Conference Session Notes

Here is a collection of some of the session notes and source files I have put together for various conferences (generally from newest to oldest). I will try to keep it up to date.

This list will have a permanent link on the right nav bar of my blog.

Newer talks will generally require the latest available Flash Player to view.

HTML5: Life In The Trenches
A pragmatic look at the current state of HTML5, lessons learned, and a tour of the processes, libraries, resources, and tools he’s found (or built) that make working with this technology easier. Variations of this talk were presented at FITC Amsterdam, FITC Toronto, and Beyond Tellerrand Cologne in 2012. This slide deck was not really built for web deployment. It will only work in WebKit browsers (Chrome & Safari). Many slides also don’t make much sense on their own. You’ve been warned.

Diving Deep Into Canvas
A look at the current state of the 2D context in HTML5 canvas, and the challenges we have encountered while building games using it. Includes topics on performance, tools, libraries (incl. EaselJS), and APIs. Presented at New Game 2011. A video of this session can be found here.

Building Interactive Content Using HTML5 Canvas
An introduction to the HTML5 Canvas element and EaselJS, including a comparison of related technologies, performance tips, challenges, and building a simple game using EaselJS and under 100 lines of Javascript. Presented at MAX 2011. A video of this session is here.

The Art of Being Inspired
A heavily rewritten version of ADHD FTW, LOL focusing less on distractibility, and more on inspiration. Presented at FlashCamp Brazil 2011 and FITC Toronto 2011.

Presentation discussing how to leverage a distractible personality into a successful and rewarding career by using experimentation, microdeadlines, reward systems, and a little bit of serendipity. Presented at FITC SF 2010, FOTB 2010, and Geeky By Nature 2011. A video of the FOTB session is available here.

A Meandering Path to an Evolving Goal
A short, but very personal talk about my personal successes, philosophies, and values. Presented at TEDx Edmonton 2010. You can view the full video of the presentation (20 minutes) on Youtube.

Quick as a Flash
One hundred slides on Flash optimization, covering general theory, code, media, and graphics. Flash player 10 required. Presented at Flash On The Beach 2009. I presented slightly different slides at FITC Tokyo 2009, which can be found here. FITC Amsterdam version is here. FITC Toronto version is here.

Source Code Licenses (5MB PDF)
A short session on different source code licenses that I put together for internal training, but which I thought might be valuable to share here for others to read / use. You may also want to view my blog article on the topic here.

Things Every ActionScript Developer Should Know
A largely rewritten version of “Things Every Flash Developer Should Know”. Focuses on techniques, workflows, philosophies, and mental models that are important to understand, but difficult to learn from a book or website. Flash player 10 required. Presented at FitC Amsterdam 2009, FitC Toronto 2009, FlashOnTap 2009 (modified), and Flashbelt 09.

Making Money with Adobe AIR
This session focuses on evaluating ways to generate revenue from the Adobe Integrated Runtime. Specifically, it examines the business potential of Adobe AIR from the perspective of an RIA developer. It explores a variety of opportunities, discusses how to promote AIR to customers, and identifies related technical and business challenges. Presented at MAX 2008 San Francisco.

Using Flash for 3D Game MMO UI
Building on my previous game UI talk from Austin, this presentation discusses the technology, tools, and workflow for building game UI using Flash and Scaleform. It also provided an overview and demos of the UI Framework that is building with Scaleform for game developers. Presented at the Korean Game Conference (KGC) 2008, GDC 2009, FitC Toronto 2009 (modified).

Things Every Flash Developer Should Know
This session focuses on techniques, workflows, philosophies, and mental models that are important to understand, but difficult to learn from a book or website. Flash player 10 required. Presented at Flash on the Beach 2008.

Utilizing Flash for Game UI Development
A session examining the current challenges creating user interfaces for games, and how Flash addresses those challenges. Presented at Austin GDC 2008 with Graham Wihlidal, senior developer at Bioware.

Why I (Still) Love Flash
This 20 minute session explored the reasons why I still love Flash (most of the time) after nearly 11 years of working with it. Might not make a ton of sense out of the context of the talk, but posted for posterity. Presented at FlashForward SF 2008.

ActionScript 3 Workshop Slides
A deck of 167 slides on ActionScript 3 that I used for a one day stand alone workshop I ran in Toronto in 2007. It covers a wide range of topics including AS3 / AVM2, migrating from AS2, errors, events, display list, regular expressions, E4X (XML), loading data and assets, optimization, and more.

My Favourite Things
A tour of a few of my favourite experiments, with code tips and random thoughts sprinkled in for flavour. Note that the slides are unlikely to make much sense out of the context of the talk. Presented at FitC Toronto 2008.

Building AIR Applications Using Flash CS3
Learn how to build the next generation of desktop applications. In this session, we’ll explore the deployment of rich Internet applications (RIAs) outside the browser using Flash and Adobe AIR. We’ll share a variety of customer examples. Come learn how you can take advantage of this new technology to promote increased business opportunities. Presented at MAX Chicago 2007 and MAX Barcelona 2007. Sample code (1.6MB).

50 Reasons AS3 Kicks Ass
ActionScript 3 is by far the most significant upgrade to the language in its 10 year history. This session explores 50 reasons that the newest version of AS is so important to Flash and Flex developers. Presented at FitC 2007 Chicago, MAX Chicago 2007, MAX Barcelona 2007.

