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Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity

Book Description

Macromedia Flash is fast becoming the Web's most widely usedplatform for creating rich media with animation and motiongraphics, but mastering Flash isn't easy. Most entry-level booksteach through simple examples that concentrate on either animationor scripting, but rarely both together. To get the most from Flash8, you not only need to be proficient in programming/interfacedesign, you need the creativity for story telling and the artisticinsights to design fluid animation.

Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation andInteractivity teaches Flash design rather than simply Flashitself. With a standalone series of walkthroughs and tutorials forFlash beginners coming from a graphics field, this book teachesFlash in the context of real-world projects. Rather than learn aFlash tool for the sake of it, you learn which areas of Flash areimportant, and which are less used, simply by seeing how typicalcontent is actually created. And rather than a text-heavy approach,this graphically rich book leads you through hands-on examples byillustration.

Each project in the book starts with goals and broad sketchesbefore moving to design and scripting. This helps you understanddesign intent-the why of the process-rather than just learning theinterfaces and the how of it all. Along the way, you'll createFlash content that includes traditional animation techniques (asseen in full-length animated features), and ActionScript-basedinteractive animation, such as custom web site interface designs.You also learn how to combine both traditional animation techniquesand ActionScript to create feature-rich Flash assets from theground up.

Co-authored by educational developers with years of experiencecreating compelling content, interfaces, and applications, Flash8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity offers acontent-driven approach that is also inspiration-driven. You learnbecause you're accomplishing something tangible, not because youthink you need to know how a tool works.

If you want to understand how various features of Flash cometogether to create a final end design, this book provides you withboth the insight and the know-how.

