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Moving From AS2 to AS3: A Handy List of Resources

The shift of developers moving from AS2 to AS3 is possibly entering its last wave.   To accommodate those still making that move from AS2 to AS3, I decided to gather a bunch of resources that will aid in that journey.  If there is any that I might of missed, feel free to share your resource via the comments.

Books

The ActionScript 3.0 Migration Guide: Making the Move from ActionScript 2.0

The book explains the most important and fundamental changes in ActionScript drawing comparisons between the two languages both visually and contextually. With a comprehensive index and robust table of contents designers and developers will easily be able to locate the old an/or new codes with side-by-side comparisons of how to program both and the explanation of the concepts behind them.

Learning ActionScript 3.0: A Beginner’s Guide

In this book, authors Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser share the knowledge they’ve gained from their years as multimedia developers/designers and teachers. Learning ActionScript 3.0 gives you a solid foundation in the language of Flash and demonstrates how you can use it for practical, everyday projects.

Written for those of you new to ActionScript 3.0, the book describes how ActionScript and Flash work, giving you a clear look into essential topics such as logic, event handling, displaying content, migrating legacy projects to ActionScript 3.0, classes, and much more.

Stepping Into ActionScript3: The Complete Guide for Easy Migration from AS2 to AS3

Stepping into ActionScript 3 is a beginner’s guide to development with ActionScript 3 for the Flash and Flex development environments. In this 38 page ebook you’ll get simple step by step examples with code snippets that you can easily copy and paste. You’ll learn everything you need to know about variables, functions, classes, interfaces, events and the display list.

Tutorials

Moving from Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: Button Press

The simple button press is probably one of the most used features for Flash users. With ActionScript 3.0, this has changed quite a bit. This tutorial will directly focus on just that.

Moving From AS2 to AS3: Handling Depths

Managing depths in AS2 was pretty annoying and time consuming. You’d spend so much time dedicating depth ranges for MovieClip groups, but in the end the limitations of AS2 really got the last laugh. Who’s laughing now?

Moving From AS2 to AS3: Creating Dynamic Masks

Dynamic mask objects have been key to many Flash project’s success. When it comes to migrating over from AS2 to AS3, you’ll find that things have changed as the method “setMask()” in AS2 is now a property called “mask”. This tutorial compares the two solutions and offering an efficient solution to creating dynamic masks using AS3.

Loading External Sounds Using AS3

Loading external sound into your Flash projects using AS2 is a fairly easy task.  Using AS3 to load external sounds is just as simple.  I am going to quickly go over how to load an external sound file using AS3 in comparison to AS2 syntax.

Playing, Stopping, and Pausing Sounds Using AS3

When controlling audio, being able to stop or pause then play again might be a good place to start.   In this tutorial, I will be demonstrating how to play, stop, and pause sounds using AS3 once you have the sound loaded into Flash.

Preloading Content Using AS3

Preloading in AS3 is a more streamlined process due to the new & improved event handling structure that AS3 brings to the table. You have more control over what gets preloaded and when it gets preloaded.  In this brief tutorial, I will demonstrate how to preload your Flash assets using AS3.

Loading XML Data Using AS3

The XML libraries have been completely overhauled in AS3. These new changes provide a much more seamless XML integration that is based on the web standards of E4X. In this example, I will go through and compare loading a XML file using AS2 versus AS3.

Filtering XML Data Using AS3

Filtering data XML data using AS2 has to be one of the most sought out features when dealing with XML-driven Flash projects. Being able to automatically grab certain relevant information without manually searching each and every XML node and/or attribute.  Another new feature in AS3 is the ability to filter and display only the data you are interested in. This tutorial focuses on that specific topic.

Dynamically Add Script to Frames of a MovieClip with AS3

It is always fun when you come across an undocumented feature, especially when it sounds to be extremely useful. One “known” undocumented feature within ActionScript 3.0 is the ability to add ActionScript to frames of a MovieClip via runtime.

Dynamically Adjust the Frame Rate of a Flash Animation

New to ActionScript 3.0 is the ability to dynamically change the frame rate of an animation via runtime. By having this ability, you can create a slow motion animation without the exact precisiong in keyframe timing. You can also use this to lower the frame rate for slower machines dynamically.  Let’s see it in action.

Moving From Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: Dynamic MovieClip Creation

Creating a MovieClip dynamically  is a task you will find yourself doing often in ActionScript 3.0.  If you’ve ever tried this is AS2, it required the population of many parameters and a frequent trip to the Flash Help panel.  AS3 introduces much simplified solution to dynamically creating a MovieClip.

Moving From Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: MovieClip Properties

The use of MovieClips within Flash development has become second nature to most of us.  As for modifying its properties, it has also become  a part of our everyday Flash routine.  It simply does not require any second thoughts when modifying them.  It’s time for a little change.

