O'Reilly logo

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Flash 8: The Missing Manual

Book Description

Macromedia's Flash 8 is the world's premier program for adding animation to websites. And with the latest version, this popular program becomes more versatile, letting beginning webmasters and expert developers alike create sophisticated web content. But Flash isn't intuitive. And it doesn't come with a manual. Whether you want to learn the basics or unleash the program's true power, Flash 8: The Missing Manual is the ideal instructor.

This hands-on guide to today's hottest web design tool is aimed at nondevelopers, and it teaches you how to translate your ideas into great web content.

It begins with a solid primer on animation, which helps you get comfortable with the Flash interface. Once you have these basics under your belt, Flash 8: The Missing Manual moves on to advanced animations, including adding special effects and audio, video, and interactivity to your presentations. When you're really feeling steady, the book shows how to use a dollop of ActionScript to customize your content. It then teaches you how to publish your Flash creations for web surfers everywhere to enjoy. Along the way, the book shows you good design principles and helps you avoid elements that can distract or annoy an audience.

Author Emily Vander Veer has more than a dozen books to her credit, including titles on web design and scripting--most written for non-technical readers. Her background makes her the perfect author for a straightforward book on a complex subject. She takes Flash 8: The Missing Manual from the basics to the advanced, yet avoids a hasty jump into tough topics that can leave readers confused.

Not only will Flash 8: The Missing Manual help you turn a concept into unique, dynamic content, but it will continue to serve as a reference as you develop your website.

