The Flash Webisode Production Handbook (With CD-ROM)

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9781584500872: The Flash Webisode Production Handbook (With CD-ROM)

With over 500,000 users, Flash is one of the most popular animation and streaming tools available for the Web today. It is used to create "webisodes" which are streaming productions used in advertising, entertainment, education, contests, and interactive television. With The Flash Webisode Production Handbook, developers, producers, and animators learn how to maximize all of Flash's animation and production power. Each chapter focuses on a specific part of the development process of an actual cartoon webisode that will be completed by the end of the book. Within each chapter there are examples and exercises that help designers acquire problem-solving skills, fundamental knowledge of how to use Flash in movies, and solid animation abilities. "Broken webisodes" are also included to challenge the designers newly acquired problem-solving skills.

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Review:

Learning to animate with Macromedia's Flash is one thing. Learning to use it in a real-world production environment is something else. The Flash Webisode Production Handbook looks at the production of episodic animation using Flash as the central authoring tool. This book is useful to anyone interested in the animated production process.

While there are countless animation methods and visual styles, the basics of production remain the same. This handbook presents this process from the viewpoint of today's Flash animator, but opens with a discussion of the devices common to all animation productions: the storyboard, script, characters, and soundtrack. Without a compelling story, even the best animation falls short.

Other important chapters include discussions of bitmap versus vector art, and the difference in visual style and creation process between the two, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Many books in this genre feature countless pages on animation but little on the importance of audio and soundtracks. This book, however, presents over 50 pages on audio: audio compression; using sound in Flash; creating looping music tracks; and synchronizing audio (as in sound effects and dialogue) to the animation. One section is all about using ACID, an excellent Windows audio program, to create looping soundtracks. A demo version of ACID and a music library are among the goodies on the CD-ROM, too.

Animating using Flash doesn't end with the movement onscreen, however. Flash movies are often interactive, and the underlying engine for interactivity is Flash's ActionScript. The last third of this book covers ActionScript techniques and tricks in depth, with countless examples. Well illustrated, with several real-world projects, the Flash Webisode Production Handbook is a must-have for any serious Flash animator interested in doing more than basic animation. --Mike Caputo

About the Author:

Moore is a media producer and developer at Funtymedia, where he specializes in CD-ROM and interactive Web production. He also works as a technical editor for Web-related books and is a freelance illustrator.

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