Web Animation for Dummies (with CD-ROM)


You can add animation to your Web site in many ways -- from animated GIFs to Shockwave to Java. Each method has its advantages (such as ease-of-use, audio, or interactivity) and disadvantages (such as the cost of software for authoring, the steepness of the learning curve, or the need to download and install a Web browser plug-in).

Web Animation For Dummies helps you weigh all the pros and cons of the various options -- but more importantly, this book helps you get right to work...

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You can add animation to your Web site in many ways -- from animated GIFs to Shockwave to Java. Each method has its advantages (such as ease-of-use, audio, or interactivity) and disadvantages (such as the cost of software for authoring, the steepness of the learning curve, or the need to download and install a Web browser plug-in).

Web Animation For Dummies helps you weigh all the pros and cons of the various options -- but more importantly, this book helps you get right to work creating exciting animated graphics that are sure to enliven your otherwise-static Web pages.

In this complete, easy-to-understand reference, graphics gurus RenÈe LeWinter and Cynthia L. Baron take the mystery out of producing your own Web animations, taking you step by step through

  • Discovering the basics of the art of animation -- from telling a visual story to developing a character
  • Using clever tricks for manipulating color and text
  • Making photographic images dynamic and taking advantage of clip art without being trite
  • Using techniques for making sure that your Web animations are browser-friendly, regardless of the animation technology you choose
  • Doing more than you thought possible with plain old animated GIFs
  • Using professional animation software (such as WebMotion, ObjectDancer, and Macromedia Flash) for the maximum in multimedia content and interactivity

Plus, Web Animation For Dummies comes complete with a bonus CD-ROM that is chock-full of Windows and Mac applications, such as

  • Macromedia's Shockwave plug-ins for Director and Flash
  • Trial versions of Astound, WebMotion, and Web Player
  • A demo version of DeBabelizer,the professional's choice for quick, high-quality image editing
  • Megabytes of ready-to-use shareware and ready-to-test-drive commercial software
  • Image and sound files to play with in your own creations
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764501951
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.41 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

