AS3 Flash Open source / Freeware Tools of the trade

FlashDevelop 3.0.0 released

My favorite open source project ever, FlashDevelop has released: FlashDevelop 3.0.0 RTM (English, 4MB) .

I started with coding in the Flash IDE, when I realized that there are better programs to code in I started working with SE|PY (ActionScript 2 only). I really loved that program, but it never made it to ActionScript 3 and so I tried FlashDevelop. I have never regretted it, it a beautiful piece of work and I can’t work without it.
So if your pockets aren’t deep, and want to become a better AS2/AS3 programmer. you should try this program.

The only sad thing is that it’s Windows only.

Flash Open source / Freeware

Convert SWF to AVI – part 3

Update #1: when I wrote this post, this all worked… And I have good hope that the site will return. For now I can only say: try again later…. 🙁
Update #2: well the site didn’t return: it’s as dead as a doorknob … that’s too bad. I couldn’t find a place where you can download it now, so I searched my external harddrive if I had the original zip-file, and I did. So you can download the file at
Update #3: Today I needed this for a good export to AVI and found out that swfdrop only works if the animation is on the main (root) timeline… so I used the trick introduced by swf2avi > read more here

Flash is not very good in converting animations in to AVI’s because you lose the animations in the nested movieclips. You can export to .MOV but that’s not a native Windows video codex.

So you want to convert a SWF to AVI (SWF2AVI) or another videofile/codex (without spending any cash)?
As the title of this post suggest: I have written about this subject before: in part 1 and part 2.

And I found a new freeware tool to help you convert your SWF:
SWF DROP: Version 0.9c

Download: it think this program is very useful, but the creators think different and killed the original site. I still have the original and that one can be downloaded here:
Remember: I have nothing to do with this program, I only think it’s useful.

This project is also freeware and more up-to-date: October 2007 (swf2avi is last updated in 27-08-2002 & swf>>avi is last update in 07.20.2005).

“SWFDROP” is the SWF converter for Windows to convert Flash SWF file format to AVI format. It’s the best tool to successfully convert any Flash 6/7/8/9 SWF file into a video AVI file that you can play with Windows Media Player (or any video player), where all other tools dont work. These, along with a variety of video encoding options, make SWFDROP the best choice for you productivity!

A little preview: you can figure it out, trust me.

It’s very easy to use, you can use the codex installed on you computer and it’s very fast

Create a movie that will load the movie that you want to export.

  • make this movie the same size as the original
  • use the same frame rate
  • only difference with to movie you want to load is the number of frames: use the number that you want (for example: 1000)

Because swf2avi is based upon as2, this code is also as2
// code in frame 1
loadMovieNum(‘name_of_the_movie_you_want_to_render.swf’, 1);

Design Open source / Freeware

Free PDF viewer

Most of the time you can download papercraft stuff in .JPG or .PDF, and I just realized that I never have written about .PDF.

So here we go: I will only explain how to view a .PDF file, not how to create one. All pdf reader here are for free, if you need to pay for them is that because then you get the option to edit the pdf, and that is not what I want to cover here…

First of course we have to mention the mothership: Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
I use this one when I need to be sure that complex patterns in some of my illustrations are visible without errors. It’s for Windows, Apple, Linux and many more. Downside is the extreme size: 33.5MB.

Adobe Acrobat Profession

So I have two smaller pdf-reader who are very good, and I use it for almost anything because it’s faster and small footprint.

This is the one I use: Foxit Reader. You can use it on a memory stick, it’s made for Windows and Linux and I love it. In the past I had some “bugs” in prints that I made (didn’t show the pattern correctly) but that sort of bugs seems to disappear as this program gets worked on more and more. When I started using this program it was 1MB, now it’s 2.5MB and the bugs I had before are now disappeared.


The other one I want to mentions is Sumatra PDF. This is the one I use on my memory-stick. This pfd reader is the smallest to download: 1.2MB. It’s only a Window application and it’s a minimalistic design. Simplicity has a higher priority than a lot of features.