|FlashR CS3 is the most significant release from AdobeR so far and this book by Andy Anderson and Steve Johnson is a quick reference guide that covers the new Flash CS3. The book's format makes it a great how-to source. Each task, from drawing with the Pen tool to working with Flash components, is presented on two-page spreads containing step-by-step instructions and screenshots. New CS3 features, indicated by a "What's New" icon, are easy to find.|
For those readers who need more in-depth coverage, extra information is presented in the sidebars and there are several workshops at the end of the book that pull together individual tasks into projects such as a customized cursor, cursor chaser, user defined button and analog clock.
The book begins with the very basic tasks such as starting, opening and saving a new project. Next the authors examine the new workspace and give how-tos for the new tools. Creating graphics is the next topic which includes the improvements to the Pen tool as well as other drawing and painting tools. Once you learn how to create graphics, the authors introduce the basics for creating Flash magic such as the Library Panel, symbols, instances and the many built-in components.
Next, you learn how to add text into your Flash movie. The authors teach you how to set font characteristics, how to embed fonts into your movie and how to use CSS and HTML to display dynamic text. Using graphics from other Adobe software such as PhotoshopR and IllustratorR is much easier with the improved CS3 integration and the authors discuss several ways to use these improvements to increase your workflow.
Animation is the backbone of Flash and the authors cover several types of animation that you can easily create in Flash. They start with the basics for creating manual animation within the Timeline which includes keyframes, frame-by-frame animation and onion skinning. Next, they cover automated animation such as tweening, special effects such as masking and filters such as blur and drop shadow. Video is becoming more popular on the web now that more readers have broadband access. The authors discuss how to use the Video Import Wizard and the Media Controller to add video to your Flash movie.
Now it's time to introduce a little ActionScript. The authors begin with easy tasks such as loading graphics and movie clips. They also cover basic OOP, which is more important with the upgrade to ActionScript 3 in this new Flash release. You will learn about dot syntax, methods, conditionals, functions, event handlers and more. But if you are going to code your own ActionScript you will also need to know how to test and debug your code with the ActionScript Editor or Debugger.
Publishing your Flash movie is much easier with this new release. The authors discuss publishing options, export formats and how to test your movie with the Bandwidth Profiler.
This book meets the objectives for the Adobe Certified Expert Program. Andy Anderson is an author, graphics designer, illustrator and instructor. Steve Johnson is an author and founded Perspection Inc., a software training company. You can download support files for this book from the Perspection website.
Andy Anderson and Steve Johnson
Published: April 2007