Table of Contents

  1. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
  2. The Missing Credits
    1. About the Author
    2. About the Creative Team
    3. Acknowledgements
    4. The Missing Manual Series
  3. Introduction
    1. The Two Flavors of Flash 8
    2. What’s New in Flash 8
    3. Anatomy of an Animation
    4. Flash in a Nutshell
    5. The Very Basics
      1. Macintosh and Windows
    6. About This Book
      1. About the Outline
      2. About → These → Arrows
      3. Flash Examples
    7. About MissingManuals.com
    8. Safari® Enabled
  4. I. Creating a Flash Animation
    1. 1. Getting Around Flash
      1. 1.1. Starting Flash
      2. 1.2. A Tour of the Flash Desktop
        1. 1.2.1. Menu Bar
        2. 1.2.2. The Stage
      3. 1.3. Toolbars
      4. 1.4. Panels
        1. 1.4.1. Tools Panel
          1. 1.4.1.1. Tools section
          2. 1.4.1.2. View section
          3. 1.4.1.3. Colors section
          4. 1.4.1.4. Options section
        2. 1.4.2. Accessibility Panel
        3. 1.4.3. Actions Panel/ActionScript Debugger Panel
        4. 1.4.4. Align Panel
        5. 1.4.5. Behaviors Panel
        6. 1.4.6. Color Mixer Panel/Color Swatches Panel
        7. 1.4.7. Common Libraries
        8. 1.4.8. Components Panel/Component Inspector Panel
        9. 1.4.9. History Panel
        10. 1.4.10. Info Panel
        11. 1.4.11. Library Panel
        12. 1.4.12. Movie Explorer Panel
        13. 1.4.13. Output Panel
        14. 1.4.14. Properties Panel/Filters Panel/Parameters Panel
        15. 1.4.15. Scene Panel
        16. 1.4.16. Transform Panel
      5. 1.5. The Timeline
      6. 1.6. The Flash 8 Test Drive
      7. 1.7. Opening a Flash File
        1. 1.7.1. Exploring the Property Inspector
        2. 1.7.2. Resizing the Stage
        3. 1.7.3. Zooming In and Out
        4. 1.7.4. Playing an Animation
        5. 1.7.5. Saving a File
    2. 2. Creating Simple Drawings
      1. 2.1. Planning Pays Off
        1. 2.1.1. Creating a Storyboard
        2. 2.1.2. Five Questions for a Better Result
      2. 2.2. Preparing to Draw
        1. 2.2.1. Customizing Your Stage
          1. 2.2.1.1. Change the size of the Stage
          2. 2.2.1.2. Setting the background color
          3. 2.2.1.3. Add helpful measurement guides
        2. 2.2.2. Choosing a Drawing Mode
          1. 2.2.2.1. When to use merge drawing mode
          2. 2.2.2.2. When to use object drawing mode
        3. 2.2.3. Selecting Objects on the Stage
        4. 2.2.4. Essential Drawing Terms
      3. 2.3. Creating Original Artwork
        1. 2.3.1. Drawing and Painting with Tools
          1. 2.3.1.1. Line tool
          2. 2.3.1.2. Pencil tool
          3. 2.3.1.3. Pen tool
          4. 2.3.1.4. Brush tool
          5. 2.3.1.5. Shape tools: Oval, Rectangle, and PolyStar
        2. 2.3.2. Aligning Objects with the Align Tools
        3. 2.3.3. Erasing Mistakes with the Erase Tool
          1. 2.3.3.1. Configuring the Eraser
      4. 2.4. Copying and Pasting Drawn Objects
      5. 2.5. Adding Color
        1. 2.5.1. Changing the Color of a Stroke (Line)
          1. 2.5.1.1. Coloring strokes with the Property Inspector
          2. 2.5.1.2. Coloring strokes with the Ink Bottle tool
        2. 2.5.2. Changing the Color of a Fill
          1. 2.5.2.1. Coloring fills with the Property Inspector
          2. 2.5.2.2. Coloring fills with the Paint Bucket tool
    3. 3. Animating Your Drawings
      1. 3.1. Frame-by-Frame Animation
        1. 3.1.1. Frames and Keyframes
        2. 3.1.2. Creating a Frame-by-Frame Animation
        3. 3.1.3. Testing Your Frame-by-Frame Animation
        4. 3.1.4. Editing Your Frame-by-Frame Animation
          1. 3.1.4.1. Selecting frames and keyframes
          2. 3.1.4.2. Inserting and deleting keyframes and frames
      2. 3.2. Adding Layers to Your Animation
        1. 3.2.1. Creating Layers
      3. 3.3. Animating Automatically (Tweening)
        1. 3.3.1. Shape Tweening (Morphing)
        2. 3.3.2. Shape Hints
        3. 3.3.3. Motion Tweening
          1. 3.3.3.1. Motion guide layers (moving along a nonstraight path)
          2. 3.3.3.2. Orient to path
  5. II. Advanced Drawing and Animation
    1. 4. Organizing Frames and Layers
      1. 4.1. Working with Frames
        1. 4.1.1. Copying and Pasting Frames
        2. 4.1.2. Moving Frames (Keyframes)
        3. 4.1.3. Editing Multiple Frames
      2. 4.2. Adding Content to Multiple Layers
      3. 4.3. Viewing Layers
        1. 4.3.1. Showing and Hiding Layers
          1. 4.3.1.1. To hide a layer
          2. 4.3.1.2. To show a layer
          3. 4.3.1.3. To hide (or show) all layers except the one you’re currently editing
      4. 4.4. Working with Layers
        1. 4.4.1. Renaming Layers
        2. 4.4.2. Copy and Paste a Layer
        3. 4.4.3. Reordering (Moving) Layers
        4. 4.4.4. Delete a Layer
        5. 4.4.5. Locking and Unlocking Layers
      5. 4.5. Organizing Layers
        1. 4.5.1. Outline View
        2. 4.5.2. Organizing Your Layers with Layer Folders
