Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX 2004 in 24 Hours

Overview

Since its introduction in 1996, Macromedia Flash has become the standard for delivering high impact, vector-based graphics to the Web. Flash is deceptively simple at first, yet has great depth and flexibility.

Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX in 24 Hours offers a clearly written, well-organized introduction to this powerful product, and gives the beginner an overview of the entire package, without becoming too overwhelming.

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Overview

Since its introduction in 1996, Macromedia Flash has become the standard for delivering high impact, vector-based graphics to the Web. Flash is deceptively simple at first, yet has great depth and flexibility.

Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX in 24 Hours offers a clearly written, well-organized introduction to this powerful product, and gives the beginner an overview of the entire package, without becoming too overwhelming.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
At the rate Macromedia is going, they may have to rename the next version of Flash "Substance."

Their brand-new Flash MX is chock full of really deep stuff, much of it aimed at designers and developers who want to build entire applications and sites with Flash, not just "movies" (or those dreaded "Intros" of yore). Even if your ambitions lie elsewhere, there's plenty of new stuff here for you. Flash files can now embed standard Quicktime, MPEG, DV, MOV, and AVI video files (though your viewers will need Flash Player 6 with the new Sorenson Spark codec.)

There are gobs of new graphic design tools, including Free Transform and the Pixel-Level Snapping Control, which give designers more of what they crave: control. And, if you're running on Mac OS X you'll love the native support (not to mention the improved player performance).

You probably know what we're going to tell you next (because it seems to happen every time there's a new Flash).

Macromedia has thoroughly revamped the interface. Again.

Tabbed panels are out (wasn't there an Adobe lawsuit related to U.S. Patent #5,546,528 on such matters)? Collapsing panels are in (and we like the change). Several panels are gone completely (for example, the Instance Panel and many of its compadres migrate to a new Property Inspector, similar to Dreamweaver's). Others, notably the Actions Panel, are thoroughly overhauled. Macromedia even undid a few of the confusing changes they made in Flash 5 (for example, frame selection).

So, if you're planning to upgrade to Flash MX (and there are plenty of reasons to do so), set aside some learning time. Set aside even more if you're new to Flash altogether: the more features Flash gets, the more you need to know. Curl up by your computer with a copy of Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX in 24 Hours, and get comfy. Kerman's taught Flash in locations from Iceland to Oklahoma to Australia -- and you're next.

Kerman begins where many projects start: with assembling the graphics you'll incorporate into your Flash movie or application. He demonstrates Flash MX's new and improved features for drawing and painting original art, including several advanced drawing techniques. You'll learn how to import vector and bitmapped graphics into Flash, why imported graphics often degrade performance, and how to minimize the impact on your projects. There's also a full chapter on using the Library to organize your images for maximum productivity.

Next, you'll walk through the fundamentals of animating with Flash FX -- including detailed lessons on using motion tween, shape tween, sound, and layers. There's also a full chapter on animation that utilizes movie clips, as well as Flash graphic symbols -- which you can reuse to your heart's content without ballooning your file sizes.

Part III focuses on adding interactivity and more sophisticated animations to your Flash content. This is one place where Flash MX adds all sorts of value. Kerman spends a chapter on creating buttons for your users to click, and introduces new "prefabricated" user interface components which threaten to bring a semblance of consistency and clarity to the notoriously diverse user interfaces associated with Flash content. By the way, Flash MX components are the successor to Flash 5 Smart Clips, which Kerman has lectured on at Flashkit and other major Flash developer events. When it comes to this topic, he's a natural.

You'll learn how to use advanced animation techniques such as anticipation and overkill, and how to simulate depth and perspective. There's a full chapter on designing modular web sites that take full advantage of Flash content; another on optimizing Flash sites; and another on working on large Flash projects in team environments -- a topic that's becoming increasingly important as Flash and its developers "grow up".

Macromedia alleges that 414 million people can now view Flash content. Flash MX is the best tool yet for delivering it to them -- and Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX in 24 Hours is a super way to master it. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jersey┬ľbased marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. 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: 9780672325946
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 10/15/2003
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 622
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Kerman is an independent programmer, teacher, and writer who specializes in Macromedia products. His degree in imaging and photographic technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology was earned back when "multimedia" had a different meaning than it has today. One of Phillip's internships, for example, involved programming multiple slide projector presentations with dissolves synchronized to a sound track-the multimedia of the 1980s. In 1993 he found Macromedia Authorware a natural fit for his interests and skills. After getting his start at The Human Element, Inc., he moved back to Portland, Oregon, to work on his own.

Phillip has transitioned his expertise from Authorware to Director and, now, to Flash. Over the past decade, he has had to adapt to a total of 20 version upgrades-Flash MX 2004 being the most significant of them all! In addition to retooling and building his own skills, Phillip finds teaching the biggest challenge. He has trained and made presentations around the world, in such exotic locations as Reykjavik, Iceland; Melbourne, Australia; Amsterdam, Holland; and McAlester, Oklahoma. His writing has appeared in Macworld, on the Macromedia DevNet Web site and Developer Resource Kit CD-ROM, and in his self-published The Phillip Newsletter (http://www.phillipkerman.com/newsletter).

Phillip is also the author of Flash MX 2004 for Rich Internet Applications and ActionScripting in Flash MX from New Riders Publishing.

Feel free to email Phillip at flash7@phillipkerman.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Assembling the Graphics You'll Animate in Flash
Hour 1 Basics 5
Hour 2 Drawing and Painting Original Art in Flash 33
Hour 3 Importing Graphics into Flash 69
Hour 4 Applied Advanced Drawing Techniques 93
Hour 5 Using the Library for Productivity 115
Pt. II Animating in Flash
Hour 6 Understanding Animation 145
Hour 7 Animation the Old-Fashioned Way 159
Hour 8 Using Motion Tweens to Animate 177
Hour 9 Using Shape Tweens to Morph 195
Hour 10 Using Timeline Effects and Commands 211
Hour 11 Including Sound in Animations 231
Hour 12 Using Layers in Animations 257
Hour 13 Animating Using Movie Clip and Graphic Symbols 281
Pt. III Adding Interactivity and Advanced Animation
Hour 14 Making Buttons for the User to Click 299
Hour 15 Using ActionScript and Behaviors to Create Nonlinear Movies 319
Hour 16 Using ActionScript for Advanced Interactivity 345
Hour 17 Using Components 367
Hour 18 Using Video 383
Pt. IV Putting It All Together for the Web
Hour 19 Linking a Movie to the Web 409
Hour 20 Designing a Web Site to Be Modular 435
Hour 21 Optimizing a Flash Site 453
Hour 22 Advanced Animation Techniques 481
Hour 23 Working On Large Projects and in Team Environments 501
Hour 24 Publishing a Creation 521
Pt. V Appendixes
App. A Shapes You Can Make by Using Selection, Snap to Objects, and the Canvas Level 547
App. B: Resources 563
Index 579
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