Flash and AS3 links
This page contains Flash and AS3 links of all kinds, e.g. Tutorials or ActionScript libraries ...
Partially updated on June 2010 - I also decided to have all Flash/AS3 links on a single page, except for links that relate to specific matters of course ... Daniel K. Schneider)
- Flash - Entry point for Flash tutorials and software links
- Flash ActionScript 3 overview - A high-level overview of the AS3 world.
- Actionscript 3 - Entry point for Actionscript tutorials
- Adobe Flex - Entry point for Flex
2 General Flash/AS3/Flex links
- Waldron, Rick (2000). The Flash History. Flashmagazine
- Adobe Flash (Wikipedia)
- Adobe Flash Player (Wikipedia)
- Flash Video (Wikipedia, overview of the technical format)
2.1 Flash developer web sites
(only a few, see also the tutorials sections)
2.2 Flash links @ Adobe
- Adobe Flash Player (list of current player version and diagnostic of yours).
- Adobe Flash Developer Center (includes tutorials, including video tutorials plus related resources)
- Testing and usability (Adobe Flash Developer Center).
- Flash help/documentation resources @ Adobe Resource Center. The central starting point for Flash and ActionScript programmers (manuals).
- Developer Connection: Getting started with Flash CS4
- Developer Connection: Learn Flash (CS5) @ Adobe Developper Connection.
- Adobe Flex Developer Center Contains tutorials, manuals and additional resources (the equivalent of the Flash development center)
- ActionScript Technology Center Includes tutorials.
- Kirupa Forums. This web site includes a series of popular Flash and AS forums.
2.4 Adobe AS3/Flex links
- Adobe Flex Developer Center Contains tutorials, manuals and additional resources (the equivalent of the Flash development center)
- ActionScript Technology Center Includes tutorials.
2.5 News / Feeds aggregators
3 References, documentation, and manuals on-line
- actionscriptcheatsheet.com. Several excellent ActionScript cheatsheets.
- Atp Ria Guide.pdf. (Adobe) This 29 p. very short ActionScript reference for rich Internet application development provides an alphabetical reference for all native ActionScript APIs for the Adobe technology platform runtimes: Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR—as well as the Adobe Flex framework APIs.
3.2 Language References and Adobe Docs
Tips: Also have a look at the built-in CS3/4/5/6 Help. It's not really obvious to find things at Adobe. There is much more documentation that one might think at first glance. Here are just a few:
3.2.1 CS3 / CS4 /CS5 / CS6
- Archive CS3/4. PDF only, I don't know if the HTML versions still exist somewhere
- Adobe Flash CS4 Professional (starting point)
- Adobe Flash Professional CS6/CS5 (starting point for CS5+ versions)
- ActionScript Technology Center (Entry point for all things related to "pure" AS programming, including Learning ActionScript 3
- Flex Live Docs (entry point for all Flex Live Docs)
- Programming ActionScript 3.0 @ Flex LiveDocs. Describes specific usage of the ActionScript 3.0 language and core Flash Player API. This is what beginning AS/Flex programmers should read.
4 Flash tutorials and examples
This section only should index good and free tutorials. No junk indexes with nothing but advertisements. There is a problem with Flash Version. Various Flash versions are considerably different and most sites include older stuff...
4.1 Good Flash examples
- Artsy websites
- Yugop (Abstract animation art)
- Flash trailers for company websites / advertizements
- hillmancurtis (Search a bit, e.g. on May 2010 is was here.
- Flash comics
- Flash games
- "Flash+games" Google search (There are many)
4.2 Collections of tutorials
- Both just links or "real" repositories
- Warning: Many sites also include older information (e.g. Flash MX and AS2). There is quite a huge difference between ActionScript 2 and 3.
- Collections - both text and videos
- Adobe Flash Developer Center. (Adobe) Includes some tutorials, including video tutorials
- Republic of Code. Contains both good text and video tutorials (the latter from learnflash.com).
- The best Flash game creation tutorial sites (dated 2007!)
