A number of Flint users have written on-line tutorials recently and I’ve added those I’m aware of to the documentation page. There’s now many more ways to learn about how to use Flint,particularly at the beginner level. If there’s more tutorials out there that I’ve missed, let me know via the forum.
Posted on 17 December 2009
Last week I released version 2.1.3 of Flint. This version includes two new actions for 2D and 3D effects and a few small improvements.
- MouseEventsHandler is a new Action that enables you to define event handlers to be called when the mouse interacts with any particle.
- TweenToZone is a new Action, in both the 2D and 3D packages, that tweens each particle to a random point within the specified zone.
- To illustrate this action, this version includes a new example that tweens between two image zones.
- An error in the Papervision3D and Away3D renderers that caused particles to appear briefly at location 0,0,0 when the emitter started has been fixed. (bug report)
- An error preventing initializers from being added to an InitializerGroup via the constructor has been fixed. (bug report)
Posted on 16 November 2009
Today I released version 2.1.2 of Flint. This version includes two new renderers for 2D effects and a few small improvements.
- VectorLineRenderer and BitmapLineRenderer are two new renderers that render particles as lines rather than discrete images. Each particle is rendered by drawing a line from its previous location to its current location. This enables the creation of effects like hair and grass.
- To illustrate these renderers, this version includes a new example that draws grass.
- An error in the DisplayObjectRenderer that caused particles to appear briefly at location 0,0 when the emitter started has been fixed. (bug report)
- An error where the 3d cameras were dependent on the IMXMLObject interface in Flex has been fixed – the dependency has been removed. (bug report)
- An error in the renderers where the code mistakenly assumed they were on the stage has been fixed. (bug report)
- An error in the createRectangleParticlesFromBitmapData method of the Particle3DUtils class which caused the center of the particles to not be in the center of the particle image has been fixed.
Posted on 1 September 2009
Today I released version 2.1 of Flint. This version includes a significant change for 3D particle effects, a large addition for everyone, and many small additions and improvements.
- Flint is now compatible with the Flex framework. This means, there are now versions of all renderers that extend UIComponent (in addition to the existing one’s that extend Sprite). These new renderers can be placed in Flex layouts and with behave appropriately within Flex containers. The new renderers are in the mxml sub-packages and also in the manifest for use in MXML files.
- Further to this, all emitters and actions have been modified or extended to produce MXML compatible versions, so entire particle systems can be created using MXML rather than Actionscript. All the examples in SVN and in the downloads have been implemented in MXML in addition to AS3.
- The 3D geometry classes have been modified. There are now four classes – Point3D, Vector3D, Quaternion, Matrix3D. The Point3D class was introduced to make it simpler to distinguish between points and vectors and provide resulting optimisations in the code. The result is simpler code and slightly better performance of 3D effects.
- All counters now have a complete property to indicate if the counter has finished. Emitters dispatch a counterComplete event when their counter is finished.
- All behaviours (actions, initializers and activities) have a priority property for setting their relative ordering during execution. This is much simpler than the previous getDefaultPriority method and as a side effect results in a small speed improvement. The change will affect developers of custom behaviours, which need to be modified accordingly, but doesn’t affect the use of behaviours unless users wish to override the default priority, which is rare.
- The explosion actions can be reset, in order to start another explosion with the same action object.
- clearAllParticles added to the particle factory for releasing all cached particles from memory.
- Fix bug in ChooseInitializer. (Bug report)
- FrameUpdater now stops running when it has no listeners. (Bug report)
Posted on 23 June 2009
For the 2.0.1 release I created a single Ant build script to build the swc library, the asdocs, and all the examples. This makes new releases a lot easier and should result in more frequent point updates for bug fixes.
I also abandoned the Flash MXP installer. The main reasons for this are the time it takes to create, and problems with Flash’s auto imports – since Flint uses similar class names in the 2D and 3D packages, Flash often imported the class from the wrong package. Couple this to Flash CS4′s 3D geometry classes having the same names as Flint’s and the result is often confusing, particularly for beginners. The solution, of course, is always to specify your imports but the MXP file encouraged users to let Flash write the imports.
Given that Flash CS4 supports the same swc format as Flex, it’s now easy to use Flint with Flash by simply including the Flint SWC in the Flash project.
Posted on 3 February 2009
Version 2.0.1 is out. This is in the downloads and is the current SVN trunk. Changes from 2.0.0 are
- Add clone method to Particle classes
- Add Particle3DUtils class to break an image into 3D particles
- Add 3D explode image example to illustrate Particle3DUtils
- Correctly set particle’s collisionRadius in Particle2DUtils methods
- Set particle’s dictionary to use weak references to keys
- Add bitmapData property to the BitmapRenderer to provide direct access to the bitmap data.
- Fix createRectangleParticlesFromBitmapData to place registration point in center of each particle and correctly place particles based on offset values.
- Fix emitter to start the new counter if the counter is set while the emitter is running.
Posted on 2 February 2009
Apologies for the silence. I’ve been very busy with client work, but have still found small slices of time to work on Flint.
I’ll release a 2.0.1 update shortly – just a couple of minor bug fixes and additions. Unless something else comes up in teh next couple of days, it will be exactly the code that is in trunk at the moment.
There are two additional branches in SVN where I’m developing specific new features for a 2.1 release later. When it is released depends on how much time I have available – more about those features in another post.
Also, I want to make additions to this site, including voting on new features and gathering links to off-site tutorials, examples, tools, and information about projects that have used Flint. If you have any Flint related content you want linking to then post about it in the forum or contact me directly. I won’t promise to include everything – editorial control will apply – but do send me everything you have.
Posted on 27 January 2009
Version 2.0 is out. The final version is in the downloads, including the full source code, an SWC for Flex, and an MXP for Flash. Since the beta version I’ve
- Added a number of speed optimizations.
- Fixed emitter rotation in 3D space.
- Tested with Flash CS4.
Posted on 27 October 2008
I checked in a number of minor changes today. These are mostly minor speed improvements which collectively will add up to a significant improvement for some effects. Most of the changes are to reduce the number of objects that are created and destroyed in the 3D Actions.
Posted on 14 October 2008
I added version 2.0 beta to the downloads yesterday. Changes include…
- Added a number of zones to the 3D package – FrustrumZone, ParallelogramZone, BitmapZone, GreyscaleZone.
- Added a random conter.
- Improved performance of the Collide actions.
- Enabled scaling of the 2D BitmapZone and GreyscaleZone.
Posted on 2 October 2008