Archive for April, 2007

Foundation is Complete!

Monday, April 30th, 2007
Flash General

I don’t know when I first saw this image — maybe on a 4H Club commercial, decades ago? — but it comes to mind on occasion.  Imagine a big, plump sheep.  A sheep so laden with wool, it almost doesn’t look like a sheep; looks, instead, like a huge dirty cauliflower.  Now imagine a skinny-minnie sheep, leaping and bounding through green, green, green hillocks.  Imagine it soaring in slow motion, giddy.  Catch just the right angle, and you’ll agree that sheep, indeed, have smiles.

The best part is, both of these sheep are the same animal.  The leaping one happens to be shorn, and boy, does it feel good!  At 1:13am last night — or this morning, if you prefer — I finished my last remaining chapter for Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers.  And yes, I’m sporting a dreamy, sheepish grin.

Now I just have to whittle down my inbox.  I got it down to 83!

Two-Book Milestone, Around the Bend

Thursday, April 26th, 2007
Flash General

An alternate title for this entry could easily be “Why my blogging has slowed down lately,” and the shortest answer would be a muffled “busy” — muffled like a voice struggling out from beneath a heavy pile of desktop rubble — but that’s no fun, because it’s a punch line without a story.  ;)   It’s been nearly a year since I pulled away from an agreeable salaried position to see if I could make it on my own.  So far, so good; honestly.  June 7 will be the anniversary, and I’m kind of excited about it.

In an open-jawed, stunned sort of way, I’m grateful.  Grateful to my wife and daughter, who have been waiting patiently for me, sometimes with a surprise pancake dinner.  Grateful to friends who’ve been hanging in there, because my evenings have been shot for time out of mind.  It’s all about to return to normal.

Why?  Two Flash books are on the way.  Keep reading »

How to Adjust the Audio Portion of Flash Video

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
ActionScript 2.0 Flash

If you’re not using the FLVPlayback Component, or one of the older Media Components, then the audio portion of video files may have you scratching your head.  The Components have their own volume sliders, which makes volume control a snap, but what about panning (left to right fading), or what if you’re not using Components for video?  In ActionScript 2.0, video sound is a bit … well, it’s a bit odd, but once you understand it, audio control isn’t hard.  Keep reading »

How to Play Sound Files Sequentially

Friday, April 13th, 2007
ActionScript 2.0 Flash

Many people use Flash to play background music on their site.  It’s a good use for Flash, especially if the audio is loaded from external MP3s, which keeps the SWF file size low, and if you give your visitors a way to toggle off the sound.  But one song may not be enough.  You may want to play a list of files one after the other.  If so, the next question is, “How easy is that?”  The answer is, “Very.”  Let’s take a look.  Keep reading »

How to Round to the Nearest Ten, Tenth, Hundred, Hundredth, Etc.

Friday, April 6th, 2007
ActionScript 2.0 Quick Tips

I was helping a friend the other day with a rounding issue.  He needed to round numbers not to the nearest integer, but to the nearest hundred.  So 52.3 would round to 100.  86 would round to 100 as well.  13 would round to 0 and 101.287 would round to 100.  You get the idea.  The Math.round() method doesn’t take any parameters except the to-be-rounded value itself, so how could this be accomplished?  The answer couldn’t be simpler.  Keep reading »

How to Determine the Completion of a Flash Video (FLV) File (AS2)

Monday, April 2nd, 2007
ActionScript 2.0

Nearly a year ago, I posted a short entry on Flash video, “How to Load External Video (FLV).”  As of today, that article has received more feedback than any other on this blog, often asking how to tell when a video file has completed.  The article describes a technique for loading external FLV files without the use of either the FLVPlayback Component or the older Media Components.  Looking back, I believe I should have referenced that detail somehow in the title, because many of the questions have ended up pertaining to FLVPlayback, which has its own complete event.  If you’re using that Component, handling the built-in event is the easiest way to respond to the end of a Flash video, and we’ll cover that in just a moment.  In the spirit of the original article, however, we’ll also take a look at how to determine the completion of a Flash video loaded with ActionScript and a Video object only.  Keep reading »