Flash Filter Hotspot Interference

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I wasted almost an entire day this week attempting to figure out why a link started pulsing when activated by a mouse. The link, a 0% alpha “hotspot” or “rollbox” (as it’s sometimes called) movieclip (mouse enabled) with a dynamic textbox (mouse disabled), was listening for onRollOver and onRollOut mouse events. OnRollOver, the link was expected to switch indexes to the front, grow to 3x the original size and then ColorTransform to an active color. The index switch was updated immediately, and the scaleX/scaleY and ColorTransform was a timed action handled by Tweener. With the exception of the re-indexing, these tweens were triggered onRollOut as well, though in reverse. There are obviously a million other ways to handle this, and numerous tweening engines that could be used instead of Tweener, but this was the method I’d used in the past and was most comfortable with.

Upon testing, I found that most of the menu items worked fine, but some “pulsed” or flickered between growing and shrinking, as well as changing color sharply. Moving the mouse over the words while the tween was occurring sometimes seemed to thwart the issue. And some links seemed unaffected by the bug. Also, I noticed that when the link hit the onComplete method of the tween (meaning, it had finished growing to 300% and colorTransforming to the active state), the pulsing stopped.

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NBC Universal Milestones Timeline

Broadway Video Senior Designer, Katherine Burke, approached my company (era//404) to develop the ActionScript 3 interface for NBC Universal‘s 5-Year Anniversary project, entitled “Milestones.” The site, designed by Ms. Burke, is hosted on NBCUni.com and linked from NBC.com, NBCUni.com and UniversalStudios.com. The interface provides a timeline for users to chart NBC Universal’s major achievements over the past five years.

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