          1. 4.5.2.1. Creating layer folders
          2. 4.5.2.2. Deleting a layer folder
    2. 5. Advanced Drawing and Coloring
      1. 5.1. Selecting Graphic Elements
        1. 5.1.1. The Selection Tool
          1. 5.1.1.1. Selecting a graphic element
          2. 5.1.1.2. Selecting part of a graphic element
          3. 5.1.1.3. Moving and reshaping (transforming) with the Selection tool
        2. 5.1.2. The Subselection Tool
        3. 5.1.3. The Lasso Tool
          1. 5.1.3.1. Freehand selecting with the Lasso
          2. 5.1.3.2. Pointing and clicking with the Lasso
          3. 5.1.3.3. Selecting ranges of color in bitmaps with the Magic Wand
      2. 5.2. Manipulating Graphic Elements
        1. 5.2.1. Modifying Object Properties
        2. 5.2.2. Moving, Cutting, Pasting, and Copying
          1. 5.2.2.1. Moving
          2. 5.2.2.2. Cutting
          3. 5.2.2.3. Copying
          4. 5.2.2.4. Pasting
        3. 5.2.3. Transforming Objects (Scaling, Rotating, Skewing, Distorting)
          1. 5.2.3.1. Scaling objects
          2. 5.2.3.2. Rotating objects
          3. 5.2.3.3. Skewing objects
          4. 5.2.3.4. Distorting objects
          5. 5.2.3.5. Applying an envelope transform
        4. 5.2.4. Stacking Objects
        5. 5.2.5. Converting Strokes to Fills
        6. 5.2.6. Aligning Objects
          1. 5.2.6.1. Snapping
          2. 5.2.6.2. Guide layers
      3. 5.3. Adding Text to Your Drawing
      4. 5.4. Advanced Color and Fills
        1. 5.4.1. Color Basics
        2. 5.4.2. RGB and HSB
      5. 5.5. Creating Custom Colors
      6. 5.6. Saving Color Swatches
        1. 5.6.1. Using an Image as a Fill “Color”
        2. 5.6.2. Applying a Gradient
      7. 5.7. Importing a Custom Color Palette
      8. 5.8. Copying Color with the Eyedropper
    3. 6. Adding Special Effects
      1. 6.1. Built-in Timeline Effects
        1. 6.1.1. Distributed Duplicate (Tumbling)
        2. 6.1.2. Blur
        3. 6.1.3. Expand
        4. 6.1.4. Explode
        5. 6.1.5. Transform (Shape Tween)
        6. 6.1.6. Transition (Fade/Wipe)
        7. 6.1.7. Modifying a Timeline Effect
        8. 6.1.8. Deleting a Timeline Effect
      2. 6.2. Spotlight Effect Using Mask Layers
        1. 6.2.1. Adding a Motion Path to a Mask
    4. 7. Reusable Flash: Symbols and Templates
      1. 7.1. Symbols and Instances
        1. 7.1.1. Graphic Symbols
          1. 7.1.1.1. Converting an existing image to a graphic symbol
          2. 7.1.1.2. Creating a graphic symbol in symbol editing mode
          3. 7.1.1.3. Using a graphic symbol (creating an instance of a graphic symbol)
          4. 7.1.1.4. Editing an instance of a graphic symbol
          5. 7.1.1.5. Editing a graphic symbol
          6. 7.1.1.6. Deleting a graphic symbol
        2. 7.1.2. Multiframe Graphic Symbols
          1. 7.1.2.1. Creating a multiframe graphic symbol
          2. 7.1.2.2. Creating an instance of a multiframe graphic symbol
          3. 7.1.2.3. Editing an instance of a multiframe graphic symbol
          4. 7.1.2.4. Editing a multiframe graphic symbol
          5. 7.1.2.5. Deleting a multiframe graphic symbol
        3. 7.1.3. Movie Clip Symbols
          1. 7.1.3.1. Creating a movie clip symbol
          2. 7.1.3.2. Creating an instance of a movie clip symbol
          3. 7.1.3.3. Editing a movie clip symbol
          4. 7.1.3.4. Editing an instance of a movie clip symbol
        4. 7.1.4. Button Symbols
          1. 7.1.4.1. Creating a button symbol
          2. 7.1.4.2. Using a button symbol (creating an instance of a button symbol)
          3. 7.1.4.3. Editing an instance of a button symbol
          4. 7.1.4.4. Editing a button symbol
      2. 7.2. Templates
        1. 7.2.1. Using a Prebuilt Template
        2. 7.2.2. Creating and Using Your Own Custom Template
    5. 8. Incorporating Non-Flash Media Files
      1. 8.1. Incorporating Graphics
        1. 8.1.1. Importing Graphics Files
        2. 8.1.2. Editing Bitmaps
          1. 8.1.2.1. Turning bitmaps into fills
          2. 8.1.2.2. Turning bitmaps into vectors
          3. 8.1.2.3. Turning bitmaps into symbols
        3. 8.1.3. Importing a Series of Graphics Files
      2. 8.2. Incorporating Sound
        1. 8.2.1. Importing Sound Files
        2. 8.2.2. Adding an Imported Sound to a Frame (or Series of Frames)
        3. 8.2.3. Editing Sound Clips in Flash
      3. 8.3. Incorporating Video
        1. 8.3.1. Preparing to Import Video Files
        2. 8.3.2. Importing Video Files
          1. 8.3.2.1. Importing a Flash video file stored on a Web server (progressive download)
          2. 8.3.2.2. Importing a QuickTime file stored on your computer (embedding)
        3. 8.3.3. Editing Embedded Video
          1. 8.3.3.1. Split a video clip
          2. 8.3.3.2. Customize video and audio encoding
          3. 8.3.3.3. Crop video display
  6. III. Adding Interactivity
    1. 9. Automating Flash with ActionScript
      1. 9.1. How ActionScript Works
      2. 9.2. Adding an Action
      3. 9.3. Adding a Prebuilt Behavior
