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Review of Adobe Flash CS3 Professional Classroom in a Book

The first thing you will notice about this book is that it is project-based. Each chapter contains a lesson that covers certain FlashR techniques, concepts or features and, along the way, introduces you to what is new in Flash CS3. But, instead of the information being presented in a vacuum, the AdobeR Creative Team presents each technique with a real-world project. In my opinion, this is the easiest and best way to learn and master a complex software program such as AdobeR Flash Professional CS3. The authors have minimized the complexity of Flash with the use of some very interesting, and customizable, projects and each of the eleven lessons has step-by-step instructions for creating a project or a part of a larger project.

The book begins with basic Flash techniques and acquaints you with the new improvements to the Flash workspace. This first project is a simple animation which deals with the Flash Library, Stage, Timeline, tools, panels, Property Inspector and more. The next lesson's project is a logo animation which can be used for a website or as a preloader. The purpose of this lesson is to introduce you to Flash's drawing modes and tools. You will also learn about importing images, selecting and grouping elements, masks and tweening.

In the next lesson, you learn about Flash symbols which are important to building Flash projects. The project for this lesson is a DVD control interface and you will learn about the integration between IllustratorR and Flash, how to convert bitmap images into Flash objects, and creating and using symbols. The fourth lesson's project is an animated birthday card and the tasks you perform will teach you how to work with text in Flash. You will create and format text, convert text to a Flash symbol and apply a mask and filters to the text.

Character animation is the project for the next lesson and one of my favorite things to do in Flash. You will learn how to use motion and shape tweening, masking, motion guides and looping to move and position the character's arms, eyes and more. Back to a more serious project for the next lesson, you will work on a photography portfolio and learn to name instances, edit and nest symbols and create rollover states for buttons.

Up to this point in the book, you have only touched on ActionScript. In lesson seven, you will take a closer look at ActionScript basics as you work on the script for a website project. You will first learn how to work with the Actions panel and Script Assist in Flash. Then, you will use ActionScript to listen for events, assign actions to buttons and load data in response to an event. You will work with Flash components in the next lesson's project which is an interface display. You will work with three components which control the major parts of the interface. You will learn to setup and modify Flash components with ActionScript.

Working with video and sound in Flash is becoming more popular with the improvements to file compression and decrease in download time for Flash. The project for this lesson is a kiosk and you will learn to edit and import both sound and video, add more ActionScript to buttons and work with Alpha channels.

Creating a preloader animation is only part of the job. In this lesson, you will work on the ActionScript for a preloader, learn to monitor the loading of the main SWF file and cache bitmap images. As in most books about Flash, the last lesson covers testing and publishing a Flash project. You will also learn how to work with metadata and write ActionScript to detect the Flash Player used by the viewer of your Flash movie.

The CD includes files for the lessons and training videos from and Total Training.

Authors: Adobe Creative Team
ISBN: 0321499824
Publisher: Adobe Press
Book and CD
352 pages
Published: April 27, 2007

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This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.


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