Archive for June, 2007

How to Fast Forward and Rewind Video (FLV) Content

Thursday, June 28th, 2007
ActionScript 2.0

Traditional VCR controls usually incorporate fast forward and rewind buttons, which either increase the playback speed of the video or quickly play it in reverse, respectively.  The result is that you can skip around in a video but still maintain some sense of where you are.  Useful as these controls might be, you won’t find them in any of the FLVPlayback Component skins.  (What appear, at first glance, to be FF/RW buttons, are actually a means to jump to optional navigation cue points in the video, much like jumping to chapters on a DVD.)  Is it possible, then, to fast forward and rewind FLV files?  Sure thing.  Let’s take a look.  Keep reading »

Making Buttons Work in Flash CS3 (ActionScript 3.0)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
ActionScript 3.0 Flash

At the time of this writing, Flash CS3 is still brand spankin’ new on the shelves.  For some lucky folks, whose companies presumably have volume discounts with Adobe, the latest version of Flash is already in their hands — has, in fact, already been installed without any fanfare or training.  Some of these designer/developers are finding, quite suddenly, that button symbols no longer seem to work in Flash CS3 (I’ve seen quite a few panic posts already on the Adobe forums).  What gives?  Is Flash broken?  Not a bit of it!  :)   Let’s see what’s going on.  Keep reading »

Home Again from TODCon 2007

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
Flash General

TODCon Elvis, drawing by Chris Flick
Drawing by Chris Flick,

Truth be told, I was home last Friday already, but have only gotten around to posting today.  TODCon was a whole lot of fun, really.  Actually, that’s not putting it strongly enough.  TODCon was truly a great time!  I finally got to meet a bunch of Community MX pals, including Tom Green, with whom I co-authored Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers (check stores in July!).  I even met a client and a few people I’d helped on various forums, which are the kind of connections I always like to make.

There are times when you have a preconceived notion about someone that doesn’t turn out, face to face, to hold true.  Well, that wasn’t the case here at all.  I was expecting to have a good time, and that expectation was rewarded in spades.  I really “clicked” with these folks, and I imagine any onlookers would have assumed we’d all been friends for a decade at least, as you can see in these photos by Jim BabbageKeep reading »

Las Vegas Bound!

Saturday, June 9th, 2007
Flash General

I’m off to TODCon — this one really snuck up on me! — and it’s in Vegas this year, so I’m looking forward to the bright lights.  I’ll be presenting two sessions:  “ActionScript 3.0 for the Non-Hardcore Programmer” and “ActionScript for Flash Sound.”  I spent a couple hours today recording some fun audio files for the samples.  This conference is sure to be a blast!  If I can, I’ll write a few notes from the road.

Mind Your ints and uints

Friday, June 8th, 2007
ActionScript 3.0

ActionScript 3.0 introduces new data types galore, and two of the funniest looking are easily int and uint.  For one, they belong to an ultra-elite group whose names are fully lowercase (the third is void).  For two … well, I mean … uint.  Come on.  ;)

What are these data types, and what are they good for?  Let’s take a look.  Keep reading »

Glücklicher Dritter Geburtstag, Meridian!

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

Meridian turned three on May 26.  I’m reporting on it late, but thank goodness the celebration itself was on time.  ;)   Not only that, but she had a blast, mainly due to my wife’s creativity.  We had a handful of friends over, and Dawn had prepared various paint stations in the back yard.  Every kid received a colorful smock and got to paint a tote bag — not just with paint brushes, but with cool implements like Koosh balls, mini cars with oversized tires, and of course fingers!  They got to wallpaper a good-sized castle made from appliance boxes.  I did face painting … but Meridian wanted her butterflies painted on her feet, so that’s what I did (can’t see that in the picture, but hey, everything is forgotten when a kid gets a new bike!).


Using the Debugger Panel to Sleuth

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
ActionScript 2.0 Flash

Not long ago, I answered a forum question at Community MX where the solution arrived entirely because I used the Debugger panel to find what I needed.  The developer’s issue took all of ten seconds to pinpoint, but it solved a real need.  It couldn’t have been easier, either, so I’ll share what I did, hoping it helps someone else just as quickly.

The need was this:  the developer was using the MediaPlayback Component (a precursor to the FLVPlayback Component) and wanted to disable a tiny, built-in triangle button that toggles a zooming/fullscreen-view of the FLV.  The Component Inspector panel shows no parameter to configure this button, and it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Components Language Reference.  What to do?  Debugger panel to the rescue.  Keep reading »