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Book Review Macromedia Flash Professional 8 Beyond the Basics Hands-on Training by S Rebenschied

Author:Shane Rebenschied
ISBN: 0321293878
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Book and CD
9.2 x 7.5
456 pages
Published: Dec 2005

Beyond the Basics is a good name for this book because the author assumes that you have a basic knowledge of FlashR and when you have finished the book, you will have mastered some of the intermediate level Flash features. The author, Shane Rebenschied, takes a modular approach to Flash and ActionScript. In each chapter, you will create a modular component that performs a specific task and then a master Flash file that acts as a controller for these modules. The purpose of this is to keep the file size and download time for your Flash site to a minimum and to make it easier to maintain. Throughout the book, the author uses a working sample website as a teaching aid.

Rebenschied begins by discussing flowcharts, storyboards and the construction process you will use throughout the book and how the master file and shared asset library work. Then you work on components that will run the dynamic parts of the website. You will learn how to use the LoadVars class and to dynamically load external text, in-line animations, Flash SWF and FLV files. You will also learn about the TextField.StyleSheet class, the TextFormat class and how to use HTML and CSS with Flash and web forms. He also discusses how CGI works to process your web form on the server.

Then, you will learn about the MovieClipLoader class and how to use ActionScript to control Flash interface components such as a dynamically loaded slide-show, MP3 player and streaming video player. Finally, you will build a Flash plug-in detector and preloader.

The CD contains exercise files and video tutorials that supplement the book. You also get a 24 hour free pass to the Online Training LibraryTM at Lynda.com.

Shane Rebenschied is a freelance illustrator and Flash consultant. He has written Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 and Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Beyond the Basics Hands-on Training. He is also part of the video-based training at Lynda.com.

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