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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...
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.
Posted April 17, 2007
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.