Focal Easy Guide to Macromedia Flash 8 : For new users and professionals book cover
1st Edition

Focal Easy Guide to Macromedia Flash 8
For new users and professionals

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ISBN 9780240519982
Published January 31, 2006 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

If you need to get to grips fast with creating interactive graphics and animation in Flash - then look no further! Whether you are a new user or a professional, this highly visual book is all you need to get up and running with the latest powerful upgrade - Macromedia Flash 8.

Birgitta Hosea breaks down the software into its main components and offers simple, visual step-by-step instructions to explain the fundamental practical techniques you need to create finished projects. The accessible style and structure lets you dip in and out when working on a project, or work straight through to explore more of the program's capabilities and develop your skills.

Written by a designer for designers The Focal Easy Guide to Macromedia Flash 8 offers a thorough coverage of the basic features of Flash, without going into in-depth 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 moving branding to art directing pop promos and short films.

A Volume in The Focal Easy Guide Series.

The Focal Easy Guide series:
. Starting working with new software immediately regardless of your level
. Achieve professional results, learn practical skills from industry experts
. Focused, user-friendly coverage of the key tools you need to know

Table of Contents

History and development of the program
What is it used for?
How to use this book

At a glance guide to the interface
The Start Page
What are all the windows for?
Changing your view
Panel Sets and customizing your interface
Using the Help files
Flash Documents
Naming files and working cross platform

Vector Drawing
At a glance guide to the tools
The drawing tools
Drawing a line
Drawing with the Pencil tool
The Shape Tools
Painting with the Brush tool
Using the Pen tool and the Subselection tool
To overlap or to obliterate: object drawing vs. merge drawing
Changing colours
Creating gradient fills
Transforming fills
Creating text
Paragraph options
Spell checker

Selecting and Modifying
Making selections
Modifying drawings
Adding strokes
Combining shapes
Rulers, Guides and Grids
Step by step create a perspective grid
At a glance keyboard shortcuts for the tools

Importing Images
Vectors vs. bitmaps
File types
Bitmap file formats
Vector file formats
To import images
Introducing the Library
Importing images with areas of transparency
Tracing bitmaps
Painting with bitmaps

Layers, Symbols and Keyframes
Introducing layers
Step-by-step create a manual drop shadow
Introducing symbols
Designing interactive buttons
Creating a button symbol
Introducing keyframes
What is a behavior?
Step-by-step create an interactive links page
Using movie clip symbols
Step-by step create animated rollover buttons

Navigation 2 - Menus

Button actions and frame actions
Creating a basic menu
Menus and submenus
An online portfolio
Loading images
Mail to link

Creating a banner ad with frame-by-frame animation
Separating and locking layers
Using keyframes
Onion skinning
Frame rate and size
Symbol animation
Creating graphic symbols and instances
Motion tweening
Editing symbols

More Animation Techniques
Using motion paths
Shape tweening
Animated highlights
Animating gradients
Mask layers

Further Animation Techniques
Timeline effects
Animated symbols
Creating a looped background
Copying and pasting frames
Altering symbol centre points
Symbols within symbols
Using scenes
Character design tips

Creating sounds to bring into Flash
Some fundamentals of digital audio
Importing sounds
Streaming vs. event sounds
Editing sounds in Flash
Attach a sound to a button
Adding comments to frames
Warning about file sizes

What is digital video?
How do you bring it into your computer?
Using video in Flash
Preparing for video output
Frame rate and frame size
Pixel aspect ratio
Frames vs. fields
Broadcast safe colors

Designing for Cross-media
Planning a web site
Information architecture
Design for the web
Planning for animation

Putting Flash on the Web
Project management tips
Tips for lowering file sizes
Testing your work
Anatomy of a website
Exporting with audio
Creating pre-loaders

Cross-media Publishing
Publishing Profiles
Exporting stills
Exporting with audio
Exporting for video output
About compression and file sizes
Compositing your Flash movie
Putting your Flash movie onto video or DVD
Exporting projectors

Appendix. Resources
Web usage statistics
Web design info
More about mobile devices
Sound resources on the web
ActionScripting tutorials on the web
Flash animation tutorials on the web
Animation resources on the web
Further reading on character animation
Further reading on motion graphics
Further reading on Flash

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Birgitta Hosea


"A useful companion for current Flash MX 2004 users, and particularly worthwhile for those thinking of working with the software and seeking to understand its features." - Game Developers' Association of Australia