Creating Flash Extensions — Part 1: Introduction

Justin | Animate/Flash,jsfl,Tutorials | Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The ability to create extensions is one of my favorite features in Flash Pro. You can extend Flash to include new features and automation in the form of Commands, Panels, and Tools. This series of tutorials will show you how to create your own extensions for Flash. There is a special scripting language that allows you to control Flash, and it is known as JSFL.

A look ahead at 2011

Justin | Misc | Monday, January 31st, 2011

Well, 2010 was a pretty exciting year for Ajar Productions. We released a new Flash animation book with Chris Georgenes (I served as co-author, and AJ as tech editor). I spoke at the Adobe MAX conference in LA again. Shortly after MAX, we released SmartMouth, our first commercial product. SmartMouth licenses have been selling pretty regularly ever since. At some point, we hope that our software products will become our primary source of revenue. The income from commercial products should make it easier to continue releasing free products and leave time to produce more tutorials (we hope).

We’ve hit the ground running this year as well. I collaborated with Adobe to produce a video that was featured on the Flash team’s Youtube and Facebook pages, and received some fantastic feedback. Last week, I was also delighted to learn that I’d been selected to become an Adobe Community Professional.

With one month already over in 2011, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in the remaining 11 months. We’re going to be pushing some updates for SmartMouth in the coming months and we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about the product—good, bad, indifferent—the more details the better. We’ve also got a long list of ideas for new tools. We’ll probably only have time to focus on a select few, and we’ll post updates as we have more information available. If you have ideas for products you’d like to see from us, let us know using this form.

I hope to include more tutorials on the blog this year, probably starting with a series on learning JSFL. It sounds like AJ will be involved with some more books this year, more on that later. Let us know in the comments if there’s anything particular that you’d like to see on the blog this year.

We very much appreciate all the donations last year! Thanks for another year of reading and supporting us!

Flash Extension: Convert animation to any frame interval

Justin | Animate/Flash,animation,extensions | Thursday, January 20th, 2011

This extension converts selected frames that contain frame-by-frame animation, classic motion tweens, or shape tweens to keyframed intervals, just like Convert to 2s, except that you can set up any frame interval (3s, 4s, etc).

Note: When I tested this in Flash CS5 (Mac) it ran perfectly. In CS3, not so much. So use with caution. Same goes for Convert to 2s. I’m not sure where the discrepancy comes from, looks like a Flash bug, but I’ll fix it if I can.

(Compatibility: MX 2004 & up)

Convert to Ns.mxp

Flash Extension: Convert to 2s

Justin | Animate/Flash,animation,extensions | Sunday, December 5th, 2010

I’ve had a few requests for something like this recently. This extension converts selected frames that contain frame-by-frame animation, classic motion tweens, or shape tweens to every-other-keyframe (aka ‘2’s). Traditional animation uses 2s for content that doesn’t need to be animated at high speeds. Some animators also employ this technique in Flash.  This extension is similar to ToonMonkey‘s Tween 2 Keys, except that it also converts frame-by-frame animation as well as tweens.

This extension can be used to convert SmartMouth automatic lip sync output to 2s (as requested by a user).

Convert to 2s - Before & After

If you want to convert Motion Tweens (in CS4 & up) or Armatures, you’ll need to take one extra step before running this command: right-click on the tween or armature and select Convert to Frame by Frame Animation. I haven’t found a way to script this step yet, but I’ll continue to look into it.

Convert to Frame by Frame Animation

(Compatibility: MX 2004 & up)

Convert to 2s.mxp

Update (11/16/2011):
The Keyframe Frequency feature  is built into SmartMouth as of version 1.1.

Win a free license of SmartMouth – the auto lip sync tool for Flash

Justin | Animate/Flash,animation,competitions | Monday, November 29th, 2010

Scriptopedia is hosting a contest to win a free license of our tool, SmartMouth ($49.99 USD value). All you have to do to enter is create a 5-second animation with lip syncing. The contest closes on Dec. 16, so get your entries in soon. More details can be found at this Scriptopedia post.

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