Much as it pains me, I still develop in AS2 when it’s absolutely necessary – usually because a legacy application needs maintenance. But I was never a big fan of AS2; its quirks, the weird workarounds and its ‘almost but not quite’ OOP nature always annoyed me.
For those still clinging to AS2 like a comfort blanket, daunted by new-fangled syntax and the loss of some of AS2’s most trusted old arcane method, fear not! Help is at hand in the form of this handy AS2 to AS3 migration guide.
In many ways, AS3 is actually simpler than AS2, because it retains less of the AS1 legacy that plagues AS2’s structure and behaviour. We should all be developing in AS3 now and drop AS2 like a bad habit. That’s not because I’m some kind of code fascist; I find that the development and maintenance of projects built in AS3 just seem to go smoother – but the enforced use of the proprietary, often clumsy frameworks I encounter in some of my contract placements is another story altogether.
I quickly cobbled together this little demo using the new native 3D transforms in Flash 10. Alongside the regular transform.matrix property, DisplayObjects now have a transform.matrix3D property, which controls its appearance in 3-D space. It’s pretty easy to play with in Flash CS4, without any coding knowledge – I can’t wait to see a version of GTA built using this 🙂
Playing around some more with my webcam, I cooked up this 3D Earth with Papervision and made it controllable through a webcam (if you have one). The motion detection is rather flaky, since it tracks the centre-point of a whole area of motion – if you move a lot it will just get confused 🙂
You know the drill… you open an FLA you’ve been given and it complains it’s missing several never-before-heard-of fonts that you can’t find anywhere. Wouldn’t life be easy if everything could just be Arial, for example. Try this little JSFL command I wrote (packaged as a ZIP, since it needs the dialog box XML file included) to change all textfields in an FLA to a given font name.
Nothing grounds my gears like tiny Flash fonts!
You know the situation: a designer has given you an FLA file to work from and either the text is too small to be legible for us mere mortals, or is going to be too wide when translated into Russian. Since designers rarely think of these things, I find myself either overriding text size dynamically, or using these couple of handy JSFL scripts that I wrote. One of them increases the point size of all text in an FLA, the other reduces it. You’re very welcome 🙂
I started playing around a little more with my Webcam and extended my previous motion detection example – this time to control the camera of a virtual 3-D space from motion detected in the user’s Webcam. It detects motion area and general direction, albeit with dubious accuracy, but you get the idea.
Due to popular demand, I’ve posted the source code for you lot to play with. It contains the FlashDevelop project file (it’s compiled with the Flex 3 SDK) and my cut-down 3-D engine, Pants3D 🙂