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If you're a Flash designer looking for a solid overview of Flash CS4, this book is for you. Through the use of solid and practical exercises, you will soon master the fundamentals of this fourth edition of the Adobe Flash authoring tool. Using a series of carefully developed tutorials, you will be led from basic Flash CS4 techniques to the point where you can create animations, MP3 players, and customized Flash video players in no time. Each chapter focuses on a major aspect of Flash, and then lets you take the reins in a "Your Turn" exercise to create something amazing with what you've learned.
This book focuses on the core skill set you need to feel at home with Flash CS4, and also introduces you to some of the biggest names in today's Flash community through interviews and actual "How To" examples, so you can learn from the masters. You will start by studying the Flash CS4 interface, and while you're at it, you'll be guided toward mastery of the fundamentals, such as movie clips, text, and graphics, which will lead you into some of the more fascinating aspects of Flash, including audio, video, animation, and 3D transformations.
By the time you finish, you will have created an MP3 player and a Flash video player, been introduced to the basics of ActionScript 3.0, learned how to combine Flash with XML, styled Flash text with CSS, created animated scenes, and worked your way through a host of additional projects. All of these exercises are designed to give you the knowledge necessary to master Flash CS4 from the ground up. If you're already a seasoned Flash designer, this book will get you up to speed with the fourth version in relatively short order.
This book covers all of the new Flash CS4 features, such as the new animation and 3D tools, the new Adobe Media Encoder, and a pair of the coolest new additions to the tools panel: a spray brush tool and a deco tool.
You can discover more about this book, download source code, and more at the book's companion website: www.foundationflashcs4.com.
"Flash CS4 for Designers" contains a wealth of knowledge, however the inconsistencies between the book and downloadable files, as well as the apparent lack of editing made the whole experience frustrating.<BR/><BR/>Three of the chapters downloadable files refused to download properly from the first link provided in the book. The landing page of the second link stated that the book had no downloadable content. After doing a title search on the publisher's website and drilling down a few levels, I was able to download all of the lesson files. Or so I thought.<BR/><BR/>As I went through the chapters, I noticed typos and grammatical errors. This isn't a major problem until you start using writing action script or plugging values into to objects, and discover that it's not producing the desired results. I was able to troubleshoot some of the problems having discovered that some of the downloaded files weren't in the starting state that the book indicated. To help with this the publisher did include a completed file for you to compare your work against. In one case, I found that the completed file didn't match the action scripting indicated in the book. Since this was a lesson specifically on action scripting, the completed file provided was useless for checking action scripting on my working file. I do understand that coding can be written many ways to achieve the same results, however if you're teaching the "longhand" version of action scripting then the completed file should reflect the "longhand" version as well.<BR/><BR/>While a lot of the problems I encountered centered around the provided files not being available or just in various states of completion that didn't correspond with the text, sloppiness is the underlying problem for the book as a whole. As an unexpected bonus, you will learni trouble-shooting just to get through the book. <BR/><BR/>An important thing to note is that I purchased this book in mid-December 2008, and the copyright date on the inside cover is 2009. Perhaps the book was intended to go through an editor one last time pushing the release back to 2009.<BR/><BR/>I have written to the publisher to make them aware of the poor quality of "Flash CS4 for Designers", and they are looking into the problems. Hopefully, future editions of the book will be much more professional.<BR/><BR/>While I wouldn't recommend "Flash CS4 for Designers" I would recommend reading "Adobe Flash CS4 Classroom in a Book" which I read prior to this publication. It isn't as in depth, but there are no consistency issues to make the learning process more frustrating.
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Posted February 18, 2010
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Posted March 2, 2009
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