Photo gallery (AS 3.0).

In this tutorial we will build a photo gallery. We will load the paths to the photos from an xml file and will use the Tweener class to add some nice transitions. You can download this class from Google Code download Tweener class. This is how the final product will look:

1. Create a new file by going to File > New select Flash file (ActionScript 3.0) and click Ok. Save the file as photo_gallery.fla.

2. Select the Rectangle tool set the stroke to none and the fill to #999999 and on the stage draw a rectangle 110 by 110.Select the rectangle hit F8 to convert it to a MovieClip. Set its name to thumb and set the registration point to center and click Ok.

3. Press Ctrl+L to open the Library. Right click on the thumb MovieClip and select Linkage. Select Export to ActionScript checkbox, set the class name to Thumbnail and click Ok. Select the thumb MovieClip from the stage and delete it.

4. Press Ctrl+F7 to open the Components library. Select the UILoader component and drag it to the stage. We will use this component to load the thumbnails. Select the UILoader component from the stage and delete it, we don’t need it on the stage we need it in the Library (make sure that it’s in the library).

5. Go to File > New select ActionScript file and click Ok. We will build the Thumbnail class witch is associated with the thumb MovieClip.

6. Copy and paste the next code

import flash.display.Sprite;
import fl.containers.UILoader;
import caurina.transitions.*;

public class Thumbnail extends Sprite {
private var nume:String;
private var url:String;
private var id:int;
private var loader:UILoader;
public function Thumbnail(source:String,itemNr:int,numeThumb:String):void {
url = source;
id = itemNr;
this.nume = numeThumb;
private function drawLoader():void {
loader = new UILoader();
loader.source = url;
loader.mouseEnabled = false;
loader.x = -50;
loader.y = -50;
private function onOver(event:MouseEvent):void {
Tweener.addTween(this, {scaleX:1,scaleY:1, time:1, transition:"easeoutelastic"});
Tweener.addTween(this, {alpha:1, time:1, transition:"easeoutelastic"});
private function onOut(event:MouseEvent):void {
Tweener.addTween(this, {scaleX:.9,scaleY:.9, time:1, transition:"easeoutelastic"});
Tweener.addTween(this, {alpha:.5, time:1, transition:"easeoutelastic"});
private function scaleThumb():void {
this.scaleX = .9;
this.scaleY = .9;
this.alpha = .5;
Save the file as

7. Let’s go back to the photo_gallery.fla. Name the first layer actions and insert a new one (Insert>Timeline>Layer) and name it background. In the Property Inspector click on the Size button and set the width: 570, height: 350, frame rate: 30 and click Ok.

8. Select the Rectangle tool set the color to black and the stroke to none. On the background layer draw a rectangle, same dimensions like the stage (570, 350) and position it at x: 0, y: 0.

9. Select frame 1 from the actions layer and press F9 to open the ActionScript panel. Copy and paste the next code.

import fl.containers.UILoader;
import caurina.transitions.*;
//---------loading the external xml file-------
var urlRequest:URLRequest = new URLRequest("pics.xml");
var urlLoader:URLLoader = new URLLoader();
var myXML:XML = new XML();
var xmlList:XMLList;
myXML.ignoreWhitespace = true;
//--------holds the paths to the thumbnails-------
var arrayURL:Array = new Array();
//--------holds the paths to the big photos-------
var arrayName:Array = new Array();
//--------holds the thumbnails objects-------
var holderArray:Array = new Array();
//--------represents the number of collumns-------
var nrColumns:uint = 5;
//-------represents the container of our gallery
var sprite:Sprite = new Sprite();
var thumb:Thumbnail;
//-------- the thumbnails container-------
var thumbsHolder:Sprite = new Sprite();
//-------- the photoLoader container-------
var loaderHolder:Sprite = new Sprite();,1);,0,550,330);;
loaderHolder.x = 1000;
loaderHolder.y = 10;
//-------- loads the big photo-------
var photoLoader:UILoader = new UILoader();
photoLoader.width = 540;
photoLoader.height = 320;
photoLoader.y = 5;
photoLoader.x = 5;
photoLoader.buttonMode = true;
/* we loop through the xml file populate the arrayURL, arrayName and position the thumbnalis*/
function fileLoaded(event:Event):void {
myXML = XML(;
xmlList = myXML.children();
for (var i:int=0; i<xmlList.length(); i++) {
var picURL:String = xmlList[i].url;
var picName:String = xmlList[i].big_url;
holderArray[i] = new Thumbnail(arrayURL[i],i,arrayName[i]);
holderArray[i].name = arrayName[i];
holderArray[i].buttonMode = true;
if (i<nrColumns) {
holderArray[i].y = 65;
holderArray[i].x = i*110+65;
} else {
holderArray[i].y = holderArray[i-nrColumns].y+110;
holderArray[i].x = holderArray[i-nrColumns].x;
//----handles the Click event added to the thumbnails--
function onClick(event:MouseEvent):void {
photoLoader.source =;
Tweener.addTween(thumbsHolder, {x:-650, time:1, transition:"easeInElastic"});
Tweener.addTween(loaderHolder, {x:10, time:1, transition:"easeInElastic"});
Tweener.addTween(thumbsHolder, {alpha:0, time:1, transition:"linear"});
Tweener.addTween(loaderHolder, {alpha:1, time:1, transition:"linear"});
//----handles the Click event added to the photoLoader----
function onClickBack(event:MouseEvent):void {
Tweener.addTween(thumbsHolder, {x:0, time:1, transition:"easeInElastic"});
Tweener.addTween(loaderHolder, {x:1000, time:1, transition:"easeInElastic"});
Tweener.addTween(thumbsHolder, {alpha:1, time:2, transition:"linear"});
Tweener.addTween(loaderHolder, {alpha:0, time:2, transition:"linear"}); }