    2. 10. Controlling Animation
      1. 10.1. Slowing Down (or Speeding Up) Animation
        1. 10.1.1. Setting a Frame Rate
      2. 10.2. Organizing an Animation
        1. 10.2.1. Working with Scenes
          1. 10.2.1.1. Creating a scene
          2. 10.2.1.2. Renaming a scene
          3. 10.2.1.3. Reorganizing scenes
          4. 10.2.1.4. Scripting (targeting) a scene
        2. 10.2.2. Working with Labeled Frames
          1. 10.2.2.1. Labeling a frame
          2. 10.2.2.2. Targeting a labeled frame
      3. 10.3. Looping a Series of Frames
      4. 10.4. Reversing a Series of Frames
        1. 10.4.1. Using Modify → Timeline → Reverse Frames
        2. 10.4.2. Using ActionScript
    3. 11. Interacting with Your Audience
      1. 11.1. Dynamic Text
      2. 11.2. Input Text
      3. 11.3. Tying Actions to Events
        1. 11.3.1. Triggering an Event When Your Audience Clicks a Button
        2. 11.3.2. Creating Hotspots and Rollovers
        3. 11.3.3. Tying an Event to a Component
    4. 12. Components for Interactivity
      1. 12.1. The Built-in Components
        1. 12.1.1. Data Components
        2. 12.1.2. Playback Components
        3. 12.1.3. User Interface Components
          1. 12.1.3.1. Accordion
          2. 12.1.3.2. Alert
          3. 12.1.3.3. Button
          4. 12.1.3.4. Checkbox
          5. 12.1.3.5. ComboBox
          6. 12.1.3.6. DataGrid
          7. 12.1.3.7. DateChooser
          8. 12.1.3.8. DateField
          9. 12.1.3.9. Label
          10. 12.1.3.10. List
          11. 12.1.3.11. Loader
          12. 12.1.3.12. Menu
          13. 12.1.3.13. MenuBar
          14. 12.1.3.14. NumericStepper
          15. 12.1.3.15. ProgressBar
          16. 12.1.3.16. RadioButton
          17. 12.1.3.17. ScrollPane
          18. 12.1.3.18. TextArea
          19. 12.1.3.19. TextInput
          20. 12.1.3.20. Tree
          21. 12.1.3.21. UIScrollBar
          22. 12.1.3.22. Window
      2. 12.2. Adding Components
      3. 12.3. Customizing Components
        1. 12.3.1. Customizing Components Using the Properties and Parameters Panels
        2. 12.3.2. Customizing Components Using the Component Inspector
          1. 12.3.2.1. Parameters tab
          2. 12.3.2.2. Bindings tab
          3. 12.3.2.3. Schema tab
        3. 12.3.3. Customizing Components Using the Actions Panel
      4. 12.4. Finding Additional Components
  7. IV. Delivering Your Animation to Its Audience
    1. 13. Testing and Debugging
      1. 13.1. Testing Strategies
        1. 13.1.1. Planning Ahead
          1. 13.1.1.1. Separate potentially troublesome elements
          2. 13.1.1.2. Reuse as much as possible
          3. 13.1.1.3. Be generous with comments
          4. 13.1.1.4. Stick with consistent names
        2. 13.1.2. Techniques for Better Testing
      2. 13.2. Testing on the Stage
      3. 13.3. Testing in Flash Player
      4. 13.4. Testing Inside a Web Page
      5. 13.5. Testing Download Time
        1. 13.5.1. Simulating Downloads
          1. 13.5.1.1. Pinpointing bottlenecks with a bandwidth profiler report
      6. 13.6. The Art of Debugging
        1. 13.6.1. Using the trace( ) Statement
        2. 13.6.2. Displaying Property Names and Values
        3. 13.6.3. Setting and Using Breakpoints
    2. 14. Publishing and Exporting
      1. 14.1. Optimizing Flash Documents
        1. 14.1.1. Ten Optimization Strategies
          1. 14.1.1.1. Choose tweens over frame-by-frame animations
          2. 14.1.1.2. Choose the Pencil tool over the Brush tool
          3. 14.1.1.3. Choose solid over dashed or dotted lines
          4. 14.1.1.4. Simplify curves
          5. 14.1.1.5. Use symbols
          6. 14.1.1.6. Avoid bitmaps (or optimize them)
          7. 14.1.1.7. Keep sound clips to a minimum; when you do use them, optimize them.
          8. 14.1.1.8. Group elements
          9. 14.1.1.9. Avoid the extraneous
          10. 14.1.1.10. Tell Flash to keep your file size down
      2. 14.2. Publishing Your Animations
        1. 14.2.1. Publishing as a Compiled Flash (.swf) File
        2. 14.2.2. Publishing as a Web Page
        3. 14.2.3. Publishing a Frame as a Static Image File
          1. 14.2.3.1. Publishing a Static GIF
          2. 14.2.3.2. Publishing a JPEG
          3. 14.2.3.3. Publishing a PNG
        4. 14.2.4. Publishing as an Animated GIF
        5. 14.2.5. Publishing as a Standalone Projector
      3. 14.3. Exporting Flash to Other Formats
        1. 14.3.1. Exporting the Contents of a Single Frame
        2. 14.3.2. Exporting an Entire Animation
  8. V. Appendix
    1. A. Installation and Help
      1. A.1. Installing and Activating Flash 8
      2. A.2. Getting Help from Flash
        1. A.2.1. Flash Documentation: The Help Window
        2. A.2.2. Flash Overview and Tutorials
      3. A.3. Getting Help from Adobe
        1. A.3.1. Online Articles, FAQs, and Sample Code
        2. A.3.2. Forums
        3. A.3.3. Direct Person-to-Person Help
      4. A.4. Finding Flash Gurus
  9. About the Author
  10. Colophon
  11. Copyright