New Masters of Flash: The 2002 Annual


Flash has upped the standard for web motion graphics and has been welcomed with open arms on account of its powerful new ActionScripting capabilities. Following the phenomenal success of New Masters of Flash, the Flash Annual will bring together a new collection of the hottest Flash design talents on the planet, all of whom have grabbed attention in the preceding year.

New Masters of Flash: The 2002 Annual gives competent web artists inspiration for cutting-edge Flash design ...

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Paperback (2001)
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Flash has upped the standard for web motion graphics and has been welcomed with open arms on account of its powerful new ActionScripting capabilities. Following the phenomenal success of New Masters of Flash, the Flash Annual will bring together a new collection of the hottest Flash design talents on the planet, all of whom have grabbed attention in the preceding year.

New Masters of Flash: The 2002 Annual gives competent web artists inspiration for cutting-edge Flash design techniques, as well as hard tutorial information on how to build top class effects. The format builds on the best of the original best-selling title while improving in areas where the first volume was weaker, (e.g. generic customizable code examples), while the talents, the inspirations and effects are all of the moment and represent the mature and expert deployment of the staggering new capabilities of Flash 5 ActionScript.

The Flash Annual format: The Intro is a series of 3 "field-report" essays written by key New Masters from the previous year covering new talents, new techniques and new trends. The main body of the book is then an evolution from the original format. This time, as well as the inspiration and tutorial sections, we add a third section to each chapter, headnotes. Part summary, part chapter commentary, part code overview, the Headnotes section teases out the reusable and generic elements of the previous tutorial and suggests ways forward for the reader.

What you’ll learn

Who this book is for

  • Web artists with experience in the Flash environment, and who know some ActionScript.
  • Aspiring designers looking for inspirations and direction from industry leaders.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590592069
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Edition description: 2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author

A bio is not available for this author.

Manny Tan works for a design shop called The Fin Company in New York. In his spare time, he updates his sites, and Both deal with programmatic movement in Flash. Uncontrol is the place for Manny to experiment with motion and behaviors through code, while 66mph is where he does his more "arty-farty" stuff. Manny has been published in several books, like New Masters of Flash, 72 DPI, and Young Guns NYC III, and has exhibited works at OFFF in Barcelona and ADC in New York. He was involved in the biennial at Tirana and was exhibited at the Deitch Gallery in New York City. When he's not doing Flash stuff, Manny builds Bandai models, mountain bikes, and grows herbal plants on his windowsill.

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Gabriel Mulzer was born last century in southern Germany and lives in Berlin. He works as a freelance media/motion designer; this means working a lot with Flash and on concepts. He lectures on occasion and also writes sometimes, too.

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Table of Contents

Summary of contents:

  • Pencils
  • Inspire
  • 1. Slide
  • 2. Pollen
  • 3. Flower
  • 4. Axis
  • 5. Depth
  • 6. Time
  • 7. Regenerate
  • 8. Chronometry
  • 9. Drive
  • 10. Today
  • 11. Trick
  • 12. Flutter
  • 13. Flux
  • 14. Talk
  • 15. Toys

Computer Arts magazine

Winter 2001 5 Star Review

"Whether you're a seasoned Flash designer or just starting out, you'll find this annual filled with inspiration, beauty and functionality, featuring practical examples of each of the 15 artists' work.

Every chapter offers a diverse approach to the Flash project under construction, as well as an insight into the mind of each artist being showcased. On a practical level, you'll be able to deconstruct each of the design projects chosen by the artists as a representation of their work.

Each chapter has well-produced screenshots of Flash screens, plus coding examples which enable you to get the heart of the ActionScript being implemented. Use this book for inspiration in you own work and to marvel at what is being done today with Flash design."

9 out of 10

Reviewed by Brett Archibald

"Hey kids! Have you ever wanted to create great-looking Flash sites like - that one with the bizarre draggable spider-baby? Or how about those cool and crazy menus used on and And we just know that you're dying to hear some wise words of wisdom from the guy who designed the website! Well now you can do all this and more with the release of Friends Of Ed's brand new andimproved New Masters of Flash Annual 2002! At just $59.99 (US) / u47.99 (UK), it's a bargain you can't afford to miss out on! Don't delay - order yours today!

I first came across friends Of ED a little over a year ago whilst browsing my local bookstores for a book on how to improve my Flash ActionScripting skills. I had been working with Flash for a number of years, and had recently upgraded to Flash version 5, and I realised that I had to seek external help if I wanted to take my skills that little bit further and keep up with the rest of the fast-moving web industry. As a designer primarily, and a programmer secondarily - only because I have to be if I want to transform my crazy ideas into working models - I wanted a book that would not only teach me how to work more with complicated ActionScript, but that would also take me above and beyond ActionScript and into Flash design. I wanted a book that was filled with great ideas, and would in turn fill me with great ideas. I wanted a book that had amazing examples of award-winning websites that would inspire me, and fill me with the desire to create beautiful amazing work. Many weeks and months spent wandering around all the bookstores, browsing all manner of categories - design, internet, scripting - made me think I was asking for too much to be all in one book. I thought I would have to buy several books and combine them all in order to fulfil my needs. How naive I was back then.

I had been working with Flash ever since version 3 was just a baby, and I was producing work that I was relatively pleased with, and that my paying clients were more than pleased with, but still it was not enough. I wanted more. I wanted my work to be the kind of work that would win the prestigious Macromedia Site Of The Day award. So I had been browsing the bookshops for quite awhile, but in all that time nothing ever really caught my eye, nothing ever really stood out as offering me more than what the User Manual that came in the Flash box offered. But that was kind of the problem really; as I said before, I am a designer primarily, and although the HTML Help Pages that come with Flash 5 may cover every aspect of the programme, they don't really make for interesting reading, for one. They're more there for you to turn to when you get stuck using the application itself. And besides, the help pages don't really go into anywhere near enough detail for my non-programmer's brain to understand. I'm one of those more 'arty types', and all the books I had ever come across in the past seemed to fall into one of two main categories:

Example (A) - Very basic: "...To draw a circle, click on the 'circle' tool. That's the one that looks like a circle..."

