Cover image for Flash Out of the Box

Book description

If you believe the sky really is the limit when it comes to creating unparalleled user experiences and applications for the Web--then Macromedia Flash MX is sure to be your tool of choice. With Flash, you can integrate video, text, audio, and graphics into distinctive and compelling web content, stunningly interactive and expressive user interfaces, and rich applications for the Internet. Flash is all about helping you dramatically enhance the user experience. And Flash Out of the Box is all about helping you think outside of the box to get there--first, by diving into the Flash box and then becoming intimately acquainted with every nook and cranny of it. In Flash Out of the Box, you'll follow and work with a simple box through a "day in the life" style journey. You'll study, use, abuse, and transform the box as you move through exercises that teach you the basics of Flash, and much more, in an entertaining, unforgettable, task-oriented fashion. You'll learn to animate, work with video, load external assets, draw, mask, modularize, and many other things that will be essential as you move into more advanced techniques with other books. It's just you, Flash, and the box, mastering each technique along the way and adding others in a fashion that will let you practice and learn simultaneously. Most Flash tutorials you've looked at are tool-centric, focusing on Flash's individual features and how to use them (an approach that can quickly become tedious), whereas this innovative, engaging, and motivating book is uniquely user-centric. That means it concentrates on you and what you want and need to learn. Each successive lesson anticipates and builds upon your needs, capabilities, and questions as you evolve from Flash beginner to Flash master. Written in a fun and conversational tone, the highly accessible Flash Out of the Box makes learning Flash MX 2004 intuitive, logical, and, most of all, fun.

