Categories
Design Flash Open source / Freeware

Print 2 PDF

I have been using this for some time now: sometimes you need to export something generated in Flash to a (vector) file. Another name for this post could be: Flash2PDF, Flash to PDF, SWF2PDF, SWF to PDF, Export2PDF, Export to PDF….. you catch my drift πŸ™‚
And the solution is very simple: just print a .PDF!

What is PDF?

Portable Document Format (PDF) lets you capture and view robust informationβ€”from any application, on any computer system.

from the creators: Adobe

Read the explanation from wikipedia

How does it work?

Windows
You need to download (and install) a program: PDFCreator. PDFCreator is opensource: which means a lot, but the only thing you need to know for now is that it’s free.

PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application.

After you install it, you can print PDF files from every program: print a document, choose the printer with the name “PDF Creator” and print.
Print screen PDF Creator

Mac OSX
Apple doesn’t need a special program for that; it’s already build in: read more about that here
(can’t tell you much about Mac… I own one, but it’s old so I don’t work on it anymore)

Categories
AS3

AS2 to AS3: get all objects in a movieclip

Sometimes you want a list of everything inside a movieclip. For example: you want to know the instance names of every movie in the root.

ActionScript 2

A little trick that I used a lot in AS2 is:

for(var i in _root){
   trace('key: ' + i + ', value: ' + _root[i]);
}

or

for(var i in target_mc){
   trace('key: ' + i + ', value: ' + target_mc[i]);
}

to find out which movies are in target_mc

It was not only a trick to trace everything, I also used it to reset movieclips (place them outside the stage, or delete them) or quickly make buttons out of them:

for(var i in target_mc){
	target_mc[i].id = i;
	target_mc[i].onRelease = function (){
		trace ("id = " + this.id); // onRelease the id will be called (the name of the movie)
	};
}

ActionScript 3

But in AS3 this doesn’t work any more!
And I know: AS3 should make my life easier…. well if I see the solution to the problem created by AS3, I have to disagree!

for (var i:uint = 0; i < target_mc.numChildren; i++){
	trace ('\t|\t ' +i+'.\t name:' + target_mc.getChildAt(i).name + '\t type:' + typeof (target_mc.getChildAt(i))+ '\t' + target_mc.getChildAt(i));
}

In AS3 you first have to get the "number of children" (numChildren) in a DisplayObjectContainer, then you have to say which child you want (getChildAt(i))...
A good thing about AS3 is, you get everything in a movieClip, even shapes you made there without a instance name.

I'm glad that I work with FlashDevelop, which has snippets so I don't have to type this constantly!

(For the people that use FlashDevelop too, here is my snippet:)

// $(Clipboard)is a DisplayObject
trace ('+ number of DisplayObject: ' + $(Clipboard).numChildren + '  --------------------------------');
for (var i:uint = 0; i < $(Clipboard).numChildren; i++){
	trace ('\t|\t ' +i+'.\t name:' + $(Clipboard).getChildAt(i).name + '\t type:' + typeof ($(Clipboard).getChildAt(i))+ '\t' + $(Clipboard).getChildAt(i));
}
trace ('\t+ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------');
Categories
Extending Flash Flash

XML Reader Flash panel – Todo and Requests

A while ago, I created XML Reader Flash panel.
I’ve been using it (and colleagues) for some time now, and I found some points of improvement:

  • Doesn’t work correctly on a mac (scrollbar disappears)
  • External XML (fill in url of XML)
  • Remove \r and \n in node
  • Errors about wrong formed XML
  • Different methods of reading XML (XML-DOM, X-path, XML2Array, ….)
  • More information
Categories
Flash Improvement Misc Urban papercraft

Separate RSS feeds Papercraft and Flash

Because I talk about two topics on my blog that have absolutely nothing to do with each other I created (well, WordPress provided it) two separate RSS feeds for Urban papercraft and Flash.

Custom RSS Links

Categories
AS3 AS3 migration Flash

From AS2 to AS3 – Where did it go – onRelease

Last year I started working with AS3, and after having some startup problems, I’ve made my first application in it (not online yet).
The strange thing is, I started a new project and when I had to make a button from a movieclip, I immediately wrote it in AS2… πŸ™

That AS2 is embedded deep into my brain and probably more people have this problem.
So I started this series of post about the stuff that’s changed in from AS2 to AS3.

I will probably regurgitate what other people already wrote something about, but it’s my “travel” trough AS3 land.

onRelease

One of things I use in every application that I build is onRelease.

