Macromedia Flash has become the industry standard for creating interactive vector graphics and animation for the Web, including many of those dynamic navigation bars, buttons, ads, and weather maps that have sprung up seemingly everywhere. Whether you're a professional designer or a novice eager to learn new skills, Flash 4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide will show you how to make your Web pages come alive without having to learn complicated scripting languages.
With this book, you get thorough, concise coverage of all the powerful new features in Flash 4, including astreamlined interface, support for MP3 audio compression, Action Scripting, and a new symbol library. You can start with the excellent introduction to the basics of vector drawing, or go straight to the step-by-step instructions for creating Flash movies, incorporating sound, and adding other multimedia effects to your site. Filled with screenshots and loaded with tips and techniques, this Visual QuickStart Guide is a valuable addition to any Web designer's bookshelf.
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Flash 4 For Windows And Macintosh Visual Quickstart GuideReview:
Flash is a great name for an application; who wouldn't want to add flash to their designs? In practice, Macromedia Flash 4 is a complex set of tools for creating animated and interactive graphics that can be played within most up-to-date Web browsers. Flash 4 Visual Quickstart Guide is a well-paced, thorough introduction to all that this powerful application has to offer.
The book begins by introducing the editing environment, including the toolbar, inspectors, menus and timeline. From there it explains how to create and manipulate objects (graphics) and how to convert them into symbols (Flash's term for oft-used images) that can be stored in libraries.
It covers simple and complex animations, including ones with interactivity--from rollovers to movies with sound and conditional actions. Readers learn how to create frame-by-frame animations, use motion and shape tweening, optimise movies for playback on the Web and many other key features of Flash.
As with all Visual Quickstart Guides, Flash 4 uses a column of text side by side with screenshots for every step. Readers can set their own pace by reading all of the text, just the steps or just the illustrations and captions. Skipping ahead or reading the book in a non-linear fashion is easy since each section recaps any previous steps that may be necessary for that lesson.
Flash 4 is a cross-platform guide, but the application has minimal differences between Windows and Macintosh; illustrations are used from either one or the other, but only from both when the differences are significant. This keeps the book lean; readers familiar with how menus look on both platforms will find it very clear.
Flash may not be as complicated as Macromedia Director; however, it's not simple either. Becoming fluent in the application will require a few days of study. But with Flash 4 Visual Quickstart Guide it is possible for new users to get some basic animations completed in a few hours: a little bit of flash in a little bit of time.--Angelynn Grant, Amazon.com
Topics covered: using the editing environment, including the timeline, stage, toolbar, menus and keyboard shortcuts; creating and modifying objects, using layers, saving objects as symbols and using libraries; creating frame-by-frame animations, animations with motion and shape tweening; using masks, movie-clip symbols, interactivity with frame actions and buttons; adding sound to movies, complex interactivity, including conditional actions; preparing a movie for optimal playback on the Web, including Flash Player settings and publishing HTML for Flash Player files
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