Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

Flash CS4 Animation Tutorials – Motion Editor, Inverse Kinematics IK Bones, 3D

February 23, 2009



Please come see the Flash CS4 tutorials featuring animation with the MotionEditor, Inverse Kinematics (IK Bone tool) and work with the new 3D or x,y and z properties.    The tutorials can be found at:



It is fun working with the IK Bone tool – I did a little spaceman for an in-class example.  You can move the parts like a doll.  It uses code to adjust the helmet with respect to the angle of motion of the body.  You can use the figures to animate or you can let the user move the figures.  In this second setting, you can also use code to move parts – that is very tricky and still being worked out a bit in this early version of the feature.

Dan Zen


Sample AJAX Code With a Bit of Web 2.0 DHTML

May 5, 2008

Sample AJAX With a Bit of Web 2.0 DHTML

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It has been around for ages but made popular with the so-called Web 2.0 sites. It basically means that you can update parts of a Web page after the Web page has loaded – hence asynchronous. You do not have to use XML at all and in general, you do not.

Tapoll is pictured above. It is a site where you get to predict polls as you vote on them created by professor Dan Zen some years ago. Circled are places where AJAX is used.

  • To send an invite message and receive a confirmation in the same little area without refreshing the page
  • To view a list of links and stats for all the user’s polls should they wish to see them
  • To display related content from YouTube, Flickr, Digg, etc. to inspire new poll creation

There are a number of JavaScript classes out there to handle AJAX ranging from a dozen lines to a couple hundred. Below is a link to an AJAX sample that includes a simple expanding message form HTML page, the PHP code to mail the message and the JS file that holds the AJAX class. There is a link to a ZIP file with the three files at the end.

AJAX Sample (code link is provided too)

Best of luck and remember, if you are tired of working in JavaScript… Flash developers have been working with this mind-set since 2000. We often are loading parts of the application without reloading the page.


Sample Flash AS3 Code to Help Designers and Developers Handle Data and Communication

February 7, 2008

Key to the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia program curriculum is teaching learners to build environments in which end users can communicate with each other. To do this, we need interfaces for input and display and we have to get data to and from the server. Think facebook, flickr, YouTube, etc.

Adobe Flash provides many communication classes and methods such as:

  • User Interface Components:
    • Button
    • CheckBox and RadioButton (Check Box & Radio Button)
    • ComboBox and List (Combo Box)
    • TextArea, TextInput and Label (Text Area & Input)
    • NumbericStepper and ScrollPane (Numeric Stepper & Scroll Pane)
    • Slider and TileList (Tile List)
    • DataGrid (Data Grid)
  • navigateToURL to load a Web Page from Flash
  • SharedObject to save a Flash “cookie”
  • FlashVars & SWF Query String to pass variables into Flash
  • ExternalInterface to call a function in Flash from JavaScript
  • Loading a SWF with Loader and URLRequest
  • FileReference to upload a local file to be used by flash
  • URLLoader and URLVariables to retrieve text or server output
  • XML to send and receive XML
  • Web Services to connect to scripts on other servers
  • Remoting to avoid serializing and deserializing data

Here are links to content examples from our curriculum for all of the above except Web Services and Remoting. The Sheridan lessons include more than the content – there are supporting lesson plans, definition documents, steps for building, supplementary links, reflection forms, and in class explanation, lab work, assignments, exams and final projects. If you are looking into schooling in multimedia, please visit the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia site for more information on our one year post grad program.

User Interface Components

Click here for code example

Flash AS3 Components

Communication 1 – navigateToURL, SharedObject, FlashVars, ExternalInterface, Loader, URLRequest and FileReference

Click here for code example

Flash AS3 Communication

Communication 2 – URLLoader and URLVariables to get text or server script data (PHP, MySQL)

Click here for code example

Although we recommend the Falcon Data Class for this type of connection

Flash AS3 Communication

XML in Flash

Click here for code example

Although we recommend the Falcon Data Class for this type of connection

XML in Flash CS3

Flash Tutorials

February 27, 2003

This years Interactive Multimedia students have created a series of Flash tutorials on a wide variety of topics.

Students used principles of interface design, instructional design and information graphics to create a variety of Flash tutorials for each other to learn more programming and implementation principles.

All the tutorials are available at

For further inquiries please contact

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