This is what the ActionScript 2.0 Migration has to say about this:

ActionScript 2.0 ActionScript 3.0 Comments
onRelease() EventHandler flash.display.InteractiveObject dispatches event: mouseUp Replaced in the new event model by a mouseUp event.

In AS2 I know 3 ways to use it:

Categories
AS3 Flash

AS3 – take one step at a time: step 1a

I’ve made a mistake, the code I original wrote doesn’t work (I’m glad nobody noticed it πŸ˜‰ ). You can find the correct class here

My previous post is about my first step into ActionScript 3 (AS3) and in my case: trail and error is the best way to learn stuff.

But it takes some time to find out and sometimes it’s nice to have some help.

I found some help to fix this in the future : Patrick Mineault at 5 1/2 blog has created a AS2 to AS3 converter which you can test here and download here.

There is a web form to paste your code into and it will return your converted AS3 code (check it here).
There is also an command line exe in the zip file
I’m not very good at command line, so for your (and mine) convenience I will explain how to get the exe to work with a .BAT file (I work on a PC so the example only works on PC).

Download the zip file and extract it somewhere on your computer. In my case C:\tmp\convert
I’ve created to folders in the convert folder
C:\tmp\convert\input
C:\tmp\convert\output

and in the input folder I copied all the classes I’ve ever written.

Now create a file with a .BAT extension (in my case convert.bat) and it doesn’t matter where you put it, but I put it next to the convertas2as3.exe in C:\tmp\convert folder.

Open the file you just created and paste this in there:

pause
C:\tmp\convert\convertas2as3.exe -input "C:\tmp\convert\input" -output "C:\tmp\convert\output"

or adjust the path to the files you want to convert
save the file and open the .BAT file (in my case convert.bat) and all your classes you ever have written are converted to AS3…

Well as good as it get’s: it’s not 100 percent converted to AS3 but it helps you with most of your code, and helps you on your way to find the correct code.

example
take the code I translated in the previous post but now in a class file:

class nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile
{
	/**
	* Constructor 
	* To access and manipulate information about the boundaries of a SWF file.
	*/
	public function ConfigFile ()
	{
		// trace ("set flash to 'browser'-mode");
		_root._quality = "BEST";
		Stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
		Stage.showMenu = false;
		Stage.align = "TL";
	}
	/**
	* static function config.... same as above
	*
	* @usage   nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile.config ();
	*/
	static function config () : Void
	{
		var temp = new nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile ();
	}
}

and put it through the AS2 to AS3 online converter will become:

package  { 
class nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile
	import flash.ui.ContextMenu;
	import flash.display.Stage;
	{
		/**
		* Constructor 
		* To access and manipulate information about the boundaries of a SWF file.
		*/
		public function ConfigFile ()
		{
			// trace ("set flash to 'browser'-mode");
			_root._quality = "BEST";
			Stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
			Stage.showDefaultContextMenu = false;
			stage.align = "TL";
		}
		/**
		* static function config.... same as above
		*
		* @usage   nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile.config ();
		*/
		static public function config () : void
		{
			var temp = new nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile ();
		}
	}
	
}

this will not work without errors but will help you convert your AS2 code to AS3

package nl.matthijskamstra.config {

	import flash.display.MovieClip;	
	import flash.display.Stage;
	import flash.display.StageQuality;

	public class ConfigFile extends MovieClip {
		/**
		* Constructor 
		* To access and manipulate information about the boundaries of a SWF file.
		*/
		public function ConfigFile () {
			trace ('ConfigFile ')
			stage.quality = StageQuality.BEST;
			stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
			stage.showDefaultContextMenu = false;
			stage.align = "TL";
		}
		/**
		* static function config.... same as above
		*
		* @usage   nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile.config ();
		*/
		static public function config () : void
		{
			var temp = new nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile ();
		}		
	}

	
}

The config class that works!
package nl.matthijskamstra.config {
	
	import flash.display.MovieClip;	
	import flash.display.StageQuality;

	public class ConfigFile extends MovieClip {
		
		// Constants:
		public static var CLASS_REF = nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile;
		public static var CLASS_NAME : String = "ConfigFile";
		public static var LINKAGE_ID : String = "nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile";
		
		/**
		* Constructor
		* 
		* @usage   	import nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile; // import
		*			var __ConfigFile__ : ConfigFile = new ConfigFile ( this );
		* @param	$target_mc		a reference to a movie clip or object
		*/
		public function ConfigFile( $target_mc:MovieClip = null ) {
			// trace ( '+ ' + LINKAGE_ID + ' class instantiated');
			$target_mc.stage.quality = StageQuality.BEST;
			$target_mc.stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
			$target_mc.stage.showDefaultContextMenu = false;
			$target_mc.stage.align = "TL";
		}
		
