New Section Added: Flash/Actionscript Blogs

Just added a new section of links called “Flash/Actionscript Blogs”. Only resources of the highest quality will be added to this list.

Consequently I have added Neuro Productions. They are a company that provides Flash, Flex and Air development, consulting, and design for top agencies and corporate clients. The authors of this site provide some valuable code snippets and tutorials using advanced Actionscript programming and 3D integration. Definitely worth checking out:

Neuro Productions

Flashbelt Conference 2009

Flashbelt takes place in Minneapolis, MN on June 7 – 10th, 2009. This conference has an all-star Flash Developer speaker lineup and a nice range of topics including Multiplayer Online games, Papervision3D, iPhone Development, Peer-to-Peer Communications and Streaming using Flash Media Server. More information on this conference can be found on there website at

WWF Change the Way You Think Video

The World Wildlife Foundation has produced a great Flash Video illustrating how much water is invovled in creating one cup of Latte. A great use of Flash to get an inportant message across. Click the image to get directed to the video.

AS3 Optimization – Fastest Way to Copy an Array

Came across an interesting article about AS3 optimization and what was the fastest way to copy an array. Benoit Beausejour at agit8 did a series of test using various methods of copying an array. The results are based on copying 500000 elements and are listed below:

for() unoptimized: 118ms

for() key-key optimized: 30ms

while() key-key optimized: 30ms

Bytearray copy: 176ms

Array slice(): 19ms

Array concat(): 8ms

More information about this and the source code that he used to find this out can be found here.

Tap is the New Click

I found a great video on touch user interfaces (or TUI’s). It took place at NYC IxDA and the speaker is Dan Saffer, who is the author of Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices.

Some key notes that I took from this video are as follows:

  • 1. Avoid putting essential features or information like a label below an interface element that can be touched, as it may become hidden by the user’s own hand.
  • 2. Aim to have targets at least 11mm big. The iphone’s keyboard gets away with less by using adaptive targets that become bigger when the program and predict the next letter to by typed.
  • 3. The more complicated the gesture, the fewer people who will be able to perform it. The complexity of the gesture should match the complexity of the task. The best, most natural design, then, are those that match the behavior of the system to the gesture humans might already do to enable that behavior.

I was also able to find the slides for this presentation. They are located here.

Swedish Armed Forces – Special Officer Academy

Do you have what it takes to become a special officer in the Swedish Armed Forces? Even if you are not inclined toward the military, this site is still worth exploring. It plays out as a game where you complete numerous tasks while seeing how you fare against other participants.

The game play and game physics and user interface are truly outstanding. A great use of 3D, which I’m guessing is probably Papervision3D. Click the image to open application.

Flash Shortcut Keys

The following is a list of shortcut keys that I find most used in Flash. These are the same for all versions of Flash to date. I have denoted these shortcuts using a PC. If your using a MAC, just change the CTRL to COMMAND.


Flash Selection Tool Selection Tool – V
Flash Sub Selection Tool Sub Selection Tool – A
Flash Free Transform Tool Free Transform Tool – Q
Flash Gradient Transform Tool Gradient Transform Tool – F

Flash Line Tool Line Tool – N
Flash Lasso Tool Lasso Tool – L
Flash Pen Tool Pen Tool – P
Flash Text Tool Text Tool – T
Flash Oval Tool Oval Tool – O

Flash Rectangle Tool – R
Flash Pencil Tool Pencil Tool – Y
Flash Brush Tool Brush Tool – B
Flash Ink Bottle Tool Ink Bottle Tool – S
Flash Paint Bucket Tool Paint Bucket Tool – K

Eyedropper ToolFlash Eyedropper Tool – I
Flash Eraser ToolFlash Eraser Tool – E

Zoom In – CTRL + “+”
Zoom Out – CTRL + “-”


Add Frame – F5
Delete Frame – SHIFT + F5
Add Key Frame – F6
Add Blank Key Frame – F7

Symbol (MovieClip, Button, Graphic)

Turn Into Symbol – F8

Insert New Symbol – CTRL + F8


New Document – CTRL + N
Open Document – CTRL + O
Close Document – CTRL + W
Close All – CTRL + ALT + W

Save – CTRL + S
Save as – CTRL + SHIFT + S
Import to Stage – CTRL + R
Publish – SHIFT + F12
Exit – CTRL + Q

Modifying and Editing

Undo – CTRL + Z
Redo – CTRL + Y

Cut – CTRL + X
Copy – CTRL + C
Paste – CTRL + V

Paste in Place – CTRL + SHIFT + V

Testing Your Movie

Test Movie – CTRL + ENTER
Debug Movie – CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER

Alright I think that covers it. I’ve been meaning to put this up for a long time and finally its here. Comment on this if you want to add any Flash Shortcut Keys that you use frequently.

Eight Principles of Fun

A great example of keeping the attention of your user in a Flash presentation. Its also filled with good content for getting more out of life. Check it out:

Flashbelt 2007 Conference

3 nice long days of all things Flash in Minneapolis this June featuring award winning designers, developers and authors. The excellent speaker line up includes Joshua Davis, Jared Tarbell, Craig Swann, Mario Klingemann, Robert Reinhardt, Jeremy Thorp, GMUNK, and a boatload of other pros.

The 30+ sessions will cover multimedia DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT and creating ENGAGING experiences. Presentations on digital art, motion graphics + animation, rich internet applications, database integration, actionscript 3, Flash CS3, flash video, data visualization, experience design, and the future. The full conference registration fee is $395. (Student discount available)

In addition, Flashbelt is hosting a full day video workshop with Robert Reinhardt, author of the Flash 8 Bible, on June 21st. The video workshop fee is $235.

Adobe is the Gold Sponsor for the second year in a row.
Flashbelt is produced annually by Dave Schroeder of
2007 marks the fourth year of the Flashbelt conference.

Visit for more details.

Which Scrollbar Navigation is Best?

When developing Flash Websites and applications you will occasionally have to insert a scrollbar. In terms of usability, it is a good idea to use a scrollbar that your users are used to. Everyone who has used the internet has used the scrollbar located in their internet browser (Firefox, or IE). Therefore this is a good standard scrollbar to use especially when developing applications.

However, there are instances where you will want to have your own “cool” looking scrollbar. If you are developing a site for a movie or a game where you want to portray a certain look or feel then it is okay to use your own custom scrollbar. Just be careful and don’t stray too far from the norm or else you users won’t know how to use your navigation and that can make your project unusable and therefore useless.

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