Top 6 Flash Development Tools

1) Fuse Kit
For movieClip tweening I’ve been using the Zigo Tween engine until I saw Moses Gunesch at the Flash Forward conference in Austin showing off this amazing set of classes. Fuse is built upon the Zigo engine and expands the MovieClip tweening for any property such as brightness, brightOffset, invertColor, tint and tintPercent. You can tween filters, alphas, bitmaps – anything. Force yourself to use it once and you will never go back.

– See tutorials on the Fuse Kit by Lee Brimlow at gotoAndLearn()
– Extra Link: (Robert Penner)Tween types visualized

2) SWFObject & SWF Object Add-ons
SWFObject is a small Javascript file used for embedding Macromedia Flash content. The script can detect the Flash plug-in in all major web browsers (on Mac and PC) and is designed to make embedding Flash movies as easy as possible. It is also very search engine friendly, degrades gracefully, can be used in valid HTML and XHTML 1.0 documents*, and is forward compatible, so it should work for years to come.
It’s also the best way to solve the IE Flash box / click issue.

Fabulous SWFObject Add-ons:
SWFAddress – Deep linking for Flash®
MouseWheel on Mac OS
Size limiting for full window flash

3) ActionScript Editor: SE|PY
If you do any kind of ActionScript coding, you’ve probably realized the Flash ActionScript window doesn’t cut it. I recommend SE|PY, a free ActionScript editor for Macromedia Flash files. Grab the Latest experimental release SEPY 1.5.3.3.

Other great AS editors are FlashDevelop 2.0 and PrimalScript.

4) 3 Firefox Extentions
Flash Switcher – quickly change the browser’s Flash Player from 2 to 9 – great for testing.
Flash Tracer – view your flash trace calls right in the browser
SoThink SWF Catcher – Easily grab any embedded SWF file for saving.

5) “ActionScript Animation” book by Keith Peters
In this book Keith Peters guides through some basic animation theory and then demystifies the math and physics behind creating realistic animation, looking at trigonometry, velocity and acceleration, and bouncing & friction.
This book first covers everything you need to know to get started: the principles of animation, and the basics of ActionScript, trigonometry, and Flash rendering methods.

Best book on Flash period. AS 3.0 version coming soon.

6) SlideShowPro
SlideShowPro is a component for Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and Flash 8 that helps you display pictures on your web site. With over 60 customizable options, SlideShowPro works how you want it to, and can easily be styled and resized to match your existing site design — all with a simple point and click user interface.

Chances are you’ve seen SSP in action and probably you have and didn’t know it. Fully customizable and super smooth right out of the box (err, Components Panel). Totally worth the $20 – thanks Todd.

If you know of any other items that are crucial to your Flash development projects, please let me know or comment below.

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Top 6 Flash Development Tools

— November 13th, 2006

4 Responses to “Top 6 Flash Development Tools”

  1. bcrockett says:

    Great info Paul, I’m going to have to get SlideShowPro and play with it this weekend.

  2. Beerzie Boy says:

    Great info. We use Slide Show Pro for the galleries on our photo site; it is easy to use and I highly recommend it.

  3. Bramus! says:

    Also heard alot about MonoSlideShow as being an alternative to SlideShowPro. Haven’t tested MonoSlideShow though, so can’t tell myself …

  4. Seth Gitner says:

    I think you need to add soundslides to your list — it has revolutionized newspaper multimedia storytelling.

    http://www.soundslides.com