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Review of Flash Animation with Scripting

If you are a Flash animator who wants to take Flash animation to the next level with ActionScipt, then you know that most AS-related books cover a multitude of information but only some of that information is useful for the animator. This book entitled Animation with Scripting for Adobe Flash Professional CS5 Studio Techniques, by Chris Georgenes and Justin Putney, is the first book I have discovered that specifically covers AS for animators.

This book is not for the Flash beginner, as the authors assume a working knowledge of Flash and ActionScript. However, the first chapter is a combination of Flash review, best practices and animation concepts. The authors discuss such tasks as project planning, storyboards, camera movements, animatics and character design.

The next chapter concentrates on animation via the Timeline. You learn the basics for building characters for animation such as rigging and Inverse Kinematics. You build a run cycle for a character and nest movie clips for lip syncing.

ActionScript begins in the third chapter with an introduction to ActionScript classes and reusable code for special effects. If you have ever worked on a large animation project than you know that, although a labor of love, some of the work is very time consuming. To help with these time-robbing tasks the authors discuss workflow automation and help you build an animation tasks panel. This is a somewhat advanced project requiring JSFL (JavaScript for Flash) and the XMLUI object. But, it does pay off with a nice "animation generator panel" to create a stage rectangle or stage matte, to smooth bitmaps and make a new symbol.

You've probably seen many websites by Flash authors using various ways to display their Flash skills. In the last chapter you build a Flash website to display your Flash portfolio. I found this chapter to be very interesting. For this project, you learn how to dynamically load via XML and how to package your Flash for sharing in several ways including desktop, mobile and sharing sites.

Chris Georgenes is a speaker at several Flash conferences and is the proprietor of Mudbubble.com. Justin Putney is the owner Ajar Productions and has a blog blog.ajarproductions.com with many free Flash extensions and scripts that you may wish to check out.

The CD contains asset files for creating the projects in the books as well as several free extensions including the following.

Break Symbol Into Layers.mxp
Convert timeline to graphic.mxp
Convert timeline to symbol.mxp
EaseCaddy.mxp
Export as Motion Preset Preview.mxp
FrameSync.mxp
MotionBlur.mxp
MotionSketch.mxp
Queasy Tools v_1_5_0.mxp

Authors:
Chris Georgenes
Justin Putney
Pages: 352
Publisher: Adobe Press
Published: September 11, 2010
ISBN-10: 0321683692


*Adobe Press provided a review copy to me free of charge.

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