Essential Flash 4 for Web Professionals

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9780130143273: Essential Flash 4 for Web Professionals

Provides instruction to learning Flash 4 from professional Web designers, through real-world projects you can view live on a linked website. Starts with the basics, leading to a mastery of key techniques, from animation through navigation, interactivity through building a complete opening sequence. Softcover. DLC: Flash (Computer file).

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Review:

Although the title suggests that this book is for serious pros, Essential Flash 4 is actually an easy-to-read and accessible tutorial guide. Aimed at experienced Web designers looking to use Flash in real-world situations, it describes, in deceptive simplicity, everything you need to know to get started with Macromedia's Web page animation tool.

Beginning with easy chapters that immediately have you creating text and graphics, the book launches into the steps needed to create practical Web pages. Although Flash is--among other things--an animation tool, the author shows how Flash can be used for Web page design and navigation. The small size of a Flash file, and its ability to include links and audio, makes it ideal for almost any kind of Web graphics and navigation scheme.

Flash is a tool built for interactive animation, and this is covered well in chapters 2 and 3 ("Animating the Page" and "Making the Page Interactive"). The book also describes animating shapes, keyframes, buttons, and sound effects in simple tutorials that take you through the process without weighing you down in complexity.

Of all seven chapters, "Publishing to the Web" had to be the most valuable. Learning to animate with Flash is something covered well in this book, but there is more to building Flash animations: namely, proper delivery of the file to the viewer. This chapter covers issues concerning which resolution to use, which Flash version to use (for compatibility reasons), preloading, optimizing, and detecting the Flash plug-in on the viewer's computer.

It's unfortunate the publisher didn't include a CD-ROM. All of the tutorials must be typed in (a great way to learn perhaps), and this can severely limit the number of examples new users have access to. There is, however, a Web site hosted by the publisher from which the tutorials can be downloaded.

For Web professionals new to using Flash, Essential Flash 4 serves well as a handy guide that wastes no time getting you up to speed on this powerful animation tool. --Mike Caputo

From the Back Cover:

With Flash 4's slick, fast-loading vector graphics and animation, you can transcend the limits of HTML, building sites as hot as your imagination! Now, learn Flash 4 in a flash from a professional Web designer-through real-world projects you can view live on a linked website! Start with the basics, then master every key technique, from animation through navigation, interactivity through building a complete opening sequence. Best of all, the projects are linked to a live website where you can see (and download) each Flash effect, in each stage of completion. It's all the guidance you'll need-every step of the way!

You'll learn all this, and much more! Flash basics: Drawing and modifying text and shapes Texture fills, transparency, and imported graphics Animation: Timelines, frames, tweening, fading, transitions, and more Interactivity, including symbols, buttons, actions, sound effects, and forms Fine-tuning your graphics with advanced techniques Building animated opening sequences, step-by-step! Publishing to the Web: pre-loading, plug-in detection, and server settings

Look to Essential Books for ALL the Web Skills You Need!

All these books share the same great format, and the same dynamic website...so once you've used one, learning from the others is a piece of cake! Essential CSS and DHTML for Web Programmers Essential PERL 5 for Web Programmers Essential Photoshop® for Web Designers Essential JavaScript™ for Web Programmers With more to come, including Essential ASP for Web Professionals and Essential JSP for Web Professionals

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