Table of Contents

  1. Flash 8: Projects for Learning Animation and Interactivity
  2. Copyright
  3. About the Authors
  4. Preface
    1. Who This Book Is For
      1. Not Exactly a Beginner?
    2. More Than Just Marketing
    3. What Makes This Book Different?
    4. How to Use This Book
      1. Getting Started
      2. A Few Important Words About Sidebars
      3. Conventions Used Herein
    5. Using Code Examples
    6. Safari® Enabled
    7. Comments and Questions
    8. Acknowledgments
  5. 1. Getting Started, Right Out of the Box
    1. 1.1. Drawing Your First Box
      1. 1.1.1. Setting Up the File
      2. 1.1.2. Drawing a Rectangle
      3. 1.1.3. Using Undo and the History Panel
      4. 1.1.4. Drawing a Perfect Square
      5. 1.1.5. Adjusting Caps and Joins
    2. 1.2. Coloring Fills and Strokes
      1. 1.2.1. Solid Fills and Gradients
      2. 1.2.2. Gradient Psychedelia
      3. 1.2.3. Custom Stroke Styles
      4. 1.2.4. Scaling Shapes
      5. 1.2.5. Drawing Strokes Freehand
    3. 1.3. Merging and Stacking Shapes
      1. 1.3.1. Groups
      2. 1.3.2. Editing groups
      3. 1.3.3. Gradients Transformed
      4. 1.3.4. Object Drawing Mode
      5. 1.3.5. Stacking Graphics
    4. 1.4. Creating Reusable Graphics
      1. 1.4.1. Creating Symbols
      2. 1.4.2. Reusing Symbols
      3. 1.4.3. What’s Next?
  6. 2. Creating Quickly: Customizing Your Workspace
    1. 2.1. Designing Your Own Panel Layout
      1. 2.1.1. Basic Interface Layout
      2. 2.1.2. A Plethora of Panels
      3. 2.1.3. Saving Your Setup
    2. 2.2. Customizing Movie Properties
    3. 2.3. Aligning Objects on the Stage
      1. 2.3.1. Rulers and Guides
      2. 2.3.2. Snap It in Place
      3. 2.3.3. Precision Alignment with the Properties Panel
      4. 2.3.4. Auto Alignment with the Align Panel
      5. 2.3.5. Distributing Objects
      6. 2.3.6. Timeline Effects: Assistants
    4. 2.4. Behind Every Good Symbol Is a Good Editor
    5. 2.5. Automate Your Workflow
      1. 2.5.1. Making History
      2. 2.5.2. Economizing a Sequence
      3. 2.5.3. Commands: Next-Generation Macros
    6. 2.6. What’s Next?
  7. 3. Your First Animation
    1. 3.1. Layers and the Timeline
      1. 3.1.1. Establishing Layer Order
      2. 3.1.2. Organizing Layers into Groups
      3. 3.1.3. Changing the color of the boxes
    2. 3.2. Keyframes and Tweening
      1. 3.2.1. Creating and Moving Keyframes
      2. 3.2.2. Your First Motion Tween
    3. 3.3. Preparing Text for Animation
      1. 3.3.1. Types of Text
      2. 3.3.2. Sliding Text
    4. 3.4. Staggering Animation
    5. 3.5. Alpha Effect
    6. 3.6. Motion Effects
      1. 3.6.1. Animating Along a Motion Guide
      2. 3.6.2. Realistic Motion
      3. 3.6.3. Bouncing ball
      4. 3.6.4. Custom easing
      5. 3.6.5. Easing the number 8
    7. 3.7. Your First Script
    8. 3.8. Publishing Your Movie
      1. 3.8.1. What’s Next?
  8. 4. Buttons and Interactivity
    1. 4.1. Buttons as Symbols
      1. 4.1.1. Simple Buttons
      2. 4.1.2. Button States
    2. 4.2. Scripting Your Button
      1. 4.2.1. Easy Scripting with Script Assist
      2. 4.2.2. Hand-Coding
    3. 4.3. Components and Behaviors
      1. 4.3.1. The Button Component
      2. 4.3.2. The Go to Web Page Behavior
    4. 4.4. Navigation
      1. 4.4.1. Reusable Buttons
      2. 4.4.2. Improved Usability
    5. 4.5. More Fun with Buttons
      1. 4.5.1. Invisible Buttons
      2. 4.5.2. Animated Buttons
      3. 4.5.3. What’s Next?
  9. 5. Working with Graphics
    1. 5.1. Importing Pixels
      1. 5.1.1. A Few Words About File Formats
      2. 5.1.2. Importing Standard Formats
      3. 5.1.3. Importing from Fireworks
    2. 5.2. Working with Pixels
      1. 5.2.1. Breaking Apart a Bitmap
      2. 5.2.2. Using Bitmap Fills
      3. 5.2.3. Tracing Bitmaps
    3. 5.3. Importing Vectors
      1. 5.3.1. Importing from Illustrator or FreeHand
      2. 5.3.2. Importing a SWF
      3. 5.3.3. Importing from PDF
    4. 5.4. Using Scenes
      1. 5.4.1. Scripting Scene Changes
    5. 5.5. Working with the Library
      1. 5.5.1. Organizing Your Library
      2. 5.5.2. Sharing Libraries During Authoring
      3. 5.5.3. Compression Settings
      4. 5.5.4. Roundtrip Editing
      5. 5.5.5. What’s Next?
  10. 6. Movie Clips and Interactivity
    1. 6.1. Drawing a Cartoon Character
      1. 6.1.1. Starting with the Body
      2. 6.1.2. Adding a Face
      3. 6.1.3. Animating the Eyes
      4. 6.1.4. Using movie clips to create independent animations
      5. 6.1.5. Drawing the Legs
      6. 6.1.6. Making Him Walk
      7. 6.1.7. Making Him Stop
    2. 6.2. Controlling the Character with ActionScript
      1. 6.2.1. Creating the Background
    3. 6.3. More Movie Clip Control
      1. 6.3.1. What’s Next?
  11. 7. More Animation Techniques
    1. 7.1. Morphing with Shape Tweens
      1. 7.1.1. Shape Hints
      2. 7.1.2. Using Shape Tweens in Animations
    2. 7.2. Frame-by-Frame Animation
      1. 7.2.1. The Cascading Text Effect
      2. 7.2.2. Text effects with dynamic text
      3. 7.2.3. Onion Skinning
    3. 7.3. Using Masks
      1. 7.3.1. Mask Layers
      2. 7.3.2. Scriptable Masks
      3. 7.3.3. Alpha Masks
      4. 7.3.4. A Conditional Surprise