I provide a little comment (the lines that begins with //) for the variables and functions that tells you what they do or represents. If you have problem with the code fill free to ask.

10. The structure of the xml file looks like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

Where <image></image> represents a new picture in the gallery. The url tag represents the path to the little picture and the big_url tag the path to the big picture. To add your own pictures you will need to modify these paths. Here I provide the tags for only two images, but the final xml file has 15 images. Open your text editor copy and paste the code from above add the rest of <image></image> tags (until 15) and save the file as pics.xml.

11. Let’s setup the structure of the folders. Make a folder and name it photo_gallery. Inside this folder make two new folders, name one pics and the other big_pics. Inside the photo_gallery folder place the photo_gallery.fla,, the pics.xml file and the caurina folder. You will obtain this folder (caurina) after downloading the Tweener class. You will need this folder if you want to modify the fla file. If you placed all the files in the right place, placed the little pictures in the pics folder and the big pictures in the big_pics you can test photo_gallery.fla file by pressing Ctrl+Enter. You should have no problem.

This is all. I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial. If you have questions, suggestions, doubts about the tutorial don’t hesitate to comment.

Until next time have fun learning Flash.

To view the gallery:view photo gallery. and to download the source file:download photo gallery.

UPDATE (04-12-2008)

Add description to images. Some of you asked how to add description to images, I have tried to respond on comments by giving some general tips (no code) but it seams that I haven’t done a good job so here it is. Add description to images step by step.

The new code is in bold; the other code is added to show where you need to insert the new code.

1. Modify the xml file - add a description tag to every image node, it should look like this:

<description>Your description</description>

2. Modyfy class -find this line: private var index:int; and replace private with public like this: public var index:int; We make the index variable public to be able to access it from outside the class. This is not the best solution, we should try to keep our variables private and access them using get/set methods, but this will do it.

3. Add code to the photo_gallery.fla

var holderArray:Array = new Array();
//---------holds the images descriptions--------->
var descArray:Array = new Array();
//------format image description text--------
var txtFormat:TextFormat = new TextFormat();
txtFormat.color = 0XFFFFFF;
txtFormat.size = 14;
txtFormat.indent = 5;
txtFormat.font = "Verdana,Arial,sans_serif";
//--------a text field that holds the images description----------
var imgText:TextField = new TextField();
imgText.defaultTextFormat = txtFormat;
imgText.background = true;
imgText.wordWrap = true;
imgText.backgroundColor = 0X000000;
imgText.width = 530;
imgText.height = 40;
imgText.y = 285;
imgText.x = 10;
function fileLoaded(event:Event):void {
myXML = XML(;
xmlList = myXML.children();
for (var i:int=0; i<xmlList.length(); i++) {
var picURL:String = xmlList[i].url;
var picName:String = xmlList[i].big_url;
//---populate the descArray with the description
//----pulled from the xml file---
var picDescription:String = xmlList[i].description;
. . .
function onClick(event:MouseEvent):void {
photoLoader.source =;
//----add the description text to the imgText-------
imgText.text = descArray[event.currentTarget.index];
. . .

You can download the updated source files: photo gallery updated.

92 comentarii:

Post a Comment

  • Anonymous : April 23, 2008 at 7:37 PM

    cool tutorial... but can u tell me how to make the thumbnails fade in or a way to put a mask on them so they appear one by one? right now they just appear all at once when the timeline hits it...


  • Biochimistu : April 24, 2008 at 1:58 AM

    You can setup a Timer that fires every 0.5 seconds or faster. When this happens you add a thumbnail to the container.

