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Focal Easy Guide to Flash MX 2004

Book Description

Confused by ActionScript? Want to get to grips with creating interactive graphics and animation in Flash quickly? Whether you are a new user or a professional illustrator, designer or animator experienced in other animation and effects packages, this highly visual, color book will be all you need to get you up and running with the latest powerful upgrade - Flash MX 2004.

Birgitta Hosea uses tried and tested material based on her teaching, breaking down the software into its main components and providing lots of screenshots and simple step-by-step instructions. This encourages you to get the most out of the programme and fully develop your skills, whilst allowing those with particular needs to 'jump ahead'. The structure and style, influenced by her commercial and creative expertise, allows you either as a student or professional to dip in and out according to the needs of your specific projects, but also allows the exploration of the programmes capability when you have more time.

It is a generalist, accessible, visual and a truly introductory guide, written from the perspective of a designer with a thorough coverage of the basic features of Flash MX 2004, without going too in-depth into coding with ActionScript.

Birgitta Hosea is a motion graphics artist and Course Director of the London Animation Studio at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Her experience ranges from designing idents and promotional materials to working as an Art Director on pop promos and short films.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. 1. Introduction
    1. History and Development of the Program
    2. What is it Used for?
    3. How to Use This Book
  7. 2. Interface
    1. The Start Page
    2. What are all the Windows for?
      1. The Stage
      2. The Timeline
      3. Panel Sets and Customizing Your Interface
      4. Using the Help files
      5. Flash Documents
      6. Naming Files and Working Cross Platform
  8. 3. Vector Drawing
    1. The Drawing Tools
    2. Drawing a Line
    3. The Shape Tools
    4. Drawing with the Pencil tool
    5. Painting with the Brush tool
    6. Using the Pen tool and the Subselection tool
    7. Changing Colors
    8. Creating Gradient Fills
    9. Transform Fill Tool
    10. Creating Text
    11. Spell Checker
  9. 4. Selecting and Modifying
    1. Making Selections
    2. Modifying Drawings
    3. The Free Transform Tool
    4. Ink Bottle Tool
    5. Paint Bucket Tool
    6. Dropper Tool
    7. Eraser Tool
    8. Changing Your View
    9. Using Layers
    10. Step by Step Manually Create a Drop Shadow
    11. Rulers, Guides and Grids
    12. Step by Step to Create a Perspective Grid
    13. At a Glance Keyboard Shortcuts for the Tools
  10. 5. Importing Images
    1. Vectors vs. Bitmaps
    2. Still Image File Types You can Import
    3. To Import a Still Image into Flash
    4. Importing Images with Areas of Transparency
    5. Tracing Bitmaps
    6. Painting with Bitmaps
  11. 6. Navigation 1 – buttons
    1. Button Symbols
    2. Libraries
    3. Creating a Button Symbol
    4. What is a Symbol?
    5. What is a Keyframe?
    6. What is a Behavior?
    7. Step by step to Create a Links Page
    8. Using Movie Clip Symbols
    9. Step-by-step Animated Rollover Buttons
  12. 7. Navigation 2 – Menus
    1. Button Actions and Frame Actions
    2. Creating a Basic Menu
    3. Menus and Submenus
    4. An Online Portfolio
    5. Loading Images
    6. ‘Mail to’ Link
  13. 8. Animation
    1. Creating a Banner Ad with Frame-by-Frame Animation
    2. Separating and Locking Layers
    3. Using Keyframes
    4. Onion Skinning
    5. Frame Rate and Size
    6. Can’t I Just Change These Settings After my Animation is Finished?
    7. Symbol Animation
    8. Creating Graphic Symbols and Instances
    9. Motion Tweening
    10. Editing Symbols
    11. Summary
  14. 9. More Animation Techniques
    1. Using Motion Paths
    2. Easing
    3. Shape Tweening
    4. Animated Highlights
    5. Animating Gradients
    6. Mask Layers
  15. 10. Further Animation Techniques
    1. Timeline Effects
    2. Animated Symbols
    3. Creating a Looped Background
    4. Copying and Pasting Frames
    5. Symbols Within Symbols
    6. Altering Symbol Center Points
    7. Using Scenes
    8. Character Design Tips
  16. 11. Sound
    1. Creating Sounds to Bring into Flash
    2. Some Fundamentals of Digital Audio
    3. Importing Sounds
    4. Streaming vs. Event Sounds
    5. Editing Sounds in Flash
    6. Attach a Sound to a Button
    7. Adding Comments to Frames
    8. Warning about File Sizes
  17. 12. Video
    1. What is Digital Video?
    2. How do you Bring it into Your Computer?
    3. Using Video in Flash
    4. Rotoscoping
    5. Preparing for Video Output
  18. 13. Designing For Cross-Media
    1. Planning a Web Site
    2. Information Architecture
    3. Design for the Web
    4. Planning for Animation
  19. 14. Putting Flash on the web
    1. Accessibility
    2. Project Management Tips
    3. Tips for Lowering File Sizes
    4. Testing Your Work
    5. Anatomy of a Web Site
    6. Exporting
    7. Creating Pre-Loaders
    8. Uploading
  20. 15. Cross-media Publishing
    1. Publishing Profiles
    2. Exporting Stills
    3. Exporting with Audio
    4. Exporting for Video Output
    5. About Compression
    6. Compositing Your Flash Movie
    7. Putting your Flash Movie onto Video or DVD
    8. Exporting Projectors
    9. Creating a Hybrid CD
  21. Appendix: Resources
    1. Web usage statistics
    2. Web design info
    3. Accessibility
    4. More about mobile devices
    5. Sound resources on the web
    6. ActionScripting tutorials on the web
    7. Flash animation tutorials on the web
    8. Animation resources on the web
    9. Further reading on character animation
    10. Further reading on motion graphics
    11. Further reading on Flash
  22. Index