How to Use This Book
How This Book Is Organized
Part I: Room to Move: Animation Basics
Part II: Tricks with Pix
Part III: Heavy Lifting: Making Technology Work for You
Part IV: Getting Moving: Animating GIFs & Plug-Ins on Parade
Part V: The Part of Tens
Part VI: Appendixes
No Margin for Error: All About Those Icons
Moving Right Along
Part I: Room to Move: Animation Basics
Chapter 1: Surveying a Moving Landscape
The Many Faces of Web Animation
Personal Web sites: Anything goes
Business Web sites: Not quite button-down
Animated advertising: A banner year
Editorial animation
Split Levels: The Animation Continuum
Easy threshold solutions
GIF animation
Repurposing presentation software
Midrange solutions for more power
Java applets
Inline plug-ins
Going inline
Programmer's paradise
VRML and animation
CGI scripts
Learning to Love Your Limitations
Chapter 2: The Dream Theme -- Telling a Visual Story
What's the Big Idea?
Web animation is not a daytime game show
Brainstorming without galoshes
Cold Assessment: What Can You Really Do?
Make 'Em Laugh . . . Maybe
Connecting Ideas to Existing Sites
Animating logos
Animated buttons
Animations as emphasis
Come Into My Parlor, Said the Spider to the Fly
Chapter 3: Planning a Moving Experience
Surf's Up: Making a Storyboard without Wiping Out
Boy Scouts at the beach
Preparing the storyboard template
Location, location, location! Placing your characters
"I've been framed!" -- breaking out of the box
Using imaginary 3-D
Cropping to fit the action
If you can't beat 'em . . . join 'em!
The Secret of Index Cards
Chapter 4: Getting into Character
Setting the Mood -- Posing Your Characters
Strike a pose: Making simple changes for good effect
Asymmetry: Avoiding the perils of perfection
Personality: Becoming a minor god
Moody hues
The eyes have it
Body language
Dissecting the Moving Parts
Trading Technique for Technology
Onion-skinning without tears
Betwixt and in-between
Making Still Images Move: The Classic Techniques
Studies in Arc-y-ology
Making a mass with volume: Weight and gravity
Anticipation: The weighting game
Squash and stretch
Overlapping action
Speed up and slow down
Going cyc-lotic
Timing -- or, the Lowdown on Stand-Up
Part II: Tricks with Pix
Chapter 5: Color Me Simple
Color Is Not a Box of Chocolates
Finding the Color Picker
Deciphering the RGB numeric values
The Lean, Mean Palette for Fat-Free Color
Going Beyond Default Palettes
Making Your Custom Color Palette
Creating the Right Color Mix
The Color Model Sketch
Reading the color thermometer
Warm colors
Cool colors
Neutral colors
After Mixing, Throw Out the Blender!
Putting a Positive Spin on Negative Space
High Contrast Avoids High Anxiety
Chapter 6: Roll Over, Gutenberg, and Rock Your Type
Designing Type
Opening your type chest
Building a font family
Changing the proportional ratio
Changing the stroke thickness
Roman versus italic and script typefaces
Bagging the Right Typeface
Looking for Type Fonts?
Playing the Mix and Match Game
Combining serif with sans serif fonts
Opposites attract
Figuring Out When to Anti-Alias
Combining Titles and Text
Using Decorative Letters and Numbers Without Overkill
Flying Logos and Icons: How Not to Crash and Burn
Chapter 7: Art Without Guilt: Using Clip Art
Can't Draw? Don't Worry: Clip Art to the Rescue
Selecting Clip Art for Animation
Moving your visitor
Staying put
Other animating experiences
Escape from the endless edit
Collections originally designed for print
Buy their CD-ROM catalog sampler, or check out their Web site
Hints for Customizing Clip Art
Changing clip art colors
Modifying a silhouette to suggest action
Basic Training on Intellectual Property -- Garlic for Legal Vampires
First variation in our story
Second variation in our story
Chapter 8: Dynamic Photos
Raiding Your Photo Album
Scanning Your Photos
Getting Digital Photos Ready for the Web
Millions You Can Choose
Licensing and usage fees
File formats and file sizes
What's out there
Playing with Effects and Filters
Feathering an edge in Photoshop 4.0
Corel PHOTO-PAINT 6.0 artistic vignette effect
Creating a cutout drawing
Creating a cutout in Photoshop 4.0
Creating a cutout using Microsoft Image Composer 1.0
Chapter 9: Universal Graphic Widgets
Building Frames: One Layer at a Time
Grid for Action
Transforming Multiple Objects from One Source
Lifting a Finger: Creating Isolated Action in Your Image Area
Metamorphosing Photos into Clip Art
Part III: Heavy Lifting: Making Technology Work for You
Chapter 10: The Skinny on Image Size
Lessons in Economy
Image size
Losing your resolution
Unnecessary background detail
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Virtual zit prevention made easy
Anti-aliasing can be counterproductive
Chapter 11: Mondo Conversion: Rehabbing Your Files
Choosing a File Format
GIF file format
System picture-file formats
TIFF file format
Photoshop file format
JPEG file format
Other file formats
What do we recommend?
How Do You Compress a File?
Making a JPEG conversion
Convert One for the GIFfer
The Incredible Shrinking GIF
Vive la Différence!
Chapter 12: Getting Browser Ready
Planning Events
Appreciating the Value of Testing
Attaching Your Animation to Your HTML Page
Quo Vadis? Seeing Your Animation Through Browsing Eyes
Part IV: Getting Moving: Animating GIFs & Plug-Ins on Parade
Chapter 13: Free Ride: Web Animation on a Shoestring
Common Ground
Using GifBuilder -- Moving in Place
Bringing in the files
Transparency obscura
Setting universal animation options in GifBuilder
Changing frame size
The delights of delay
A good disposal method
Getting a little loopy
Using the special features of GifBuilder
Using transitioning effects
Shrinking after we dissolve
Using Microsoft Gif Animator -- Seeing Stars
Chapter 14: Cheap Tricks: Inexpensive Web Animation Software
Animating with GIFmation Special Features
Opening multiple animations
Making real-time edits
Building global palettes automatically
Controlling transparency
Editing anti-aliased edges
Using GIF Construction Set
Using the Animation Wizard
Making an LED sign
Creating soft shadow banners
Editing transitions
Chapter 15: You Pay, You Play: Commercial Web Animation Software
Java Applet of Our Eye: WebMotion
Why use WebMotion?
Flexing Animation Muscle: RubberWeb Composer
Why use RubberWeb?
Tripping the Light Fantastic: ObjectDancer
Why use ObjectDancer?
All in One Box: WebPainter
Why use WebPainter?
No Flash in the Pan: Macromedia Flash 2
Why use Flash?
Chapter 16: Making the Final Cut
The Wisdom to Tell the Difference
Major Problems -- Can This Movie Be Saved?
Minor Headaches -- Take Two Aspirin And . . .
The file is too big
Animation as football field
Animation deep as a well
The file is too long
Limiting yourself to one simple action
Breaking up your animation
The file is too slow
Delaying reaction
Eliminating frame creep
The file runs rough
The case of the missing frames
The case of the incomplete edit
The case of the mixed messages
Post-animation blues
Please make it stop!
The file worked fine on my system!
Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 17: The Checklist -- Ten Software Gotta Haves
Gotta Have Layers
Gotta Have Scale, Skew, Rotate, Flip, and Flop
Gotta Have Transparent Background
Gotta Have Palette Optimization
Gotta Have Placing Coordinates
Gotta Have Netscape and Microsoft Browser Compliance
Gotta Have Editing for Text, Image, Header, and Comment Blocks
Gotta Have a Viewer
Gotta Have a Download Test
Gotta Have Good Documentation
Chapter 18: Ten Commandments of Image Conversion
Thou shalt consider bandwidth and keep it holy
Thou shalt crop thy files to their minimum
Thou shalt work at screen resolution
Thou shalt scale files before indexing
Thou shalt edit before JPEG conversion
Thou shalt index to the Netscape palette
Thou shalt optimize thy palette
Thou shalt not dither flat art
Thou shalt not anti-alias moving objects
Thou shalt not interlace animation frames
Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Make the Earth Move
Earth Turning
Earth Closing In
Earth Circling Sun
Rock 'n' Roll Earth
Earth Walk
Earth: Soccer It to Me
Earth Lifting
Earth Express
Earth Moving
Earth Rising
Part VI: Appendixes
Appendix A: Places to Visit Online
Global resources
Searching Yahoo!
Web sites that go somewhere
All about GIF animation
Freeware and shareware to download
Software and Filters
Stock Photography Agencies
Clip Art, Stock Photo, and Textures CD-ROM Collections
Royalty-Free Sound and Music CD-ROMs
Digital Cameras
Appendix B: About the CD
System requirements
How to use the CD using Microsoft Windows
How to use the CD using a Mac OS computer
What you find
Animation tools and viewers
Authoring and imaging tools
Image and sound samplers
If you have problems (of the CD kind)


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