- Flalog, self-described as Flash Actionscript Tutorial Solution Experience
- Collections - mostly video
- Video tutorials at Adobe
- EverythingFLA online Flash video school Hours of video training Hosted by Ben Fhala
- cartoonsmart.com/ Includes three good Flash video tutorials, e.g. shape tweening and a button tutorial.
- LearnFlash.com. (Some good free ones, scroll down, for more registration is needed)
- GotoAndLearn, a long list of video tutorials.
- Find "Adobe Flash CS" on YouTube.
- Collections - mostly text tutorials
- Flashexplained and flashexplained.deviantart.com. CS4 tutorials and examples by Luka.
- Flash/ActionScript Tutorials at Kirupa (overal, probably the best Flash/AS3 web site)
- WebWasp (e.g. a good pen tutorial)
- W3School Flash Tutorial. Short step-by-step tutorials.
- ToxicLab.org. About 99 little Flash tutorials submitted by various people. The ones I have seen are short and nice.
- Flashkit.com (A Flash Developer Resource Site)
- Flash Valley (includes components and an OO tutorial for absolute beginners).
- Flash Kit Index of Tutorials ('lots of very outdated ones too).
- Flash Tutorials @ smartWebby. I haven't tried any of them, no idea what they are worth.
- Flash11 (CS5) Nice wiki by Michael Verhaart. In many ways a project comparable to edutechwiki.
- Subsites of http://about.com, e.g. webdesign and animation have several flash related resources. You need to search ...
4.3 Recommended introductory CS3 tutorials
- Basics (graphics and animation)
- Flash/AS 3.0
4.4 CS4 tutorials
- CS4 introduction
- Introducing Adobe Flash CS4 Professional by Doug Winnie
- Video tutorials at Adobe TV has some CS4 video tutorials
4.5 Flash CS3/4/5 Books
- Veer, E.A. Vander and Chris Grover (2007). The Missing Manual series.
- CS3 ISBN 0596510446 (Daniel K. Schneider used this in class, ok for drawing, no ActionScript)
- CS4 ISBN 0596522940
- CS5 ISBN 978-1449380250
4.6 Flash/AS3 Books
- Gary Rosenzweig, Flash Game University, Que (1st Ed.). ISBN 0789737027. All code in actionscript 3. So far the best beginner's text I found. Environment is CS3 (also can be used with CS4 and CS5) - Daniel K. Schneider 10:16, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
5 Actionscript 3.0 and Flex tutorials
- Community @ FlashDevelop.org. This forum provides support for the popular free Flashdevelop (ActionScript) editor.
5.2 Rapid Overviews/Presentations/ Migration
- Grossman, Gary and Huang, Emmy (2006). ActionScript 3.0 overview, Adobe.
- ActionScript (Wikipedia)
- Understanding the changes in the display API in ActionScript 3.0 (short example code comparison)
- ActionScript 2.0 Migration (Adobe). This list list is huge :)
- Comparing the syntax of Java 5 and ActionScript 3 @ faratasystems
- Object-Oriented programming in ActionScript 3 vs Java @ faratasystems
5.3 General AS 3 Tutorials
- Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) with ActionScript by Richard Baldwin. This is a full open contents textbook for people who already are familiar with basic programming contructs. HTML and PDF. Technology used: Flash Builder 4 and FlashDevelop.
- Adobe's Developer Center includes many "quickstart" articles but also more substantial tutorials and finally book excerpts. Examples:
- Filtering XML data in Flash applications using ECMAScript for XML
- Filtering and formatting data in the DataGrid component
- ActionScript and object-oriented programming (several good tutorials at Adobe's Flash Developer Center)
- ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook excerpts: From custom classes to the rendering model (Several free chapters of this book)
- Migrating your Flash applications to ActionScript 3.0
- Tutorials at ActionScript.org has several action script tutorials, e.g.
- ActionScript 3 Tutorials (Flash & Math), e.g.
- Learning ActionScript 3.0. Companion web site for the same book, ISBN 059652787X (but also includes little tutorials and examples).
- Flepstudio has a series of tutorials.
- Flash-db.com has a series of tutorials.
- Peter Backx's blog has nice tutorial/exmples for ActionScript.
- gotoAndPlay() is a free web resource for both web gamers and web game developers.
5.4 Flex tutorials and examples
- Combining animation and ActionScript using Flash Professional CS5 and Flash Builder 4 by Dan Carr, Apr 30, 2010 Adobe Developer connection. Really useful !
- The Joy of Flex, tips on Flex by David Coletta.
5.5 Special purpose
(to sort out)
- Creating and dispatching your own custom events in AS3 Fri, 07/10/2009 Jody Hall. Useful !
- Actionscript 3 (AS3) Game Primer @ 8bitrocket
- AS3 Mouse Events and Mouse Related User Actions by Drawk - Really useful.
- Quick Tips for Making ActionScript 3 Components by Ben Stucki.
- ActionScript 3.0 Forums at Kirupa.com. Also includes [ ActionScript 3 Tip of the Day]
- Animating Dynamic MovieClips in AS3 by Kirupa.
- Eric Cancil. A blog with AS3 code.
- $.console A console for debuggign, pops up over your application (looks good, not tested so far).
- How to use images in ActionScript 3 with FlashDevelop (and some other AS3 tips) by Peter Backx, 2008.
Amy Blankenship, April 7, 2010. This is a useful thing for people like me who teach a little bit of ActionScript with CS5 , too short though ...- 14:53, 19 November 2010 (CET).
5.6 AS3 Books
- Moock, Colin, Essential Actionscript 3.0, O'Reilly. ISBN 0596526946. Read it (widged). This is a quite good book. It tries to do two things (1) provide a large overview of the ActionScript 3.0 language and (2) Provide a complex example of a quite complex program. The overview works well. I am not sure about the zoo example. It gives an idea of the way such a program gets written the OO way, but it's not clear that the book covers enough of the basics of OO programming to have you able to do more than copy, paste, and compile the code provided. The book works best for persons who start with actionscript and want to become acquainted with the different aspects of the language. One of the best books available. Keep in mind, however, that it has "essential" in the tiel. until a book "Actionscript 3.0, the definitive guide" becomes available. Something great about the book is that it is completely tool neutral. It is clearly explained how to run the code on either of Flash CS3, Flex Builder, Flex. Of Interest, codes and examples from the book are available on the author's website.
- ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook: Solutions for Flash Platform and Flex Application Developers by Joey Lott, Darron Schall, Keith Peters, O'Reilly. ISBN 0596526954. Didn't have a chance to read it. The idea of a cookbook is to present example code to solve different problems. It's a great way to boost your knowledge once you start to reach an "intermediate" level.
- ISBN 1590597915. Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! by Keith Peters, Friends of ED. Bought it. Didn't have a chance to read it yet. Received rave reviews. Covers everything you need to know to realize complex animations, from trigonometry concepts to 3D animation.
- Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0, by Peter Elst, Sas Jacobs, Todd Yard. Friends of ED. ISBN 1590598458. I read a prior edition, on OO ActionScript not yet 3.0. An excellent book to learn the OO concepts behind AS3. The code mixes clear explanations and interesting enough examples (tweening animation, video medias, etc.). It also gives valuable tips on how to improve your coding practices by documenting your code and planning your design. Code examples can be downloaded from the FoED website.
- ActionScript 3.0 Design Patterns: Object Oriented Programming Techniques, by William Sanders, Chandima Cumaranatunge, O'Reilly. ISBN 0596528469.
- Advanced ActionScript 3 with Design Patterns by Joey Lott and Danny Patterson, Adobe Press (1st Ed.) ISBN 0321426568. Had the merit to be out very early, right after Flex 2.0 got out. Didn't work for me. The O'Reilly book seems better.
