• Muddle Earth Flash Game

    I was working on this at the start of the year, but I wasn’t allowed to tell people. Muddle Earth is Children’s BBC series based on a popular book, which in turn is inspired by The Lord of the Rings. The BBC has been working with Dubit to make an online world and game for the series. You get to wonder round the world you've read about and seen in the series and get challenged to do various quests and play several smaller mini games. This was all made using Flash and can be played in a web browser.

    One of the things that make the whole online world so fab is the quality of the illustration. …

  • Motion tracking with Flash and ActionScript 3

    I'm working on a Jam Jar Collective project at the moment that involves projection and motion tracking. This is a little tester app that hooks up to your webcam and follows any movement it sees. Press 'Start webcam' to have a go. You need to have a webcam and your computer will ask your permission to use it.

    This motion tracking app was made using Flash CS4 and ActionScript 3. You can download the source code if you fancy tinkering with it.

  • 15,000 people have downloaded Font Picker

    I created Font Picker to solve a problem I had and released it in September 2008 hoping that other people would find it helpful. Since then 15,000 people have downloaded it and its page has had 57,000 unique views. That makes it by far my most successful personal project so far.

    Font Picker is a simple AIR app that helps you choose a suitable typeface for a project. It's down to word of mouth and the wonders of the Internet that so many people have found it. I got my first peak in traffic when it was mentioned in a Boag World podcast. I'm really greatful for that as it the break that lead to …

  • Choosing a font

    When I do a piece of design that involves typography I spend ages choosing the right font. The font that will endow the work with the right feeling and the font that is most similar to the one I've got pictured in my head.

    This normally takes ages, but I've written a Font Picker program in Flash to help me do it. It shows you a sample of your chosen text displayed using all the fonts on your computer. You can then whittle down this list by removing unsuitable fonts.

    The best thing is that this works straight from your browser and still displays the fonts that are on your computer. I've also …

  • ActionScript 3 timeout problems when working with XML

    I was getting the following error while developing my doodle flash application using ActionScript 3.0:

    1502 A script has executed for longer than the default timeout period of 15 seconds.

    I tracked the problem down to a piece of code that looped through a large XML document. At first I thought there was nothing I could do, but after playing about with it and pulling my hair out for a while I found out several things that helped me reduce the runtime by an impressive amount. I wanted to share my findings in case anyone else was having similar problems.

    Finding 1: XML .. operator is very slow …

  • Draw doodles on Flickr photo

    This is my latest creation using Flash and ActionScript 3. You can draw a lovely doodle on one of your Flickr photos and then save it and send it to your friends.

    It started as a simple doodle program, but I thought adding Flickr photos would make it more fun. It uses the Flickr API to load the photos and a web service I've written in ASP.NET to save and load the doodles.

    I've been sending people Christmas doodles this year as Christmas eCards.

    So, why not go and doodle on your photos and send them to your friends.

  • Getting the cursor hand to appear over MovieClips containing text in Flash

    I've been making an animated button using a MovieClip in Flash using ActionScript 3. The problem I had was making the hand cursor appear over it, firstly at all and then when my button had text in it.

    To make a MovieClip behave like a button and use the hand cursor set the following properties for the MovieClip.

    clip.buttonMode = true;

    clip.useHandCursor = true;

    Next, if your MovieClip contains a TextField set the following property for the TextField.

    clip.labelText.mouseEnabled = false;

    This means that the button underneath deals with the mouse, so the cursor will behave in the way that …

  • Flash Flickr viewer

    This Flickr viewer uses Flash CS3, ActionScript 3 and the Flickr API to display public photos from a selected user's Flickr account. I've created it because I've got a few project ideas where you will need to select a photo from Flickr. I've been impressed with the improved object orientedness of ActionScript 3 and this has let me build this in a way where all the different bits can be re-used very easily.

    This has been a nice project to get my head round some of the new features in ActionScript 3. I've been particularly impressed with the new way of loading and using XML. It's so much …

  • PaperVision Photo Cube

    PaperVision is an open source project to make 3D in Flash much easier than it has been.

    I've only had a very quick play, but I was able to create this lovely photo cube very quickly.

    It's based on an example on The Flash Blog. I can see a lot of potential for including this in my future flash work. 3D can make things look more impressive, but a sense of space can also make things easier to use.