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Building Flash® Web Sites For Dummies®

Book Description

You can get Flash-y with your Web site -- here's how!

Know your audience, plan your site, and make it both interactive and cool

Gone are the days when you could get by with a boring Web site. With Flash, you can add interactivity, video, an exciting and easy-to-navigate interface, and eye candy like custom cursors and flying text. This friendly guide makes Flash fun and easy, so you can have your site up and running in no time.

Discover how to
* Build an interface with custom buttons and menus
* Include animation and soundtracks
* Dress up your text
* Create tween animations
* Create ActionScript objects
* Test and publish your site

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. About the Author
  3. Author’s Acknowledgments
  4. Publisher’s Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Foolish Assumptions
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
    4. What You Don’t Have to Read
    5. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Part I: Building the Perfect Beast
      2. Part II: Fleshing Out Your Design
      3. Part III: Adding Bells and Whistles
      4. Part IV: Sharing Your Site with the World
      5. Part V: The Part of Tens
      6. The appendix
      7. The color insert
      8. The companion Web site
    6. Icons Used in This Book
    7. Where to Go from Here
  6. I. Building the Perfect Beast
    1. 1. Creating the Perfect Flash Site
      1. Flash versus HTML . . . The Winner Is?
      2. Setting Goals for the Design
      3. Planning Your Site
      4. Gathering Assets for Your Site
      5. Building the Interface
        1. Simplifying your workflow with symbols
        2. A tall tale of buttons and navigation menus
        3. Adding text and other delights
      6. Adding the WOW Factor
        1. Making your site interactive with ActionScript
        2. Get a move on with animation
        3. Soundtracks and other operatic delights
      7. Optimizing and Publishing Your Site
        1. Testing your design
        2. Getting the bugs out
        3. Optimizing the beast
        4. Publishing and uploading your brainchild
    2. 2. Before You Build Your Site
      1. Knowing Your Mission
        1. Working with clients
        2. Making it crystal clear with a client questionnaire
        3. Defining your target audience
      2. What’s the Bandwidth, Kenneth?
        1. A tale of two bandwidths
        2. Do you need Freddy the Preloader?
      3. Put Your Ideas Down on Paper
        1. Mind mapping your brainstorm
        2. Creating a storyboard
      4. Gathering Your Assets (Or, Wool Gathering)
        1. Creating and optimizing your images
        2. Rounding up sound bites for your site
        3. Adding vexing video
  7. II. Fleshing Out Your Design
    1. 3. Creating the Interface
      1. Creating a Bandwidth-Friendly Flash Site
      2. Creating Symbols
        1. Flash symbols 101
        2. Creating new symbols
        3. Converting objects to symbols
        4. Creating instances of symbols
        5. Editing symbols
      3. Working with Color
        1. Mixing solid colors
        2. Using the Ink Bottle and Paint Bucket tools
        3. Creating colorful gradients
        4. Using the Color Mixer
        5. Using the Gradient Transform tool
      4. Fleshing Out the Interface
        1. Creating Symbols for Content
          1. Creating a banner symbol
          2. Creating a menu symbol
          3. Creating a background symbol
        2. Creating a template for content
        3. Working with layers
          1. Creating layers
          2. Distributing objects to layers
          3. Managing layers
            1. Arranging the stacking order of layers
            2. Creating a layer folder
    2. 4. Getting the Word Out
      1. Using the Text Tool
        1. Creating static text
        2. Making text pretty
        3. Formatting paragraph text
        4. Checking your spelling, Aaron
          1. Setting up the Spell Checker
          2. Using the Spell Checker
        5. Adding text hyperlinks
        6. Creating an e-mail link
      2. Active Text for Fun and Profit
        1. Breaking text apart
        2. Creating input text boxes
        3. Creating dynamic text
      3. Stuffing 50 Pounds of Text in a 30-Pound Bag
    3. 5. Adding Site Navigation
      1. Button, Button, Build Me a Button
        1. Building a basic button
        2. A button with many states
      2. Saying Goodbye to Boring Buttons
        1. Creating animated buttons
        2. Building a noisy button
        3. Creating an invisible button
      3. Hanging Out at the Navigation Bar
        1. Bellying up to the nav bar
        2. Duplicating buttons
        3. Building a navigation bar
        4. Assigning actions to buttons
        5. Assigning the proper event to a button action
        6. Creating a drop-down menu
          1. Animating the menu
          2. Coding the menu
    4. 6. Get a Move On and Animate the Site
      1. Animation 101: A Tale of Frames and Keyframes and Blank Keyframes
        1. Working with frames
          1. Creating frames
          2. Deleting frames
        2. Working with keyframes
          1. Creating keyframes
          2. Creating blank keyframes
      2. Animating Symbols with Motion Tweening
        1. Removing a motion tween
        2. In search of the perfect motion tween
        3. Creating custom easing
        4. Taking an object for a spin
        5. Editing your animation
      3. Animating along a Motion Path
        1. Creating a guide layer
        2. Creating a motion path
        3. Getting objects to follow a motion path
        4. Orienting a symbol instance to its motion path
        5. Linking additional motion tween animations to a layer guide
      4. Animating Objects with Shape Tweening
        1. Removing a shape tween
        2. Modifying a shape tween animation
        3. Creating a shape tween animation for complex objects
          1. Adding shape hints
          2. Editing shape hints
      5. Animating Image Sequences
  8. III. Adding Bells and Whistles
    1. 7. Making Your Site Interactive
      1. Adding Sizzle to the Steak with ActionScript
        1. Introducing ActionScript classes, objects, and methods
        2. Using the Actions panel
          1. Assigning an action to a keyframe
          2. Navigating with ActionScript
            1. Putting a halt to your movie
            2. Using the goto action to pass a frame and collect $200
          3. Navigating to another Web page with the getURL action
      2. Loading External Movies into Your Flash Site
        1. Understanding levels
        2. Loading movies into targets
        3. Unloading movies
      3. Giving Flash a Brain (Variables 101)
        1. Understanding variable data types
        2. Vive la différence between string data and numeric data
          1. Understanding literal values
          2. Understanding expressions
        3. Creating mathematical expressions
        4. Understanding operator precedence
        5. Christening a variable
        6. Declaring a variable
        7. Passing the variable baton to other objects
        8. Resetting a variable
    2. 8. Creating ActionScript Objects
      1. Telling Time with a Digital Clock
        1. Using the Date object
        2. Making the clock tick tock
        3. Displaying the current time
      2. Adding Background Music
        1. Controlling the volume with a sound controller
        2. Creating a soundtrack movie
      3. Creating a Preloader
        1. Using the Bandwith profiler
        2. Scripting a one-act preloader
      4. Hiding Objects with an ActionScript Mask
      5. Creating Drag-and-Drop Elements
        1. Creating an element that can be dragged
        2. Using the startDrag action
        3. Using the stopDrag action
    3. 9. Going Visual
      1. Adding Tool Tips to Your Web Site
        1. Creating the tool tips
        2. Creating the tool tip functions
        3. Programming the buttons
      2. Creating a Moving Navigation Menu
        1. Creating an endless menu
        2. Putting the menu in motion
      3. Creating a Flash Photo Gallery
        1. Preparing images for the gallery
        2. Laying out the gallery
        3. Creating the XML document
        4. Scripting the gallery
        5. Dissecting the code
      4. Importing Full-Motion Video — A Moving Tale
        1. Encoding the video in Flash
        2. Linking encoded video to a Flash document
        3. Modifying video playback control parameters
      5. Adding Pop-ups
    4. 10. Going Commercial
      1. Creating Flashy Forms
        1. Creating form elements
        2. Scripting the form
        3. Creating ActionScript for the Reset button
        4. Creating ActionScript for the Submit button
      2. Creating a Printable Page
      3. Designing a Flash Catalog
      4. Creating an E-Commerce Shopping Cart
    5. 11. Creating Flash Eye Candy
      1. Creating a Mouse Chaser
      2. Creating a Custom Cursor
      3. Building a Moving Backdrop
      4. Creating a Ticker Tape Marquee
      5. Creating Flying Text
  9. IV. Sharing Your Site with the World
    1. 12. Optimizing Your Site
      1. Optimizing Your Site
      2. Test Each Web Site Movie
      3. Debugging the Site
      4. Adding Breakpoints
    2. 13. Publishing the Site
      1. Setting Publish Settings
        1. Specifying Flash settings
        2. Specifying HTML settings
      2. Publishing Your Site
  10. V. The Part of Tens
    1. 14. Ten Tips for Creating Flash Sites That Work
      1. Optimize Images Before Building the Flash Site
      2. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
      3. Get the Bugs Out of Your Scripts
      4. Label Your Frames and Scenes
      5. Use Named Anchors
      6. Create Linkage
      7. Make Your Site Skinny with Symbols
      8. Create a Separate Layer for Your ActionScript
      9. Use Comments
      10. Think Modular
    2. 15. Ten Tips for Working with Clients
      1. Create a Client Survey
      2. Create a Static Mock-up
      3. Get the Client to Sign Off on the Design
      4. Dot the Eyes and Cross the Tees
      5. Cover the Bases
      6. Get It in Writing
      7. Get an Initial Payment
      8. Get Frequent Feedback
      9. Get Feedback in Writing
      10. Bill for Extras
    3. 16. Ten Tips for Promoting the Site
      1. Choose a Meaningful Domain Name
      2. Optimize the HTML Page in Which Your Flash Site Is Embedded
      3. Add Meta Tags
      4. Research High-Ranking Web Sites
      5. Add Alt Text
      6. Add Text to the HTML Page in Which Your Flash Site Is Embedded
      7. Tell the World
      8. Get Web Sites to Link to You
      9. Promote the Site in Blogs and Forums
      10. Submit Your Site
  11. Flash Internet Resources
    1. Flash Training and Tutorial Resources
      1. www.computerarts.co.uk
      2. www.ultrashock.com
      3. www.EchoEcho.com
      4. www.ellenfinkelstein.com/flashtips.html
      5. www.swift3d.com
      6. www.actionscripts.org
      7. www.flash-creations.com
      8. www.communitymx.com
      9. www.flashstreamworks.com
      10. www.were-here.com
      11. www.flashkit.com
      12. www.lynda.com
      13. www.flzone.net
      14. www.moock.org
      15. www.macromedia.com
    2. Flash Animation
      1. www.coolhomepages.com
      2. www.bestflashanimationsite.com
      3. www.melondezign.com
      4. www.webmonkey.com
      5. www.djojostudios.com/flash
    3. Sound
      1. www.soundshopper.com
      2. www.flashkit.com
      3. www.sonymediasoftware.com
      4. www.groovemaker.com
  12. Color Insert
  13. Building Flash® Web Sites For Dummies®
    1. Ten Flash Tips to Avoid Headaches
    2. Flash Tools
    3. Actions panel
    4. Tool Modifier Shortcuts