		/**
		* static function config.... same as above
		*
		* @usage  	nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile.config(this);
		* 			ConfigFile.config (this);
		* @param	$target_mc		a reference to a movie clip or object	
		*/
		static public function config ($target_mc:MovieClip ) : void {
			var __config = new nl.matthijskamstra.config.ConfigFile ($target_mc);
		}
		
	} // end class
	
} // end package

I’m sorry for adding to the confusion which happens when you learn ActionScript 3!
The Stage class is a difficult change from AS2 to AS3, when I have some time I will explain.

Categories
AS3 Flash

AS3 – take one step at a time: step 1

I finally started programming with ActionScript 3 (AS3); I know, I not a early adopter… πŸ˜‰

And the first steps in AS3 are as uncomfortable as the first time I started OOP programming … or when I started moved from AS1 to AS2…

Since I started working for NOISE 5 months ago and moved to Amsterdam, I haven’t had time to do learn AS3.
That luckily has changed πŸ™‚ and I started learning the basics.

And the first obstacle I ran into was something very simple: I always use a basic document (FLA) with default library items, some layers I always use and some ActionScript code to align the stage:

_root._quality = "BEST";
Stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
Stage.showMenu = false;
Stage.align = "TL";
stop ();

I have this also in a class (AS2), so I thought it would be useful to rewrite this class in AS3.
and I wanted to use this in my new as3 files too… (remember that this is the first thing a tried)

First you need to create a document class:

Document Class
And in my case my document class was: ‘Main’


package  {

	public class Main {
		
		public function Main() {
			trace ('Main')			
		}
		
	}
	
}

(package generated by FlashDevelop)

Code didn’t pass; I got a Compiler Error:
5000: The class 'Main' must subclass 'flash.display.MovieClip' since it is linked to a library symbol of that type.


package  {

	public class Main extends MovieClip {
		
		public function Main() {
			trace ('Main')			
		}
		
	}
	
}

I got some new errors:

  1. 1017: The definition of base class MovieClip was not found.
  2. 5000: The class ‘Main’ must subclass ‘flash.display.MovieClip’ since it is linked to a library symbol of that type.

So I added import flash.display.MovieClip;


package  {

	import flash.display.MovieClip;
	
	public class Main extends MovieClip {
		
		public function Main() {
			trace ('Main')
		}
		
	}
	
}

Ahhh and now we can get the stage to work with my ‘old code’, let’s paste it into the new document:


package  {

	import flash.display.MovieClip;
	
	public class Main extends MovieClip {
		
		public function Main() {
			trace ('Main')
			_root._quality = "BEST";
			Stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
			Stage.showMenu = false;
			Stage.align = "TL";
			
		}
		
	}
	
}

Auw: both _root and Stage doesn’t excited no more: I got an migration error


package  {

	import flash.display.MovieClip;	
	import flash.display.Stage;
	import flash.display.StageQuality;
	
	public class Main extends MovieClip {
		
		public function Main() {
			trace ('Main')
			stage.quality = StageQuality.BEST;
			stage.scaleMode = "noScale";
			stage.showDefaultContextMenu = false;
			stage.align = "TL";
		}
		
	}
	
}

And at last it works…
The only thing now to do, is to put it in the correct package.

Categories
Extending Flash Flash

XML Reader Flash panel

When you’re working with Flash and dynamic content your no stranger to XML.
And how to access the data in the XML.

There are a couple of ways you can access and manipulating XML documents in Flash:

  1. the nerdy way (XML DOM): my_xml.firstChild.childNodes[2].childNodes[1].attributes.x
  2. the xPath way using xfactorstudio XPath classes: xmlDoc.selectNodes("/bookstore/book[price>35]/title")
  3. the Flash XPathAPI class: XPathAPI.selectNodeList(xml.firstChild, "/rdf:RDF/item/title")
  4. the XML2Array methode: Novel[0].Description[0].value

Before I discovered option 2 /3 /4, I had to work with XML DOM. This was also in the periode I was still programming in the Flash IDE and the XML DOM methode cost me a lot of time: I couldn’t find the correct node, or attribute, etc.

Until I started programming in SE|PY, because it has a XML Reader. The XML Reader could check if my XML was correctly formatted, and I could just point to the node I wanted to use and it gave me the correct node path.
I don’t know when it started (probably for a while, because I started to use different methodes to access XML) but sadly this reader has some errors, which makes it difficult to use.

