11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2006 12:25 AM by justbipin

    Actionscript for beginners

      Dear Forum-users,

      What would you show/teach students, which are new to Acrionscript (they know Flash animation, symbols, stop-play, and simple behaviors), when you have 2 hours of time? What is could be of special interest and can be a basis for further studies? Do you know any nice TUTORIALS (looked at the ones of this site already, some of them seem too complex and abstract for beginners)?

      I am teaching Web Publishing, students are about 20 years old, no programmers, new to OOP. The lesson should be complex enough to give something NEW and easy enough to give everyone the chance to UNDERSTAND.

      I am glad for any comments, hints, ideas!
        • 1. Re: Actionscript for beginners
          justbipin Level 1
          hi ,
          i can suggest u some url
          www.actionscript.com - > here lots of simple tutorials for beginners.
          and u can use download few .pdf chapter also from this site which is really useful for new in OOPs and AS.

          • 2. Re: Actionscript for beginners
            Level 7

            >> What would you show/teach students, which are
            >> new to Acrionscript (they know Flash animation,
            >> symbols, stop-play, and simple behaviors), when
            >> you have 2 hours of time?

            To my thinking, there are three basic topics to learn: a) how objects
            are used in ActionScript, b) how to use the ActionScript 2.0 Language
            Reference, and c) how to debug. I've had some good feedback on three
            articles I wrote on these topics. Not saying I have the corner market, by
            any stretch, but I think these articles could be read and dicussed in the
            space of two hours.


            stiller (at) quip (dot) net
            Dev essays: http://www.quip.net/blog/
            "Luck is the residue of good design."

            • 3. Re: Actionscript for beginners
              blemmo Level 1
              I would show the concept of classes and that everything in Flash is a class object, then show that every class object has some properties and methods that can be used to change them or to built dynamic animations. A good example for this should be the MovieClip class with it's gotoAndXXX methods and the various properties (_x and _y, _width and _height etc.). Maybe it would also be interesting for your students to learn about AS drawing, although this goes quite far into programming.
              Another good topic may be data handling: loading and using external files, e.g. loadVars and the XML class, to show that Flash can retrieve and use data on runtime. This should be quite interesting for web publishing, as it's often dynamic. You could show how to make a movie that doesn't have to be changed everytime the content changes, but instead loads the contents on runtime. I think this should be very useful for web designers.

              • 4. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                Rothrock Level 5
                I agree with what David and blemmo have said and here is probably what I would do.

                Classes, properties, methods, events: What each of these are and how you would use them. I try and explain this to people in terms of things they already know. Like the "door" class. Its properties like "location" or "material". Its methods like "shut" or "open". Its events like "onKnock". We then talk about different instances of doors. Then fairly quickly I get into brainstorming about the different classes and events that might be involved with Flash. Even if they don't know the names we see what we can come up with.

                Pseudocode: A lot of folks just dive into programming without planning what they are going to do. I think that is a big mistake. Design and planning are key to doing anything large scale and successful. So I usually give a little thought experiment. Something like I want a movieclip to follow the mouse – part way through we will realize we want it to only go in the direction of the mouse. We brainstorm what classes will be needed (mouse and movieclip), what events (onmousemove or onenterframe), what properties (_x and _y), and I can't think of a method we will need. We then go through and make up pseudo code that looks something like this.

                everytime we move the mouse (or every little bit of time that goes by)
                get the position of the mouse
                get the current position of the movieclip
                figure out where the halfway point is
                divide the distance in half
                tell the movieclip to move to the halfway point

                The Help files: Teach them how to use the help files. We've figured out we need the Mouse and MovieClip classes for this assignment. Most of the names of things are pretty easy to understand so I explain that properties are usually nouns, methods are usually verbs and have () at the end, and events usually have "on" plus a verb or noun. Pay attention to the different sections of each entry and what they mean. We then replace our pseudo code with real bits of code.

                OOP: Then move onto the idea of object oriented programming. Lets expand this and have two items that follow the mouse. Do we want to have to write the code over twice or once? So we make a function that takes a movieclip as an argument and does the above and so on…

                • 5. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                  SeedofHope Level 1

                  I tried these links and the site was down.

                  • 6. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                    Level 7

                    > I tried these links and the site was down.

                    Drat! Give it another shot, if you like. Must have been a momentary
                    thing. The articles are showing up fine for me at present.

                    stiller (at) quip (dot) net
                    Dev essays: http://www.quip.net/blog/
                    "Luck is the residue of good design."

                    • 7. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                      weanderson Level 1
                      If you are teaching students with zero or limited programming background - I would discuss classes, properties, methods, events as mentioned by the other experts, but keep it limited one example (say MovieClip). Connecting the concept to prior knowledge is essential (such as the door analogy or the cookie cutter analogy). Show them the magic of using code to create animation.

                      I feel a good starting point for beginners is the simple if statements and for statements. You could then illustrate the classes elements by animating a ball using if, for, and then possibly functions. Two hours is not a lot of time and hopefully the students will be able use the program (which can eat up time quickly).

                      Just my two cents.

                      Wayne Anderson
                      Instructional Systems Designer
                      • 8. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                        artofflash Level 1
                        Hey guys,

                        your comments and links are GREAT and of big help!
                        Thanks a lot,
                        I'll post a comment after the lesson & let you know about my experiences.
                        • 9. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                          SeedofHope Level 1
                          Weird... Yep, now I can get to the links.

                          • 10. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                            artofflash Level 1
                            Hi again,

                            as I promised, a short feedback:
                            It was a good lecture, we managed to do quite a few things with AS.
                            We started with some behaviours, to get some quick "moments of success"; looking to those actionscripts also helped to roughly understand the syntax. We talked about the OOP concept. In the end, we programmed a sound object (more complex than the behaviour possibilities).

                            David, your articles are great! Very clear and easy to read.

                            Thanx again to everybody who contributed to this post!
                            • 11. Re: Actionscript for beginners
                              justbipin Level 1
                              yh ths gr8, good luck for next,
                              we wll meet soon