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Flash iOS Storybook Project Introduction

After extensive research about developing an interactive iPadR storybook application in FlashR, I didn't find much information specific to this newly popular type of book publishing. There are numerous children's book authors looking for a way to convert their existing books, or future book ideas, into an iPad storybook format similar to the now famous Alice for the iPad. So I decided to devote the next few articles to experimenting with Flash for creating an interactive iPad storybook.

The reason that this series is just an experiment is that the finished project will not be optimized sufficiently for all mobile devices. Flash movie clips, tweens, event listeners and other Flash tools that make the animator's life easier are memory and CPU intensive and will slow down the performance, or possibly crash, a mobile device.

To optimize your Flash mobile project, you should use ActionScript code instead of the Timeline GUI. For example, a movie clip animation with nested tweens will need to be converted to a texture map and animated with ActionScript alone.

So why do this experiment? For the Flash novice, it would be very difficult to build a storybook from scratch with only ActionScript. The purpose of the project is to bridge the gap between visualizing the storybook with the GUI and coding the storybook with ActionScript. Once you have the storybook working using the GUI, Flash tools and effects, then it can be converted to solely ActionScript.

Of course, if you plan to code your storybook in Xcode, you may still wish to use Flash to build a working model or prototype of your storybook because you are already familiar with the workspace and ActionScript. Once you have a working prototype created in Flash, you are better prepared to tackle Xcode.

Our experiment will consist of two phases. In the first phase, we will build an animated opening for a Christmas themed storybook app which consists of moving Christmas ornaments, interactive sound and the opening of the book to the first page. When the book is clicked, it will rotate slightly and enlarge until the book cover fills the entire stage. Then the book cover will open to reveal the first page.

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