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Flash Journalism

Book Description

This book will assist journalists and Flash developers who are working together to bring video, audio, still photos, and animated graphics together into one complete Web-based package.

This book is not just another Flash book because it focuses on the need of journalists to tell an accurate story and provide accurate graphics. This book will illustrate how to animate graphics such as maps, illustrations, and diagrams using Flash. It will show journalists how to integrate high-quality photos and audio interviews into a complete news package for the Web.

Each lesson in the book is followed by a learning summary so that journalists can review the skills they have acquired along the way. In addition, the book's six case studies will allow readers to study the characteristics of news packages created with Flash by journalists and Web developers at The Washington Post, MSNBC.com, and Canadian and European news organizations.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction
  8. Part I: Why Flash Journalism?
    1. Chapter 1: A New Form of Storytelling
      1. Slideshows with Photos and Sound
      2. Animated Infographics
      3. Packages
      4. Interactivity
        1. Feedback from the Audience
        2. Adaptivity or Modifiability
        3. Control
        4. Choices
        5. Communication
        6. Responsiveness
      5. Interface
      6. Summary
    2. Chapter 2: What Flash Brings to Online Media
      1. A Brief History of Flash
      2. Delivery Medium: The Flash Player
      3. Authoring Tool: The Flash Application
      4. What Flash Does Well
        1. Design Control
        2. Integration of Media Types
        3. Interactivity
        4. Look, Ma—No Scrolling
        5. Modularity
        6. Motion
        7. Portability
        8. Preloading
        9. Sound
        10. Streaming
      5. Problems in Flash Content
        1. Accessibility
        2. Blurred Text
        3. Bookmarking
        4. File Associations
        5. Linking
        6. Search Engines
        7. Site Navigation
        8. Skip Intro
        9. Version or Browser Conflicts
      6. Summary
  9. Part II: How to Make Things in Flash
    1. Lesson 1: Drawing Tools
      1. Lesson 1
      2. Additional Tools
      3. Drawing Aids
        1. Snapping
        2. Aligning
        3. Grouping
      4. Drawing Tools Summary
      5. Conclusion
    2. Lesson 2: Simple Animation
      1. Lesson 2
        1. Exercise 2.1: Creating Graphic Symbols
        2. Exercise 2.2: Animating Two Symbols
      2. Tips About Animation
        1. Frame Rates
        2. Using Layers
        3. Masks and Motion Paths
        4. There and Not There
      3. Simple Animation Summary
      4. Conclusion
    3. Lesson 3: Putting Flash Online
      1. Lesson 3
        1. Exercise 3.1: Publish Settings
        2. Where Are Your Files?
        3. Positioning a Flash Movie in the Browser Window
        4. Inserting a SWF with Dreamweaver
        5. Exercise 3.2: Creating the Page Layout and Uploading the Page
        6. Very Important Note About File Locations
        7. Exercise 3.3: Using a Pop-up Window
      2. Putting Flash Online Summary
      3. Conclusion
    4. Lesson 4: Buttons
      1. Lesson 4
        1. Exercise 4.1: Create a New Button
        2. Tip for Button Text
        3. Exercise 4.2: Add Sound to a Button
      2. Buttons Summary
      3. Conclusion
    5. Lesson 5: Making Buttons Do Things
      1. Lesson 5
        1. Exercise 5.1: Preliminary Work (Build an Animation)
        2. Using 15 Frames per Second
        3. Exercise 5.2: Stop and Play Buttons
        4. Switching to “Expert Mode” in Flash MX
        5. Using Buttons to Navigate One Frame at a Time
        6. Exercise 5.3: Buttons That Let You Jump on the Timeline
        7. Using a Flash Button to Open a Web Page
      2. Making Buttons Do Things Summary
      3. Conclusion
    6. Lesson 6: Movie Clips
      1. Lesson 6
        1. Exercise 6.1: A Moving Eyeball
        2. What Is a Scene?
        3. Exercise 6.2: A Moving Background
        4. What Is a Registration Point?
        5. Exercise 6.3: A Sliding Panel
        6. Using Quotes in ActionScript
      2. Movie Clips Summary
      3. Conclusion
    7. Lesson 7: Working with Photos
      1. About This Lesson
      2. Lesson 7
        1. Photo Editing Tips
        2. Exercise 7.1: Importing and Optimizing Compressed Photo Files
        3. Exercise 7.2: Importing and Optimizing Uncompressed Photo Files
        4. Bitmap Properties: Photo vs. Lossless
