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Programming in Flash

It seems like there's a lot to draggable objects. I've included a lot of detail so far because using draggable objects is one of the most advanced features that doesn't require programming. The term programming gets tossed around a lot, but as discussed last hour, my definition of programming is using the ActionScript language to make a Flash movie play back differently based on user input, user interaction, timing issues, or data found outside of Flash. If you want your movie to play back the same each time (like a narrative or a cartoon, for example), you don't need to do any programming. Even if you want relatively sophisticated interactivity (buttons, draggable objects, and so on), you can achieve it with basic Actions. However, for a much more dynamic (changing) movie, you're going to need to do some programming. Fortunately, ActionScripting is fairly easy to use. Using Flash's Action panel makes it easy because you just fill in the parameters as needed. When you approach the process of programming in small steps it will be easier than one would imagine after looking at the cryptic code some programmers create. It doesn't have to be difficult.

The rest of this hour introduces you to most of the programming capabilities of Flash. An entire book could be devoted to this topic (actually, I wrote one called ActionScripting in Flash MX), so naturally, it can't be fully covered in just this hour. I'm just going to point the way. If you have little interest in programming, it's safe to skip the rest of this hour. You can always come back later if needed. There's plenty more information in later hours, so only jump ahead to Hour 16, “Using Components.” (Don't skip the rest of the book!)


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