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The Essential Guide to Flash CS4 with ActionScript

Book Description

For any professional designer or developer working in the world of web technologies or multimedia, Flash is the must-have application, and knowing how to use it effectively is vital. Add in ActionScript 3.0, and Flash becomes an even more powerful tool for the development of high-performance web applications.

The Essential Guide to Flash CS4 with ActionScript introduces and explores the possibilities available to you by using Flash CS4. You will learn the basics of Flash's working environment and, using a step-by-step approach, work through the features of Flash and ActionScript needed to quickly achieve results. From navigating the interface to using graphic tools to write scripts and troubleshoot, you'll master deploying highly interactive applications with rich audio, video, and animation.

Written for the beginning-to-intermediate Flash user, this book uses complete examples that highlight best practices that you can apply to your daily work as a developer or designer in today's rich media world.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. CONTENTS AT A GLANCE
  4. CONTENTS
  5. FOREWORD
  6. ABOUT THE AUTHORS
  7. ABOUT THE TECHNICAL REVIEWER
  8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  9. PREFACE
    1. Layout conventions
  10. PART ONE: BASICS
    1. CHAPTER 1: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
      1. Animators, coders, designers, oh my . . .
      2. What is this thing called Flash?
      3. How did we get here?
      4. The world today–addicted to change
      5. Flash Platform, open source, and web 2.0
      6. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 2: THE NEW INTERFACE OF FLASH CS4
      1. Welcome Screen
      2. The Flash CS4 interface is nearly identical between operating systems
      3. Working with panels and windows
      4. The Property inspector–one panel to rule them all
      5. The document window
      6. The Timeline panel
      7. The Tools panel
      8. Customizing the interface
      9. Summary
    3. CHAPTER 3: DRAWING WITH FLASH'S VECTOR TOOLS
      1. Understanding graphic types
      2. Working with vector graphics
      3. Drawing modes: Merge Drawing vs. Object Drawing
      4. Creating and manipulating lines
      5. Drawing shapes
      6. Selecting and manipulating shapes
      7. Strokes and fills
      8. Advanced drawing
      9. Summary
    4. CHAPTER 4: EXTERNAL ASSETS AND SYMBOL MANAGEMENT
      1. Using bitmaps in your Flash projects
      2. Using and organizing symbols
      3. The Library panel
      4. Summary
    5. CHAPTER 5: WORKING WITH BLENDS, FILTERS, AND 3D TRANSFORMATIONS
      1. Blends
      2. Working with filters
      3. Introducing 3D transformations
      4. Summary
  11. PART TWO: ANIMATION
    1. CHAPTER 6: BASIC ANIMATION IN FLASH
      1. Animating to convey information
      2. Animation for impact and emotion
      3. The disciplines of animation
      4. Understanding animation in Flash
      5. Creating a motion tween–a step-by-step primer
      6. Modifying a motion tween
      7. Understanding easing
      8. Modifying your symbol
      9. Introducing the Motion Editor
      10. Reusing animation
      11. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 7: PLAYING WITH DOLLS: INTRODUCING FLASH IK
      1. What is kinematics?
      2. Using IK with shapes and the Bind tool
      3. Summary
  12. PART THREE: ACTIONSCRIPT
    1. CHAPTER 8: THE PROGRAMMING PRIMER: A FLASH DESIGNER'S INTRO TO ACTIONSCRIPT 3.0
      1. Dreaming in metaphors
      2. Following the evolution of ActionScript 3.0
      3. Crafting your first ActionScript application
      4. The trace statement: Leaving breadcrumbs
      5. Moving into the Actions panel: Your new home
      6. Basic elements of ActionScript programming
      7. Having a little class or a big one
      8. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 9: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF INTERACTIVITY
      1. Properties: I unpacked my adjectives
      2. Methods: Just do it!
      3. Events: Are we there yet?
      4. Frame and timer events
      5. Accepting keyboard input
      6. Removing events and listeners
      7. Summary
    3. CHAPTER 10: LEARNING THE DISPLAY MODEL AND BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
      1. Working with display objects
      2. Traversing the display list
      3. Examining display object containers
      4. Germaphobe
      5. Summary
    4. CHAPTER 11: MANAGING EXTERNAL ASSETS AND COMMUNICATION
      1. Working with external data
      2. Communicating: SWF to SWF
      3. Storing data to a local machine
      4. Summary
    5. CHAPTER 12: XML: THE BEST WAY IN AND OUT OF FLASH
      1. What is XML?
      2. ActionScript 3.0 and E4X
      3. Learning to see XML
      4. Using proper structure and syntax
      5. Loading an XML file with ActionScript
      6. Reading the XML data
      7. Summary
  13. PART FOUR: ADDITIONAL USER INTERFACES
    1. CHAPTER 13: WORKING WITH TEXT AND STRINGS
      1. Creating text with the Text tool
      2. Manipulating text with ActionScript
      3. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 14: USING COMPONENTS
      1. Understanding components
      2. Adding components to your application
      3. Controlling components
      4. Summary
  14. PART FIVE: ENHANCED MEDIA DEVELOPMENT
    1. CHAPTER 15: USING THE ADOBE MEDIA ENCODER-A CRASH COURSE
      1. Introduction to the interface
      2. Taking a close look at the Export Settings window
      3. XMP metadata
      4. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 16: WORKING WITH AUDIO IN FLASH
      1. Thinking about audio
      2. Understanding audio in the Flash authoring environment
      3. Using library audio assets at runtime
      4. Loading audio at runtime
      5. Manipulating audio at runtime
      6. When the music stops–handling audio events
      7. Summary
    3. CHAPTER 17: WORKING WITH VIDEO IN FLASH
      1. Using the Video Import Wizard
      2. Understanding the FLVPlayback component
      3. Menu-driven video playback
      4. Customizing the FLVPlayback component skin
      5. Creating custom play controls
      6. Synchronizing video, text, and other media using events
      7. Adding captions to the FLVPlayback component
      8. Summary
  15. PART SIX: PREPARING YOUR PROJECT FOR DEPLOYMENT
    1. CHAPTER 18: PUBLISHING, EXPORTING, AND DEBUGGING YOUR FLASH PROJECT
      1. Understanding the Publish Settings window
      2. Exporting file formats
      3. Debugging in Flash
      4. Summary
    2. CHAPTER 19: BUILDING AIR APPLICATIONS WITH FLASH CS4
      1. Using AIR APIs
      2. Building your first AIR application with Flash CS4
      3. Creating your AIR package
      4. Deploying your AIR application
      5. Summary
  16. Index