But why do I care? I needed to use the XML DOM because I didn’t want to add to the kb of a dynamic banner I was building. It was programmed it in Flash IDE and the SE|PY XML Reader didn’t work….

Download:

Without more blabla: here is the first version of XML Reader.

XML Reader Flash panel XML_Reader_v0.1.zip (52kB)

In the zip is also a readme.txt with more info about XML Reader.
Doubts? Test drive it here!
Let me know what you think of it, what’s wrong with it, what could improve, bugs, etc

Description XML Reader

XML Reader is a Flash window panel where you can load XML files into.
This is useful in situations when you are writing an XML parser, and need to view the XML your parsing, but don’t feel like toggling back and forth between Flash and another program.
As a Flash panel, you can simply dock it inside of Flash with your other panels, and have it always available while you code in the Flash IDE.

This XML Reader does more: it has color syntax highlighting, indentation and XML DOM(*) to access and manipulate XML Documents WYSIWYG style.

I hope this will help to increase my productivity, and perhaps yours?

(*) The XML Document Object Model (XML DOM) defines a standard way for accessing and manipulating XML documents.

View XML Reader

So I created XML Reader, based upon the one in SE|PY

Because the open XML button only works in Flash a example XML is loaded.

Thanx to:

This project is based upon some work of other developers:

  • The XMLHighlighter class developed by R.Arul Kumaran (at the moment of writing this post I couldn’t visit his site).
    This class is used for highlighting the XML file and my modification makes it possible to ‘trace’ the XML-nodes.
  • The XML and Text Viewer Panel developed by Jesse Randall Warden. This example showed me how to build a panel.
  • The MXI File Creator by Muzakdeezign. This free program is used to create and edit the Macromedia Extension (.mxi file).
  • The XML reader from SE|PY by Alessandro Crugnola.
    This is my free code editor when I’m not using the Flash IDE editor. And the only (as far as I know) wysiwyg XML Reader. Sadly this reader has some errors, which makes it difficult to use. So to fix this, I wrote this panel.
Categories
Flash Flash experiments

Flash experiments: omtrek cirkel

I have to do this in Dutch because I have no idea what’s it called in English, sorry.
It not really important, and will be used in a project which has little to do with this explanation.

Een klein testje om de omtrek en de oppervlakte van een cirkel te berekenen.
Het moest van ver komen dus heb ik het ff opgezocht:
wiswijzer.nl
wisfaq.nl

Omtrek = pi * diameter = 2 * pi * straal
Oppervlakte = 1/4 * pi * diameter2 = pi * straal2

[swf]http://www.matthijskamstra.nl/laboratory/swf_experiments/omtrek.swf, 450, 250[/swf]
Update #1: For my English readers:
(more about circles here)
“omtrek” = circumference
“oppervlakte” = area (read more: circle area)
“diameter” = diameter (diameter)
“straal” = radius
(look more math stuff up at at Math Open Reference)
Categories
Flash Flash experiments

Flash experiments: tiled background

Update #1: Recently there are some who like to have the source of this project, that’s not a problem. But the source is what it is, and there are no comment in the code….
And because this post was not up-to-date, I’ve remove some of the links to sites with patterns because they didn’t exist anymore. That’s also the reason that I had to update the Flash file.
shortcut to download

Another experiment, to use external images for background patterns.

But there was no need to start from zero, so here are some tutorials that I used:

both tutorials were used in the experiment.

[swf]http://www.matthijskamstra.nl/laboratory/swf_experiments/tiledBackground_v02.swf, 450, 450[/swf]

(I had to update this file because of broken links: this is version 2)

Get the source files here:

The .ZIP file contains:

+ tiledBackground     
     + deploy
            - AC_RunActiveContent.js
            - tiledBackground_v02.html
            - tiledBackground_v02.swf
     + source
            - tiledBackground_v02.fla

Borrowed some seamless background pattern from Squidfingers
pattern_021.gif
pattern_095.gif
pattern_111.gif
pattern_131.gif
pattern_141.gif

It’s not possible to link directly to Squidfingers!

But you can find your own patterns on the internet, examples of site with seamless background patterns:
http://www.wonderbackgrounds.com/
http://www.cameradio.tk/tiles1.htm

root2art.co.uk
http://backgroundsarchive.com/tiles/wood.php?page=2

I used http://www.neopets.com/backgrounds_tiled.phtml in the flash source.
But you can use any image from the internet!
(Need some help: find “tiled background” with google )