Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity


Macromedia Flash is fast becoming the Web's most widely used platform for creating rich media with animation and motion graphics, but mastering Flash isn't easy. Most entry-level books teach through simple examples that concentrate on either animation or scripting, but rarely both together. To get the most from Flash 8, you not only need to be proficient in programming/interface design, you need the creativity for story telling and the artistic insights to design fluid ...

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Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity

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Macromedia Flash is fast becoming the Web's most widely used platform for creating rich media with animation and motion graphics, but mastering Flash isn't easy. Most entry-level books teach through simple examples that concentrate on either animation or scripting, but rarely both together. To get the most from Flash 8, you not only need to be proficient in programming/interface design, you need the creativity for story telling and the artistic insights to design fluid animation.

Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity teaches Flash design rather than simply Flash itself. With a standalone series of walkthroughs and tutorials for Flash beginners coming from a graphics field, this book teaches Flash in the context of real-world projects. Rather than learn a Flash tool for the sake of it, you learn which areas of Flash are important, and which are less used, simply by seeing how typical content is actually created. And rather than a text-heavy approach, this graphically rich book leads you through hands-on examples by illustration.

Each project in the book starts with goals and broad sketches before moving to design and scripting. This helps you understand design intent-the why of the process-rather than just learning the interfaces and the how of it all. Along the way, you'll create Flash content that includes traditional animation techniques (as seen in full-length animated features), and ActionScript-based interactive animation, such as custom web site interface designs. You also learn how to combine both traditional animation techniques and ActionScript to create feature-rich Flash assets from the ground up.

Co-authored by educational developers with years of experience creating compelling content, interfaces, and applications, Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity offers a content-driven approach that is also inspiration-driven. You learn because you're accomplishing something tangible, not because you think you need to know how a tool works.

If you want to understand how various features of Flash come together to create a final end design, this book provides you with both the insight and the know-how.

Teaching Flash design rather than simply Flash itself, this book features walk throughs and tutorials for beginners coming from a graphics field. This graphically rich book leads through hands-on examples by illustration.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596102234
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: O'Reilly Digital Studio Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Rich Shupe is the founder and president of FMA--a full-service multimedia development company and training facility in New York City. Rich teaches a variety of digital technologies in academic and commercial environments, and has frequently lectured on these topics at Flash on the Beach, Flashbelt, Flash on Tap, FlashForward, Macworld, and other national and international events. He is a faculty member of New York's School of Visual Arts' MFA Computer Art Department. Rich is also the author or coauthor of multiple books, including Learning ActionScript 3.0 (O'Reilly), The ActionScript 3.0 Quick Reference Guide (O'Reilly), Flash CS3 Professional Video Training Book (Peachpit Press), CS3 Web and Design Workflow Guides (Adobe). He also presents video training on Flash and other topics for Lynda.com.

Robert Hoekman, Jr, is a Certified Macromedia Flash MX Designer and has worked with Flash since version 3. He is also the founder and manager of the Flash and Multimedia User Group of Arizona, an official Macromedia User Group (MMUG) with approximately 150 members. In the past several years, Robert has worked in corporate environments as a Multimedia designer, web designer and webmaster, and has designed for audiences ranging from music-memorabilia collectors to executives at Fortune 100 companies.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors;
Who This Book Is For;
More Than Just Marketing;
What Makes This Book Different?;
How to Use This Book;
Using Code Examples;
SafariĀ® Enabled;
Comments and Questions;
Chapter 1: Getting Started, Right Out of the Box;
1.1 Drawing Your First Box;
1.2 Coloring Fills and Strokes;
1.3 Merging and Stacking Shapes;
1.4 Creating Reusable Graphics;
Chapter 2: Creating Quickly: Customizing Your Workspace;
2.1 Designing Your Own Panel Layout;
2.2 Customizing Movie Properties;
2.3 Aligning Objects on the Stage;
2.4 Behind Every Good Symbol Is a Good Editor;
2.5 Automate Your Workflow;
2.6 What's Next?;
Chapter 3: Your First Animation;
3.1 Layers and the Timeline;
3.2 Keyframes and Tweening;
3.3 Preparing Text for Animation;
3.4 Staggering Animation;
3.5 Alpha Effect;
3.6 Motion Effects;
3.7 Your First Script;
3.8 Publishing Your Movie;
Chapter 4: Buttons and Interactivity;
4.1 Buttons as Symbols;
4.2 Scripting Your Button;
4.3 Components and Behaviors;
4.4 Navigation;
4.5 More Fun with Buttons;
Chapter 5: Working with Graphics;
5.1 Importing Pixels;
5.2 Working with Pixels;
5.3 Importing Vectors;
5.4 Using Scenes;
5.5 Working with the Library;
Chapter 6: Movie Clips and Interactivity;
6.1 Drawing a Cartoon Character;
6.2 Controlling the Character with ActionScript;
6.3 More Movie Clip Control;
Chapter 7: More Animation Techniques;
7.1 Morphing with Shape Tweens;
7.2 Frame-by-Frame Animation;
7.3 Using Masks;
7.4 Timeline Versus ActionScript Animation;
7.5 What's Next?;
Chapter 8: Using Sound;
8.1 Importing Sounds;
8.2 Controlling External Sounds;
8.3 Scripting Your Own Sound Control;
Chapter 9: Using Video;
9.1 Importing Video;
9.2 Controlling External Videos;
9.3 Scripting Your Own Video Control;
Chapter 10: Compositing and Bitmap Effects;
10.1 Runtime Bitmap Caching;
10.2 Bitmap Filter Effects;
10.3 Blend Modes;
Chapter 11: Working with Text;
11.1 Text Types;
11.2 Using Fonts;
11.3 Loading and Styling Text;
11.4 FlashType;
Chapter 12: Loading Assets on the Fly;
12.1 Using ActionScript to Modularize Content;
12.2 Preloading;
Chapter 13: e-Learning with Flash;
13.1 Creating a Quiz: Getting Started with Templates;
13.2 Sending Results with a Form;
13.3 Saving and Retrieving Local Data;
Chapter 14: Flash for CD-ROM and Handhelds;
14.1 Flash on CD-ROM;
14.2 Flash on the Run;
Chapter 15: Think Outside the Box;
15.1 Exporting to Video;
15.2 The Drawing API;
15.3 Extending Flash;
15.4 The Rest Is Up to You;
Appendix A: Tips and Resources;
.1 Preferences;
.2 Customizing the Tools Panel;
.3 Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts;
.4 Basic Tips;
.5 Flash 8 Basic Versus Professional;
.6 Troubleshooting;
.7 Areas of Continued Study;
.8 Extending Flash;
.9 Resources;
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    Great for the beginner