  • Hazem : May 2, 2008 at 2:19 PM

    Good tutorial, it was chosen for the main page of and under Flash tutorials. Please feel free to submit more of your good tutorials using this link:

  • nitinuchibagale : May 12, 2008 at 10:46 PM

    really nice advanced tutorial belongs to my mind. i searched for this. thanks

  • Anonymous : May 17, 2008 at 3:37 AM

    It has to be great but it doesn't work for me I have an error like that:
    Acces of undefined property Tweener.addTween(this, {scaleX:1,scaleY:1, time:1, transition:"easeoutelastic"});

    I don't know what's wrong, I have lots of problem with other trials too even with the sipliest tasks.

    Some Advice?

  • Biochimistu : May 18, 2008 at 12:27 AM

    You need do download the Tweener class. Read the tutorial with more attention, you will find all the information there (from where to download Tweener, where to place the folder).When you encounter problems with the tutorials download the source file and see how the code looks, compare that with yours.

  • Anonymous : May 18, 2008 at 7:14 AM

    Thx, but now i have another problem, it doesn't load my pictures...If i have my pictures in photo_gallery folder then path:

    url image1.png /url
    url image1_big.png /url

    should work, doesnt it??

    I don't know xml at all so sorry for stupid questions : P

  • Biochimistu : May 19, 2008 at 10:05 AM

    Fallow exactly the tutorial. Look at the xml file that you obtain after downloading the source file, this will help you.

  • Anonymous : May 19, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    Heh, i didn't know there is something like big_url ... Anyway it works now ; ] - thx.
    Is there some easy way to change that shaking fing when big picture loads?

  • Biochimistu : May 20, 2008 at 11:57 PM

    Go to onClick function find this line:
    Tweener.addTween(loaderHolder, {x:10, time:1, transition:"easeInElastic"});
    go to the Tweener class documentation and experiment with other types of transitions (you will find them under Transitions Types).
    You will need to change the type of the transitions for example: transition:"easeInExpo".

  • ThumbnailVixen : May 22, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    Great tutorial. But what if you wanted to add next and previous buttons for more functionality. Any suggestions? I am but a babe when it comes to AS 3.0. Thanks.

  • Biochimistu : May 24, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    It can be done. You must find a way to retrieve the index of the thumbnail that you have clicked. Store that index into a variable (currentImage) and integrate the variable into the picture url. We know that the url to the picture is something like this "big_pics/img_1.png".We can integrate the currentImage( this is of type int) into the path like this "big_pics/img_" + "currentImage" + ".png".
    When you click on next button first increment the currentPicture variable with one and set the source property of the photoLoader with the path just created.
    Something like that:
    photoLoader.source = "big_pics/img_" + "currentImage" + ".png";
    There are for sure other ways to achieve that but this comes to my head now.
    This can be a starting point.

  • Anonymous : May 26, 2008 at 9:21 AM

    Awesome tutorial.. one of the best Tutorials i ever saw.. just wondering, can i using FLV in this Tutorial rather than using image? what if the video and sound still running after i close the previous FLV (the Big image)? how can i handle it?


  • Biochimistu : May 27, 2008 at 2:57 AM

    You can use .flv files but you need to make some modifications. You need a video player in place of the Big image, when you click on a thumbnail that has the path to your .flv this will start playing in the video player. Video and sound will not play after you close the previous .FLV because you will handle that by placing a Go back button (or other solutions that you find) and when you click that button you will stop the video from playing and you will return to the thumbnails screen.

  • Anonymous : May 29, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    Hi Bio
    I read your tutorial, great one btw, and i tried to make a button that links to a URL, and i got the script working, but once i used it on the website, when i clicked it, i got an error message about security in the flash player, do you know how to get pass that or anything to do about it?
    Would be great if you could email me if you knew

  • Anonymous : May 29, 2008 at 2:15 AM

    Thank you for the sharing. That's very useful. But I don't know which Tweener classes should I add into the folder.

  • Biochimistu : May 29, 2008 at 3:00 AM

    I suppose that you are testing your swf locally and a window appears that say something like this: "this file is trying to communicate with the fallowing address ..." and asks you if you want to allow that. The window offers two buttons Ok and Settings click the Setting button and fallow the instructions. If this is the case you find a detailed explication on how to do this :How do I let local Flash content communicate with the Internet?
    If not, you can read more about Flash player security here:Flash Player security and privacy.

  • Biochimistu : May 29, 2008 at 3:33 AM

    You must download the ActionScript 3.0 version. You must place the caurina folder (all folder) that you will find after unzipping the .

