How to Wow with Flash / Edition 1by Colin Smith
Pub. Date: 09/05/2006
Publisher: Peachpit Press
How to Wow with Flash is the next best thing. Flash powerhouse—Colin Smith—renowned author, Web designer, and trainer,/b>/i>
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have one of the world’s most accomplished and sought after Flash teachers sitting next to you at your computer as you navigate the infinite possibilities of Macromedia Flash 8?
How to Wow with Flash is the next best thing. Flash powerhouse—Colin Smith—renowned author, Web designer, and trainer, has developed an effective way to help you reach your full creative potential. Just like great cookbooks—the ones with short, clear-cut instructions and mouth-watering photos of the delectable concoctions—this book identifies challenges, provides simple recipes for overcoming them, and plugs in inspirational full-color photos of the glorious results.
Colin guides you step-by-step through real-world projects, with an emphasis on uncompromising quality, last-minute flexibility, and go-home-at-night speed! You’ll learn tips and techniques on everything from common workflow problems and exciting Web animation techniques to custom projects and movies using Flash 8. This is a fast paced book that exposes the secrets to making things move in new ways, add interactivity, sound and video to make audiences go wow!
This book begins with the essentials of workflow and Flash foundations (including Frames, Keyframes, creating shapes, blend modes) and then moves on to motion and effects, sound and video, and widgets and interactivity. Next comes the fun with creative projects such creating sweeping motion using custom easing, generating interactive navigation, creating slide shows, using masks, producing stunning effects with Flash 8’s new filters, adding looping music, and more. The How to Wow! companion CD makes it a snap and is packed with everything you need to work through the projects in the book and start creating your own Web sites and animations that wow!
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I bought this book to include its preloader lesson in a Flash course that I teach and am glad that I did. The book was written when Flash was in version 8, so the coding is ActionScript 2 which continues to be relevant. I am looking forward to purchasing the author's updated edition for Flash CS4 in hopes that it will be written for ActionScript 3. The release date for the CS4 version has been pushed back from March to June 2009.
How to Wow with Flash Colin Smith ISBN: 1-590596196 I really enjoyed this book. This is a must have for your Flash reference library. He summarizes his section on easing by saying that ¿to increase the speed or (ease-in)¿ you use negative numbers. To ¿slow speed or (ease-out)¿ you use positive numbers for the ease in / out slider located in the properties inspector. This is an example of the clear and concise easy to remember way he talks about Flash. Not only does he write clearly, he tells you practical industry secrets that will enable you to impress clients. I wish there were more books like this. This book steps you into working with code in a painless way if you¿re coming from a design background. The book and .FLA files provided with the CD are beautiful art pieces. There is a section on animation, highlighting squash and stretch, lip-synching, and anticipation with Chris Georgenes of Adobe. This section emphasizes that you can move the rotation point of the movie clip to the bottom of the animation when the object reaches the bottom of the squash and stretch cycle. This gives the animation that extra punch. He really concentrates on the little details that take something good and make it polished!! The author shows you how to make a preloader but, not the ugly bar kind. You can take any logo with this method and mask it and hook it up to the preloader code and have it fill. He sprinkles little known keyboard shortcuts throughout the book. For example, if you want to skew just one side of something he tells you to hold down the alt key (PC) to lock the opposite side of the skew. Other ideas about dealing with Flash 8 features such as object drawing are included. If you draw something with object drawing set to on which reverts Flash back to the way it used to work in Flash 7 ( where it cuts out shapes laid on top of each other). The author suggests that you just hit Ctrl + B (PC) and the shape will be as if you didn't have the drawing object on. Colin shows you how to soften fill edges, and make a spotlight mask utilizing checking the bitmap caching checkbox and a little code for the mask using the setMask function. There is a discussion of ActionScript variables. Not just the theory he shows you how to use them with game counters, to record a web viewer's actions such as clicking on a link, and changing behavior based on whether a condition is true or false. Using the _alpha property to show viewers visited links is covered as well. The video section is very solid. It covers green screen, alpha channels, making a video look like a cartoon, old time movie effects with scratchy lines and flickering, and IPOD like silhouettes. He gives an overview of the fundamentals of video such as: when using green screen, check encode alpha channel checkbox, try to achieve the best quality without increasing the file size, choose 30 fps for video used for broadcast. Some of the other things included in this book are: a Flash form coded by Matt Keefe and some innovative approaches to navigation, code showing you how to make your mouse follow the cursor, an xml photo gallery and more. He tells you how to hook up the .php for the form. This alone would make the book worth buying.