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Focal Easy Guide to Macromedia Flash 8

Book Description

If you need to get to grips fast with creating interactive graphics and animation in Flash - then look no further! Whether you are a new user or a professional, this highly visual book is all you need to get up and running with the latest powerful upgrade - Macromedia Flash 8.

Birgitta Hosea breaks down the software into its main components and offers simple, visual step-by-step instructions to explain the fundamental practical techniques you need to create finished projects. The accessible style and structure lets you dip in and out when working on a project, or work straight through to explore more of the program's capabilities and develop your skills.

Written by a designer for designers The Focal Easy Guide to Macromedia Flash 8 offers a thorough coverage of the basic features of Flash, without going into in-depth coding with ActionScript.

Birgitta Hosea is a motion graphics artist and Course Director of the London Animation Studio at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Her experience ranges from designing moving branding to art directing pop promos and short films.

A Volume in The Focal Easy Guide Series.

The Focal Easy Guide series:
. Starting working with new software immediately regardless of your level
. Achieve professional results, learn practical skills from industry experts
. Focused, user-friendly coverage of the key tools you need to know

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. 1. Introduction
    1. History and Development of the Program
    2. What Is It Used for?
    3. How to Use This Book
  7. 2. Interface
    1. The Start Page
    2. At a Glance Guide to the Interface
    3. What are all the Windows for?
      1. The Stage
      2. The Timeline
      3. Changing Your View
      4. Panel Sets and Customizing Your Interface
      5. Using the Help files
      6. Flash Documents
      7. Naming Files and Working Cross-platform
  8. 3. Vector Drawing
    1. At a Glance Guide to the Tools
    2. The Drawing Tools
    3. Drawing a Line
    4. Drawing with the Pencil Tool
    5. The Shape Tools
    6. Painting with the Brush Tool
    7. Using the Pen Tool and the Subselection Tool
    8. To Overlap or to Obliterate: Object Drawing vs. Merge Drawing
    9. Changing Colors
    10. Creating Gradient Fills
    11. Transform Fill Tool
    12. Creating Text
    13. Paragraph Options
    14. Spell Checker
  9. 4. Selecting and Modifying
    1. Making Selections
    2. Modifying Drawings
    3. The Free Transform Tool
    4. Combining Objects
    5. Adding Strokes
    6. Paint Bucket Tool
    7. Dropper Tool
    8. Eraser Tool
    9. Rulers, Guides and Grids
    10. Step By Step Create a Perspective Grid
    11. Drawing Settings
    12. At a Glance Keyboard Shortcuts for the Tools
  10. 5. Importing Images
    1. Vectors vs. Bitmaps
    2. Still Image File Types You Can Import
      1. Bitmap File Formats
      2. Vector File Formats
    3. To Import a Still Image into Flash
    4. The Library
    5. Importing Images with Areas of Transparency
    6. Tracing Bitmaps
    7. Painting with Bitmaps
  11. 6. Layers, Symbols and Keyframes
    1. Using Layers
    2. Step By Step Create a Manual Drop Shadow
    3. Introducing Symbols
    4. Interactive Buttons
    5. Creating a Button Symbol
    6. What Is a Keyframe?
    7. Naming Symbols
    8. Editing Symbols
    9. What Is a Behavior?
    10. Step By Step Create a Links Page
    11. Using Movie Clip Symbols
    12. Step-By-Step Animated Rollover Buttons
    13. Filters and Blends
  12. 7. Menu Navigation
    1. Button Actions and Frame Actions
    2. Creating a Basic Menu
    3. Actions and Script Assist
    4. Create an Online Portfolio
    5. Menus and Submenus
    6. Create a Pop-up Menu in a Movie Clip
    7. The Top Level of the Menu
    8. The Sub Level of the Menu
    9. Buttons as Menus
    10. Controlling Events on the Stage
    11. Loading Images
    12. Mail to Link
    13. Submit Your Portfolio
  13. 8. Animation
    1. Creating a Banner Ad with Frame-By-Frame Animation
    2. Separating and Locking Layers
    3. Using Keyframes to Record Animation
    4. Onion Skinning
    5. Frame Rate and Size
    6. Animation with Graphic Symbols
    7. Creating Graphic Symbols and Instances
    8. Motion Tweening
    9. Graphic Symbols and Line Weights
    10. Editing Symbols Recap
    11. Summary
  14. 9. More Animation Techniques
    1. Using Motion Paths
    2. Controlling Velocity
    3. Custom Easing
    4. Shape Tweening
    5. Shape Tweening Text
    6. Breaking Apart Text
    7. Controlling Shape Tweens with Shape Hints
    8. Shape Tweening Summary
    9. Create Animated Text Highlights
    10. Animating and Transforming Gradients
    11. Mask Layers
  15. 10. Further Animation Techniques
    1. Timeline Effects
    2. Animated Symbols
    3. Creating a Looped Background
    4. Copying and Pasting Frames
    5. Symbols Within Symbols
    6. Altering Symbol Center Points
    7. Using Scenes
    8. Character Design Tips
  16. 11. Sound
    1. Creating Sounds to Bring into Flash
    2. Some Fundamentals of Digital Audio
    3. Importing Sounds
    4. Streaming vs. Event Sounds
    5. Editing Sounds in Flash
    6. Attach a Sound to a Button
    7. Starting and Stopping Sounds
    8. Adding Comments to Frames
    9. Warning about File Sizes
  17. 12. Video
    1. Digitizing Video
    2. Using Video in Flash
    3. Creating FLV Files
    4. Importing Video
    5. Rotoscoping
    6. Output Flash Animation at Full Broadcast Quality
    7. Frame Rate and Frame Size
    8. Pixel Aspect Ratio
    9. Importing DV and Flash
    10. Frames vs. Fields
    11. Broadcast Safe Colors
    12. Over Scan
  18. 13. Designing for Cross-media
    1. Planning a Web Site
    2. Information Architecture
    3. Design for the Web
      1. Size
      2. Color
      3. Typography
      4. Usability
    4. Planning for Animation
  19. 14. Putting Flash on the Web
    1. Project Management Tips
    2. The History Panel
    3. Tips for Lowering File Sizes
    4. Testing Your Work
    5. Anatomy of a Web Site
      1. How is a Web Site Put Together and Where Does Flash Fit in?
    6. Exporting and Publish Settings
    7. Flash Version Detection
    8. Movie Dimensions
    9. Uploading
    10. Flash on the WWW
    11. Creating Pre-loaders
    12. Accessibility
    13. SWF File Metadata
  20. 15. Cross-media Publishing
    1. Publishing Profiles
    2. Exporting Stills
    3. Exporting with Audio
    4. Exporting for Video Output
    5. About Compression
    6. Compositing Your Flash Movie
    7. Alpha Channels
      1. How Did That Work?
    8. Putting Your Flash Movie onto Video
    9. Putting Your Flash Movie onto DVD
    10. Exporting Projectors
    11. Creating a Hybrid CD
  21. Appendix: Resources
    1. Web Usage Statistics
    2. Web Design Info
    3. Accessibility
    4. More About Mobile Devices
    5. Sound Resources on the Web
    6. ActionScripting Tutorials on the Web
    7. Flash Animation Tutorials on the Web
    8. Animation Resources on the Web
    9. Further Reading on Character Animation
    10. Further Reading on Motion Graphics
    11. Further Reading on Flash
  22. Index