  • dodapb : June 15, 2008 at 5:23 AM

    I have attempted to follow the instructions for the photo gallery as 3.0 and unfortunately I get the follwoing error. Any ideas regarding where I may have gone wrong? Appreciate any advice you can supply. 5008: The name of definition 'Thumbnail' does not reflect the location of this file. Please change the definition's name inside this file, or rename the file. I:\website stuff\new gc flash site\photo_gallery\

  • Anonymous : June 15, 2008 at 6:42 AM

    i am a newbie in "AS 3.0"- my very first successful lesson in photo gallery. Must have been your explanations that make me understand them all. Great, thanks ;-) Going for second lesson soon.

    For other site's AS3 lessons, i always seems to get this error “1037 The package cannot be nested” which i think is associated with this initial script.
    package {
    import flash.display.Sprite;
    etc, etc

    Any suggestion to overcome this?

  • dodapb : June 15, 2008 at 12:37 PM

    Hello Sorin, I have now managed to get the file working. I would be interested to know if it is possible to use the tweener class in order to set up the big_pics images to fade in rather than slide in.

    Your web page has been a wonderful help. Thank you.


  • Biochimistu : June 16, 2008 at 12:38 AM

    Hi George,
    you can use the Tweener class to make the images fade in; you must work with alpha property. You can find more about the Tweener class by reading the online documentation.

  • dodapb : June 16, 2008 at 2:25 AM

    Thanks once again for your help and advice. A tremendous help to a newcomer to flash. I will look at the tweener information but can you tell me where I need to place the fade in info. I want to remove the slide in effect on the large images and replace it with fade in. I am not sure where I put the tweener fade in information. Do I add it to the actionscript within the photo_gallery.fla? Thanks very much again for your help and greetings from Scotland.


  • Anonymous : June 16, 2008 at 6:36 AM

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. This tutorial has been an excellent help to me. I appreciate it!

  • Biochimistu : June 16, 2008 at 10:12 AM

    For sure you are not doing something right. I can’t give you a solution only by viewing the error number; but make sure that you use the package keyword in an .as file not in a .fla file.(response for MIke)

  • Biochimistu : June 17, 2008 at 10:34 AM

    Yes you must place your code in the photo_gallery.fla and to be exact you must work with the onClick and onClickBack functions.

  • NOVITÀ : June 18, 2008 at 11:05 PM

    very well tutorial,..
    I have a principal swf what call the gallery (loadMovie("photo_gallery.swf",_root.mc_empty).

    This swf is loaded , but don't load images and don't work.
    please I need your help,


  • Biochimistu : June 20, 2008 at 1:09 AM

    If I have right you are trying to load the photo_gallery.swf(witch use as3 code) in an swf that use as2 code and this wont work. Use a swf that is written in as3.

  • Ben_Tee : June 21, 2008 at 9:05 PM

    Thanks for the latest AS3 tutorial while most others still stick to the old version. Looking forward to more lessons on AS3. Thanks again.

  • anne-marie : July 1, 2008 at 2:08 AM

    I love your gallery; it works great for me, I played around with the tweeners to adapt it! Now I would like to add buttons to the big pictures to scroll through them! I saw you explained something like this but could you explain it with more detail because i didn't quit understand it!!

  • Biochimistu : July 3, 2008 at 3:54 AM

    To retrieve the index (id property) of the thumbnail that you have clicked first you have to declare get/set methods in the Thumbnail class. After fallow the instructions from that comment, it’s not so hard. I hope that this can help you a little.

  • dodapb : July 6, 2008 at 1:52 PM

    Hi again, I would like to be able to load your photo gallery and use it to show galleries of photographs on my website. I am struggling to figure out how to do this. Can you advise me on what I need to do?



  • Biochimistu : July 8, 2008 at 5:43 AM

    From where do you want to load it? If it’s from your computer this is simple, you find a tutorial on my blog that show how to load swf. If you want to load it from the site that host the gallery this is another story.

  • dodapb : July 8, 2008 at 1:49 PM

    Hi At the moment I just want to create an action which will allow a button to trigger the photo gallery to open either in a current or a new webpage. Currently I am just working locally on my pc and not on a server. I am not sure of the code required for the action and I am not sure how to format the location of the swf. Hope that is reasonably clear. I have created button actions for getting a url but triggering a swf to open is new to me. Thanks for replying. It's a great swf and now I just need to know how I can introduce it to my website pages. I hope to include two or three photogallery swf's on my site with a button for each one.

  • Anonymous : July 9, 2008 at 1:09 AM

    This gallery is so awesome! Thanks for this very helpful tutorial. I was wondering tho, how hard would it be to add captions for each photo to display from XML?

    Thanks again for your wonderful work!!!

  • Biochimistu : July 9, 2008 at 6:23 AM

    Hi dodapb,
    you can do something like this:

    var myLoader:Loader = new Loader();

    var fileURL:URLRequest = new URLRequest("your.swf")


    function loadSWF(event:Event):void{
    function swfLoaded(event:ProgressEvent):void {
    if (event.bytesLoaded == event.bytesTotal) {

    I hope that this will help you.

  • anne-marie : July 10, 2008 at 5:34 AM

    "To retrieve the index (id property) of the thumbnail that you have clicked first you have to declare get/set methods in the Thumbnail class."
    mmm; I think I need some more AS 3.0 courses here...I really wouldn't know how to do all that. Do you have some concrete examples by any chance??

  • Biochimistu : July 11, 2008 at 4:11 AM

    It’s not too hard, but…..First you need to add a new tag to the xml file <caption>your caption</caption>; add a new variable to the Thumbnail class, pass this variable to the constructor class. Then set in the main code an array that will hold the captions, add a text field that will show your caption.
    This is a quick explication; I think that it can help you to look at the url variable that is present in the code and fallow the same steps.

  • Biochimistu : July 11, 2008 at 4:39 AM

    Hi Anne-Marie(Ana-Maria in my language),
    Go to, Adobe site and download or browse thru the Programming ActionScript 3.0 pdf. Search for Get and set accessor methods you will find a good explication there.

  • dodapb : July 15, 2008 at 1:35 PM

    Hi, Sorry to be a nuisance. I tried your suggested code for getting the photo gallery to function but I do not know what type of information you refer to in the line you supplied (see below)


    Let me make clear that I am happy for the gallery to open in an independent window or within an existing one. I just wish to trigger your super photo gallery to open via a button on my website.


    I followed your guidance for the photo gallery so my swf file for the photos are all inside a folder called scotphoto which is inside the main folder for my site. Do I need to indicate within my code that the photo gallery swf is within this scotphoto folder? I am just wondering if the hierarchy of folders could cause it not to function correctly.



  • Marcolitchu : July 16, 2008 at 3:16 AM

    Thank you for your interesting site. Unfortunately, it's lacking a forum or
    another way to contact/discuss with the authors and other users. ( FOUND IT NOW! ;] )
    My specific question is: how to modify thumbnail's sizes?, although putting
    different sized thumbs in the thumbs folder, they always still appear about
    93x85px instead of 196x177px as required. (see screenshot)
    My question: WHERE/how should I change the params? (4 cols, 2 rows)

    Thank you for the cooperation

  • Biochimistu : July 17, 2008 at 10:08 AM

    Hi Dodapb,
    This "swf_Where_you_want_gallery_to_show" is your main swf, the swf where you want to load the gallery swf(I hope that is clear).If the main swf it’s in the same folder with the others swf (the photo gallery swf ) you don’t have to indicate within your code that the photo gallery swf is within this scotphoto folder.

  • Biochimistu : July 17, 2008 at 11:01 AM

    Hi Marcolitchu,
    Read with attention the tutorial, you will see that in step 2 I have draw a rectangle 110 by 110; you can change the thumbnail size here by drawing a rectangle that fits your needs.
    Search thru the main code and you will find this line of code:
    var nrColumns:uint = 5;
    You can set here the numbers of columns; the number of rows will depend of your number of pictures.

  • dodapb : July 17, 2008 at 12:31 PM

    Thanks for the info. Slight progress but I now get an error 1085 referring to missing end tags. This occurs when I click my button to trigger the photogallery.swf

    The error code below mentions img_1.png but the image filenames I have used are not in this format. They have names and not numbers. No spaces between words. The photogallery works fine on it's own so I do not think it has a problem within. I have replaced the tags with * since I couldn't include them in the message.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    TypeError: Error #1085: The element type "\big_pics/img_1.png*/big_url" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "*/\big_pics/img_1.png*/big_url*".
    at Scotphoto_fla::MainTimeline/fileLoaded()

  • דרידה : July 19, 2008 at 10:51 AM


    this is a really good tutorial, but i hope you can help me with the flowing problem:
    if i add photos to the XML it is not showing. so i can use a scrollbar or pagination.
    can you tell me how i add pagination? so if there are more pics buttons appear that let the user to navigate.

    best regards


  • Biochimistu : July 22, 2008 at 8:36 AM

    Hi Dodapb,
    if you put your own pictures you must change the name of the picture to the name I have used.
    If you want to use your names you must modify the xml file and some lines of code, so I think that the first choice is easier. From the error that appears it seams that the xml file is not properly formatted. Look at the xml file that comes with the gallery and alter your xml to mach that xml.
    Sorry for the delay.

  • Biochimistu : July 22, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    Hi Ron,
    base on the number of pictures from the xml files you can add pagination. In current state the gallery shows 15 pictures, if you have more pictures you can add a button (or more) to the gallery. When the user clicks on the buttons you can bring other screen with 15 pictures into user view or unload the current pictures and load others, your choice. I think that adding a scroll bar it’s much easy.
    Good luck with the work.
    Sorry for the delay.

  • elp99 : July 22, 2008 at 12:25 PM

    Nice tut, any chance to get a slideshow started automatically after you click an image?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • dodapb : July 23, 2008 at 2:10 PM

    Thanks again for the advice. I found my error in the xml. Now it works. Can I ask....can I add code which would make the gallery open in a new window of it's own? Also, you told me how to adapt the transitions so that I can fade in images but can I stop the larger images from sliding in from the side of the file? If so how. Thank you so much for your patience.

  • Biochimistu : July 25, 2008 at 1:30 AM

    I don’t promise anything but maybe I will make such a gallery.

  • Biochimistu : July 25, 2008 at 1:42 AM

    Hi Dodapb,
    you can make a new window and when you click the button that will load the gallery the new window will pop and the gallery will be loaded in this window.
    You can modify the transition of the big picture but I can’t do it for you. Take a good book of ActionScript and start reading.

  • eric : July 27, 2008 at 7:27 PM

    Hey Bio, Great Tutorial worked perfect for me. However I wanted to test it on an actual webpage, so I added the swf th a page i created in dreamweaver. and I tried to just upload the entire directory that we created in this tutorial how ever it did not work when viewing in a brower. Is there anything special that needs to be done? Thanks =]

  • Biochimistu : July 29, 2008 at 10:04 PM

    Hi Eric,
    I don’t know what you did in Dreamweaver. Open the .fla in Flash, go to File>Publish Settings and make sure that the HTML checkbox is checked, after go to File>Publish. Go to the folder where you have the .fla file and test the html file that you will find there. See if it works (it worked for me) , if does maybe you do something wrong in Dreamweaver.

  • mush : August 7, 2008 at 5:22 PM

    HI Biochemistu,

    THank you very much for the tutorial and the knowledge. I would like to ask a question, if I may. I would like to change the size of my thumbnails. I have drawn a 16:9 box as my thumb at the size that I require, but the images are always a lot smaller leaving a large border. I cant seem to find how to change the actual image thumbnail size as a pose to the holder.

    PLease help.

    Thank you

  • Biochimistu : August 9, 2008 at 9:37 AM

    Hi Mush,
    look inside the there I setup the behaviors for the thumbnail.
    In the tutorial the thumb has 110X110 and the picture 100X100 so maybe you must correlate the dimensions of the thumbnail with the dimensions of the image.

  • mush : August 10, 2008 at 2:52 PM

    Thank you for your quick response. It doesnt seem to make a difference what sixe the picture is. I found a solution by changing the scale commands in

    I am now having a large fundamental problem that I hope you can help me with. A bit cheeky maybe as it is not technically to do with the code you supplied, but I hope you can help as it is beginning to get frustrating.

    THe premise is, that I have 4 buttons that are categories, when you click on the button a thumbnail gallery appears that reads from an xml file passed to the function and based on the category chosen.

    you can then click on a thumbnail and the thumbnail gallery closes and a video starts.

    THis all works fine at them moment.

    What I cant seem to do though, is unload the previous gallery when the user clicks on a new button (category). I have tried removeChild only to be told that the child comes back as null or something similiar. Yet, removeChild works when executed from the thumbnail onclick event? It is as if it does not recognise it as being there once it has built the sprite?

    I am very very stuck, please help if you can. It would be very much appreciated.

  • Biochimistu : August 13, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    I don’t know what you do but I can provide a link to a very good article The Charges Against ActionScript 3.0 where you can read more about some common problems with child parents in actionscript 3.
    I suppose that you load your gallery into a loader, if so you can call loader.unload() from your buttons.

  • Nick Frese : August 29, 2008 at 6:53 AM

    Great tuturial! I have one question: I can't quite figure out where the size of the actual thumbnail images is established. I changed the size of the "thumb" container in the library to match my thumbnails (150x100), but they do not fill the container even though the images (GIFs) are indeed 150x100 in size.

  • Biochimistu : August 29, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    Hi Nick,
    Inside the file set the dimensions of the loader to fit your needs
    loader.width = 150;
    loader.height = 100;

    this should do it.

  • Nick Frese : September 2, 2008 at 5:37 AM

    That's the ticket -- worked like a charm. That you!

  • Antwan : September 8, 2008 at 3:33 PM

    Nice tutorial, is there an easy way to load another xml while unloading the current one. Like it loads pics.xml, how can I make it load pics2.xml and unload the other xml. But then if i want to load the original pics.xml i can with a button click and vice versa.

  • Biochimistu : September 10, 2008 at 11:32 AM

    Hi Antwan,
    From what I now it’s not possible to unload a loaded XML file in Flash. When you load an xml file you assign that xml to an xml object and if you want to unload the xml you must delete the xml object.
    Something like this:
    gallery.xml // file that you load
    myXML:XML = new XML() // your xml object
    var urlRequest:URLRequest = new URLRequest("gallery.xml");
    var urlLoader:URLLoader = new URLLoader();

    function xmlLoaded(event:Event):void{
    myXML = XML(;
    //--now the gallery.xml resides in myXML object
    //-- to unload the gallery.xml you must delete the myXML object

    "But then if i want to load the original pics.xml i can with a button click and vice versa."

    You can make two xml objects and in each one to load the desired xml. When you click on one button one xml object is used and you parse the first xml and when you click the other button the next xml object is used.
    I hope that my answer helps you.

  • Anonymous : September 16, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    I love your tutorial.. I was wondering if you could tell me how to add text for each of the pictures that come up... thank you again!

  • Anonymous : September 16, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    Love you tutorial.. I was wondering you could tell me how to add text describing each of the photos... thanks

  • Anonymous : September 19, 2008 at 9:01 AM


    I have done all things like you wrote but still it complain about:, Line 846
    "1046: Type was not found or was not a compile-time constant: Void.

    private static function init():Void {"

    and there is many of this kind of problems. Is it a wrong tweener file?

  • Anonymous : September 19, 2008 at 9:11 AM

    Sorry. Now I understand that i had wrong tweener, but still it complain about something.

    TypeError: Error #1085: The element type "images" must be terminated by the matching end-tag "< /images>".
    at photo_gallery_fla::MainTimeline/fileLoaded()

    Help me please :(


  • Biochimistu : September 20, 2008 at 10:56 AM

    (response for how to add description to photos)
    I can't tell you how to add description to photos because it's not so easy, to be able to tell you in a few words, but I can give you some ideas.
    1. Add a description tag to the xml file. Each image tag will contain a url tag, big_url tag and a description tag.
    2. Set an array that will hold the description tags (arrayDescription). Inside the fileLoaded function declare a variable that will hold the description (var picDescription:String = xmlList[i].description) and populate the arrayDescription.
    3. Make a new TextField object (this will hold the description text) you need to add it to the same container that holds the big photos.
    4. Inside the onClick function you must assign to the text property of the TextField object the description for the picture that you load (if you click on the first thumbnail, the first picture will be loaded and the first description must appear).
    These are the steps that you must fallow; the details are up to you.
    Sorry for my delayed response.

  • Biochimistu : September 20, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Hi Igor,
    Your xml file is not well formatted. Download the source file and look there, it will help you.

  • Anonymous : September 27, 2008 at 7:35 AM

    hi biochimitsu i am a new as3 begginer. i want to learn basic photo gallery. i saw your photo gallery and it is so complex for me :( how can i load pictur to movie clip can you help me Thanks

  • Biochimistu : September 29, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    read this tutorial: Preloading SWF, JPG, PNG or GIF files with AS 3.0. You will learn how to load a picture and the code it’s much simpler.
    Go to FlashPerfection site, you will find a lot of good tutorials for all levels. There are a lot of sites with good flash tutorials, make a search on Google for flash tutorials. For sure you will find a tutorial that will show you hot to build a basic flash gallery. Good luck!

  • Ram : October 1, 2008 at 2:09 AM

    Very nice tutorial, is it possible to add more images? I added some images but the images are out of stage. Is it possible to add scroll bar on the right hand side and to link the images to another page instead of large image?


  • Biochimistu : October 1, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    Hi Ram,
    Yes, it’s possible to add a scrollbar to scroll the container that holds the thumbnails; you will find a tutorial about how to build a scrollbar here on my blog.
    For linking to another page you need to modify the xml file and replace the path to the big photos from the <big_url> with your url, after you need to amend the code and your done. Good luck!

  • Biochimistu : October 5, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Open the large images in a new browser window (or add external links).
    You need to modify the big_url tag from every image tags. Now the big_url tag looks like this:
    The modified tag will look like this:
    You just replace the existing text with your url.
    Replace the existing onClick function with this:
    function onClick(event:MouseEvent):void {
    var urlTo:URLRequest = new URLRequest(;

    This is all. If you don’t modify the xml file (but modify the onClick function) and click on a thumbnail the large photo will open in a new browser window.

  • anne : October 14, 2008 at 1:25 AM

    Hi there,

    Well, I've finished a site using your gallery which I adapted; take a look;

    Thanx a lot!!!!!