Flash CS3 Components: A Guided Tour
Session on the Flash CS3 component set that architected and developed with Adobe and Metaliq. Topics include skinning, styling and customizing components, using data providers, and building new components. Presented at FitC 2007 Toronto, MacWorld 2007.

Flex Loves Flash? Embed and Beyond!
This session explores a variety of strategies for utilizing external assets within Flex applications. Topics will include techniques and best practices for using embed meta tags with bitmaps, sounds, fonts and assets from Flash. It also looks at more advanced techniques for successfully integrating assets and functionality produced in the Flash IDE, including a look at tools that will help automate this workflow. Presented at 360Flex San Jose. Source code related to this talk will be released on the blog as it becomes available.

Resource Management for AS3, FLEX2 and Flash Player 9
This session looks under the hood of Flash Player 9’s Garbage Collector, examines key issues that developers and designers will face, explains the new tools available in AS3 for resource management, and explores both simple and advanced solutions for ensuring your AS3 content performs beautifully. Presented at FlashForward 2006 Austin.

jouez avec vous même (pour l’amusement et le bénéfice)
Playing With Yourself (for fun and profit) en Francais. Presented at the Web Flash Festival in Paris 2006.

Playing With Yourself (for fun and profit)
Talk about passionate procrastination (focused experimentation). Presented at FlashForward Seattle 2006 and FitC Toronto 2006.

What’s New in Flash 8
Talk detailing the new features in Flash 8 Professional. Presented at MAX2005 and Spark2005.

Puki Dissected
Session about the inspiration, algorithms, code and architecture behind the Puki: The Swarm 3D Flash game. Presented at FlashForwardNY2005

Object Oriented Procrastination
Session looking at my recent visual experiments, OOP, and stuff. Presented at FitC2005, FlashForwardSF2005, and MXDU2005.

The Essential Development (and Design) Process
Session on the deliverables, strategies and tips that help make up a successful process for developing Flash projects. FlashForward 2004 NYC.

Implementing Undo / Redo in Flash
Implementing undo/redo in ActionScript 2.0 using the Memento design pattern. FlashInTheCan 2004.

Applied ActionScript 2.0
A short presentation on AS2.0 that I used to start my Ask The Expert session at FlashForward 2004 SF.

Code Efficiency
10 tips for writing efficient ActionScript code in Flash, presented at SFMMUF (02-2004).

Effective Communication For Multimedia Designers
Session on effective communication strategies for multimedia designers presented at University of Alberta, Faculty of Arts.

OOP for AS2
Short session on Object Oriented Programming in ActionScript 2.0 given at Edmonton Flash User Group (09-2003).

Creating usable interfaces for Rich Internet Applications.
Short session on user experience considerations for RIAs presented at SIGGRAPH 2003.

Creating Effective RIA Interfaces
A much longer session on Flash RIA usability presented at Flash Forward 2003 NYC.

Object Oriented Programming for ActionScript (AS1.0).
Presented at FlashInTheCan 2003

Edmonton CFUG
A short talk I did to the now defunct Edmonton CFUG group on the merits of Flash.

Grant Skinner

The "g" in gskinner. Also the "skinner".



  1. Enjoyed your talk at the 360Flex conference. I was just reviewing your slides and was wondering if the code for handling the presentation slides is available.

  2. Jason Beauchamp May 9, 2007 at 9:32pm

    Post the source code plssssssssss.

  3. i want my website make in flash. please tell me that can how i make my site in flash. i shall be very thank ful to you.

    your friend:

    sufian e mustafa

  4. Re:ActionScript 3 Workshop Slides

    No offence, but.. a prime example of what not to use Flash for. A massive amount of useful content, instantly buried in a non-indexable, non-searchable, linear format. Put that lot online in HTML and you’ve got a massively useful developer reference.

  5. Ben,

    No offense taken. The thing you need to take into account is that this content was developed for presentation, not for sharing on the web. The other common options would have been Keynote or Powerpoint, neither of which is as accessible online as Flash is.

    Good point that this content would be useful in an HTML format as well though.

  6. I am going through your presentation on AS3 right now. I am not even half way through it, but its so good, I just had to stop and give you a link back from my blog. Best Dam AS3 explanations I have ever seen. If my computer science professors could have made a presentation half a good as this, I might have actually finished my degree. Awesome work!!! Thank you!!

  7. Thanks a million for your latest slides on AS3. the Workshop… Wonderful and extremely helpful, Thank you! 🙂

  8. thanks a lot for the slides ! could you post the source code of “my favorite things” slides please ?

  9. Once again many thanks for a great session.

    Been using flash for years, but you reminded me of a few things i had forgotten!

    Hopfully see you agian next year

  10. Your point on spelling did not sink in though! Maybe use your spelling library in post form to us making typos.

  11. Suggestion: Can you put dates against the talks? And is there anyway I can print some of the flash talks? Btw. great talks… love the details..!!

  12. Hi Grant,

    Thanks for the information at FITC on Quick as a Flash. Can you let me know where I can get my hands on the “” & “” that you mentioned?


  13. @JonAir (and anyone else who wonders)

    The “” and “” classes can be found at this link:

  14. Thanks for your inspiration at FITC Toronto. A pleasure as always.

  15. Is there somewhere I can find the code to the game you created in your “Building Interactive Content Using HTML5 Canvas” talk?


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