Tag Archives: AS3

ActionScript 3.0

The92 – Soccer social media site

I created this site with the guys at ChromaAgency and Brothers and Sisters for Sky Sports’ The92 campaign in 2009. It featured an infinitely scrollable wall of photos and comments from users, all filterable and deep-linkable, as well as the obligatory video player, blog and Twitter integration – way ahead of its time for 2009. Continue reading The92 – Soccer social media site


 

Voki.com – Create your own speaking character

I’ve recently been working on updating the Voki web app, where you can customise a character, record your own audio to go with it and publish it, all through your browser. Continue reading Voki.com – Create your own speaking character

Optimal scrolling for 2D games or UIs

I recently stumbled upon an old bit of code which demonstrates a technique I created for an efficient scrolling data grid on the YouView TV platform. I call it ‘Blit Scrolling’. Below is a demo of the concept – click on the window and use the arrow keys to scroll around (Flash required):
Continue reading Optimal scrolling for 2D games or UIs

SmoothBitmap – How to ensure Bitmap pixel smoothing in AS3

A common oversight in Flash projects, when using a Bitmap with loaded content is that Flash will revert a Bitmap’s smoothing parameter to false when you replace its bitmapData. That is, when the data loads into the Bitmap, anti-aliasing will get turned off. This is simple enough to fix, but since you may not know if someone is going to replace the bitmapData of a Bitmap you have created – then it’s much better to code defensively for it.


 

This little SmoothBitmap class is for just such an occasion. Instantiate it like a regular Bitmap and, no matter what another developer does with it, smooth, anti aliased pixels when scaling/rotating will be ensured. Enjoy 🙂

CODING WRONGS – Where do I start with the bad?

It gets scary out there sometimes. During my freelance career I’ve worked at a lot of different companies and have seen such coding horrors as you cannot imagine. So I thought I’d start immortalising some of them – so that we can all learn better coding practices, by looking at the bad.

Starter for 10 – What’s wrong with this picture?

Did you spot the fubar? It’s not an obvious one. Continue reading CODING WRONGS – Where do I start with the bad?

Loan Shark – fast object pooling utility

LoanShark AS3 Object Pooling UtilityA couple of years ago, I created an object pooling utility for a games project I was building in AS3. Since then, I’ve used it quite a few times, in order to speed up apps and improve resource management, easing the load on the garbage collector by reusing objects instead of recreating them. Continue reading Loan Shark – fast object pooling utility

Fastest way to add multiple elements to an Array / Vector in AS3

In a simple situation, where you wish to add many elements to an Array or Vector, you might just do:

However, the sizes of both Arrays are manipulated for each loop, which will have an adverse impact on speed and memory usage. So, we could cache the length of the input Array and not manipulate it:

But we’re still growing the size of the output Array incrementally, which is very bad. Since we know input.length in advance, we could grow the output Array to its new size just once, before the loop:

This is OK, but still involves a loop. If only we could push multiple elements into the push method in one go. Well, we can – enter the apply method. Since Array.push accepts multiple arguments (something rarely used) and apply allows us to pass an Array of arguments to any Function, one line and we’re done:

This works out faster and more memory efficient than the other methods. It works nicely for Vectors, too. If anyone has a faster method of doing this, do let me know.

SWFIdle – simple flash idling utility

If you’re still churning out Flash banners, please use this!

swfidleI created this simple utility, called SWFIdle, to enable the Flash Player to lower its CPU usage while the user is not interacting with it. Since it’s possible to have multiple Flash instances embedded in one page (for example, a game and a couple of banners), I recommend using this in your projects, so that Flash instances needn’t fight for CPU and give Flash a worse name than it has already 😉

I know there’s the hasPriority embed attribute now. But:

  • That assumes you have access to the HTML that embeds your SWF
  • If no other players are present, it has no effect
  • There’s still usually little reason to be running your SWF at a high framerate if the user isn’t interacting with it
  • Flash banners with wastefully unoptimised drawing routines are probably one of the key reasons that Flash got poo-pooed off of mobile platforms and disabled on everyone’s laptops – CPU usage = battery usage!