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Foundation Flash 5 gives you all the skills you'll need to get started in version 5of Flash. It takes you from your first drawing and animation project in Chapter 1, through to a strong foundation for exploring the sophisticated ActionScripting capabilities now built into Flash 5. It is a thorough and practical tutorial-based book, wherein each chapter helps to build upon a case study project—reinforcing what you've learned in that section and how it can be appliedto real design projects. By the end of the book, ...
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Foundation Flash 5 gives you all the skills you'll need to get started in version 5of Flash. It takes you from your first drawing and animation project in Chapter 1, through to a strong foundation for exploring the sophisticated ActionScripting capabilities now built into Flash 5. It is a thorough and practical tutorial-based book, wherein each chapter helps to build upon a case study project—reinforcing what you've learned in that section and how it can be appliedto real design projects. By the end of the book, you'll have built a working, Flash-rich website, and you'll have the skills to develop and modify your own Flash 5 effects. Professional-level design with Flash has taken a quantum step up with Flash 5. Foundation Flash 5 provides you with all the climbing gear you'll need for the steeper learning curve. You'll break a sweat. But when you get there, the view from the top is really worth the effort!
This book guides you through the fundamentals of the Flash 5 interface. It shows you how to create, manipulate and arrange your movie content, and then, how to publish your movie. Along the way, it covers the basics of ActionScripting, and then, in Part 3, moves onto more sophisticated ActionScripting and the principles of good site design.
Foundation Flash 5 assumes no prior knowledge of Flash or web animation. It is not, however, a "make-it-simple" and "leave-out-the-hard-bits" type of computer book. It is for serious aspiring web designers who want to expand their skill sets and learn the latest software design tools in depth. The Foundation series does not talk down; it addresses the urgent fact that the techniques underlying the best web design are becoming ever more sophisticated, and recognizes that you need a solid foundation upon which to build your knowledge.
In this chapter we're going to introduce you to the authoring environment - the Flash 5 interface - and take you through the essentials of creating visual content in Flash and making it move. In doing this, we'll start building up a picture of the main components of a Flash movie, and see how they fit together.
Taking time to understand the core elements at the heart of the Flash movie will pay off later - you'll have a firm grasp of the foundations, and you'll be able to build effectively on these as you learn.
So ...let's begin by looking at the first thing that most everybody wants to do when they open up their copy of Flash - create a movie and make interesting things happen on the screen.
The Authoring Environment
If you don't already have Flash 5 up and running, start it up now.
When you first open up Flash, you're presented with an array of screen elements: icons, menus, content preparation areas, toolbars, palettes and status bars:
This is the feature-rich authoring environment that lets you create your Flash movies and export them so that they can be published on the web and accessed by the adoring multitude. It's Flash's studio, workshop and test track combined.
If you've never used a Macromediaproduct before, you might be intimidated by the unfamiliar interface the first time you open Flash - don't be: before long you'll be navigating the interface with ease. And there's an added bonus to learning the Flash 5 interface: the inception of the new Macromedia common interface means that once you're familiar with Flash, you'll have no trouble finding your way around other Macromedia programs such as Fireworks or Director.
There's a tremendous amount of detail and power tucked away in the Flash 5 interface, and at first it can seem a little daunting if you're new to the software. To avoid the sense of clutter, and in order to "turn down the volume" a little, let's clear some of the elements out of the way: so that we can concentrate on the bare essentials for a moment (but don't worry, you won't be missing a thing - we'll be explaining all of the core features during the course of this book).
The stage can be likened to what a movie director can see in the viewfinder of a movie camera: what you see in the viewfinder is what will appear in the movie that the viewer watches in the theater. In the motion picture world, you can have action taking place on the film set (stage), and you can have actors waiting off stage, ready to make their entrance and come into shot.
At different times in the movie, different people and objects will be visible on the stage and, consequently, 'in shot'. The stage in Flash works on the same principle: at any given point in your Flash movie, the things that are on the stage are what the viewer will see when the movie is rendered in their browser. Another thing to consider is that the movie set can be much larger than the camera's field of view, and the camera can move around and seek out previously hidden corners.
If you want the end-user to see something in the Flash movie that plays in their browser, then that something has to be visible on the stage area when you create the movie. This also means that movie content can move onto the stage from the 'wings': for example, an animated actor could enter stage left, walk across the stage, and exit stage right. In the Flash authoring environment, any visual element that moves beyond the boundaries of the stage winds up in the work area.
The Work Area
The work area surrounds the stage. You can place content in the work area, but only content that actually appears on (or moves across) the stage will show up in the finished movie that the user watches. So, when you're designing your movie, you need to think about whether the visual elements it contains will spring into existence directly on the stage, or whether they're going to wait in the wings and then move onto the stage at some point...
Posted February 17, 2003
At first many of the steps in this book seemed a little mundane and redundant, but the further you get into the book you'll see why learning these basics are important. I liked the authors' style (even their "attempt" at humor, hehe). Very easy to understand and I am very comfortable using Flash 5 now, even the drawing tools became easy to use with simple instruction out of the book. If you're looking for a good Flash book to get you started, this is it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 11, 2001
If you're looking for a tutorial style book to help you learn flash, this is the book for you. From the first chapter, I was hooked! The examples are practical, and they spend a lot of time expaining what you're doing. I felt like it gave me a really solid grasp of Flash, not a lot of fluff. This book seems thorough enough that it's almost like taking a class. You can even goto the friendsofed.com site and join a discussion group about the book! I definately recomend this to anyone wanting a solid 'foundation' in FLASH! Tip: Before you begin this book, go to the website and print off the correction sheet, cut out each item and tape them into the book. It will save a lot of headaches later!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2001
If you are looking for building a good foundation in FLash, this book is the best choice to start with. It provides simple,clear and precise explanation and illustration for all the basic concepts we need to know. It is fun to read and practise. Not boring at all! Forget about those Flash Jumpstart guides, those are useless.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2001
Good examples including masking, how to make your motion and shape tween's more realistic and 2 chapters on actionscripting. Easy to follow examples and a case study that is updated at the end of every chapter. I'm waiting anxiously for the Foundation Actionscript book to be available.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2001
This book caught my eye the first time I saw it in the store. I flipped thru it for a minute and I was hooked. It has very well taught and well described chapters. It shows not only what Flash 5 can do, but it also shows how to do it. I already knew Flash fairly well, but after reading it I can honestly say that I imporved my skills greatly. I would recomend this book for the first time Flash users to the skilled web developers. Check it out somtime, I believe it will be worth it. As an added bouns, the book has some links to great Flash sites that help you design sites.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2001
This has been the most advantageous 'How To' book about Flash that you could ever want. I have considerable Flash training from attending Macromedia conferences, but what I knew about Flash and what was taught to me about this new version from the book has convinced me to stay at home and buy more from the authors. A wise investment at any level of experience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2001
This is one of the Best books I've read for learning a new software application. Foundation Flash 5 does what it's name says - helps the reader to build a good Flash foundation and then adds to it in each lesson. Downloads off their web site help in having the content needed to do the lesson material. The book walks you through building a menu for a web site and explains (very well) how to do it and why. The Masking chapter is the best that I've seen and they use several examples to show you various ways of using a Mask. I would recommend this book for beginners up to intermediate. Great Book!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.