Macromedia Flash MX Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide

Overview

Ready to take your Flash knowledge to the next level? Then Macromedia Flash MX Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide is your ticket. Designed for professionals like yourself-users who have mastered the basics of Flash but need help with the advanced animation techniques and ActionScripting—this guide is a must-have for graphic designers, Web animators, game programmers, interface designers, and multimedia pros.

In this volume, veteran Flash instructor Russell...

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Overview

Ready to take your Flash knowledge to the next level? Then Macromedia Flash MX Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide is your ticket. Designed for professionals like yourself-users who have mastered the basics of Flash but need help with the advanced animation techniques and ActionScripting—this guide is a must-have for graphic designers, Web animators, game programmers, interface designers, and multimedia pros.

In this volume, veteran Flash instructor Russell Chun eschews "cool effects" and case studies for an approach that emphasizes methodology and problem-solving. Using the task-based format that readers have come to expect from this popular series, Russell has divided the text into three primary sections: animation, navigation, and interactivity. The guide covers all of Flash's new features, including the revamped user interface, brand-new commands, and added drawing and text tools. Plus, you'll find plenty of screen shots and visual aids to reinforce the text. With Flash MX Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide by your side, you'll soon find yourself thinking—maybe even dreaming—in Flash.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Remember when just knowing Flash at all was a competitive advantage? Ahh, the good old days. But nowadays, the market for splashy web site intros is, well, a little soft. It’s time to take your Flash skills to the next level -- and beyond.
  • It’s time to master more complex tasks involving video, masking, dynamic sound control, or movie-clip collision detection.
  • It’s time to deepen your animation skills, and then integrate your animations with interactivity (as in some of the increasingly sophisticated Flash games we’re seeing of late).
  • It’s time to build real user interfaces -- maybe, if you’re feeling generous, user interfaces that real people can actually use. (Flash MX makes that a whole lot easier than it’s ever been.)
  • It’s time to get your arms around ActionScript once and for all. And, not least, it’s time to integrate Flash with other applications and technologies -- for instance, HTML, XML, JavaScript, and CGI.
If you’d like to learn all this stuff with as little pain as possible -- and then have a handy step-by-step reference you can return to repeatedly -- get Russell Chun’s Macromedia Flash Advanced for Windows & Macintosh Visual QuickPro Guide.

Sophisticated Flash development touches on multiple fields, from aesthetics to interactivity, content to programming. That makes Chun the ideal author for this book. He’s a professional instructional media developer, and a medical illustrator, and a Flash consultant who’s written numerous articles on the program. He’s also a teacher at both the Center for Electronic Art in San Francisco and at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, where he teaches Flash mini-classes. Now that’s one interdisciplinary guy.

Chun’s extensive teaching experience has helped him do a fine job of logically organizing Flash MX’s advanced features. Each technique builds on what’s come before, and Chun shows how multiple features work together to solve the real problems you’re most likely to encounter. For instance, as Chun observes, a “simple” pull-down menu must bring together several simple elements -- invisible buttons, event handlers, button-tracking options, and movie clips -- in order to generate a relatively complex behavior.

In this book, Chun begins with advanced animation techniques: creating complex animations from simple parts, adding Flash elements to the digital video you’re using; exporting multimedia files as QuickTime or AVI movies; rotoscoping; simulating video from a sequence of bitmap images; and, finally, simulating 3-D motion and geometry.

Next, he’s on to ActionScripting: fundamental syntax, advanced buttons and event detection; controlling multiple timelines; and managing communications with browsers and other outside applications.

Chun demonstrates how to gain greater control over movie clips: setting and getting properties; detecting dropped clips and collisions; generating and removing clips dynamically, and more. There's detailed coverage of Flash's sound object, and techniques for managing sound more effectively by keeping it outside your Flash project in the form of external movies.

The book includes extensive coverage of working with information: controlling information flow and text; calculating with the Math Object; keeping track of movie clips with arrays; using the date and time; and more.

