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First Flash Coding — Visual Basic Feng Shui

First Flash Coding

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image I had the opportunity to take on a Flash project recently. Never touched Flash before but I’d had it ever since I picked up a copy of Dreamweaver MX (the 2004 version, version 6, I still use FireWorks regularly).

From what I can tell, there’s been lots of improvements to Flash and ActionScript, but mostly in the areas of video and multimedia, which, for this, I didn’t need.

The idea is to create a preview of a text message, with font selection, sizing, coloring, etc. Initially, maybe only a half-dozen options, but eventually, incorporating a plethora of options (wavy text, anyone?).

It took a good deal of web queries and tinkering to get past the initial Flash hurdles (like how the heck to you actually place a movieclip onto the stage, much less create a new movieclip!). Is it just me, or is making the user “create a new symbol”, a completely non-intuitive way of creating a new movie clip? Maybe it’s just the old version. But I’m not sure I want to pay big $$$ to find out if any of that non-sense ever got straightened out.

Initially, I’d placed a chunk of code in the action area for the main frame, (there’s only one frame in this “movie”), but when I ran it, I happened to notice that it was being run over and over again. I’m guessing that’s because Flash, is, at it’s heart, an animation/movie creator, so that made a certain amount of sense.

I also found through combing the help file, that what I probably needed was the OnClipEvent On Load event. But that was only available on an actual movie clip object, and I couldn’t seem to create one of those.

Long story short, I’ve gotten something working in relatively short order, it was less painful than I expected, and in the process, I’ve gained a whole new level of appreciation for those guys out there cranking out Flash games.

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