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Best of the Web - July 2009

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With another month having come and gone, it's always nice to take a look at what it had to offer us on the web.

In this roundup you'll find inspiration from sporting greats, pop legends and German soft drink manufacturers. There are interviews from industry experts, as well as a load of tutorials from elsewhere around the Flash blog-o-sphere. Of course, freebies are always welcome, so you'll find an ActionScript Migration Cookbook from Adobe, a funky Music Visualizer and several others..

Plenty to get your teeth into!

Inspiration

  • Eternal Moonwalk

    Michael Jackson is no longer with us. In his honor, Studio Brussel launched the Eternal Moonwalk which has seen tens of thousands of people sliding backwards on polished floors all across the world..

    I'm sure you've seen it, but if you haven't, you must go and check out this brilliantly creative tribute to the King of pop.

    See for yourself..

  • Pak de Polo

    Pak de Polo (Grab the Polo) is a great promotion from Volkswagen in the Netherlands. If you see the promotional Polo drive by, stop it and get in! By driving the most uninterrupted kilometres that day, you're in for a chance at winning the car itself.

    Aside from the stunt, there's the site. Full of video highlights and information, including a live Flash Video Stream from inside (and outside) the car, current GPS position, intended route and current driver statistics. Inspirational realtime Flash use.

    See for yourself..

  • The work of Teo Skaffa

    "I'm Teo Skaffa and I like to draw cats. I also like my beard. So yeah..."

    Need I say any more? Well, perhaps. Go and take a look at Teo's site, especially if you're a nostalgic 8bit computer game player, the navigation sound effects will take you back.

    See for yourself..

  • Museum of Science and Industry: Simple Machines

    "Remember, simple machines trade distance for force when doing work. The more the distance, the less force needed."

    Help Twitch complete a series of tasks all based around simple physics. Pulleys, levers, fulcrums - you'll need them all!

    See for yourself..

  • Umbro.com

    Sporty inspiration, in the form of Umbro's homepage. Simple, clear navigation, video, animation, great Flash web design.

    See for yourself..

  • Odosketch

    A hefty 19,000 sketches can be found on this gallery and they're all created online with the Odosketch Flash drawing application. Recent updates have seen the introduction of user profiles, featured sketches and a slideshow.

    Thanks to FWA for bringing this one to my attention!

    See for yourself..

  • Almdudler promotional game

    I'm a sucker for amusing characters and animation, so this promotional shoot 'em up from German soft drink manufacturer Almdudler is a definite recommendation.

    Paste your own face onto one of the various bodies then watch yourself dodge your own water balloons.. Sound confusing? Not if you speak German, but even I managed to complete a round!

    See for yourself..

  • Congratulate Roger on his 15th Major

    Dru Kepple, rapidly becoming famous for his AS3 101 series here on Flashtuts+, is also known for his work at Summit Projects. This month saw them launch Nike's celebration of Roger Federer's 15th major championship; a Flash microsite where already thousands of fans have left messages of congratulations.

    Federer fans; leave a message. Non-fans; check out the site anyway..

    See for yourself..

  • oops. i tweeted my pants

    Those of you who follow Creattica Daily will have seen this one fly past; a very novel Flash-based twitter visualizer from Fl 2. I should point out that this is beta release v.01 and that we're promised even more amusing info-graphics when the site's updated. Well worth a look!

    See for yourself..

Learning Resources

  • Layers Magazine: Flash Audio Visualization

    Tom Green, self proclaimed non-coder, tears apart some ActionScript, plays around with variables and discusses native Flash Audio Visualization. A particularly useful screencast for those of you who prefer the Flash IDE to rooting around with AS Editors.

    Read more...

  • Smashing Magazine: A Guide to Google Analytics and Useful Tools

    A post about Google Analytics in general, but scroll down the page and you'll find a quick 4 minute screencast about "Analytics and Flash and Flex Content". Google's Brett Crosby talks with Matthew McNeely about some of the ways in which Google Analytics can work with your Flash applications.

    Read more...

