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Flash 4 for Windows & Macintosh (Visual QuickStart Guides) [Paperback]

Katherine Ulrich
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 Sep 1999 020135473X 978-0201354737 2

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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 2 edition (17 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 020135473X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201354737
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,964,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

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,

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

From the Back Cover

Flash 4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide is a step-by-step guide to creating animated Web graphics using Macromedia Flash 4. This easy, visual approach to learning Flash takes the reader through the basics of vector drawing to the creation of animated multimedia files for the Web. Using this clear guide, professional Web designers, as well as hobbyists, can find out how to add sophisticated multimedia effects to their Web pages, without having to learn complicated scripting languages.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for beginers and for intermedaites 25 Mar 2000
By A Customer
I knew the basics of Flash, drawing and animation. This book helped me to make Flash Movies interactive. This made my web site very good. The small screen shots down the side are excellent. I couldn't wish for any more ! How ever I know there is far more you can do that the book does not cover, Advanced stuff, so I give it 4.
The seris of Visual Quickstart Guides is good, I also have Dreamweaver 2 for Windows and Macintosh (ISBN 0-201-35435-7) and Visual Basic 6 (ISBN 0-201-35383-0).
I have used Flash 3 before and this book also helps you if you know Flash. If somthing isn't clear then most of the time there is a small box explaining it.
Great for beginers and for intermedaites.
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By A Customer
This is a very easy-to-read and enjoyable book (I even took it with me to the bathroom!) which explains the uses of Flash 4 from the very basics upwards, starting with system requirements, installation, viewing preferences etc, then creating images, editing them, layering, animating etc.
Like most of the Visual Quickstart titles, no experience of the program is assumed, which is great for beginners. This does however mean that Flash 3 pros should really look elsewhere for more complex texts, though they are covered by a "what's new in version 4" section.
All in all, I would seriously recommend this book to anyone starting out in Flash 4.
Paul Stones
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2.0 out of 5 stars A poor explanation of Flash for beginners 19 Dec 1999
This book teaches you hardly anything extra that the Flash tutorial does not. The only good thing about this book is the price. I was looking for a complete start into making flash animation and effects, this book spends half the time explaining how to draw round circles using flashes vector graphics tools (as if I care?) and the other half it jumps into advanced user stage. I wanted a dummy guide to Flash with step by step instructions into animation, with examples and tips. I want a book that shows my how not why. This does not do it. It's a shame there are only 3 or so books on Flash. "A man gets no more than he pays for". Buy at your peril.
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By A Customer
As has been said already, if you're completely new to Flash then this serves as a great place to start. The book goes though the basics of drawing and animating step by step and does a good job of familiarising you with the Flash 4 interface.
However, once you get to the section on interactivity, you may as well throw it away as it tells you nothing that can't be done in Flash 3 - an astounding omission, since Flash 4 enables designers to include completely programmable interactivity in their sites. Nothing at all is mentioned of these advanced features.
In summary then, a good beginners guide, but as a comprehensive reference forget it!
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By A Customer
As has been already said before, the book is basic, and doesn't really sell itself as anything else (Visual Quickstart) says it all. This being said though if you have little or sparse knowledge of Flash then it is a good (and Cheap) starting point. It carries the reader through the basics that can be sometimes assumed in more in depth publications and enables the reader to form a working knowledge that can be built upon. Overall I'm pleased with the book and can see it being used as a reference point in later time, though I can see the need for other publications as my knowledge increases. A Starting Point.
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