Or example (B) - Very technical: "...To draw a circle, calculate the circumference using the algebraic formula 'Y=sqrt(r^2-(x-xctr)^2) +yctr' where 'input' = '(r*r)-((x-xctr)*(x-xctr))'...".

Now I don't know about you, but I didn't understand a word of that last one. And the sad thing is, that's not a made-up example, that's an actual true example from a source .fla file that I downloaded from a well-known Flash help site. Example A was obviously no good to me as I had long since passed that level merely by managing to turn the computer on all by myself, and although example B may have drawn a circle if typed correctly, it didn't tell why I was doing what I was doing, and how what I was doing worked. As such it didn't instil me with a sense of understanding and I could not re-use this information to draw, say, a rectangle, if I wanted to take this knowledge I had 'learned' and apply it elsewhere. I wanted a book that went into great detail, explaining every single step, telling me what I was doing as I was doing it, and why I was doing it, without being patronising. I wanted a book that gave me real-world examples and useful applications.

Then one day, a very attractive book caught my eye. It appealed to me before I even opened its silky smooth cover. It was dressed in a very beautiful black pink jacket with pink trim, and had the most alluring smile I had ever seen. And those eyes were just to die for. It was a face that could almost have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci himself. What I had in fact found was Friends Of Ed, and in particular, the first New Masters of Flash annual. I knew instantly that I wanted to buy it. A quick browse of it in the bookshop revealed examples from some of the best-known names in the Flash industry (Yugo Nakamura, Joshua Davis, Eric JordanÉ the list goes on), examples of the kind of work that I aspired to. And the New Masters of Flash annual 2002 is just as impressive (see top of review for full contributor listing). These people don't just tell you how to achieve certain effects that they have used in their own websites, sites that have made them household names in the Flash community, but they also tell you how to achieve these effects and use them in conjunction with other effects and use them in a real-world situation. In other words; they don't just tell you how to draw our example circle and leave it at that.

This book sits at the peak of Friends Of Ed's three defining categories, or skill levels: 'Foundation - learning it', 'Studio - doing it', and 'New Masters - showing it'. New Masters is as good as the talent out there gets. The contributors to the book in each chapter precede their examples with an introductory section on who they are, and how they came to be where they are now, in web-design terms. They tell you how they progressed from being the common or garden variety of person like you or me, into the Flash Gods and Goddesses that they are today. They tell you what makes them tick. They tell you why they do what they do. They tell you everything you could ever want to know, and this makes for a highly interesting background read, before they round off the introduction with a few lines on the inspirations and ideas behind the particular example they will be guiding you through. After this, you dive headfirst into their most intimate pieces of code.

The tutorials that are worked through are really up close and detailed, and absolutely nothing is skipped: each chapter begins with instructions on what size to create your canvas and what frame rate to set your movie at, and finishes by telling you to export your final .swf file. No stone is left unturned. In between you have not only the highly sophisticated descriptions, but also all manner of screenshots (which reveals an interesting fact that only two designers in the whole book use Apple Macs), and practically every line of ActionScript code used in the file is typed out. More useful, of course, would be to have the .fla files themselves, to pick at the source code directly, and so of course Friends Of Ed have provided us with an accompanying CD containing not just every single .fla used in the book, but you also get video interviews with some of the designers, and if the static printed screenshots in the book aren't enough for you, then you can just sit back and watch the absolutely amazing animated walkthroughs on how to build and progress your movie in the familiar realms of the application itself. So if you don't feel like lugging the massive 500+ page book around with you when you go somewhere, just pop the CD into your pocket and you've got everything you need.

New Masters of Flash: The 2002 Annual continues in the fine tradition of its predecessor, but now, in response to your demands, there is a brand new third element to be found at the end of each chapter: Headnotes. This is basically a small section in which we are told how to expand the example we have just worked through, or how we can alter it ever so slightly to get a totally different end result. So if for example, the tutorial walks you through an effect that makes use of the cursor's X position to control a horizontal slide of some sort, the headnotes might suggest making use of both the X AND Y properties of the cursor to create an object that seems to rotate in 3D. It's things like this that mean the book is not just a set of 15 set, un-changeable effects that you can't do much with without looking like you're ripping off the creator, which some people may mistakenly believe when merely skimming through the book. The headnotes invite your mind to look at the examples not as one complete contained effect, but rather one end result that was achieved by using a whole range of possible techniques within Flash, and that it is these individual techniques that your mind should be looking to and combining when wanting to create any other effects of your own. The headnotes show just how easy it can be.

Although this book is aimed at people who are "at the summit" and it is written by some of the leading Flash designers in the world, people who are 'advanced users', it is a book that absolutely every Flash user (and a whole bunch of non-Flash users) of every skill level will enjoy and appreciate immensely. The whole book is written in easy-to-understand terms, without ever once being patronising. This is not only an excellent book on how to learn to work with a fairly advanced level of Flash, but it is also an excellent standalone design book.

The best line in this book is where it says: "Although small text looks cool, it does have the unfortunate side-effect that no-one can read it. This may bother Mr. Nielsen, but not us." Classic.

In wrapping up, I would have to say that if it wasn't for the fact that New Masters of Flash: the first annual already exists, then I would have no hesitation in saying that this is the finest Flash design book out there. Perhaps it was just because the first annual was the first of its kind, or perhaps it simply was a better book... I don't know...But either way, this book is a must-have for your collection."

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