I’m sure everyone has heard the news about the official announcement of Flash 8. It looks like it’s going to be an awesome release, with a real focus on expressiveness (aka designer features), but still lots of goodies for developers. I’m really happy about the visual boost it will give to both my personal experiments and professional work, as well as the performance increases, and even just the name change (Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Professional was a little lengthy). I haven’t had this much fun with Flash since about Flash 5 (when they finally added the ability to type in AS code).
We’re planning on making gBlog the place to come for Flash 8 content, with articles and tutorials on many of the new features planned for shortly after release. I’ll also be giving a talk on all of the new features at MAX in October, and running a workshops on it shortly thereafter (currently planned for Edmonton, Toronto and possible New York and LA). I’ll also be releasing some of the experiments and code that I’ve been playing around with in Flash Player 8 over the next few weeks, starting with flowerGarden today.
flowerGarden utilizes some of the filters (namely ColorMatrixFilter and DropShadowFilter), and bitmap capabilities of Flash Player 8 to randomly assemble flowers from 6 petals and 3 centers, and place them in a “garden”. It uses a custom bitmap caching routine; has individual shadows for each petal, center and flower; uses some bitmap logic to ensure new flowers aren’t placed directly on top of one another; and a bunch of other stuff. One of the neat things is that I could leave it to run forever (figuratively) – constantly placing new flowers – and it wouldn’t slow down or increase in RAM or CPU usage, because it is only ever managing a single flower at a time, then blitting it back to a bitmap.
Have a look… (Flash Player 8 required, 120kb)
I also created a version to generate big desktop pictures, which you can download below:
1920 x 1200 (1.4MB)
1600 x 1200 (1.2MB)
1280 x 1024 (800kb)
1024 x 768 (500kb)
800 x 600 (300kb)