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Sams Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX 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 5 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 5 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.

A new version of Flash is expected to be released in the 1st quarter of 2002. It will have user interface improvements, several new features, and extensive improvements to existing features.

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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: 9780672323713
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 4/3/2002
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 600
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Assembling the Graphics You'll Animate in Flash 3
Hour 1 Basics 5
Hour 2 Drawing and Painting Original Art in Flash 33
Hour 3 Importing Graphics into Flash 65
Hour 4 Applied Advanced Drawing Techniques 91
Hour 5 Using the Library for Productivity 111
Pt. II Animating in Flash 137
Hour 6 Understanding Animation 139
Hour 7 Animation the Old-Fashioned Way 153
Hour 8 Using Motion Tween to Animate 169
Hour 9 Using Shape Tween to Morph 185
Hour 10 Including Sound in Your Animation 201
Hour 11 Using Layers in Your Animation 225
Hour 12 Animating Using Movie Clip and Graphic Symbols 247
Pt. III Adding Interactivity and Advanced Animation 261
Hour 13 Making Buttons for Your User to Click 263
Hour 14 Using ActionScript to Create Non-Linear Movies 283
Hour 15 ActionScripting Applications for Advanced Interactivity 309
Hour 16 Using Components 331
Hour 17 Using Video 349
Pt. IV Putting It All Together for the Web 369
Hour 18 Linking Your Movie to the Web 371
Hour 19 Designing Your Web Site to Be Modular 395
Hour 20 Optimizing Your Flash Site 415
Hour 21 Advanced Animation Techniques 439
Hour 22 Working on Large Projects and in Team Environments 457
Hour 23 Learning How to Learn Flash 475
Hour 24 Publishing Your Creation 497
Appendixes 519
App. A Shapes You Can Make Using Selection, Snap, and the Canvas Level 521
App. B: Resources 541
Glossary 541
Index 555
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2004

    Great book

    The 30 second flash movie got me hooked on creating flash movies right away. This book only gets 4 stars, however, because it is a very long read and some may not be up to it. If you have the time to spend, this is certainly a great book to add to your shelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2003

    Technical Resource for Both Beginners and Experts

    I have recently read `Teach Yourself Macromedia Flash MX in 24 Hours¿ and found it an extremely well written book. As a novice with Flash, I found Phillip Kerman¿s explanations very easy to understand and his tasks easy to follow. As a beginner¿s text I found the book exceptional, although that is not to say that the book is only for beginners. Potentially complex tasks such as using ActionScript to develop Flash movies are explained well. Phillip Kerman¿s writing style is open and informative. It is obvious that he has a broad understanding of how Flash MX works, both from a technical viewpoint as well as a user¿s viewpoint. He provides valuable insight into various aspects of Flash MX which are not available in other areas such as Help files etc. He provides alternatives to performing various tasks, as well as highlighting Flash MX¿s keyboard shortcuts to improve your efficiency. I highly recommend this book as both a way to learn how to use Flash MX and also as a very useful reference text when developing in Flash MX.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2002

    A great book for learning Flash MX

    I am new to Flash. I have a programming background and am graphically impaired.. I found this book to be organized in a logical manner and was very easy to use. The author starts off by showing you how to create a movie in 30 seconds, that got me hooked. And I wanted to learn more. I would highly recommend this book for those wanting to get up to speed in a relatively short period of time using Flash MX.

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