    4. 7.4. Timeline Versus ActionScript Animation
      1. 7.4.1. Motion Tweens Revisited
      2. 7.4.2. ActionScript Alternative
    5. 7.5. What’s Next?
  12. 8. Using Sound
    1. 8.1. Importing Sounds
      1. 8.1.1. Preparing Sound for Import into Flash
      2. 8.1.2. Sync Type
      3. 8.1.3. Using stream sounds
      4. 8.1.4. Using event sounds
      5. 8.1.5. Compression Settings
      6. 8.1.6. Simple Edits
    2. 8.2. Controlling External Sounds
      1. 8.2.1. Encoding
      2. 8.2.2. Media Components
    3. 8.3. Scripting Your Own Sound Control
      1. 8.3.1. Creating a Sound Object
      2. 8.3.2. Volume
      3. 8.3.3. Pan
      4. 8.3.4. The Whole Works
      5. 8.3.5. Mouse sound
      6. 8.3.6. MP3 player
      7. 8.3.7. What’s Next?
  13. 9. Using Video
    1. 9.1. Importing Video
      1. 9.1.1. Preparing Video for Import into Flash
      2. 9.1.2. To Embed or Not to Embed?
    2. 9.2. Controlling External Videos
      1. 9.2.1. Encoding
      2. 9.2.2. Standalone encoding applications
      3. 9.2.3. Streaming Versus Progressive Download
      4. 9.2.4. FLV Components
    3. 9.3. Scripting Your Own Video Control
      1. 9.3.1. Creating a Video Object
      2. 9.3.2. Making a Connection
      3. 9.3.3. Wiring a Simple Interface
      4. 9.3.4. What’s Next?
  14. 10. Compositing and Bitmap Effects
    1. 10.1. Runtime Bitmap Caching
      1. 10.1.1. Enabling Caching via the Interface and ActionScript
    2. 10.2. Bitmap Filter Effects
      1. 10.2.1. Using the Properties Panel
        1. 10.2.1.1. Shadows with perspective
      2. 10.2.2. Using ActionScript
        1. 10.2.2.1. Adding a second filter
    3. 10.3. Blend Modes
      1. 10.3.1. Using the Properties Panel
      2. 10.3.2. Using ActionScript
      3. 10.3.3. What’s Next?
  15. 11. Working with Text
    1. 11.1. Text Types
      1. 11.1.1. Static
      2. 11.1.2. Dynamic
      3. 11.1.3. Input
    2. 11.2. Using Fonts
      1. 11.2.1. Device Fonts
      2. 11.2.2. Embedding Fonts
    3. 11.3. Loading and Styling Text
      1. 11.3.1. HTML
      2. 11.3.2. CSS
      3. 11.3.3. Creating and applying styles
      4. 11.3.4. Loading Text
    4. 11.4. FlashType
      1. 11.4.1. Formatting
      2. 11.4.2. Custom Anti-Aliasing
      3. 11.4.3. Embedded font symbols
      4. 11.4.4. What’s Next?
  16. 12. Loading Assets on the Fly
    1. 12.1. Using ActionScript to Modularize Content
      1. 12.1.1. Loading SWFs
      2. 12.1.2. Loading Bitmaps
    2. 12.2. Preloading
      1. 12.2.1. Using Preloader Components
      2. 12.2.2. Scripting Your Own Preloader
      3. 12.2.3. What’s Next?
  17. 13. e-Learning with Flash
    1. 13.1. Creating a Quiz: Getting Started with Templates
    2. 13.2. Sending Results with a Form
      1. 13.2.1. Creating a Form
      2. 13.2.2. Adding buttons
      3. 13.2.3. Compiling and Sending Form Data
      4. 13.2.4. Server Script Parameters
    3. 13.3. Saving and Retrieving Local Data
      1. 13.3.1. Flash Cookies: Local Shared Objects
      2. 13.3.2. Clearing outdated feedback
      3. 13.3.3. Security
      4. 13.3.4. Loading the Form into the Quiz
      5. 13.3.5. What’s Next?
  18. 14. Flash for CD-ROM and Handhelds
    1. 14.1. Flash on CD-ROM
      1. 14.1.1. Projectors
      2. 14.1.2. Projector Enhancers
    2. 14.2. Flash on the Run
      1. 14.2.1. Flash Player for Mobile Devices
        1. 14.2.1.1. Buttons for mobile devices
      2. 14.2.2. Flash Lite
        1. 14.2.2.1. Adding assets
      3. 14.2.3. What’s Next?
  19. 15. Think Outside the Box
    1. 15.1. Exporting to Video
      1. 15.1.1. Pixel-Based Video
      2. 15.1.2. QuickTime Media Layer
        1. 15.1.2.1. Version support
        2. 15.1.2.2. Exporting the QTML track
        3. 15.1.2.3. Exporting merged video and SWF tracks
    2. 15.2. The Drawing API
    3. 15.3. Extending Flash
      1. 15.3.1. Building Your Own Component
        1. 15.3.1.1. Further customizing your component
      2. 15.3.2. Adding Your Component to the Flash Interface
      3. 15.3.3. Intermediate to Advanced Component Features
    4. 15.4. The Rest Is Up to You
      1. 15.4.1. What’s Next?
  20. A. Tips and Resources
    1. .1. Preferences
      1. .1.1. General
      2. .1.2. ActionScript
      3. .1.3. Auto Format
      4. .1.4. Clipboard
      5. .1.5. Drawing
      6. .1.6. Text
      7. .1.7. Warnings
    2. .2. Customizing the Tools Panel
    3. .3. Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts
    4. .4. Basic Tips
    5. .5. Flash 8 Basic Versus Professional
    6. .6. Troubleshooting
    7. .7. Areas of Continued Study
    8. .8. Extending Flash
      1. .8.1. Flashloaded Components
      2. .8.2. Flashloaded Sound & Video
      3. .8.3. Fonts for Flash
      4. .8.4. AccRepair
      5. .8.5. Hi-Caption
      6. .8.6. Zoomifyer
      7. .8.7. Sorenson Squeeze
      8. .8.8. On2 Flix
      9. .8.9. gProject
      10. .8.10. Swift 3D Xpress
      11. .8.11. FlashAmp
    9. .9. Resources
      1. .9.1. Online
        1. .9.1.1. Tutorial and open source sites
        2. .9.1.2. Macromedia
        3. .9.1.3. Blog aggregators
        4. .9.1.4. Companion web site
      2. .9.2. Books
  21. About the Authors
  22. Colophon
  23. Copyright