Read an Excerpt
Learning Macromedia® Flash 5 provides you with the knowledge and experience you need to design and build animations for use on Web pages, in presentations, and as standalone movies.
In this course, you will learn about the many different components that make an exciting and vibrant animation, including graphics, simple and advanced animation techniques, sound, text, and even programming scripts. What This Book Is About
Learning Macromedia Flash 5 is written for beginning and intermediate graphic animators. The book assumes the reader has a working knowledge of Windows-based programs, basic text editing, and the Internet. The reader may someday want to pursue a career in graphic animation or Web page design, or may just want to have fun creating movies with Flash. Who Should Read This Book?
This book is for everyone who wants to know how to add animations to a Web site. You can use this book as a chapter-by-chapter tutorial on many Flash features or refer to it on an as-needed topical basis. What You Need
To gain the most from this book, you will need:
- Knowledge of fundamental Windows navigation and terminology.
- A PC with at least a 266Mhz processor and 64MB of RAM. (More RAM and a faster processor will make your work go faster so that you can spend more time learning and using Flash's robust features.)
- Flash 5.
- An Internet browser version 4 or higher, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, that supports multimedia, animation, and advanced interactive features.
You begin with Flash basics and thenmove to advanced features.
- Lesson 1: Flash 5 Basics. This lesson includes eight exercises designed to introduce you to the program and its workspace. You start with a tour of the Flash on-screen elements, including menus, panels, and the workspace. You will also learn how to start and exit the program. You move on to an exercise that introduces you to the Flash Help program and tutorial, and then you start to create images using the Flash drawing tools. By the end of the lesson you are able to draw, modify, and transform shapesthe building blocks of all Flash animations.
- Lesson 2: Create a Movie. From organization to animation, this lesson takes you through the process of building a complete Flash movie. You learn how to build an animation using frames and layers. You discover the unique methods Flash offers for keeping file size small, and you get your first taste of animation as you make shapes and objects move across the screen, change color, and transform.
- Lesson 3: Enhance a Movie. The exercises in this lesson show you how to improve your animations by incorporating sounds, imported graphics, and text. You will learn how to insert actions to control the flow of you movies and to create buttons that your audience can use to navigate through a movie.
- Lesson 4: Publish a Movie. In this lesson, you learn how to prepare a Flash movie for viewing on the World Wide Web, or on a standalone computer. You will learn to test and optimize your movies to insure the best performance and how to select settings to control the size and quality of the movie when it plays. You will also learn how to export the movie or its components so you can use it in a different program.
- Lesson 5: Advanced Flash. This lesson covers the advanced features that make it possible for you to create complex animations. You will learn how to make interactive text that viewers can select on-screen, or click to link to a URL. You also learn how to create special effects using shape hints and mask layers and how to incorporate different types of graphics in your Flash animations. Exercises on the Movie Explorer and Libraries teach you ways of staying organized even as your animations become more complicated.
- Lesson 6: Projects and Challenges. The goal-oriented exercises in this lesson are designed to let you explore the knowledge you have acquired throughout-this book by trying your hand at different types of animations. You will create an interactive game and design a flying logo that integrates multiple objects. You will enhance an animation using sound and special effects, and you will design a sequence of frames that uses text, actions, and animation to keep a viewer's attention while a movie prepares to play. Finally, you create an animation in which a picture appears to speak.
Each lesson in Learning Macromedia Flash 5 is made up of short exercises designed for using Flash in real-life business settings. The exercises include the following key elements:
- On the Job. Each exercise starts with a brief description of how you would use the features of that exercise in the workplace.
- Exercise Scenario. The Flash tools are then put into context by setting a scenario. For example, you may be designing an animation for a client, or creating a sequence to include on a Web page.
- Terms. Key terms are included and defined at the start of each exercise, so you can quickly refer back to them. They are highlighted in bold in the text as well.
- Notes. Concise notes for learning the computer concepts provide the background and information you need to make sense out of the procedures.
- Procedures. Hands-on mouse and keyboard procedures teach all of the necessary skills.
- Application Exercise. Step-by-step instructions put your skills to work. Lengthy exercises are broken down into manageable sections.
- In addition, the first five lessons each include a Critical Thinking Exercise. These exercises are designed to challenge you into using the skills you learned during the lesson to accomplish a specific goal.