- Head First Design Patterns, by Eric Freeman, Elisabeth Freeman, Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates. O'Reilly. ISBN 0596007124. Nothing to do with Flash or ActionScript 3 but a splendid book to familiarize yourself with a design pattern approach to programming. Particularly suit learners who suffer with traditional teaching formats and are open to the idea of having fun when learning. The tone is light and friendly, but the content is real smart. Each chapter is made about half of theory and half of practice. The exercises proposed are really clever and really get you understand the concepts in more depth than when reading a more theoretical book. Code snippets are in Java, so you need at least to have reached the intermediate level in AS3 to be able to transfer the examples and practice from Java to AS3. Because of that, perhaps not worth investing your money... but you can probably get it easily enough from a library or a friend.
5.7 Flex Books
- Programming Flex 2: The comprehensive guide to creating rich media applications with Adobe Flex, by Chafic Kazoun, Joey Lott. O'Reilly. ISBN 059652689X. Read it (widged). Very nice book. Ideal to get you started with Flex without any knowledge whatsoever of Actionscript or Flash (I had never programmed in Flash before reading that book). The first chapters are easy to follow, making sure that nobody will fall off the boat. The last chapters cover quite advanced concepts very efficiently.
- Adobe Flex 2: Training from the Source, by Jeff Tapper, Matt Boles, James Talbot, Ben Elmore, Mike Labriola. Adobe Press. ISBN 032142316X. Had the merit to be one of the very first books on Flex 2. The title of the book reflects the fact that the approach taken here is to go through all that is required to create a complex enough on-line shop application. The application is being progressively written and you get precise information about why things get to be coded that way. It's a good book, especially if you are interested in the prospect of designing very modular applications. Its primary target is however freelance developers and really not students who want to learn how to write a mini-game.
5.8 AS 3 Example-based tutorials
- Flash Tutorial - Copy Motion as ActionScript 3.0
- Metah.ch has a series of tutorials with source code.
5.9 AS 3 Examples
- Flex Treemap Component
- Updated: List of Best Animation Packages for AS3
- On user-triggered and user-controlled interface animation
5.10 Sites with codes and Examples
6 Code snippets and toolkits for Flash and AS3
6.1 Reusable Flash and AS code
It's hard to separate websites that rather provide code for Flash designers with little AS knowledge and more advanced AS programmers. Sorry, you will have to find out yourself ...
There are several kinds of components that Flash designers should know about:
- *.swf - Flash (embedd as movie)
- *.fla - Flash source code (i.e. a template with drawings and code)
- *.as - Action Script source code (watch out for the version !!)
- *.swc - Compiled components (like the ones in the built-in components library).
- Code Repositories (mostly free)
- FlashTica Free Open Source Actionscript and Flash code files and resources directory. More specifically, this is a listing of websites that contain such resources.
- Flash Components at HotScripts.com
- Code Library @ actionscript.org. These are rather short code snippets that are useful for many programming problems.
- Flash Professional Exchange @ Adobe (componends and libraries, some free, others for sale)
- Flashkit.com (Good large libary, but older Flash. Too many ads and difficult navigation and sorting.)
- Flash/Actionscript code repository @ Kirupa.com
- Ted Patrick - Flash Platform @ Adobe Systems (blog of an Adobe developer, includes some code snippets)
- Where you can add and manage your own snippets
- Snipplr.com, this allows you to keep an album with your own code... and access the code contributed by others. Search for "Flash" or "AS3".
- DZone Snippets. Public source code repository. Easily build up your personal collection of code snippets, categorize them with tags / keywords, and share them with the world.
Search for ActionScript.
- Commercial (I only want to have 5-6, the best at some point and not a long list ...)
- Oh my Flash
- Stock Flash Community | flashgarden
- Flashcomponents (some free)
- Flash Valley (some free)
6.2 Reusable AS components and libraries
Libraries are meant to ease work for ActionScript programmers, but some of these also can be used by Flash Developers. E.g. a tool like the Greensock Tweening Platform allows a person with very little programming skills to create small interative programs where user action can trigger animations.
- Greensock Tweening Platform. A must-have library if you plan to create interactive Flash/AS programs. Can be used both within CS3/4/5 and pure ActionScript/Flex.
