Foundation Flash 5

by Joe Gillespie — Feb 1, 2001

Foundation Flash

This book is targeted squarely at users who are new to Flash and the concepts of frame-based animation and scripting. Similar in idea to the Visual Quickstart type of book, it takes the novice through a series of exercises explaining the interface and content creation techniques but uses simple metaphors in down-to-earth language to describe technical theory.

The second half of the book goes into bells and whistles like sound and optimisation in detail with a considerable section spent on introducing programming concepts in the ActionScript chapters including use of variables and 'if' clauses, object-orientated principles and simple game construction.

The book comes without a CD and is printed in B/W, hence its low price, but exercise files are accessible for download from the website. It is an ideal introduction for users with little experience of animation or programming and explains the unusual vector graphics tools very clearly for illustrators and creatives. Technical theory explanations are perfect for the beginner and the illustrations are excellent. The exercises are incremental and build up neatly as the book develops user skills with an eye on professional methodologies. As such, it is not designed in any way as a reference book or a replacement manual and is probably the best book of its type available, which is why I recommend it to students at course start. It would also be useful to workers transferring from Director.

This is the book to begin with and is aptly named. Go and buy the other books when you've got through this and feel you understand the Flash toolkit and ActionScript basics. It does not really clarify the power of the movieclip and occasionally concentrates on deprecated v.4 scripting ('tell target' rather than 'with'), but is otherwise an excellent starter. Very comprehensive.

Mike Gilbert is Course Director for Multimedia and Web Design at Cavendish College, London.

Foundation Flash 5
Publisher Friends of Ed
Price $23.99
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