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Thread: Physics and Maths and Flash

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003

    Physics and Maths and Flash

    Hey All,

    This is actually quite an important topic for myself and maybe others who wish to pursue a more insteresting session of experiments to get to know flash properly and yeild results.

    Since Flash Math Creativity came out (well before that) i have been wanting to learn some nice movement and stuff. This started from a dude called Lithium or something like that. I should know his name considering i use what i learned from his flash 5 source in almost everything i have done.

    Kieth Peters is another legend when it comes to what i want to learn.

    You see, im crap at maths, not to a terrible degree but you wouldnt choose me to teach your kids the subject if you want to put it that way.

    _x += (tX - _x)/speed; is quite possible the best thing i have seen and its really easy to understand when its explained. back nearer the time i was told to buy Flash Math Creativity and from that book i learned nothing.

    Put this here, and this here, and this here and that there and this is what you get. I mean, thats all really nice but if you put the book aside and sit with a blank screen, at best you can make some iteration art.

    I have tried to source stuff out, i have tried to repolish my old skool trig skills and i run into problems. I dont know how to apply the calculations to my projects, again this is what happened today, i got a book from my mate called "Physics For Game Developers" published by Orielly and this has basically everything in it you would ever need, how to do GTA1 style physics and the like, but this is obviously not meant for flash and what ever language its written in seems to have its own keywords. Vector is one so im instantly lost, obviously the book is quite advanced for me but it would be alot easier to learn stuff if i could see how its done in flash.

    I used to remember how to calculate the distance between 2 points in AS and stuff like the above example but as soon as you add all these random signs into the euqations it means nothing to me (massive f like symbols and stuff).

    #I have seen source where stuff like cos(blah50 * blah 40586 * blah...) and this is quality but i need to find explainations of stuff like this.


    I have seen:

    Here is real mathmatic equations in the real work
    Here is Physics for C/C++
    Here is how to do this effect but dont expect to learn from it

    I just need this option:

    Physics for flash

    or a book with that title.

    If someone knows what i mean can they maybe share thier experience with me. Im halfway through making the jump from 5 to MX via Colin Moocks definite guide and i realise its not the syntax i struggle with or functions or methods or any of that pish, but just being able to sit down and create something with decent results.

    If anyone knows any books that could help please let me know otherwise i believe my flash days are over

    As a side note, please dont post any books regarding how to use flash as such, im kinda tired of wasting money on books where 4/5s of them tell me how to tween and what a clip is.

    Kieth, i been visiting your site for a long time, and i dunno if your still around but i think you should get writing a book for my needs coz you seem to be able to do some mad stuff! :P

    Cheers All

  2. #2
    Senior Member jbum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Los Angeles
    I agree with you about the book "Physics for Game Developers", which I own. The book is very calculus heavy, and my own experience is that you don't need a lick of calculus to play with and understand this stuff.

    You can start by playing with some simple equations and just working with them algebraically, and all the work I've done in this area has not required differentials or integrals.

    Also, the book spends too much time imitating real-world physics. Game physics are not real-world physics - you can cheat all you want! For example, you can simplify many of the equations in that book by removing time as a factor (and just assume a constant framerate). For another example, here's a nearby post in which I use abs(sin) to get a bouncing ball effect. It's a cheat, but it works, and doesn't require computing gravity, etc.

    Bouncing in Place

    I'm not aware of any great books on the specific things you are interested in at the level you need. In my case, I've learnt best just by writing a lot of small movies and playing with the maths.

    However here are some resources you may find useful:

    1. The Math & Physics board on this very site (FlashKit) has a lot of great posts in it (some of them by yours truly), try browsing thru it.

    2. This The Game Physics Site has links to a lot of good online Flash Physics tutorials.

    3. My own site (link below) has a handful of physics based movies (bouncing balls, springs, etc), although it is still a little short on hand-holding.

    - Jim
    Last edited by jbum; 08-18-2004 at 06:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Thanks Jbum

    You kind of hit the nail on the head, you see i looked at an inertia equation based on the real world and its complexity offended me. The same results for flash are simple.

    This is what im after, its nice to sit and go through every part of a real world equation but half of it is nonsense and i cant pick out the needed part.

    You see Gravity and Elasticity and Easing, someone wrote a tutorial and from it i have seen 10's of these tutorials appearing all over the place, its obviously an effect that people are interested in, is this it?

    The reason i ask for specific flash is because i want to make a really addictive game that no one has remade since the amiga500 days, physics and particles are the biggest enjoyable factor about it, obviously flash cant cope with applying global gravity to 100 particles when a ship blows up but flash is my key to learn stuff, i believe its going to have to be Director and Lingo i develop this game in but even then i dont know about the speed. The main thing im lost on is how an amiga500 can blast particles all over the screen and flash running on a 2.5 gig cpu cant cope with relativly tiny amounts of processing. Obviously i know to a certain degree, the player is tiny, etc etc but flash is a really nice place to start learning things because it gets you shifting things around the screen, i know game maker language is pretty gay but what you learn here you can apply without having to worry about headers, or comiling errors and the rest of the stuff thats in a high level language.

    Anyways i dont know what im talkina bout, bed is calling.


    JBum ill certainly have a proper look at your post contents in the morning. Thank you (because i scour the boards for years before i post, i recently admired some of the stuff on your site, glad to meet the creator :P)

    Please feel free anyoen else to add thier thoughts.

    I started reading Stephen King: The Dark Tower a few years back but missed out the first book and my uncle gave me the first book in audio format so i really cant wait to get into bed and chill out listenin to that ! Quality books them (far from real world tho!)

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    now that i see why youre trying to fogure out physics, i say not to use flash. its designed for web use and for simple stuff. use director, by far. it has much more oomph to it and can really power this game youre building. i can understand your frustration as to why an amiga can computer all this, and flash cant on todays super computers. the difference is all the fat. flash has to think about alot more than amiga did. for example, security, compression, 32bit graphics, antialiasing, sound, all kinds of crap. amiga.. didnt, it simply output a graphic whether it be a VERY simple vector or a 16 bit pixel.

    go with director and use shockwave for web use. flash is fun, but its juts not right for your application of it.

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