Antti Kupila

Personal Blog, Portfolio and Online playground

View over the green room at Sid Lee, Montreal

Tutorial: Most popular YouTube videos of the day in Actionscript 3

As you probably know, Flash CS3 is coming really soon. Actionscript has developed a lot with the years and just like Adobe’s Flex, Flash CS3 will feature it’s latest revision, actionscript 3.0. This tutorial is a pretty basic introduction to AS3, to give you a kickstart before the final release of Flash CS3. If you’re familiar with AS3, this probably isn’t anything for you, but if you’ve done some stuff in AS1 & 2, maybe had a look at 3, read it and tell me what you think :) This was originally a school assignment and written pretty quickly so please bear with me :)

Alrighty, let’s start.

Before you build a house you need to get the tools so let’s take a look at a couple approaches of working in AS3:

Currently there are three ways.

  • Flash 9 alpha
  • Flex
  • Flex SDK with third party application

Flash 9 alpha is basically Flash 8, but with support and a compiler for AS3. You can download it for free from Adobe labs, but you’ll need a licenced Flash 8 to install it. Also it does not work on intel macs so if you have one, you can’t compile your actionscript with it. This obviously is a problem :)

Flex is basically flash, but meant more for online applications. Supports the exact same actionscript 3 as Flash 9. If you have flex, you probably already know that you can compile AS3 with it, if you don’t you can always get it. It’s $499 though

The Flex SDK is a free download which you can use with a third party application. I myself use this one together with Eclipse, and am very happy with the combination. Free too :)

You’ll find loads of info about these on google, and going thru all this isn’t really in the scope of this tutorial, so please, help yourself :)

Very helpful links:
http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/201/langref/index.html
http://livedocs.adobe.com/flex/2/langref/migration.html

Here’s a small demonstration of what the app we’re building today might look like (click it to see it in action):

YouTube video browser screenshot

Continue reading

Web conference: connection.07

Me, Erik Johansson, Joel Larsson, Sara Silfverberg and Line Everlund Matulac from Crew 12 attended the connection.07 conference in Gothenburg, Sweden today. The title was “a conference about the new web”, which was exactly what it was about. All 5 speakers were actually really good, and had a lot of interesting thoughts to share with the audience. The “new” in the title was about the web as a platform, mobile web, usability & accessibility, web standards, user generated content and in general the wisdom of the crowd. The information in itself maybe wasn’t totally new to me as i’ve done this web thing for some time now, but it’s always nice to listen to lectures about the area. Also the mobile platform is pretty new to me, and it would be exciting to experiment with it’s possibilities. The photos here were taken by Jens Wedin.

People at connection.07

In addition to the other four excellent lectures it was really nice listening to Roger Johansson, a person who’s blog i’ve been reading for quite a while. Just to see his stubborness (one might call it passion) with the usability & accessibility + the standards issue (all of these of course are more or less related) was something. I can say that I totally agree with him here; i mean, what would happen if the people who are building a bridge didn’t either know how, or simply didn’t care, to add adequate support structures. Exactly. Or, to be more on the subject, maybe a library should only allow people in who are not wearing glasses, or more specifically just not allow them to wear their glasses, the aid they have to help with their disability. Yep.
Alright, the examples may be a bit but as Roger put it “why do it wrong when you can do it right”.

Roger Johansson's lecture

Unfortunately the major part of the web is still in the bad old days, with bad design (talking about application/code and structure, not so much graphical), and pretty much total ignorance for the disabled, not to even mention the cross-browser problem. Roger’s on a mission to improve that, which i think is really great. I’m sure you’ve read an article or two at his blog but if you haven’t i encourage you to do so: www.456bereastreet.com.

A flickr group for connection.07 has been set up and a couple images have appeared there already. Go check out the photos.

All in all the inspiration is just flowing and i can’t wait to get back to work, to get my hands dirty. Thanks to everybody who was there.

Adobe CS3 release date leaked

Looks like Creative Suite 3 will be released in about 3 weeks, on April 20th!

Canada’s Amazon has put up info about the CS3 package with images of the boxes (which are really pretty!), with the info we want to hear: “Availability: This item will be released on April 20, 2007″.
Now that we know the prices, release date, ui (photoshop cs3 beta) + icons and what’s included in each cs3 package, i guess it’s just the waiting part that’s left.

3 – long – weeks .. :)

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=pd_rhf_s_1/701-7717386-6425965?ie=UTF8&search-alias=…

Level Vodka – Beyond Smooth

Perfect Fools has worked together with Great Works, building the new Level Vodka site for V&S Absolut Spirits. I have done the flash development for the site. Check it out.

Now the question is: How Beyond Smooth are you?
See the movie, take the test and find out.

www.levelvodka.com
www.absolut.com
www.perfectfools.com
www.greatworks.com

Flame actionscript 3 source released

A week or so ago i did this experiment in actionscript 3, using papervision3d and last.fm. Got a couple requests for the source so here it is.

Download flame source.

The work is licensed under CreativeCommons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license.

Flame – 3D music in Actionscript 3

A couple days ago i happened to stumble upon a really cool 3d engine called papervision3d. It’s been out quite some time already, and i’ve heard of it before, but i’ve never really gotten to it to actually play around with it. Well, no i have – and boy, i love it. It’s amazing! Huuuge props to Carlos Ulloa + everybody else who have contributed to this magnificent open source project.

This also gave me a reason to get back and play with as3 a bit again. Due to loadsa other stuff it’s been a while and i had already forgotten how great it is compared to as2 ;) Actually it’s not so nice working with projects in as2 anymore, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do ;)

Anyway, flame. Or well, yeah, that’s what i wanted to call this experiment. Codename: flame maybe? Either way the first time i iTunes‘ CoverFlow i really liked it. In general i love pretty much everything Apple does visually, and CoverFlow was no exception. So i got my dose of inspiration pretty easily. Also papervision3d is so amazingly easy to work with (compared with the results) that i just had to sit up way too late a night or two, doing some nifty demos. At the same time we also had this technology specialization module at school, where we were supposed to do some technological individual project, so this fit in pretty nicely. I heard of the deadline pretty close to 24h before :)

Well, you probably wanna see what i did? Sure.
As it’s written in actionscript 3 the Flash 9 player required. A fast computer is recommended.

Click to see flame live!

So, what is it? When you start it, it asks for an artist. Type in something you like and flame will find similar artists, that you probably also will like. You can then browse the artists in a cool 3d interface using the arrow keys. The amount of artists is limited due to performance issues. Also the images look like crap because of the original low resolution (about 160px), sorry for that.
All the data comes from last.fm, thanks! :)

When you find a cover image that seems interesting, why not listen to a song or two? Alrighty, just press the up arrow (or enter) and you’ll enter listening mode, where flame will play short samples from a couple songs. If it’s all quiet, a sample for the artist you’ve chosen doesn’t exist (yeah i know, could maybe have some indication .. but hey, the version number is 0.1.1, can’t expect miracles). There are also a couple known bugs and probably several more that i don’t know of, but i’m guessing you understand this is just an experiment.

As probably everybody who has worked with flash and external data knows crossdomain.xml is a bitch. I created a simple php script that acts as a proxy for the data, allowing flash to load the files (this means that every single image goes through my server, even if it comes from last.fm). Another pretty cool thing was the music. Last.fm doesn’t provide links to the mp3 files, so what i do is send the link to the artist’s page on last.fm to another script, which will screen scrape the page, find some stuff i need and out of it figure out what the url to the mp3 is. Works like a charm, as long as the artist has streamable music :) Big thanks to Joel Larsson for helping out with this one!

That’s about it for an introduction, go play with flame and feel free to leave a comment or two.

Oh, before you ask:
Yes, the sourcecode will be released as soon as i’ve cleaned it up a bit and tweaked a couple small things ;)

Update: the source is available here

I hope you get inspired enough to do your own cool demos with papervision3d