- AS3 tweening platform (in this wiki)
- Hyperframework “a creative coding framework built on top of ActionScript 3. A major goal of HYPE is to allow newcomers to Flash and ActionScript to creatively play and express themselves while they are learning how to program.” (ok oct. 2010)
- Tweener Tweener (caurina.transitions.Tweener) is a Class used to create tweenings and other transitions via ActionScript code for projects built on the Flash platform. (ok oct. 2010)
- TimeLineWatcher. Read Using timeline labels to dispatch events with the ActionScript 3.0 TimelineWatcher class, Adobe Devenet, may 2009.
- PHP bridges
- WebORB for PHP Server-side technology enabling connectivity between Flex and Flash Remoting clients and PHP applications.
3D ActionScript toolkits
- See Flash 3D, an entry that should list most of the tools and available AS3 libraries.
- See Flash Papervision3D tutorial (just a short intro) for links to other Papervision tutorials.
Physics and particle engines
- APE (Actionscript Physics Engine). Free AS3 open source 2D physics engine for use in Flash and Flex, released under the MIT License
- FLiNT particle library (ok oct. 2010)
- FliNT particle system (this wiki)
- jiglibflash is a open source Actionscript 3D Physics Engine. (ok oct. 2010)
- Flare is an ActionScript library for creating visualizations that run in the Adobe Flash Player. From basic charts and graphs to complex interactive graphics, the toolkit supports data management, visual encoding, animation, and interaction techniques. It features a modular design that lets developers create customized visualization techniques. Note tested (but from the demoes you can see the great potential of this !)
- Degrafa is a declarative graphics framework for Flex 2/3. I.e. you can use it to create user interfaces, data visualization, mapping, etc.
- flashgraph is ActionScript 3 components for graphing functions and expression evaluation.
See List of Flash Gaming Engines and Streamhead for a more complete list.
- yogurt3d is a Flash and ActionScript Game Engine for 3D games. Includes documentation and tutorials. (ok on oct 2010)
- FFilmation is an isometric (2D1/2) engine. (last update, May 2010 as of oct. 2010)
- Flixel, for creating 2D Video-games,e.g. includes support for animated sprites, tilemaps, and particle emitters
- FlashPunk “a free ActionScript 3 library designed for developing 2D Flash games. It provides you with a fast, clean framework to prototype and develop your games in. This means that most of the dirty work (timestep, animation, input, and collision to name a few) is already coded for you and ready to go, giving you more time and energy to concentrate on the design and testing of your game”. (, retrieved sept.2010)
- PushButton Engine, “an Open Source, Flash game engine and framework that's designed for a new generation of games. PushButton Engine makes it easy to bring together great existing libraries and components for building Flash games.” (retrieved sept. 2010). This is probably the most known and best documented engine.
Function and LISP-like programming
(should be categorized somewhere else .... sometimes)
- Posts Tagged ‘lisp’ in the Effect Generator blog (includes some tips regarding functions as first class values and lists)
- Programmatically generated functions in Actionscript 3 by Bei, june 2009.
7 Flash/AS3 and programming education
7.1 Using Flash and Actionscript to teach programming
- Stewart Crawford & Elizabeth Boese (2006), ActionScript: a gentle introduction to programming, Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, Volume 21 , Issue 3 (February 2006) Pages: 156 - 168. Also here and here (Actionscript 2.0, but some ideas are still good).
- Leutenegger, S. and Edgington, J. 2007. A games first approach to teaching introductory programming. SIGCSE Bull. 39, 1 (Mar. 2007), 115-118. DOI:http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1227504.1227352
- Stiller, E. 2009. Teaching programming using bricolage. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges 24, 6 (Jun. 2009), 35-42.
- Sands, M., Evans, J., and Blank, G. D. 2010. Widening the K-12 pipeline at a critical juncture with Flash™. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 25, 6 (Jun. 2010), 181-190. (ACM Abstract
- Why a scripting language? by Marielle Lange.