Archive for August, 2005

Flash By Example software subscription service is now launched and available for licensing. Currently available for Windows in release form and available for Mac OS X in beta in the next week.

Features:

  • Secure 1-Click installation of software examples to your local machine.
  • File encryption and File verification for all examples.
  • Flex(tm) user interface.
  • Integration into Flash(r) 8, Flex(tm) Builder, Eclipse, and Browsers.
  • 2MB download
  • Tray Icon and TaskBar support
  • Server based Licensing based on COLA for all products.
  • Compatible with Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Server2003 Platforms (Apple Mac OS X Beta within the next week)

What you get with an annual license:

  • Source code rights to a library of top quality Flash(r) examples.
  • Right to use the source code within commercial projects with modification.
  • Example requests developed on a priority basis.
  • Access to Flash(r) by Example for 12 months.
  • Evergreen – Our team will be adding examples ongoing.
  • Secure 1-Click installation and configuration through IFBIN Service 1.0.0.
  • Every example will compile on the first try.

For the next two weeks there will be a discount of $100 off the first year of the service. You can help support me and this site, by purchasing your license using the discount code: rhall. Clicking here will take you to a secure PayPal form with the introductory $100 discount via my discount code reflected in the total.

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Just a quick reminder about tomorrow nights Philadelphia Flash MMUG meeting. Darron Schall is our guest speaker and will be presenting “From Flash to Flex“. See our events page for more info, including location, time, directions, etc.
Im going to try and record the meeting in some fashion, if not Breeze, a mini-DV recording that I’ll make available through the Philadelphia Flash MMUG site along with notes from Darron. If you want to get a head start on some of the presentation, take a look at Darrons recent entry: Setting up Eclipse for Flex.
Hope to see you all there!

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I put together a quick set of changes to the Philadelphia Flash MMUG site yesterday to incorporate the new box shot and rune logo for Flash 8. While I was at it I went ahead and replaced a tween sequence for the box shot with the new filters, specifically blur and drop shadow. Previously this effect involved a series of about 4 seperate imported images with varying degrees of motion blur fliters from Photoshop, played in sequence, in order to acheive the motion blur affect of the box shot moving into the scene from the left across the image and then stopping at the right. When I finished that, I then added in a quick glow effect for a moment at the end of the sequqnce that did not exist before. Prior to these changes and Flash 8, this little animation took up several keyframes and several individual tweens, and as mentioned several imported images. Now it only requires a single transparent .PNG file, and a single tween. Thanks to the custom tweening feature of Flash 8 I was able to set the tween properties on the blur filter and motion at seperate and custom rates. In the end it shaved about 32k in image size off the resulting file, its easier to create and edit, and it looks smoother and plays back much faster. I was also able to fix a longstanding typo in a handcoded image in the top “About Our MMUG” section. Previously it was .gif file imported in order to retain readability at the small size. Now using the saffron enhanced type quality I was able to set the quality of the type exactly how I wanted it.
All these changes took just a few minutes to implement and the impact it has may seem subtle to the viewer, but for the development and maintenance and creative process, these few enhancements and new features are just incredible. Traditional animators, and cartoon style animators are really going to love the custom tween features. The ability to control multiple properties individually in one custom tween with custom levels and settings for each has been something that could only be done programatically via ActionScript until now. I have been wanting something like this in Flash since Adobe’s Livemotion had implemented some very cool tweening features, think that was about the only thing I liked about LiveMotion back then.
I’ll be posting up some more examples of other features as time permites. One other thing I’m going to implement on the PhilaFlashMMUG site, once the Flash Player 8 is deemed Final and is the default installer from Macromedia, will be to replace my existing Flash detection routine with the new Flash Player 8 Detection Script and incorporate usage of the Flash Express installer so it will prompt a user to install Flash directly inline in the Flash content, ala-Central style. Hopefully that will be very soon. 🙂

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I had been away on vacation the last week or so, and did not get a chance to post about Mondays 8/8/8 news on the announcement of Flash 8 and Studio 8 and the new versions till this morning. Tons of info out there already – its now on the Macromedia homepage as well, so it will be hard to miss. There is already some great content and articles in Macromedia DevNet on 8 as well.

One thing I haven’t seen the other blogs and news sites linking to are the new Security White Papers posted: Flash Player 8 Security and Flash Player 8 Security-Related APIs. Both of these documents are very useful, as there are some major changes in the Flash 8 security sandbox that will have a big impact on the planning for more advanced applications that load data from the web or locally. These are worth the download, take a minute and read through them to familiarize yourself with the issues and solutions that wil impact your usage of Flash Player 8.

Also worth noting is Mike Downeys great rundown of whats new in Flash 8 and another article he put together outlining the lesser-known new features of Flash Professional 8 Good job Mike!

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