The book concludes with some excellent tips on managing and optimizing content, reusing scripts, working with Flash components, and troubleshooting ActionScript -- including a list of the errors ActionScript developers make most often.

This QuickPro guide follows the proven format Peachpit established years ago with its bestselling QuickStart guides. It's clean, task based, uses plenty of graphics, and is extremely accessible. It also contains a CD-ROM with all the source files you need to practice every technique Chun teaches -- along with a complete trial version of Flash MX.

You should know that Chun doesn’t waste a lot of time on preliminaries. You should already know how to create basic shapes and text; how to do tweens and frame-by-frame animation; how to import bitmaps and sounds; and how to assign basic actions to frames and buttons. But if you can do all that, this book will get you the rest of the way -- in style. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201758467
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press
  • Publication date: 5/16/2002
  • Series: Visual QuickPro Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 611
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

@CATEGORY = Electronic and Desktop Publishing@TITLE = Macromedia Flash X Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide@HEADLINE = Take your Flash skills to the next level with a Visual QuickPro Guide!@BULLET = This Visual QuickPro Guide discusses more complex Flash topics, such as advanced animation techniques and ActionScript programming.@BULLET = One of the best-selling Flash titles on the market, completely updated with revised examples and plenty of new screenshots reflecting the updated Flash interface.@BULLET = Geared for the intermediate-to-advanced Flash developer audience.@SUMMARY = Macromedia Flash X Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide is targeted at intermediate-to-advanced Flash developers, including graphic designers, Web animators, game programmers, interface designers, and producers. These are the people who are already familiar with the basics of Flash and need a book to help them learn advanced animation techniques and ActionScripting. Russell Chun, an experienced Flash instructor, sidesteps "cool effects" and specific case studies in favor of demonstrating basic ways to approach animation and interactivity in Flash. By presenting material in a logical fashion that emphasizes method and problem-solving approaches, this book encourages readers to "think" in Flash and truly understand its flexibility and functionality. The text is divided into three sections: advanced animations, advanced navigation, and advanced interactivity. All of Flash X's new features are covered, including the revamped user interface, brand-new ActionScript commands, and Flash's new drawing and text tools.@AUTHBIO = Russell Chun earned his B.S. In Biology at the University of Michigan and later earned an M.A. In Medical Illustration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Since then, he's been involved with developing interactive educational media for the sciences, most recently as the Senior Producer for Art and Media at Benjamin Cummings Publishers. He also teaches advanced Flash classes at the Center for Electronic Art in San Francisco and has written several Flash articles for Macworld and SBS Digital magazines. He has conducted both national and regional workshops on Flash, and is the author of all previous editions of this book. @ISBN = 0-201-75846-6 @MAINCAT = Electronic and Desktop Publishing@SUBCAT = Web Graphics and Publishing/Tools@DATALINE1 = 2002, 480 pages, 7 x 9@DATALINE2 = paper w/CD-ROM, $29.99@IMPRINT = Peachpit Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. I Approaching Advanced Animation 1
Ch. 1 Building Complexity 3
Ch. 2 Working with Video and 3D 39
Pt. II Understanding ActionScript 69
Ch. 3 Getting a Handle on ActionScript 71
Pt. III Navigating Timelines and Communicating 101
Ch. 4 Advanced Buttons and Event Detection 103
Ch. 5 Controlling Multiple Timelines 161
Ch. 6 Managing Outside Communication 191
Pt. IV Transforming Graphics and Sound 257
Ch. 7 Controlling the Movie Clip 259
Ch. 8 Controlling Sound 329
Pt. V Working with Information 357
Ch. 9 Controlling Information Flow 359
Ch. 10 Controlling Text 411
Ch. 11 Manipulating Information 475
Ch. 12 Managing Content and Troubleshooting 535
App. A Summary of Object Methods & Properties 577
App. B Keyboard Keys and Matching Key Codes 589
App. C Summary of the Actions Category 591
App. D Summary of Events and Object Associations 595
Index 597
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