Building Click-and-Rotate Content in Flash

ActionScript 2.0 ActionScript 3.0 Flash

In one implementation of the QuickTime VR format, known as QTVR Object Movies, the user can click-and-drag an image to seemingly rotate it, as if spinning the real-life object on a lazy Susan.  This simulated 3D interactivity can improve multimedia curb appeal, and makes for a nifty way to showcase merchandise.  But it doesn’t stop there:  the same basic principle can also bring click-and-drag responsiveness to short video sequences and even user input widgets, such as the click-and-scrub input fields of numerous Adobe dialog boxes. 

If you’re a Flash developer and interested in click-and-drag functionality, you might be interested in a new tutorial series I’m working on at  CMX content is generally subscriber-based, but this intro article is free.  It does take you completely through the steps of creating basic click-and-rotate content (in other words, it’s not a hook), though future articles will delve into variations on the theme.  The bulk of the article is written in terms of ActionScript 2.0, but the same general principles apply in ActionScript 3.0, and an AS3 summary is provided.

As a quick note to regular readers of this blog, I’ve been waaaaay behind — as you know! — in my usual activity.  The simple reason is that I’ve been working on two new books in addition to my normal client workload.  One of these is the O’Reilly title I mentioned back in March.  Although my chapters were done at the time, a handful of challenges tipped O’Reilly into delaying the original publication date.  Given the change, we were faced with the opportunity of rewriting the book for the next version of Flash (post-CS3), and we took it.  :)   That meant dumping some chapters, combining others, splitting yet others, and writing new content altogether.  Ultimately, ActionScript 3.0:  The Quick Answer Guide for Flash Professionals is a better book for all the additional input and reworking, and I’m thankful for that.  The other book an update to Tom’s and my Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers, which we’re working on as I type this.

When the dust settles, I’ll be a on a no-new-books kick for a while.  And I’ll back to blogging.  :)   I miss it.

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