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AS3 101

18 Posts

Are you new to ActionScript? Have you previously built Flash projects with AS2 but have decided that it's time for a change? Are you an experienced developer looking to improve your skills or simply refresh your memory? The AS3 101 series is an ever-growing course of tutorials aimed at helping everyone with ActionScript 3.0 fundamentals.

Posts in this series
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Variables - BasixPreview 101 variables
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    Twice a month, we revisit some of our readers’ favorite posts from throughout the history of Activetuts+. This classic tutorial was first published in June, 2009 and was the first in what has become an astounding series. This is the beginning of a series which will walk through some of the fundamental concepts of programming, as they apply to ActionScript 3.0. To kick things off, we'll talk about variables.Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Functions – BasixPreview
    This is part 2 of the introduction to ActionScript 3.0 series. We'll be talking about functions. Just like last time, when we focused on variables, we'll be primarily targeting the neophyte programmer, who has little to no experience with functions. However, even if you're relatively comfortable with functions, you may want to skim through this tutorial if certain aspects of them – like datatypes and default values – aren't quite sitting well with you. We'll spend the first half of the tutorial covering things at a more theoretical level, then put some of those ideas to use in the second half. We'll be building a very simple piece with a series of buttons which swap out the content on another part of the page. There'll be a few functions in use to accomplish this, primarily one that handles the setting of the content. Make yourself comfortable, go and take a look at the demo, then get stuck into the tut.. Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Branching - BasixPreview
    In our third installment of AS3 101, we meet the brains of the operation. All applications need to have at least a little logic built in, so that is what we're talking about: branching. We'll meet the if statement, the switch statement and a little something called the lookup table (or hash map). Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Arrays - BasixPreview
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    In this installment of AS3 101, we'll spend the entire tutorial exploring a single type of data available to most programming languages: the Array. Arrays are ways to keep lists of values. Arrays are useful to keep an arbitrary number of related items grouped together, and can represent complex data structures though nesting. In ActionScript, Arrays have quite a bit of flexibility and functionality, as we'll see. After the usual abstract introduction, we'll apply what we've learned (whilst also learning some more along the way) by building a rather simple puzzle game. Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Loops - BasixLoops
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    Welcome back to AS3 101, the fifth edition! At this point, you should be comfortable with the concepts of variables, functions, conditionals (branching), and Arrays. Not only should you be comfortable with the concepts, but you should also be fluent in how ActionScript 3 implements these concepts. For this fifth episode, we'll be adding to that catalog of skills the various looping structures found in AS3. You'll find some dependencies on the information learned in AS3 101 Part 4, on Arrays, so if you've skipped that one or need a refresher, please review that tutorial before continuing with this one. For our final project, we'll combine loops and arrays, to make a simple shoot-em-up game. Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: The Display List – BasixPreview
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    In this sixth installment of AS3 101, we'll be studying topics related to the "Display List", Flash's rendering system. With a solid understanding of how to program the Display List, a whole world of dynamic possibilities open up. You will no longer be tied to static display structure that you create on the timeline in the IDE, but you can create and destroy MovieClips (and more) with code. There is much to know, so we'd better get started. Our ultimate goal is a wall of clickable images (go and check out the demo). While simple, it introduces many Display List programming techniques. Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: XML – Basix200
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    Well, hey there, hearty ActionScript Journeyman! You've traversed many a strange landscape so far over the last 6 months, but if all went according to plan, you emerged stronger and readier to face the next challenge. Here with the 7th installment, we'll culminate with the topic of XML.Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: OOP Introduction – BasixPreview
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    Twice a month, we revisit some of our readers’ favorite posts from throughout the history of Activetuts+. This week’s retro-Active tutorial, first published in October 2010, is an introduction to object-oriented programming in AS3. Don't forget to check out the other AS3 101 tutorials! Object-Oriented Programming is a bit of a hot topic. More and more programming languages are cropping up that support it (Ruby, for example), and more and more languages that previously didn't support Object-Oriented Programming (OOP for short) have been released with versions that do, like PHP and ActionScript. Some languages only work if you utilize the whole OOP thing to begin with, like Java and Objective-C. It's actually been around for a long time, but came into the limelight in the 1990's primarily due to its advantages with programming GUIs and the rise of C++ and Objective-C. Wikipedia has an interesting section on the history of OOP, which is a great place to start learning. Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Five Reasons to use Setters and GettersPreview
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    Of course you know about setters and getters, who doesn't? (If that's you, you might want to brush up on Object-Oriented Programming with my Introduction to OOP tutorial). But why use them? Why go to the trouble of creating extra functions to wrap around a property? Here are five reasons that are incredibly useful. Personally, I use each of these reasons at least once a day..Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Quick Tip – Use Access Modifiers EffectivelyPreview
    There are four access modifiers you can choose from when declaring properties and methods: private, protected, internal, and public. How do you know which one to use?Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: OOP Inheritance, Setters & Getters – BasixPreview
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    When last we talked, we had a Button class that could be used to quickly create a button of a certain style. However, I also asked you to ignore certain aspects of the code. We're going to start this session off with a little resolution: it's time to explain what extends does. Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Quick Tip – When to Use Static Properties and MethodsPreview
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    "Static" properties and methods belong to a class, rather than to an instance of a class, meaning that they are shared, in a sense, across your entire project. But when should you use the static keyword?Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: OOP – Additional ConceptsPreview
    For this mega-installment of our introduction to Object-Oriented Programming in ActionScript 3, we'll take a look at a few outstanding topics, as well as putting everything together and organizing a simple project around several independent, yet cooperative, objects.Read More…
  • ActionScript
    Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know About Import Statements*Preview
    * Not really everything.Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: OOP - Introduction to InterfacesPreview
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    In the closing chapters of our Object-Oriented Programming series, we will take a look at some more advanced concepts, focusing on interfaces (the programmatic kind).Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: OOP - Introducing Design PatternsBlackboard
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    After many months of learning how to program from the ground up, you're ready to put it all to use: we're going to build a simple drawing application. We will focus on Object-Oriented Programming techniques, specifically the use of interfaces. By setting up a few rules for our programming, we will make expanding the feature-set and debugging the project much easier.Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Events - BasixPreview as3 101 events
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    For this chapter of AS3 101, we will be diving into the mechanics of the Flash event system. If you've been following along so far, you'll have seen events in use, dating all the way back to the first episode of the series. The editor and I felt that it was time to write up something to be formally included in the curriculum, so if you've ever seen those lines of code about adding event listeners or dispatching events, and not quite caught on, then this is the tutorial for you.Read More…
  • ActionScript
    AS3 101: Quick Tip - Dispatching Events Without Extending EventDispatcherPreview as3 101
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    It's rare, but it happens. Sometimes you absolutely need to extend a class, and that class does not already extend EventDispatcher. At the same time, you absolutely need your class to be an EventDispatcher. Because ActionScript 3 does not allow multiple inheritance, how do you reconcile this?Read More…