Learning Flash

Blue Velvet

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Anyone who may have read about our plasma screen at work and the trials and tribulations thereof, will obviously be heartened that the bloody thing has been ordered and will be installed within the next couple of weeks along with a PC (Boo) to run Flash content on.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=90405

Unfortunately, it means an increased workload for me & my colleagues who are print designers by trade.

It is now up to me to get a grasp of Flash so we can get some simple content up there asap. Any recommendations of books, resources, tutorials?

And of course, any other advice would most definitely be welcome.

Thanx
BV
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
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Macromedia's software comes with a lot of tutorials, as well as a very useful help library. I personally have used the help library, but never the tutorials, I have a couple of friends who taught themselves from the tutorials though. Flash is only a little tough to dive into... But I've been using it for years now and I'm still not particularly good with it, I guess I just don't have the artistic talent necessary.
 

Blue Velvet

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Thanks. I guess one of the advantages, from our perspective, is that it doesn't have to be interactive like a website. More like a short animation with easily updateable text that's on a loop...
 

angelneo

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Jun 13, 2004
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Blue Velvet said:
Thanks. I guess one of the advantages, from our perspective, is that it doesn't have to be interactive like a website. More like a short animation with easily updateable text that's on a loop...
You can use external text files as a source for your text in Flash. so in case you need to edit those text often, you just need to edit those text files and flash will read them in.
 

pulsewidth947

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2005
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I used Kirupa when learning flash for my final year project at uni.

its a great little resource, and the forums are superb, people are just as friendly there as they are here.

theres also Flashkit which is quite good. Then when you get a bit more into it, and want to start learning Actionscript, try Actionscript.org

Flash can be frustrating sometimes while your learning it, but start off with the Tutorials included with Flash, and you'll be off to a good start!

Have fun!
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
I like Macromedia's Flash MX professional book (by Macromedia).

It runs you through an entire project start to finish. Not necessarily the most comprehensive, but gives one a good start. :)
 

Blue Velvet

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How does Flash deal with fonts? I'll be creating stuff on the Mac and moving it to a PC with Flash Player on it.

Can you render the fonts as vector outlines as you can in Illustrator/Freehand? It's important, crucial even, that we can use our corporate fonts in the animations...
 

Blue Velvet

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iGary said:
Fully compatable with Suitcase last I checked.
No, what I meant was how the Mac postscript fonts are embedded within the file so that they appear the same on different platforms... :)
 

Mr. Anderson

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Badradio

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Aug 19, 2004
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If you're using static text - just typing onto the "page" - Flash will render the outlines. If you load in the text dynamically, you have to embed the font outines or you lose the antialiasing. You then have the option to export as a mac or pc executable; I've never tested the mac export, but if you are embedding fonts, there should be no problem using truetypes.
Friends of ED do good, readable books, but I found that the Sams books by Philip Kerman are more thorough. I definitely had more success with those.
I second the recommendation for Kirupa; great effects and scripts, well explained.
 

Mr. Anderson

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Badradio said:
I second the recommendation for Kirupa; great effects and scripts, well explained.

wow, that's a great resource and easy to get around, I really like it and I wish I had known about it earlier....

D
 

Bakey

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Oct 6, 2003
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Mr. Anderson said:
They have a great site and forum for questions, but even if you get the two foundation books, regular and action scripting you'll be very happy with the results.
Beat me to it fella!! I couldn't agree more, they're the only Flash publications I've ever had success with... stuff the rest, go with FoED without a doubt.

PS. I'm more a Director developer than Flash and still have to re-think Flash everytime I crack open the app. -- I find it incredibly unintuitive!!!

Good luck nonetheless
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
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Blue Velvet said:
Aren't they always a problem? :D
Well as far as Flash goes, PCs are far from a problem. Flash is the one thing I wish worked on Macs as well as it works on PCs- I assume that why you'll be running it on one.

As long as your fonts are embedded, you won't have any problems. Flash will tell you when you export a preview if it had any problems embedding the fonts.

The best way to learn is definitely dissecting examples of other work and running through tutorials to see how things work. There are MILLIONS of FLAs and accomplanying tutorials online being shared by others. I warn you though that once you get the hang of actionscript, it will suck you in. Many a weekend gone in a blur...
 

The Past

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Aug 17, 2004
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Blue Velvet said:
No, what I meant was how the Mac postscript fonts are embedded within the file so that they appear the same on different platforms... :)
I do my titles in Illustrator and then bring them into Flash. Works well.
 

Blue Velvet

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Mr. Anderson said:
I've found if you like going through books that the Friends of Ed Flash books are by far the best out there.

Ordered it (the first one) from AmazonUK this morning -- was a really good price. Thanx for the tip.

Also big thanks to all who posted here with advice and links. I will be exploring those in greater detail over the next couple of months as I get the hang of it.

I've just downloaded and installed the 30-day demo from Macromedia and will be placing an order for 3 copies of Studio MX 2004 when I get back to work later this week.

I'll let you guys know how I'm getting on... and as I once promised and just for fun, my first test slide on the Plasma will have all the names of those who answered my endless questions here and I'll post a pic of it here or somewhere. Your name up in lights... :)
 

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