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Send Season's Greetings With a Flash Piano Christmas Card


Tired of those old-fashioned animated Christmas cards with Santa Claus laughing, a sleigh flying in the sky with a bunch of trees and sparkling lights?

This year you have no excuse. I'm going to show you how to build a virtual keyboard that plays Jingle Bells. You'll even be able to extend the concept and add more songs and notes to the piano.

For this tut I'll be using a combination of Tweenlite, the Flex SDK, the Flash IDE and Flash Develop.

Step 1: New File

Start Adobe Flash and create an ActionScript 3 Flash file.

Step 2: Properties

Open the properties and set the FPS to 30 and the stage size to 600 x 380px.

Step 3: Layer 1

Rename layer 1 as "background" and create a white rectangle of 580x360. Convert it to a movieclip symbol named "frame_mc" and set its position to x:10 y:10.

Step 4: Drop Shadow

Add a drop shadow filter with the following parameters:

Step 5: Keyboard Layer

Add a new layer called "keyboard", create a primitive rectangle 60x190 with a 5 pixel corner radius and with no stroke. Make it a movieclip symbol and call it "keybase_mc".

Step 6: Reflection and Glow Layers

Hit F8 and create a new movieclip called "key_mc". Create two more layers inside key_mc (besides the one already present with keybase_mc). Name them: "reflection" and "glow". Copy the frame to the newly created layers.

Step 7: glow_mc

NOTE: I've changed the frame_mc colors for a while to allow me to see the modifications on the keys. Select the movieclip in the glow layer, name it "glow_mc", open the filters and edit them according to the image below:

Step 8: reflection_mc

Select the movieclip in the reflection layer, name it "reflection_mc", open the filters and edit them to match the image below:

Step 9: base_mc

now select the movieclip in the base layer, name it "base_mc", open the filters and edit them to match the image below:

Step 10: Key

Copy and paste the key until you end up with 7 instances. Arrange them evenly across the stage.

Step 11: Align

Open the align tool and click the "horizontal spacing" icon.

Step 12: Notes

Create a new layer, call it "notes". Then write down C D E F G A B on the keys add the text to a new movieclip. Open the movieclip filters and edit them such as the image below:

Step 13: Numbers

Create a new layer, call it "numbers". Write the numbers from 1 to 7, this will represent the numbers that you will press on your keyboard to make the ecard key highlight.

Step 14: Flex SDK Path

Go to edit > preferences > ActionScript > ActionScript 3.0 settings and locate your Flex SDK path (you will need this to embed files directly through code).

Step 15: Flash Develop

Open Flash Develop (I'm just using this cause I like it so much more than the usual ActionScript editor from the flash IDE when writing packages) and create 2 blank as3 files. Name them "Main.as" and "Background.as", save them in the same folder as your .fla.

Step 16: Document Class

Inside Flash IDE set Main.as as your Document class.

Step 17: Autoplay Button

Create an autoplay movieClip and name it "autoplay_mc". This will be an autoplay button.

Step 18: Snowflakes

To create some snow flakes falling create a new movieclip, draw a smalll white circle inside and add a linkage identifier of "SnowFlake".

Step 19: Main.as

In Flash Develop open Main.as, define your Main class extending a movieclip and create a function called Main.

Start by importing these Classes inside your package:

Step 20: Variables

Inside your class define these variables:

Step 21: Main()

The Main function

Step 22: Initialize

After being added to stage we'll initialize the background and the virtual keyboard:

Step 23: Background Effects

Let's sort out the moving background and the Snow:

Step 24: Virtual Keyboard

The initialization of the virtual keyboard

Step 25: Highlight

We need to create a function to remove the highlight from the keys:

Step 26: Key Events

Let's now handle the Key up and Key down events:

Step 27: Autoplay Functions

How to start and stop the autoplay

Step 28: Update

Updating the virtual keyboard along with the music

Step 29: The Complete Code

Here's the full Main.as code

Step 30: Background Class

Now on to the background class. We'll begin by importing these classes..

Step 31: Variables

..then defining the variables:

Step 32: Initial Function

Here's the initial function:

Step 33: initColorMatrix()

This function will control the bightness contrast and saturation of the noise, it's a very powerfull filter.

Step 34: Solid Background Color

This one is just to give a solid background to the whole stage.

Step 35: Noises

The noises:

Step 36: Mask

Here's the gradient mask:

Step 37: Render

It's render time!

Step 38: Complete Background Class

Here's the whole background Class:

Step 39: Snow

The snow class is not mine, it was written by Troy Gardner, I just adapted it from the timeline to a package this is why I'm not commenting on the code. Create a "Snow.as" and copy this code inside.


My music skills aren't the greatest, the music may sound a bit strange. Oh well, with this tutorial you should now be able to create your own songs with more notes and different tones :). I hope you liked this tutorial, you'll find the commented code and both cs4 and cs3 versions up on the zip file. Thanks for reading!

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