        5. Exercise 7.3: Moving Photos in Flash
        6. Motion Tweens, Bitmaps, and Symbols
        7. Exercise 7.4: Zooming In on a Photo
        8. Exercise 7.5: Fading Photos into Each Other
        9. Exercise 7.6: Looping a Fade Effect
        10. Doing It All with Movie Clips Instead
        11. Exercise 7.7: Using a Photo as the Background
        12. Importing a Sequence of Images
      3. Working with Photos Summary
      4. Conclusion
    8. Lesson 8: Working with Sound
      1. Lesson 8
        1. What You Need to Begin This Lesson
        2. Working with ActionScript
        3. Behaviors in Flash MX 2004
        4. Two Ways to Handle the Sound File
        5. Exercise 8.1: Sound Inside the Flash File
        6. Stopping All Sounds at Once
        7. Exercise 8.2: Sound Outside the Flash File
        8. Exercise 8.3: Detecting When a Sound Has Played to the End
        9. Exercise 8.4: Playing Two Tracks at the Same Time
        10. Exercise 8.5: Scripting a Pause Button
        11. Exercise 8.6: Scripting a Mute Button
        12. Exercise 8.7: Synchronizing Images to Loaded Audio
      2. Streaming and Event Sounds
        1. Streaming Sounds
        2. A Special Case: attachSound and Preloaders
        3. Event Sounds
      3. File Formats and Settings
        1. Acceptable Sound Formats
        2. Settings for Sound Editing
        3. Settings for Publishing the SWF
      4. Working with Sound Summary
      5. Conclusion
    9. Lesson 9: Working with Text
      1. Lesson 9
        1. Exercise 9.1: Static Text, a Tour of What You Can Do
        2. Legible Text: Avoiding the Blurry Text Syndrome
        3. Exercise 9.2: Dynamic Text, a Tour of What You Can Do
        4. Exercise 9.3 Scrolling Text with the ScrollBar Component
        5. The ScrollBar and Flash MX 2004
        6. Moving and Transforming Text
        7. Exercise 9.4: Input Text, a Tour of What You Can Do
        8. Pixel Fonts: Sharp, Tiny Text
      2. Working with Text Summary
      3. Conclusion
    10. Lesson 10: Building Slideshows with Sound
      1. Lesson 10
        1. Planning the Package Layout
        2. Exercise 10.1: Simple Slideshow Using a Level
        3. Exercise 10.2: Simple Slideshow Using a Movie Clip
        4. Exercise 10.3: Automating the Photos
        5. What the Script Is Doing in Exercise 10.3
        6. Exercise 10.4: Add Automated Captions
        7. Exercise 10.5: Add an Individual “Photo Loading” Message
        8. Exercise 10.6: Guarantee That the Caption File Loads
        9. Exercise 10.7: Automating the Slideshow
        10. Exercise 10.8: Adding External Sound
        11. Exercise 10.9: Stopping on the Final Photo
        12. Exercise 10.10: Add Fade-In, Fade-Out Transitions
      2. Building Slideshows with Sound Summary
      3. Conclusion
  10. Part III: Case Studies
    1. Case Study 1: washingtonpost.com Sniper Shootings
      1. The Master Map
      2. Information About the Victims
      3. Tech Tip: A Draggable Floating Window
      4. Photo Galleries
      5. Graphics from the Newspaper
      6. Managing Information Interactively
      7. Updating Breaking News in Flash
      8. Planning with Storyboards
    2. Case Study 2: Star Tribune Slideshow Tool
      1. Critiquing Old Methods
      2. Use of Audio
      3. Transitions
      4. Putting Sound and Pictures Together
      5. Building the Slideshow Tool
      6. Tech Tip: Dynamic Borders, Text Fields
      7. The Form Interface
    3. Case Study 3: ElPaís.es March 11 Attacks
      1. A Subscription Web Site
      2. March 11
      3. The National Elections
      4. March 12
      5. A Different Way to Explain
      6. Tech Tip: A Controller Bar
      7. The Challenge of Updating
    4. Case Study 4: CBC Radio 3
      1. Origins
      2. Stories
      3. Mission
      4. Photographs
      5. Tech Tip: Photos That Fill the Screen
      6. Site Design
      7. Music Playlists
    5. Case Study 5: MSNBC.com The Big Picture
      1. The Idea
      2. Evolution
      3. Production
      4. Back-End Editing
      5. Version 2
      6. Tech Tip: Multiple Videos
      7. Tracking Use
    6. Case Study 6: Agence France-Presse: Tour de France
      1. Product Development
      2. The Interface
      3. Design and Usability
      4. Tech Tip: Refreshing Live Data
      5. Real-Time Commentary
      6. Construction and Cooperation
      7. Text vs. XML
  11. Afterword: The Future
  12. About the Flash Journalists
  13. Appendix A Preloaders
  14. Appendix B Loading SWFs into SWFs
  15. Appendix C Video in Flash
  16. Very Useful Keyboard Shortcuts
  17. Flash Reserved Words List
  18. Index