how to apply a grayscale filter [Tip]

So I was looking for a smart/quick/light way to apply grayscale filter to my images but not by using WebGL.
What I found is that by using Image.blendMode = PIXI.blendModes.SATURATION I could simply create an image in Photoshop and apply that blend to it. This way you don’t have to create multiple grayscale versions of the images but simply add one grayscale and re-apply it when you want.

And here’s how you can do it.

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Phonegap/Cordova read images from gallery folder [Tip]

Hello, recently I was working on a project where I wanted to get all the images from the camera but because I wanted to load them in batches I had to find their filenames and store them in a local array for future use.
Since the new cordova file plugin did some changes, there is little information on how to get directories and files.

So here is how it is done on Android (because Apple doesn’t allow access to public folders).

Continue reading how to use atlasHash to your advantage.

Lately I have been using as a game framework/engine. And one thing that is quite tedius, is to manage your Sprites and animation frames, it is roughly 40% of your game development time.

However there is one tool that now -that officially supports Phaser- cuts down this time at least by 90%.

View more info or download TexturePacker here:

The tool is named TexturePacker and allows the load of all your assets and combines them very conveniently into a single Spritesheet and exports that Spritesheet along with a .json file that “tells” Phaser where to find each frame (based on coordinates on the spritesheet), this is called an atlasJSONHash/atlasJSONArray.

I have attached a video showcasing a very rough export that I will use to create today’s codepen example (see below).

Here is the end result of our game.

See the Pen OPpgZw by Michael Dobekidis (@netgfx) on CodePen.

Continue to see details about creating a Player and animations with atlasJSONHash.

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Add/Remove text from HTML using only CSS

This is a neat trick that recently came very handy as I wanted to change the text of a paragraph tag but only had access to the .css file of the page.

Heres what it looked like:

<p class="someclass">
   <a href="#">Some Link</a>
   "Some text embeded in the paragraph tag, oh my!"

Yes it was that bad. So here’s what I came up with (might be around for sometime now, but could not find something fast in google)

The CSS:

   color: rgba(0,0,0,0); /* to make inside text invisible */
   text-align: center;
   white-space: pre;

.someclass a {
   display: none;

.someclass:before {
   content: "Powered by";
   text-align: center;
   font-weight: bold;

So what we did here was to make the existing text invisible by applying a color using rgba and setting the alpha to 0, and then add some new text with the css “content” attribute and the pseudo-selector :before/:after.

Problem solved!

[Tip] Fix AS3-Flex Error #2032 Stream Error

Recently I encountered an error #2032 within a two year project in Flex, for three days I struggled with it and tried almost everything, this is why I’m posting this here so that it might save someone else time.

This error occurred when I tried to do an HTTPService call to the Back-End and send some really heavy file. The file would require Back-End parsing and when that was over it would return a result. However mid-way the POST call would be interupted and I was presented with a #2032 Stream Error fault.

The solution was both simple and extremely hidden and in my opinion stupid. In the HTTPService I had set the property:

this.requestTimeout = 3800;

However as shown in this post:

This property is NOT taken into consideration by the HTTPService.

It needs:

URLRequestDefaults.idleTimeout = 1200000; // or any amount of time in ms

This way we override the default timeout of EVERY call and thus the request no longer fails…

I truly hope this helps someone as the above post helped me.

Replay system for KineticJS and HTML5 Canvas

I have been struggling with the lack of replay procedures in HTML5 gaming, with flash things were quite easy because we could save all of our game sessions as movies or swf files that could be later on viewed. With HTML5 we don’t quite have that, or it is not as easy. So I was thinking of ways to produce movies from canvas.
And then it hit me… images can produced as urls and canvas can be exported as an image, and what are continuously changing images? A movie!

So I went on and made a codepen about this. And quite frankly it kinda looks awesome. Of course some more brilliant minds than mine could dig into this and help me make it truly useful for all.

So let’s see the pen first. The procedure is as follows:

We click record and move the box around
Then we stop and we watch the movie that was produced.

See the Pen Record & playback for canvas by Michael Dobekidis (@netgfx) on CodePen.

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AS3 send BitmapData to backend efficiently

I was recently asked to send a medium/large file to a backend server running with php. At first I tried sending byteArray but that got messed up from JSON.strigify then I thought to convert the byteArray to base64 format. Although it worked an image of 500×700 occupied ~500kb on the database so it was unacceptable.
The solution was to compess the byteArray and send it, and then decompress it when I received it again. And here is how I did it:

public static function deconstructBitmap(bmp:BitmapData):Object
            // converting the bitmapdata into a byteArray
            var byteArray:ByteArray = bmp.getPixels(bmp.rect);
            // compressing using the default algorithm 'zlib'
            var enc:Base64Encoder = new Base64Encoder();  
            var b64;
            // joining all in one line
            b64 = enc.drain().split("\n").join("");
            // the rectangle is needed for re-contstruction
            return {'bmpData':b64,'rect':bmp.rect};

And now we have a compressed byteArray with our bitmapData the 500×700 bitmap data now occupies ~13kb on the database!

And here is the re-construction of the byteArray into bitmapData ready to be inserted to


or any other component.

public static function constructBitmap(obj:Object):BitmapData
            // to avoid errors
                var dec:Base64Decoder = new Base64Decoder();
                dec.decode(obj.bmpData); // decoding using the same algorithm
                var newByteArr:ByteArray=dec.toByteArray();
                // end of decoding //
                var bitmapData:BitmapData = new BitmapData(obj.rect.width, obj.rect.height);
                bitmapData.setPixels(bitmapData.rect, newByteArr);
                return bitmapData;
                return null;

And thats it, two simple functions to make you and your database happy!


Re-arrange objects in a VGroup by Drag&Drop (Flex Spark)

Adding drag and drop support for Group components, as well as swapping of children or reorder.
This might seem like a straightforward issue and an easy solution, but as I found out… only list based views have the ability to re-arrange their children via dragging and droping. But there is one hidden gem, all the Group based components have build-in support for drag and drop operations, and whilst the user cannot enable directly the dropEnabled option (which allows the re-arrange like operation), it is fairly easy to create a custom functionality to imitate it.
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Flex Spark VideoPlayer FullScreen bug workaround

VideoPlayer has a native bug which causes it, to loose its width and height attributes when the user cancels FullScreen mode.

A workaround is to capture the event and re-enter the player attributes as follows:

Listening to the FULL_SCREEN event at the systemManager

systemManager.stage.addEventListener(FullScreenEvent.FULL_SCREEN,funct ion(e)
var event = e.fullScreen;

and if it is about to close I re-enter the percentages for the player height and width, and it again works as expected.

I hope this helps someone….