    Flash 8 Projects for learning Animation and Interactivity By Rich Shupe & Robert Hoekman, Jr. Publisher: O¿Reilly Copyright 2006 IBSN: 0-596-10223-2 Review by: Linda Weller The books learning style is organic. They pair topics with goals. You learn by doing. Shortcuts are highlighted. Self teaching is encouraged by allowing you to expand on the projects using what you have learned. Sample files are available online or on the CD Rom. They try to spoon feed you a little ActionScript in the sidebars of the book. Then you get to the chapter on creating a form and wow your using somewhat complex ActionScript and a PHP form. I hope you have a server installed that allows PHP for this one. This book is filled with lots of special little tips. For example they tell you the difference between object level undo¿s and document level undo¿s. I bet you thought it was just ctrl +z. Some of the Flash 8 features that are covered are Object drawing and Merge draw and when to you each one, metadata fields to make your Flash files search engine friendly, copy to grid assistant and, the distributed duplicate assistant. Productivity tips are covered using the align panel, timeline effect assistants and the history panel. Have you ever needed to change a symbol¿s registration point after it is made? Go to the Info window. Usability is covered. The author¿s show you how to add an active content bar to your menu buttons so the user knows where they are in the menu. Also, using the anchor from the label type drop down menu which is like an HTML anchor enables the back and forward buttons to work when navigating browsers. There is information on all the basics: making an invisible button, tweening, shape tweening and, masks. How to work with assets is discussed. They show why we use PNG format in Flash with a rather graphic example. You can access round trip editing with a program of your choice. Chapter 7 is loaded with lots of animation techniques such as using shape tweening to have a house draw itself, gradient masks, enabling bitmap caching with ActionScript on the mask and masked movie clips. There is a whole exercise to help you learn to decide when you would use scripted and when you would use timeline animation. The chapter on sound give you some great tips on trimming unused portions of your sound and using short loops to optimize your files. They even tell you of a free sound editor. You create an MP3 player and a video player with ActionScript as well as creating players using the components. All the new Bitmap caching and filter effects are discussed. You make bevel filters using ActionScript 2.0 classes. They close off the last chapter with lots of web resources and tips. For example for file optimization purposes you can go to ¿file¿save-- compact new¿ this totally removes deleted files from the system and reduces file size.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006


    Are you a beginning Flash user who wants to bring their project ideas to life? If you are, then this book is for you. Authors Richard Shupe and Robert Hoekman, have done an outstanding job of writing a book that includes everything you need to get started in Flash. Shupe and Robert Hoekman, begin by showing you how to use Flash¿s vector drawing tools. Then, the authors describe how you can set up your work environment the way you feel most comfortable. The authors then show you how to use a few essential techniques to create your first animated Flash movie. Next, they show you how to give your audience some control through the use of buttons and ActionScript. The authors also show you how Flash can work with other applications to help you meet your project needs. They continue by showing you how movie clips allow you to create animations that play independently of one another. Then, the authors show you how to create an animated advertisement for the sale of a home as well as, other experience with some of these techniques. Next, they show you how to work with sound. They continue by showing you how to add video to your projects, with and without Action Script. Then, the authors describe how you can composite bitmap and vector assets on the fly and learn how to inject a heightened sense of expression into your files with real-time filter effects. The authors then show you how to use text. Next, they focus on solving one problem: Keeping initial download times to a minimum without compromising too much quality or creativity. The authors also show you how to use a template and components to construct a three-question quiz about what you¿ve learned so far. They continue by exploring two slightly less conventional distribution methods for Flash content. Finally, they show you a few projects that demonstrate some of Flash¿s less common uses. Several techniques are used in this most excellent book to help you better understand and retain the information you are given. More importantly, the preceding approach is what makes this book more effective learning tool than other books on the shelf.

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