Store Review Guidelines”.

You might recall Adobe introduced this great new functionality earlier this year with Flash CS5, allowing Flash developers to build  apps in Flash and then compile them quickly and easily to run on an iPhone or iPad as native apps.  Apple then issued an announcement on almost the same day as the launch that it was changing it’s T’s and C’s so that apps compiled with 3rd party tools (such as Flash) wouldn’t be accepted into the iTunes Store.  There was quite a bit of noise around this at the time as Apple had basically squashed the single biggest new features in Flash CS5 in one go.

Jul 012010

There has been a lot of talk lately about HTML5 and whether it would negate the need for Flash.  In fact this turned into a fairly mainstream discussion over the last few months after Steve Jobs made his position very clear, by refusing to support Flash on the iPhone, changing the T’s and C’s of the iPhone developer program and publishing an open “Flash Bashing” letter for all to read.