Table of Contents

  1. Flash out Of the Box
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Copyright
    3. About the Author
    4. Preface
      1. Who This Book Is For
      2. What's In A Name?
        1. What Makes Flash out Of the box Better?
      3. The Promise Of This Book
      4. Why Use Flash?
      5. How to Use This Book
        1. Getting the Examples Working
      6. Conventions
      7. Comments and Questions
      8. Acknowledgments
    5. 1. Getting Started
      1. 1.1. Drawing Your First Box
        1. 1.1.1. Setting Up the File
        2. 1.1.2. Creating A Rectangle
        3. 1.1.3. Creating A Square
        4. 1.1.4. Drawing A Perfect Square
      2. 1.2. Filling Shapes With Color
        1. 1.2.1. Solid Fills and Gradients
        2. 1.2.2. Creating A Multicolor Gradient Fill
        3. 1.2.3. Gradients On Lsd
        4. 1.2.4. Strokes (and Other Medical Emergencies)
        5. 1.2.5. Using the Pencil tool To Resurrect Hendrix
        6. 1.2.6. Scaling Images
        7. 1.2.7. Stacking Graphics
      3. 1.3. Creating Reusable Graphics
        1. 1.3.1. Creating Symbols
        2. 1.3.2. Reusing Symbols
    6. 2. Creating Layouts Quickly
      1. 2.1. Know Your History Panel
        1. 2.1.1. Tracking History
        2. 2.1.2. Economizing A Sequence
        3. 2.1.3. Commands: Next-generation Macros
      2. 2.2. Alignment For Unlicensed Chiropractors
        1. 2.2.1. Use the Guides, Luke
        2. 2.2.2. Precision Alignment
        3. 2.2.3. Snap it In Place
      3. 2.3. Behind every good Symbol Is A Good Editor
        1. 2.3.1. Distributing Objects
    7. 3. Your First Animation
      1. 3.1. Customizing Movie Properties
        1. 3.1.1. Changing the Stage Dimensions and Background Color
      2. 3.2. Customizing Multiple Boxes
        1. 3.2.1. Managing Foreground and Background Elements
        2. 3.2.2. Changing the Color Of the Boxes
      3. 3.3. Animation
        1. 3.3.1. Your First Animation
      4. 3.4. Preparing Text For Animation
        1. 3.4.1. Sliding Text
        2. 3.4.2. Staggering Animation
      5. 3.5. Publishing Your Movie
        1. 3.5.1. Publishing For the Web
        2. 3.5.2. Stop Looping Already!
        3. 3.5.3. Publishing For Quicktime
    8. 4. Interactivity and Movie Clips
      1. 4.1. Drawing A cartoon Character
        1. 4.1.1. Start With the Body
        2. 4.1.2. Putting A Face On the Box
        3. 4.1.3. Using Movie clips To Create Independent Animations
        4. 4.1.4. Drawing the Legs
      2. 4.2. Controlling the Character With Actionscript
        1. 4.2.1. Creating the Background
      3. 4.3. Controlling Movie Clips
        1. 4.3.1. Simplifying Code
    9. 5. Using Images and Video
      1. 5.1. Working With Other Software
        1. 5.1.1. Importing Fireworks Artwork
        2. 5.1.2. Importing Freehand Artwork
        3. 5.1.3. Setting Opacity For Symbol Instances
        4. 5.1.4. Using Shared Assets
      2. 5.2. Importing, Compressing, and Using Video
        1. 5.2.1. Prepping Video for Use In Flash
        2. 5.2.2. Using Video In Flash Mx 2004
        3. 5.2.3. Using Video In Flash Pro
    10. 6. Building an animated Ad
      1. 6.1. Revealing objects Over Time
        1. 6.1.1. The Typewriter Effect
      2. 6.2. Animated Transitions
        1. 6.2.1. Shape Tweens
        2. 6.2.2. Improving Tweens With Shape Hints
        3. 6.2.3. Tracing Bitmaps
      3. 6.3. Timeline Effects
        1. 6.3.1. Adding A Drop shadow In 30 Seconds Or Less
        2. 6.3.2. Custom Timeline Effects
    11. 7. Effects and beyond
      1. 7.1. Text Effects
        1. 7.1.1. Cascading Text
      2. 7.2. Motion Effects
        1. 7.2.1. Realistic Motion
        2. 7.2.2. High-speed Blur
        3. 7.2.3. Animating along A Path
      3. 7.3. Actionscript Effects
        1. 7.3.1. Motion tween Versus Actionscript: the battle Begins
        2. 7.3.2. Conditional Animation
    12. 8. Buttons and Interactivity
      1. 8.1. Buttons As Symbols
        1. 8.1.1. Simple Buttons
        2. 8.1.2. Using Behaviors
        3. 8.1.3. Button States
        4. 8.1.4. Navigating Through A Movie
        5. 8.1.5. Hand-coding Versus Behaviors
        6. 8.1.6. A final Touch For Usability
      2. 8.2. Creating A Quiz
        1. 8.2.1. Using Templates
      3. 8.3. More Fun With Buttons
    13. 9. Sound, Transitions, and Streaming Video
      1. 9.1. Manipulating Artwork
        1. 9.1.1. Combining Graphic Elements To Create One Image
        2. 9.1.2. Adding A Video Object
        3. 9.1.3. Using A Mask to trim the Video's Border
      2. 9.2. Streaming Video With Actionscript
        1. 9.2.1. Opening A streaming Connection to the Server
        2. 9.2.2. Loading Video Clips
      3. 9.3. Transitions and Sound
        1. 9.3.1. A Transition With Sound
        2. 9.3.2. Creating A Transition
        3. 9.3.3. Organizing the Library
    14. 10. Loading Assets On the Fly
      1. 10.1. Using Actionscript To Modularize Content
        1. 10.1.1. Loading Bitmaps On the Fly
        2. 10.1.2. Zen and the Art Of Preloading
        3. 10.1.3. Scripting the Preloader
      2. 10.2. A Preloader Component
        1. 10.2.1. Using the Progressbar Component
        2. 10.2.2. Optimizing Graphic file Size In Fireworks
        3. 10.2.3. Build Your Own Component
    15. 11. Building a Reusable Ad Template
      1. 11.1. Using External Text and Css
        1. 11.1.1. Reviewing the .fla File
        2. 11.1.2. Loading Text Dynamically
        3. 11.1.3. Formatting Text Using Css
        4. 11.1.4. Making Code More Efficient
        5. 11.1.5. Pull images Out, Load images In
      2. 11.2. Using Components
        1. 11.2.1. Using the Macromedia Exchange
        2. 11.2.2. Creating A Form
        3. 11.2.3. Compiling and Sending Form Data
        4. 11.2.4. Loading the Form Into the main Movie
      3. 11.3. Put the Movie Online
        1. 11.3.1. Embedding Flash Content Into A Web Page
        2. 11.3.2. Reusing Our Template
    16. 12. Flash For Handhelds and Cd-rom
      1. 12.1. Flash On the Run: Flashing Your Devices
        1. 12.1.1. Flash Pro Templates For Mobile Devices
        2. 12.1.2. Creating Your Own Template
        3. 12.1.3. Building the Photo Gallery
      2. 12.2. Flash On Cd-rom
        1. 12.2.1. Saving and Retrieving Local Data
        2. 12.2.2. Running flash content From Cd-rom
    17. 13. Get out Of the Box
      1. 13.1. The Recap
        1. 13.1.1. Top ten Things We Didn't Cover
        2. 13.1.2. A Rant about My "other" Agenda
      2. 13.2. Resources
        1. 13.2.1. Online Flash Help and Assets
        2. 13.2.2. Flash In Books
        3. 13.2.3. Stock Photography
        4. 13.2.4. The Author Himself
    18. A. Workflow and Workspace Tips
      1. A.1. Preferences
        1. A.1.1. The General Tab
          1. A.1.1.1. Undo Levels
          2. A.1.1.2. Highlight Color
          3. A.1.1.3. On Launch
        2. A.1.2. The Editing Tab
          1. A.1.2.1. Drawing Settings
          2. A.1.2.2. Project Settings
        3. A.1.3. The Actionscript Tab
          1. A.1.3.1. Editing Options
          2. A.1.3.2. Text
      2. A.2. Keyboard Shortcuts
      3. A.3. Panel Layout
      4. A.4. Miscellaneous Tips
        1. A.4.1.
          1. A.4.1.1. Save and Compact
          2. A.4.1.2. Quick Edits
          3. A.4.1.3. Tabbed Documents
          4. A.4.1.4. Transfer Software License
          5. A.4.1.5. Enable Simple Buttons
          6. A.4.1.6. Check Spelling
      5. A.5. Conclusion
    19. Index
    20. About the Author
    21. Colophon
    22. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly