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Flash® CS4 for Dummies®

Book Description

With Adobe Flash CS4 For Dummies as your guide, you can unleash your creativity and contribute to the “Flash”-iest showcase of dynamic content: the Web! You’ll beecome acquainted with Flash CS4 and learn when to use this popular Web development tool. Plus, you’ll discover what you can create, from animation to games to presentations.

This full color edition gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with Flash CS4, discover all the possibilities, and become familiar with the new tools. You’ll be able to create dynamic content, adapt the program’s features to suit your development needs, publish your Flash files to the Web, and showcase your creativity and newly acquired skills. You’ll discover how to create graphics, text, and layers, make animations, add sound and video, and optimize your files for download. Find out how to:

  • Draw and edit images, create effects, and use layers

  • Building layers, manipulate objects, and add buttons

  • Animate figures and add interactive features

  • Understand the basics of colors, frame rates, and graphics

  • Incorporate video and sound files

  • Publish your files to the Web

Complete with lists of ten frequently asked questions about Flash, ten best resources for Flash, and samples of work from ten fabulous Flash designers, Adobe Flash CS4For Dummies is your one-stop guide designing dynamic and interactive content.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Authors
  3. Authors' Acknowledgments
  4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. How to Use This Book
    3. Foolish Assumptions
    4. Conventions Used in This Book
    5. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Part I: A Blast of Flash
      2. Part II: 1,000 Pictures and 1,000 Words
      3. Part III: Getting Symbolic
      4. Part IV: Total Flash-o-Rama
      5. Part V: The Movie and the Web
      6. Part VI: The Part of Tens
    6. Icons Used in This Book
    7. Where to Go from Here
      1. Your own personal library of vector graphics
      2. Flash movies galore
  6. I. A Blast of Flash
    1. 1. Getting Acquainted with Flash CS4
      1. 1.1. Discovering Flash
      2. 1.2. Understanding What You Can Create with Flash CS4
      3. 1.3. Determining When Not to Use Flash CS4
      4. 1.4. Getting the Right Start
        1. 1.4.1. Starting Flash on a PC
        2. 1.4.2. Starting Flash on a Mac
        3. 1.4.3. Creating a new movie
        4. 1.4.4. Opening an existing movie
      5. 1.5. Taking a Look Around
        1. 1.5.1. Tooling around the toolbars
        2. 1.5.2. Using panels
        3. 1.5.3. Discovering the Flash menus
        4. 1.5.4. Customizing the workspace
        5. 1.5.5. Staging your movies
        6. 1.5.6. Following a timeline
      6. 1.6. Getting Help in a Flash
        1. 1.6.1. Help's multiple manuals
        2. 1.6.2. Finding more help on the Web
      7. 1.7. Try It; You'll Like It
        1. 1.7.1. Conceiving your first animation
        2. 1.7.2. Creating flashy drawings
          1. 1.7.2.1. Turning your objects into symbols
          2. 1.7.2.2. Putting your graphics on layers
        3. 1.7.3. Making graphics move
        4. 1.7.4. Publishing your first animation for posterity
        5. 1.7.5. Exiting Flash
    2. 2. Your Basic Flash
      1. 2.1. Looking at the Big Picture
      2. 2.2. Setting the Stage
        1. 2.2.1. Choosing the Stage color
        2. 2.2.2. Specifying the frame rate
        3. 2.2.3. Setting the Stage size
      3. 2.3. Adding Metadata
      4. 2.4. Grabbing a Graphic
        1. 2.4.1. Understanding vectors and bitmaps
        2. 2.4.2. Finding graphics
        3. 2.4.3. Going to the Library
          1. 2.4.3.1. Using folders
          2. 2.4.3.2. More Library housekeeping
          3. 2.4.3.3. Using the Libraries of other movies
          4. 2.4.3.4. Exploring the Flash stock Library
      5. 2.5. Using a Template
      6. 2.6. Printing Your Movie
  7. II. 1,000 Pictures and 1,000 Words
    1. 3. Getting Graphic
      1. 3.1. Sharpening Your Pencil
        1. 3.1.1. Setting the Pencil modifier
        2. 3.1.2. Setting the stroke type
        3. 3.1.3. Setting the color
      2. 3.2. Creating Shapely Shapes
        1. 3.2.1. Line up
        2. 3.2.2. Be square
        3. 3.2.3. Be an egg
        4. 3.2.4. Go for the stars
      3. 3.3. Mixing and Matching Shapes
        1. 3.3.1. Cutting up shapes
        2. 3.3.2. Placing objects on top of each other
      4. 3.4. Keeping Objects Safe and Secure
        1. 3.4.1. Using the object-drawing model
        2. 3.4.2. Getting primitive
          1. 3.4.2.1. Creating a rectangle primitive
          2. 3.4.2.2. Creating an oval primitive
      5. 3.5. Creating Curves with the Pen
        1. 3.5.1. Drawing straight lines
        2. 3.5.2. Drawing curves
      6. 3.6. Getting Artistic with the Brush
        1. 3.6.1. Brush Mode modifier
        2. 3.6.2. Brush Size drop-down list
        3. 3.6.3. Brush Shape drop-down list
        4. 3.6.4. Pressure and Tilt modifiers
        5. 3.6.5. Brush smoothing
      7. 3.7. Creating Graffiti with the Spray Brush
        1. 3.7.1. Setting symbol properties
        2. 3.7.2. Setting brush properties
        3. 3.7.3. Working with Spray Brush dots
      8. 3.8. Pouring on the Paint
      9. 3.9. Strokes, Ink
      10. 3.10. A Rainbow of Colors
        1. 3.10.1. Solid citizens
          1. 3.10.1.1. Creating new colors or editing existing colors
          2. 3.10.1.2. Managing colors
          3. 3.10.1.3. Using color themes
        2. 3.10.2. Gradient colors
        3. 3.10.3. Bitmap fills
        4. 3.10.4. Locking a fill
        5. 3.10.5. Pattern fills
          1. 3.10.5.1. Vine fill
          2. 3.10.5.2. Grid fill
          3. 3.10.5.3. Symmetry brush
      11. 3.11. Drawing Precisely
        1. 3.11.1. The ruler rules
        2. 3.11.2. Using guides
        3. 3.11.3. Working with the grid
        4. 3.11.4. Snapping turtle
          1. 3.11.4.1. Setting snap-to-grid preferences
          2. 3.11.4.2. Setting snap-to-objects preferences
        5. 3.11.5. Pixel, pixel on the wall
      12. 3.12. The Import Business — Using Outside Graphics
        1. 3.12.1. Importing graphics
        2. 3.12.2. Using imported graphics
    2. 4. You Are the Object Editor
      1. 4.1. Selecting Objects
        1. 4.1.1. Selecting with the Selection tool
        2. 4.1.2. Lassoing your objects
        3. 4.1.3. Selecting everything in one fell swoop
      2. 4.2. Moving, Copying, Deleting, and Erasing
        1. 4.2.1. Movin' on down the road
          1. 4.2.1.1. Moving precisely with Snap Align
          2. 4.2.1.2. Moving with the Clipboard
          3. 4.2.1.3. Moving with the Property inspector
          4. 4.2.1.4. Moving with the Info panel
        2. 4.2.2. Aligning objects with the Align panel
        3. 4.2.3. Copying objects
        4. 4.2.4. Makin' objects go away
        5. 4.2.5. Erasing objects
      3. 4.3. Making Shapes More Shapely
        1. 4.3.1. Reshaping shapes and outlines
        2. 4.3.2. Using the Subselect tool
        3. 4.3.3. Adjusting curves with the Pen tool
        4. 4.3.4. Freely transforming and distorting shapes
          1. 4.3.4.1. Tapering objects
          2. 4.3.4.2. Distorting objects
          3. 4.3.4.3. Stretching the envelope
        5. 4.3.5. Straightening lines and curving curves
        6. 4.3.6. Modifying line endings
        7. 4.3.7. Optimizing curves
        8. 4.3.8. Expanding and contracting fills
        9. 4.3.9. Softening edges
        10. 4.3.10. Converting lines to fills
      4. 4.4. Transforming Fills
      5. 4.5. Transferring Properties
      6. 4.6. Finding and Replacing Objects
      7. 4.7. Transforming Objects
        1. 4.7.1. Scaling, scaling . . .
        2. 4.7.2. 'Round and 'round and 'round we rotate
        3. 4.7.3. Getting skewy
        4. 4.7.4. Flippety, floppety
      8. 4.8. Combining Objects
      9. 4.9. Getting Grouped
      10. 4.10. Changing the Transformation Point
      11. 4.11. Breaking Apart Objects
      12. 4.12. Establishing Order on the Stage
      13. 4.13. Undoing, Redoing, and Reusing
        1. 4.13.1. Undoing actions
        2. 4.13.2. Redoing actions
        3. 4.13.3. Using object-level undo and redo
        4. 4.13.4. Reusing actions with the History panel
          1. 4.13.4.1. Undoing steps
          2. 4.13.4.2. Replaying a step
          3. 4.13.4.3. Copying steps
          4. 4.13.4.4. Saving commands
          5. 4.13.4.5. Clearing the History panel
    3. 5. What's Your Type?
      1. 5.1. Presenting Your Text
        1. 5.1.1. Creating text
        2. 5.1.2. Editing text
          1. 5.1.2.1. Checking spelling
          2. 5.1.2.2. Finding and replacing text
        3. 5.1.3. Setting character attributes
          1. 5.1.3.1. Setting the font, font size, and font style
          2. 5.1.3.2. Specifying text color
          3. 5.1.3.3. Adjusting kerning and tracking
          4. 5.1.3.4. Making text selectable
        4. 5.1.4. Hyperlinking text
        5. 5.1.5. Getting the best text appearance
        6. 5.1.6. Setting up paragraph formats
          1. 5.1.6.1. Setting text alignment
          2. 5.1.6.2. Setting margins and indents
          3. 5.1.6.3. Specifying line spacing
        7. 5.1.7. Creating input and dynamic text
      2. 5.2. Creating Cool Text Effects
    4. 6. Layering It On
      1. 6.1. Creating Layers
        1. 6.1.1. Using layers
        2. 6.1.2. Changing layer states
          1. 6.1.2.1. Show/Hide
          2. 6.1.2.2. Lock/Unlock
          3. 6.1.2.3. Outlines
      2. 6.2. Getting Those Layers Right
        1. 6.2.1. Deleting layers
        2. 6.2.2. Copying layers
        3. 6.2.3. Renaming layers
        4. 6.2.4. Reordering layers
        5. 6.2.5. Organizing layers
        6. 6.2.6. Modifying layer properties
      3. 6.3. Opening Windows with Mask Layers
        1. 6.3.1. Creating a mask layer
        2. 6.3.2. Editing mask layers
        3. 6.3.3. Animating mask layers
  8. III. Getting Symbolic
    1. 7. Heavy Symbolism
      1. 7.1. Understanding Symbol Types
        1. 7.1.1. Using graphic symbols
        2. 7.1.2. Using movie clip symbols
        3. 7.1.3. Using button symbols
      2. 7.2. Creating Symbols
        1. 7.2.1. Creating symbols from existing objects
        2. 7.2.2. Creating empty symbols
        3. 7.2.3. Converting an animation to a movie clip symbol
        4. 7.2.4. Creating a symbol by duplicating a symbol
      3. 7.3. Modifying Symbols
        1. 7.3.1. Changing the properties of a symbol
        2. 7.3.2. Editing symbols
      4. 7.4. Using Symbols from Other Movies
        1. 7.4.1. Using the Flash Library
        2. 7.4.2. Using the Flash For Dummies Library
      5. 7.5. Working with Instances, for Instance
        1. 7.5.1. Inserting instances
        2. 7.5.2. Editing instances
          1. 7.5.2.1. Changing brightness
          2. 7.5.2.2. Changing tint
          3. 7.5.2.3. Changing transparency
          4. 7.5.2.4. Changing color and transparency at the same time
          5. 7.5.2.5. Adding filters and blends
          6. 7.5.2.6. Changing an instance's type
          7. 7.5.2.7. Replacing an instance
          8. 7.5.2.8. Breaking apart an instance
        3. 7.5.3. Changing 3D position and rotation
          1. 7.5.3.1. Moving movie clip instances
          2. 7.5.3.2. Rotating movie clip instances
    2. 8. Pushing Buttons
      1. 8.1. Creating Simple Buttons
        1. 8.1.1. Understanding button states
        2. 8.1.2. Making a basic button
      2. 8.2. Putting Buttons to the Test
      3. 8.3. Creating Complex Buttons
        1. 8.3.1. Adding a sound to a button
        2. 8.3.2. Adding a movie clip to a button
        3. 8.3.3. Adding an action for a button
  9. IV. Total Flash-o-Rama
    1. 9. Getting Animated
      1. 9.1. Who Framed the Animation?
      2. 9.2. Preparing to Animate
        1. 9.2.1. Master of the Timeline
        2. 9.2.2. Turtle or hare?
      3. 9.3. Animating with Keyframes
      4. 9.4. Frame After Frame After Frame
      5. 9.5. The Animation Tween
        1. 9.5.1. From here to there — motion tweening
          1. 9.5.1.1. Making a motion tween
          2. 9.5.1.2. Scaling and rotating an animated object
          3. 9.5.1.3. Tweening color or transparency
          4. 9.5.1.4. Animating your movie clip's position in 3D space
          5. 9.5.1.5. Editing or replacing the motion path
        2. 9.5.2. Using Motion Presets
        3. 9.5.3. Using the Motion Editor
        4. 9.5.4. Tweening shapes
          1. 9.5.4.1. Getting Flash to take a hint — using shape hints
          2. 9.5.4.2. Adjusting shape hints
      6. 9.6. Editing Animation
        1. 9.6.1. Adding labels and comments
        2. 9.6.2. Selecting frames
        3. 9.6.3. Copying and pasting frames
        4. 9.6.4. Copying and pasting motion
        5. 9.6.5. Moving frames
        6. 9.6.6. Reversing your animation
        7. 9.6.7. Changing speed
        8. 9.6.8. Using onion skins
        9. 9.6.9. Moving everything around the Stage at once
      7. 9.7. Connecting the Hip Bone to the Thigh Bone
        1. 9.7.1. Putting bones into your symbols
        2. 9.7.2. Binding bones to shapes
        3. 9.7.3. Working with constraints
        4. 9.7.4. Animating your bones
      8. 9.8. Making the Scene
        1. 9.8.1. Breaking your movie into scenes
        2. 9.8.2. Manipulating that scene
    2. 10. Getting Interactive
      1. 10.1. Understanding ActionScript
        1. 10.1.1. Making objects work for you
        2. 10.1.2. Method acting
      2. 10.2. Adding ActionScript to Frames
      3. 10.3. Using ActionScript with Buttons
      4. 10.4. Using ActionScript with Movie Clips
        1. 10.4.1. Creating animated masks with movie clips
        2. 10.4.2. Dragging movie clips
      5. 10.5. Exploring ActionScript Further
        1. 10.5.1. Programming constructs
        2. 10.5.2. Making comments
        3. 10.5.3. External scripting
        4. 10.5.4. Discovering more about ActionScript
    3. 11. Extravagant Audio, High-Velocity Video
      1. 11.1. Acquiring Amazing Audio
        1. 11.1.1. Importing sounds
        2. 11.1.2. Placing sounds into a movie
      2. 11.2. Editing Sounds
        1. 11.2.1. Deleting parts of a sound
        2. 11.2.2. Changing the volume
      3. 11.3. Managing Sound
      4. 11.4. Video Magic
        1. 11.4.1. Four ways to use video in Flash
        2. 11.4.2. Preparing to embed video in Flash
        3. 11.4.3. Embedding a video
        4. 11.4.4. Streaming a video
  10. V. The Movie and the Web
    1. 12. Putting It All Together
      1. 12.1. Adding the Power of Components
        1. 12.1.1. Getting ready to work with components
        2. 12.1.2. Using RadioButtons in a Flash movie
        3. 12.1.3. Using CheckBoxes in a Flash movie
        4. 12.1.4. Using ComboBoxes in a Flash movie
        5. 12.1.5. Using Lists in a Flash movie
      2. 12.2. Creating a Preloader
      3. 12.3. Creating an Entire Web Site with Flash
        1. 12.3.1. Creating navigation with navigateToURL
        2. 12.3.2. Using the Timeline to store Web content
      4. 12.4. Testing for the Flash Player
        1. 12.4.1. Detecting the Flash Player version
        2. 12.4.2. Creating alternative sites
      5. 12.5. Using the Movie Explorer
      6. 12.6. Making Your Site More Accessible
    2. 13. Publishing Your Flash Files
      1. 13.1. Optimizing Movies for Fast Download
        1. 13.1.1. Simplifying artwork
        2. 13.1.2. Optimizing text
        3. 13.1.3. Compressing sound
        4. 13.1.4. Animating efficiently
      2. 13.2. Testing Movies
        1. 13.2.1. Using the Test Movie command
        2. 13.2.2. Testing a movie in a Web browser
      3. 13.3. Saving Your Work in Flash CS3 Format
      4. 13.4. Publishing Flash Movies
      5. 13.5. Publishing to SWF
        1. 13.5.1. Flash Player and ActionScript version
        2. 13.5.2. Image and sound settings
        3. 13.5.3. SWF settings
        4. 13.5.4. Advanced settings
      6. 13.6. Publishing to HTML
        1. 13.6.1. Understanding the HTML code for a movie
        2. 13.6.2. Specifying Flash Player detection and other HTML settings
          1. 13.6.2.1. Template
          2. 13.6.2.2. Dimensions
          3. 13.6.2.3. Playback
          4. 13.6.2.4. Quality
          5. 13.6.2.5. Window Mode
          6. 13.6.2.6. HTML Alignment
          7. 13.6.2.7. Scale
          8. 13.6.2.8. Flash Alignment
          9. 13.6.2.9. Show Warning Messages
      7. 13.7. Publishing to Other Formats
        1. 13.7.1. Creating PNG graphic files
        2. 13.7.2. Creating self-playing movies
      8. 13.8. Using Publish Profiles
        1. 13.8.1. Creating a publish profile
        2. 13.8.2. Duplicating or renaming a publish profile
        3. 13.8.3. Modifying a publish profile
        4. 13.8.4. Deleting a publish profile
        5. 13.8.5. Exporting and importing publish profiles
      9. 13.9. Using Publish Preview
      10. 13.10. Posting Your Movie to Your Web Site
      11. 13.11. Exporting Movies and Images
      12. 13.12. Creating Printable Movies
        1. 13.12.1. Preparing your movie for printing
        2. 13.12.2. Specifying printable frames
        3. 13.12.3. Specifying the print area
        4. 13.12.4. Printing movies from the Flash Player
  11. VI. The Part of Tens
    1. 14. Ten Frequently Asked Questions
      1. 14.1. How Do I Combine Two Flash Movies?
      2. 14.2. How Can I Sync Sound with Motion?
      3. 14.3. What's the Best Way to Import Bitmaps?
      4. 14.4. How Do I Rescale My Movie's Size?
      5. 14.5. What Are the Best Tips for Creating Movies?
      6. 14.6. Can Flash Do Full 3D?
      7. 14.7. How Do I Center a Flash Movie in a Web Page?
      8. 14.8. What Are the Size Limits for a Flash Movie?
      9. 14.9. What Are the Top Tips for Web Design with Flash?
        1. 14.9.1. Set your goal
        2. 14.9.2. Make thumbnail sketches first
        3. 14.9.3. Connect the parts to the whole
        4. 14.9.4. Use fewer than four fonts
        5. 14.9.5. Test and test again
      10. 14.10. How Do I Dynamically Load Music from the Web?
    2. 15. Ten Best Flash Resources
      1. 15.1. Check Out Award-Winning Movies
      2. 15.2. Look on the Flash Web Pages
      3. 15.3. Visit Our Site
      4. 15.4. Take a Course
      5. 15.5. Join a Flash Discussion Group
      6. 15.6. Check Out Flash Resource Sites
      7. 15.7. Check Out Sites That Use Flash
      8. 15.8. Attend a Flash Conference
      9. 15.9. Collect Flash Movies
      10. 15.10. Reuse Your Best Stuff
    3. 16. Ten Flash Designers to Watch
      1. 16.1. Joshua Davis
      2. 16.2. Anthony Eden
      3. 16.3. Andy Foulds
      4. 16.4. Chris Georgenes
      5. 16.5. Ben Hantoot
      6. 16.6. Seb Lee-Delisle and Dominic Minns
      7. 16.7. Erik Natzke
      8. 16.8. Micaël Reynaud
      9. 16.9. Jared Tarbell
      10. 16.10. Jeremy Thorp
  12. B.17. Installing Flash and Setting Your Preferences
    1. 17.1. Installing Flash
      1. 17.1.1. Installing Flash onto a PC from a DVD
      2. 17.1.2. Installing Flash by downloading it to your PC
      3. 17.1.3. Installing Flash onto a Mac from a DVD
      4. 17.1.4. Installing Flash by downloading it to your Mac
    2. 17.2. Setting Your Preferences
      1. 17.2.1. General category
      2. 17.2.2. ActionScript category
      3. 17.2.3. Auto Format category
      4. 17.2.4. Clipboard category
      5. 17.2.5. Drawing category
      6. 17.2.6. Text category
      7. 17.2.7. Warnings category
      8. 17.2.8. PSD File Importer category
      9. 17.2.9. AI File Importer category
    3. 17.3. Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts