Digital Classroom Resources
Flash Tools for Developers (AS3): Graphing curves in the plane
Barbara Kaskosz, University of Rhode Island
This Flash Forum article provides instructions and resources for producing customized graphing applets using the Adobe Flash CS3 programming environment with the ActionScript 3.0 language. After working through this material you will be able to build a fully customized 2D graphing application (using either a function in one variable or parametric equations) for your own webpage using your own instructions, color schemes and custom functionality.
The compressed file planar_tools_as3.zip contains all templates and code referenced within the article, and the twenty-five page Developer's Guide (planar_tools_as3_guide.pdf ) gives detailed instructions for some specific customization tasks. Within this article, there is a brief description of each of the templates including active versions of each to demonstrate its functionality. In addition, we list some of the specific customizations that are addressed within the Developer's Guide. Note that you will need to have the Flash 9 player plugin installed on your machine to properly view the example files.
The Flash CS3 programming environment for Windows or Mac can be "borrowed" on a 30 day trial basis from www.adobe.com. Try out Flash using these templates. We think you will be hooked!
Using the Templates
The compressed file planar_tools_as3.zip contains all templates and code referenced within the article, and the twenty-five page Developer's Guide (planar_tools_as3.pdf ) gives complete documentation of our 2D graphing classes as well as examples of how they are used. The templates below are used as examples in the documentation and can be opened in Flash CS3 to provide a starting point for using these custom classes.
Function Grapher Template 1
Template 1 consists of the Essential Grapher which graphs up to three functions in a single window and displays coordinates of points when the mouse passes over them. The user can also draw directly on the graph by moving the mouse while down.
Function Grapher Template 2
Template 2 demonstrates how Template 1 can be easily extended to include the trace functionality common to many graphing programs and devices.
Parametric Curves Template
This template provides basic functionality necessary for graphing and tracing parametric curves on the plane in either rectangular or polar coordinate systems.
Getting the Files
The file planar_tools_as3.zip consists of a compressed folder with the following contents: