Tutorials, extensions, and source files for ActionScript, Flash, and other Adobe products.


Flash 8(ball) is for Designers

Posted September 25, 2004 by senocular

As you might have guessed, the next version of Flash, the successor to Flash MX 2004, is in the works. Codenamed "8Ball," this version of Flash is said to be "focused on designers." Mike Chambers has a little blurb about this on his blog. Its from earlier last week so already there are a good selection of comments from other readers.

What would you like to see in the new version of Flash? I personally would love to be able to view multiple timelines at once. Of course, if consistent with past Flash releases, that wont be possible as for the past 3 or 4 versions of Flash, the interface has gooten bigger and bulkier - there just wouldn't be enough room on a computer screen for more than one timeline! And besides, I guess thats more of an animators wish than a designers.

Fireworks Panel: Define Working Directory

Posted September 25, 2004 by senocular

It is my understanding that Fireworks does not allow you to set a default (or remember the last) save path for when saving new documents. Often this will throw you into Fireworks' own idea of what folder it thinks you should be saving to which is commonly about as far from the actual folder you wish to save to as you care to admit. This panel for Fireworks MX 2004 attempts to counter that.

What it does is detects when a new file is opened (or given focus) and, if that file has no save path (your basic untitled document), this panel will then automatically provide it with one pointing to the directory of your choice.

Fireworks Auto Shape: 3D Box. Updated

Posted September 24, 2004 by senocular

Continuing my resurection of old autoshapes and commands, I give you the 3D Box Autoshape.

I stopped working on this not long after I initially started assuming that there was no point in using it since just about anything you could do with this autoshape could be also be created with 3D Primitives ... and more. Plus, Fireworks came with some shotty 3D box. Did it need another?

Well, in coming back to it, I thought I would give it some features making it worthy of existence, namely, vertex editing. Unlike 3D Primitives, you can interact with and change individual vertex positions making up the box. This will allow you to make irregular shapes and get more than just a "primitive."

Update: The issue concerning saved properties has been addressed and fixed.

Fireworks: Steal Selected Autoshape

Posted September 22, 2004 by senocular

With the recent revival of some of my old shapes (and the already available selection of autoshapes I have for download) I would imagine that somewhere, at some point or time one might find themselves in a position where they have a Fireworks MX2004 file with a non-standard autoshape but do not have that autoshape installed on their system. Now, the autoshape will still work as its functionality is embedded within the PNG, however, should you want to use that autoshape again in the future but have no means of downloading it (or you just may not know where to get it) you have no way of reusing it outside of coping pasting. This Steal Selected Autoshape Command solves that problem. If you have a document with a (free non commercial or paid for) autoshape which is not installed on your system, this command will do so creating an instance within your shapes panel.

If you want to try it out, go steal the hour glass shape from the hour glass ping. Using Steal Selected Autoshape is, by the way, basically the only way to obtain that shape as it is not (and will not) be posted in the Fireworks Extensions settings.

Flash Movies Now Indexed by Search Engines

Posted September 21, 2004 by senocular

I missed this one last month but I think its important enough to bring up now. Last month Macromedia released its Search Engine SDK allowing search engines to search through and index Flash SWF files. This was a major issue in developing Flash sites and now one less to worry about. You can read more from an article on webpronews.com with an interview with Michael Marshall (a search engine big whig).

Fireworks Auto Shape: Subselection Transform Tool (Experimental)

Posted September 21, 2004 by senocular

I wasn't going to post this shape because of its issues (below) but I figured I might as well with the rest I've posted recently. This is the Subselection Transform tool.

Like the Ruler autoshape, this is a tool rather than a shape. The Subselection Transform tool allows you to have a transormation tool for points in a subselection. It works much like the normal transformation tool, but due to deficiencies of the Fireworks authoring environement, there are the following caveats:
- There is *NO UNDO* when using this tool. Edits are permanent
- Fireworks does not refresh the screen after a path has been altered by this tool
- A control point on the tool cannot be selected if it lies of one of the paths of the items being edited
- If a control point is released over the path of an item being edited, the selection is lost

Not having an undo for the operation is a particularly nasty one. Use it if you dare. Check it out.

Director MX 2004 Update (10.1)

Posted September 20, 2004 by senocular

Macromedia just updated their once flagship authoring tool Director MX 2004. Fixes include:
* Improved stability through a few memory leak and crash bug fixes in DVD and Flash
* Web services can now be accessed via Flash assets in Director/projectors/Shockwave
* You can now create OS9 projectors from Windows
* Publishing improvements: you can now create OS9 projectors from Windows, specify your own custom publish setting defaults, and projectors now properly compress media when created
* Movie in a window improvements including fixes for all window types (dialog, tool and document)

A full list of changes can be found here. To get the update, click here.

Fireworks Autoshape: Ruler

Posted September 19, 2004 by senocular

Yet another autoshape. This time its the Ruler Autoshape which is more of a utility than a shape. It helps you measure lengths and angles etc. in a Fireworks document. Download

Fireworks Extension: Stroke Path

Posted September 19, 2004 by senocular

This, like the heart autoshape, is another extension I've had in the works but never got around to finishing. This lets you take element in Fireworks and duplicate it along a Fireworks vector path.

Current version is 0.9.0 so there still may be a few bugs. As with so many others, I may not come back to this unless something is horribly wrong or if through popular demand. Hopefully it can still be useful. Download

New Fireworks AutoShape: Heart

Posted September 17, 2004 by senocular

Here is a new auto shape that I've had in the works but never finished. Someone brought it up the other day and it gave me reason to come back to it. There are four control points though they only get you so far. Simple enough none the less. Download.