- Paperback: 627 pages
- Publisher: Delmar Cengage Learning; 2nd edition (28 Dec. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 076682909X
- ISBN-13: 978-0766829091
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 18.9 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Flash 5.0 Graphics, Animation & Interactivity: Graphics, Animation and Interactivity / James L. Mohler. Paperback – 28 Dec 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
The examples are well chosen and the structure of the book does lead the reader through many of the techniques adopted by developers in a clear manner.
The accompanying CD is likewise a good resource, although could have been better designed. A noticeable shortfall here is that many of the 'finished' examples are virtually meaningless without simultaneous reading of the relevant book chapter. The CD does contain a good collection of Macromedia software trials which is very much a point in it's favour.
Flash Actionscript f/x & Design falls short of being a serious reference book, for example there is absolutely no coverage of XML, so someone looking for this might do better by waiting for the Flash 5 Bible or similar to be released. However, there is something to be said for this book as a learning tool, even if the reader rarely returns to it once the techiques have been learned.
Overall the book is well presented and easy to read, and perfect for the right level of user.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mohler tries to explain the concepts underlying flash. For example, he distinguishes two sublayers on each flash layer: this distinction helped clarify for me issues of precidence, grouping, etc. And I've learned some very useful lessons about handling user events (keystrokes, mouse clicks, etc.) in movie clips versus buttons.
Learning flash is like learning a foreign language: you have to do the exercises as you go along. Mohler's exercises are always simple and quick and they teach just one or two points at a time.
The book does not seem particularly intended for people who want to learn to draw pretty pictures, although I'm sure they could benefit from learning about flash's underlying structure. This book seems to be for programmers like me and for people interested in animation.
So far I have worked my way up through the 7th chapter and skipped ahead on occasion. I have learned much more from this book than from Macromedia's own documentation or from the tutorials at flashkit, etc
The only criticism I have of this book is that the index could be much better.
When I got home to San Mateo I applied what I had read to my current Flash project and things have really taken off for me from there.
There are some great features including an ActionScript Object Macro-organizer, a pull-out Quick-key reference guide and excellent studies/examples on the CD.
Flash Graphics, Animation & Interactivity is an excellent investment for first time Flash users as well as experienced Flash programmers upgrading from an earlier version.
In Flash 5: Graphics, Animation, and Interactivity Mohler offers a rarity in computer books today: in-depth, precise, clear explanations of what you are supposed to do to do some cool "stuff" when you get your inspiration, and great behind the scenes "knowledge" to help you understand why you need to do what to do, to do your cool stuff, and how what you will do is essentially working. Since Flash is all the rage today most people are buying books searching for techniques that come from graphic designers when such people buying these books clearly are not graphic designers. If you want to learn to do pretty interfaces, and figure out how to solve problems through design then buy some graphic design theory books, but don't buy Flash 5 books simply because they offer neat tricks when you don't even understand the individual concepts that combine to make those neat little tricks. To really get far in that end of Flash you will unfortunately have to undertake learning programming theory because all of those tricks utilize programming and that is a separate monster of its own.
This is clearly the book you want to buy if per say you are a designer who knows how to do the pretty stuff but you want to integrate that into Flash and want to have a comprehensive knowlege of the program that will allow you to carry out your ideas. Also buy this book if your a student taking a Flash class at a college or university because it is literally like having a "good" ( I say this for special reasons ) teacher beside you explaining the smallest details that are essential to understanding and knowing how to build a good flash movie. Flash 5 practically transformed itself from Flash 4 so much so that I was completely lost for sometime, and this book explains the the changes, future drops, and issues related with the new version, which is essential information for anyone that is going to undertake the time consuming effort to produce a good flash site.
Remember that to even get good at Flash it helps of course if you got some graphics and design ( as it is a graphics and design tool )backround but like anything it also requires something called: Drive-Time, that and examining, and analyzing, and dissecting other peoples work as can be done on a site like Flashkit.com No one book will turn you into a super-flash designer or great flash programmer apart from tons of practice, but I swear on it this one will certainly get you far more than just in the door. Practice, creativity, and this book are more than enough to send you on your way to Flash mastery. Some of this books exclusive advantages include well over 60 excersices, in-depth explanations, basic techniques, and conceptual ideas behind flash movies. While there are only a few gripes that one may have if you are a critical reader and perhaps are a computer major, this is the best learning tool for flash hands down. If only all computer books were written this well and with such dedication to clarity. My2Cents!!
What is different about this is that it has plenty of tutorials (accessed by the accompanying CD) that force you to learn the intricacies of Flash as you work through them. I am only on the fourth chapter but already I am most comfortable with the interface etc. Ive bought plenty of books all of which I have returned and researched plenty others and once I sat down at my computer with it this has proven to be the best.
You definitely have to have patience working through all the examples but thats why I say if you are serious about Flash this is defnitely the best way to go. Have fun.
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