Book Review - Macromedia Flash 8 Training from the Source by James English
Flash is one of those technologies that's like a black box to me. I'm not good with graphics, and I really don't know how people produce those Flash animations on the web. But a recent review copy of Macromedia Flash 8 Training from the Source by James English might actually allow me to understand the basics...
Contents: Learning the Basics; Creating Graphics; Using Text; Creating and Editing Symbols; Creating Animations; Adding Basic Interactivity; Adding Sound and Video; Creating Forms Using Components; Learning ActionScript Basics; Loading and Optimizing Flash Content; Publishing Flash Documents; Installing Extensions; Resources; Keyboard Shortcuts; Index
English takes the reader through eleven chapters that cover all the basic tasks and functions within Flash. The book comes with a trial copy of Macromedia Flash 8, so it's not like to have to spend hundreds of dollars before you can even use the book. The material is very much a step-by-step approach, with all the sample files included. The target project is creating a bookstore site, so all the exercises build on one another so that you have a finished project by the time you're done. The layout of the chapters is very nicely done, also. You're told what the chapter will cover, what you will learn, how long it should take, and what lesson files you'll need from the CD. At the end, there's a recap telling you what you *have* learned so that it's all reinforced. Each "do this" step is followed by a brief commentary on what is happening as well as any tips that might be useful to you. All in all, I can see that 15 or so hours spent with this book would definitely demystify the whole Flash concept. It doesn't mean I'm switching careers, mind you, but at least there's one less black hole in my knowledge landscape... :)