  • Create an intelligent XML image Gallery & Slideshow in Flash CS4 (+PHP)

    In part one of this tut from the Tec Labs, Mario Santos begins his construction of an image gallery. He describes it as 'intelligent' as it requires no xml or external library file. It builds a directory listing from the files you've uploaded to the server then automatically loads them.

    Read more...

  • Developing with Flash Lite

    Mark Doherty over at FlashMobileBlog has teamed up with Dale Rankine to produce a video tutorial series: "Developing with Flash Lite" on their Adobe Flash Lite Vimeo channel.

    Mark says "From the series I expect that viewers will learn how to use Adobe Device Central, discover how to construct a mobile interface and to work with multimedia including FLV". Subscribe to the RSS and stay up to date with coming episodes.

    Read more...

  • Making Smoke in Flash

    Nice little tuturial from ASGamer.com. A touch of Photoshop, a dab of ActionScript and you have yourself some convincing smoke for use in games and applications.

    Read more...

  • Adobe flash CS4 Game tutorial: shooting

    Another straight forward tutorial for budding gamers out there. Make a moveable spaceship sprite shoot bullets.

    Read more...

  • Create a scratch card in Actionscript 3

    Use your mouse cursor to scratch away a panel, revealing an image underneath. A simple, yet effective use of ActionScript 3.0 shape classes.

    Read more...

  • Getting Started With BetweenAS3

    Devon O. Wolfgang takes you through the basics of BetweenAS3; the newcomer to the tweening engine club. Nice work Devon.

    Read more...

  • XML-Driven 3D Billboard - Flash CS4 and AS3 Effect

    In the words of the Flash & Math team: "We use the native 3D methods available in Flash Player 10 as well as several custom ActionScript 3 classes to construct an advertising billboard with a 3D twist. The billboard is fully customizable by editing a simple XML file."

    This tutorial is available as a downloadable .zip.

    Read more...

Interviews

  • Adobe’s Primary Developer of Rich Internet Applications Mark Anders

    Mark Anders is a senior principal scientist at Adobe Systems, keeping himself busy with ensuring the future of RIA's lies with Adobe, Flash and Flex. Jake Rocheleau fires a few questions in his direction.

    Read more...

  • Grant Skinner at FITC Amsterdam

    ActionScriptHero.org were very busy during the FITC in Amsterdam this month, pulling together several interviews with leading industry experts in Flash. Joshua Davis, Mike Chambers, Lee Brimelow and Jim Corbett (to name but a few) all shared their Flash views on camera.

    This one made me chuckle though, Grant Skinner answers questions from an apparently star-struck Weyert de Boer..

    Read more...

  • Freakish Kid Stu Gamble

    Cluckie the Vampire Chicken. If the name alone doesn't entice you to go and have a look, rest assured that the animation made with Anime Studio and Flash will blow you away! Aaron from Cold Hard Flash puts a few questions to Budapest-based animator Stu Gamble.

    Read more...

Freebies

  • Fast 2D Bezier Library for ActionScript 3

    Tom Byrne shows us his animated curves in AS3.

    Go get it!

  • Accessible Flash Nav

    Jay from Warm Forest Flash shares his accessible flash navigation, allowing right-clicking and easy styling.

    Go get it!

  • Source Code: Spectrum Ring Music Visualizer

    Grant Skinner shares with us his first dabble with computeSpectrum and ByteArrays, the result of which is a cool music visualizer. Drop in your own mp3 file, play with the values, sit back and enjoy!

    Go get it!

  • ActionScript 3 LoadMovie Snippet

    Put simply: LoadMovie in AS3

    As the author, Dale, says: "It's pretty simple. A singleton class, with a simple loadMovie method that accepts the string URL of the asset to load, the container to load it into, and an optional Boolean flag for deciding if the containers existing children (if it has any) are removed with each new load."

    Go get it!

  • ActionScript 3 migration cookbook beta

    No, this technically doesn't belong in a July roundup; it's been around a while. However, this being our first Best of the web on Flashtuts+ I thought it worth sticking in. It's a great, concise (20 pages) resource, so for all those who are looking to make the transition from ActionScript 2.0 to ActionScript 3.0, what are you waiting for?!

    Go get it!