A Glimpse at the New Timeline Controls in AS3

With all the changes that came with ActionScript 3.0, a few new Timeline properties were introduced with the hope that any Flash animator, designer or developer would come to appreciate. The lack of exact control or knowledge of where you area on the Timeline or scene gets a bit irritating when you do not want to stick with static frame numbers.

Moving from Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: Paths

As a ActionScript 2.0 developer, one of the first hurdles to overcome when first using ActionScript 3.0 was _parent and _root. They’ve respectively changed to parent and root and they don’t entirely work as intended.  Let’s break it down!

Moving From Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: _root

Before ActionScript 3.0, the _root variable call referred to the timeline of the original host SWF no matter how many SWFs were previously loaded.  I have always saw it as the bail out plan, because no good ever came from _root is AS2.  Since _root can easily be compared to an absolute address, the long term effects will be felt especially as your code becomes more object-oriented.

Moving From Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: getURL

The command getURL used to a be very easy way to create an outbound link within Flash. This one line of code code easily fitted perfectly within a button onRelease event. Not so easy anymore.

Conditional Statements: Switch Versus If/Else if/Else

You will often need to make a decision in your ActionScript, choosing to do one thing under one situation, and another thing under a different situation. The use of conditionals is a great way to accomplish this and can very well be your most used ActionScript solution.

Keyboard Interactivity Within AS3

Keyboard interactivity within the new AS3 environment has changed from its predecessor, AS2. With the changes to the button press in AS3, you’d might expect the Keyboard event calls to receive no easier treatment in how you use them.  Let’s take a look at the improvements.

Moving From Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: Drag and Drop

Creating drag and drop functionality in is Actionscript 3.0 quite different than in older versions. While still relatively straightforward, it can still be a little odd to those not really familiar with the new Actionscript 3.0 structure.

Moving From Flash AS2 to Flash AS3: FlashVars

The key difference between AS2 and AS3 is how to retrieve the FlashVars. The FlashVars are no longer available in the _root level of the movie. Instead, you must use the new LoaderInfo class object to access the FlashVars.

Create a Custom Cursor Using AS3

The simplicity of creating a custom cursor within Flash is a task that will surely be used time after time again.  Well, as for creating a custom cursor using AS3, the syntax used is identical as written in AS2.

Migrating from AS2 to AS3

A lot of questions are being asked about AS3 people. A lot. You have every reason to be frightened. We were frightened, too. But it’s okay. AS3 has replaced all of the old annoying quirks with a slew of new ones. There’s lots more to be frustrated over, and the best part is you don’t even know what it is yet.  The guys over at Big Spaceship go over some of the key changes when going from AS2 to AS3.

Moving From Flash AS2 To Flash AS3: MovieClip Buttons In MovieClip Classes

When using MovieClips as buttons in AS3, there are a few kinks that knowing ahead of time will prevent yourself from going crazy.  This tutorial will walk you through them.

Introduction to Event Handling in ActionScript 3.0

Event handling in ActionScript has changed significantly over the past few releases of Flash Player. With the introduction of ActionScript 3.0, this trend continues. Using ActionScript 3.0, you have even more control when working with events. This article covers the new features related to event handling in ActionScript 3.0.

Additional Resources

ActionScript 3.0 Tip of the Day

Senocular’s popular ActionScript 3.0 tips provide a in depth view on providing AS2 to AS3 conversions of daily ActionScript tasks.  Well worth a look and can potentially save you a lot of early stage headaches.

Introductory AS3

Grant Skinner has released an immensely useful slide deck from his Introductory AS3 workshop and is a priceless resource for those late development nights.

10 Books to Help in Learning AS3

While not all our paths to learning ActionScript 3.0 are the same, the resources that are provided to us are. Some like taking that direct dive into it and learn from their mistakes. Others would prefer to learn through someone else’s following.  Here is a list of the 10 books that may possibly help you learn and/or expand your knowledge of ActionScript 3.0.

Six Reasons to Use ActionScript 3.0

In this article, Lee Brimelow hopes to dispel some of the misconceptions that have been placed upon ActionScript 3.0 and why he believes you should use ActionScript 3.0 exclusively in your Flash projects.

ActionScript 3.0: Is It Hard or Not?

In parts of the Flash community, ActionScript 3.0 seems to have gained a reputation for being “hard”—particularly among those who have not yet tried the new language. Is the reputation warranted? In this article, Colin Moock expresses his opinions and facts as to why AS3 is not hard at all.

ActionScript 2.0 to 3.0 Migration Cheatsheets

Cheat sheets relating to AS2 to AS3 syntax migrations.

Top five misperceptions about ActionScript 3

ActionScript 3.0 is no more difficult to learn than any other programming or scripting language. If you are familiar with ActionScript 2.0, the language semantics are pretty much the same, although you will need to learn new ways of doing some common tasks.  This article looks to calm those misconceptions.

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