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Review Flash CS4 Pro Digital Classroom

This book by Fred Gerantabee and the AGI Creative Team is a great book if you are learning Flash or just want to learn how to use the new features in FlashR CS4 Pro. This book is sectioned into 15 lessons beginning with an introduction to Flash, a touch of ActionScript and ending with advanced animation techniques.

If you are a beginner, start each lesson by viewing the matching video tutorial found on the book's DVD. It will familiarize you with the tools and techniques that you will be using in the lesson. Then you will find the step-by-step lessons easier to follow. Besides the video tutorials, the authors included a "putting it all together" section to show how the techniques being discussed work together. Most of the lessons are project-based, which is a good way to learn something new.

There are some significant changes to Flash CS4. The authors discuss the new UI, Deco and Spray Brush drawing tools, as well as the new 3D tools, Alignment panel and importing native Photoshop and Illustrator graphics. They also introduce the new animation tools including Motion Presets, Motion Editor and IK tools.

After the introduction, the authors give you practice with the drawing tools, text, colors, layers and all the basics for creating objects on the stage. Next, you start a web banner project and prepare for animation by discussing symbols, the Flash Library and how to organize your movie assets. Your next project is an animated ad featuring a worm. You will use the new Deco and Spray Brush tools to create symbols and then use the Bone tool to make the worm posable, in preparation for adding IK and animation. Finally, you are ready to learn Flash's new object-based frame by frame animation with a web banner project. But, the authors also cover the old type of Flash animation, now called Classic Tween. In the advanced animation project, you will add filters, 3D, easing and learn to create your own motion presets. When adding IK in your animations, you learn to use the new Bone and Bind tools, Shape Hints and Armature layers.

Most beginner–level books on Flash include an introduction to ActionScript and the authors discuss some of the most common tasks that a beginner might encounter such as programming a button to control the main Timeline. Using a simple animation project, they demonstrate step by step how to control the playback of both the Timeline and individual movie clips. They show the readers how to use both Script Assist and how to code ActionScript. The last projects include background sound, button synced with sound effects and video.

The AGI Creative Team teaches classes and authors books on many aspects of creative software.

Authors: Fred Gerantabee and AGI Creative Team
Pages: 448
Publisher: Wiley
Date Published: Nov 24, 2008
ISBN-10: 0470410930
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