  • Biochimistu : October 15, 2008 at 11:54 PM

    Hi Anne-Marie,
    I have looked at your site, simple, clean, nice. What I don’t like it's the width of the site it's to big, I think that it was better if you build it for 1024px.
    Thanks for the link.

  • ChaosINC : October 20, 2008 at 8:40 AM

    Hey. Awesome tutorial.
    I'd like to control the pic dimension/position.

    I've only been able to resize to tumbs frame but I couldn't change the pic size.
    Is it possible to change it via XML?

  • Biochimistu : October 21, 2008 at 7:26 AM

    You can add some tags to the xml that contains values for position and dimensions and use those values in flash to change the look of your gallery, but you need to think your gallery from the beginning.

  • Anonymous : November 25, 2008 at 9:00 AM

    Thanks for the nice tutotial!
    I have one little question about transition effect whith Tweener class.
    I made some symbiosis of your two tutors - this one and Scrolling photos dinamically with AS3.
    In other words, I made scrooling thumbs menu and separated movieclip for loading the big size images. It works ok, but I would like to change these big images with transition effect.
    I put this code to onClick function:
    Tweener.addTween(photoLoader, {alpha:0, time:1, transition:"linear"});
    photoLoader.source =;
    Tweener.addTween(photoLoader, {alpha:1, time:1, transition:"linear"});
    Pictures change but without transition effect.
    How can I get fade out, change picture and then fade in effect?
    Or even effect when one picture is disappears above another one?
    For example, like on this site:

    Thanks, Alessandro

  • Biochimistu : November 25, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Hi Alessandro
    Try like this:
    photoLoader.source =;
    Tweener.addTween(photoLoader, {alpha:1, time:1, transition:"linear"});

    add this lines inside the onClick function.

  • Anonymous : November 26, 2008 at 4:23 AM

    Hi Biochimistu!
    Thanks for the answer, it work fine now :)

    thanks, Alessandro

  • Anonymous : December 1, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    Hi ty vm for your tutorial!

    I've used hours and hours - yes days on playing around with your gallery - but i just cant get a desc (description tag) to work ? I've tried following what oyu wrote above but I don't understand it - could you help me with this ? i'm sure there is others that lied to have a desc to their photos :D Awesome tutorial btw nice.

    best regards simon.

  • Anonymous : December 3, 2008 at 12:03 PM

    I have really tried and tried adding a desc to the pictures - I FAIL!!! - been sitting with this for a very looong time :( - Biochimistu I would really love to use your gallery on my site - but I really need to get that desc working - with your expertise can you guide me through this ?

    I really hope you have the time to reply me on this -in advanced ty and ty very much for the gallery so far.

    Best regards simon -

  • Biochimistu : December 4, 2008 at 2:49 AM

    Hi Simon,
    I will try to update the tutorial and show how to add description to images. I hope that I will post the update today.
    Sorry for my delayed response.

  • Simon : December 4, 2008 at 9:15 AM

    what an excellent service hard to believe a person is so good hearted - im really grateful -

    ty very much biochimistu

  • Simon : December 4, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    it works superb - you rock man!


    best regards simon

  • SBL clipping path services : January 20, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    wow!! Stunning tutorial.
    Keep coming these kind tutorials.

  • Kartik : April 1, 2009 at 8:37 AM


    I've enjoyed this tutorial - learnt a lot and I've now constructed my own gallery with a scroll bar.

    However, one point - how do I pre-load the photos from XML? It will look better online if I can get the images to pre load and then the user can browse through the photos.


  • Anonymous : April 2, 2009 at 6:32 AM

    Hi, thanks for the brilliant tutorial, you;'ve really helped me. I am sturggling on one bit that i would be ever so greatful of your help on however.

    The bit where you add description - I followed the extra bit of the tutorial top do this, but it comes up with the error message:

    'ReferenceError: Error #1069: Property index not found on Thumbnail and there is no default photo_gallery_fla::MainTimeline/onClick()'

  • Biochimistu : April 3, 2009 at 3:41 AM

    Hi Kartik,
    I will probably write another tutorial in witch to address those things (add preloader to images, add a next and previous button) but I don’t know when. I can’t tell you in a few words how to do it yourself, it’s not complicated but I can’t do it in a few words.

  • Biochimistu : April 3, 2009 at 3:42 AM

    Hi anonymous,
    You probably haven’t made the index variable public. Step 2 of the update.

  • miljan : June 13, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Hi thank you for tutorial, but i have one problem when i hit ctrl+enter this shows up:

    5007: An ActionScript file must have at least one externally visible definition.

  • Biochimistu : June 15, 2009 at 2:57 AM

    Hi Miljan,
    Make sure that your Thumbnail class is declared as public (public class Thumbnail), if this is not the case look at the source files and make sure that yours looks the same.