Hello! I am inventor Dan Zen and this is the samples page for FLASH FEATHERS – a series of open source advanced interface classes for Flash.

The code allows us to create with the pioneering interfaces of GESTURE, MULTITOUCH, TILT and TRANSLATION, SOUND ANALYSIS, MULTIUSER, 3D and BLOB DETECTION and a data to server wrapper so designers can more easily work with multi-way communication.
A collage of Flash Feathers interfaces and diagrams

Below are the Flash Feathers along with intro and code videos, downloads and samples. The More links take you to the individual blog site for the feature.


ROBIN – Flash PHP Multiuser Server

“Accessible but flexible to encourage creativity”

Robin is the only multiuser platform for Flash written with PHP and yet, this is what most developers and certainly designers use for a back end. Robin comes with an admin system and you press start. A simple concept is used – send Robin your properties such as x and y and then receive a matching x Array and y Array of other users’ properties. There is no need for server scripting. This makes multiuser accessible and flexible guiding creators away from traditional multiuser constructs. Robin handles both unique control and the untapped realm of collective control.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

(CTRL Click to open multiple windows)
Shared Ball
Unique Avatar
Selected Avatar
Nano 2030

HUMMINGBIRD – Flash Parallax

“Now try taking 3D Parallax into Business Applications…”

HummingBird lets us apply mouse driven parallax effects with a single line of code. This effect is catching on in the entertainment industry but there is much room to experiment with parallax to enhance the feel of business applications.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

Dan Zen Talk
HummingBird Logo
Flododo – (any user and pass)
Dan Zen Menu
Holiday Card

WOODPECKER – Flash Sound Animation Classes

“It was unbelievable to see Woodpecker animate mouths to audio!”

Woodpecker animates to sound frequency or wave forms. We have seen this create visualizations to music but where there is room for experimentation is in animating to voice and ambient sounds.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

Frequency Bars
Woodpecker and Worm
Feathers Logo
Lip Synching

OSTRICH – Flash Webcam Gesture Capture

“Cursors to follow your movement in a few lines of code!”

Capturing the difference between successive video frames allows us to locate motion. Ostrich is set up to provide any number of cursors in various regions for excellent experimental usage. This magical interface is second perhaps only to brainwaves in the minds of many futurists. Work was done to capture the left side of motion on the left, the right side on the right and proportionally across the middle giving Ostrich improved expectation performance.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

Simple Cursor
Two Cursors
Gesture Button
Motion Blobs
Fairy Follows Fingers

FALCON – Flash Simple Data Class

“Use one class to get data in and out of Flash”

Adobe has split up server data access into three to five classes putting data beyond the reach of most designers. Falcon wraps these into one class – make a Falcon object, apply a complete listener and get your data! It handles text, variables, XML and binary. Also, FalconProvider will make a DataProvider out of sequenced variables great for Lists, ComboBoxes and DataGrids. While just an efficiency for developers, this is an opening for designers to experiment in letting users share.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

Text from Server
XML from Server
Variables to and from Server
DataGrid from Database

GOOSE – Multitouch in Flash

“Simulate and process multitouch with mouses from other computers”

Goose lets you set up mouse nodes on your computer and then any number of other computers like your laptop. Then with the two or more mouses you can do multitouch in Flash. Events and methods are provided to capture motion and resizing in a variety of ways to help us get used to handling multitouch. Experiment with letting the first user have full control – or the last user have full control – or share control. All these and more are settings in Goose.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

Must download to try
Or see videos

PENGUIN – Flash Tilt and Translation

“Tilt is just arriving but translation is on its way”

Penguin gives us a 3D tilt and translation emulator. This feeds tiltML XML to Flash in the form of pitch, roll, yaw, x, y, z. Part of the package is a pioneering look at how these rotations and translations can be used to model life. For example, how would we turn the mobile device into a paddle or a frisbee, etc. Translation is still to come allowing us to create full mediated reality. Dan Zen is working with lenses and two mobile devices in tubes as do it yourself goggles mediating the view through the cameras.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

Tilt Emulator
Ball on Table
Experimental Work

DODO – Flash Webcam Blob Detection

“Track blobs like lights or fingers – uses Ostrich and Goose technologies”

Dodo tracks blobs in a camera and puts a circle of rough blob size on anything with a certain amount of contrast relative to a chosen background – dark or light. Blobs are like gesture because they follow motion but they are different because they remain even when there is no movement. These classes work with blob detection tables and can be coupled with Goose to provide multitouch. What an experience it was resizing pictures with a couple iPhones and penlights in the dark or white sticks with dark marks on the end against a white background.

Videos | Setup Code | Download | More

Must download to try
Or see videos


We hope you get good usage from the classes and let us know if you do!


  • Flash Feathers consists of 10 packages with 40 classes, 1000 lines of comments, 5000 lines of code and 30 examples.
  • The classes are consistently organized in the reverse domain format of creator Dan Zen with all the Flash Feathers in three main packages – com.danzen.interfaces, com.danzen.effects, com.danzen.utilities. Readme instructions are provided to help designers and developers install these correctly in their class path.
  • There are 9 integrated supporting blogs currently with 12 videos, 20 pages, 30 posts, 300 comments, 3000 downloads and 40,000 views since last summer.

You are welcome to donate if you have the means and feel free to ask any questions. All the best,


Dan Zen
Mad Inventor




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