Archive for May, 2007

How to Jump Randomly to Frame Labels without Repeats

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
ActionScript 2.0 Flash

One of the more popular entries of this blog describes How to Jump to a Random Frame Label.  The ActionScript 2.0 involved is very straightforward, weighing in at a mere 5 lines.  Its sole purpose is to choose a random label once at the beginning, then go to it (then stop).  In the Comments section, a visitor named Heather asked for a variation in which the movie starts at a random label, then proceeds to the remaining labels in order, looping around to the beginning, if necessary, to hit each label once.  I offered some suggested code, and eventually a number of other visitors asked for yet another variation:  how to jump randomly to a whole series of labels — without repeats.  That takes a bit more code, but it’s certainly doable.  Let’s take a look.  Keep reading »

Falling Off the Face of the Earth—Into Orbit

Friday, May 25th, 2007
Flash General

When the concept of orbit was explained to me—this was many, many moons ago, in Canadian grade school—I was riveted. The act of orbiting Earth was, in fact, the act of falling … of falling at such a rate and angle that the falling was continuous. You didn’t ever land, because your trajectory was far enough that the planet’s curvature bent away beneath you.

How does this relate to me today?  Well, the phrase, “fallen off the face of the Earth” generally means a person has fallen out of touch, and that definitely describes my blog activity this month.  I regret that.  I’ve received quite a few emails asking if everything is all right (it is!), if I’ve decided to hang up my blogging hat (no way!), and so on.  So that explains the orbit business, because even if I’ve fallen off, I’m still around.  ;)

Not long ago, I mentioned with glee that Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers is complete, and wow, that was a naïve misstatement!  The actual writing is done, yes, but then Tom and I went through the author review process, where copyeditors tidied up our Word documents.  Currently, we’re going through PDF reviews, which is exciting, because I get to see how the pages will look when they’re actually printed.  The downside is, all of this takes time.  I’m looking forward to free evenings more than I have the energy to express.  Those free evenings are almost here!  When they are, I’ll be right back in the thick of things.  Thanks, sincerely, to everyone who has checked in on me.

Flash CS3 is in the stores now, and it’s great.  It’s bringing up all sorts of new questions on the forums, and I’m excited about the continued interest in an application I use practically every day of my life.  I’ve got a backlog of blog entries, and I’ll be back soon.

Green Run High School Career Fair

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

A friend of mine works at Green Run High School, just two miles down the road from where I live.  They have a Career Fair, I think every year, and she asked if I would attend this morning to speak to students about what a career in multimedia means, how to get started in this line of work, and basically any related questions people might think to ask.


It was fun, and a handful of students were interested enough to take a business card.  If you’re one of those people, or were standing around the edges, feel free to use the contact form on this site to send me follow-up questions, ask for book or online training recommendations, or whatever else may have slipped your mind.

Thanks for having me at your school!

How to Pan the Audio in an FLVPlayback Video

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
ActionScript 2.0 Flash

This one came to me in a flash (ha ha … Flash!), thanks to a friendly discussion I had the other day with site visitor Michael Lokner.  He was wondering if it was possible to pan the audio portion of an FLV file in cases where the video is played in an instance of the FLVPlayback Component.  In another recent article, I explained how to use the MovieClip.attachAudio() method to control NetStream-based video, but that’s a different ball of wax.  The FLVPlayback Component has its own volume property, and even skins that feature a volume slider, but what about panning?  After bouncing ideas back and forth, Michael and I arrived at a simple answer.  Keep reading »