Learning Flash...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by bluetooth, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. bluetooth macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    May 1, 2007
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    Toronto
    #1
    For those of you who know Flash well, how difficult is it to learn? I am an experienced designer (6 years) and know the ins and outs of PS, AI, ID, Quark etc. I am interested in learning Flash but am curious as to how complex of an App it actually is to both learn and apply.

    Is this something you could learn the basics of in a weekend seminar and pick up the rest on your own, or is it more intensive where you would need a month of weekend classes to grasp the App?

    Any advice or comments are appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Me1000 macrumors 68000

    Me1000

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #2
    action script is harder than simple animation...

    Best advise: Dont make your site flash dependent!

    learning animation is easy though...
     
  3. samwich macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2007
    #3
    I think it depends on what you want to do with it. If you just want to know the basics, and do timeline animations with movieclips/graphics etc. you could pick it up fairly fast. However if you want to learn everything about flash, game development, application/web site developement, and actionscript, this will require a lot more time. I do think that if you want to get your feet wet with an application that does these features, Flash will be your best bet. The best advice I have to you is to get the demo, and pick up some tutorials online, and see how you like it. Good Luck.
     
  4. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    #4
    thanks for the reply. I am more interested in Application/Web Site development. I may look for a free trial...
     
  5. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #5
    Download the free trial from Adobe and then go through the tutorial.
     
  6. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

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    #6
    It'll take you more than a weekend to get to grips with it....but it's great fun to play with and learn. As well as checking out the Adobe tutes surf your way over to these sites:

    www.gotoandlearn.com
    www.kirupa.com
    www.flashkit.com
    www.cartoonsmart.com (has a few free basic lessons)

    Actionscript, as previously mentioned, is the bit that will ultimately slow your progress down but at times it can appear pretty similar to other coding script. Best thing to do is download it (you can get a free 30 day trial) and give it a whirl!

    3B
     
  7. hsotnicaM macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2007
    #7
    I took an online class through a local community college. It was fine for the basics, but lacked in what I think is the most important part of Flash - ActionScript.

    ActionScript is a challenge. For those proficient in Flash, what programming is actionscript closely resemble? There isn't a class on actionscript alone that I've found.
     
  8. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    #8
  9. hsotnicaM macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2007
    #9
    It's really dependent on how you learn. Some need to see how it's done while others can simply follow instructions in a book and learn. My online course was OK. We used a self-paced workbook. There were times I wished I could see how it was done, though.
    The courses you listed above look identical to the class I took except mine were over an entire semester. What was disappointing was (as is with your class option, also) they are using Flash MX. Has Flash not changed that much since two versions ago? I know the interface for CS3 is different.
     
  10. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #10
    I've always just bought a book or 3 and worked through them. I really like the Friends of ED (Every Designer) series. They have a great support forum as well that helps you get through those issues that always come up.

    Good Luck,

    D
     
  11. yaroldb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    #11
    I pay $25 per month for www.lynda.com. It helps understand why things are there and what they do. You download short videos and watch them. They are about 5-10 minutes long. I joined just to learn more about flash, but they have such a huge library, I'm still a member and go there often.

    Good luck,
     
  12. Skywalker macrumors newbie

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    Dec 14, 2007
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    Bergen, Norway, Europa
    #12
    Action Script

    Hi, I am just starting to scratsch the surface of Action Script.. . i trying to imitate the animation you gett everytim this pga loads: http://ezard.com.au/
    what Action Script do I use her?

    Skywalker
     
  13. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

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    Nov 1, 2007
    #13
    there are dozens of podcasts on itunes that might help you learn the basics (and so so basic concepts!)
     
  14. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

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    #14
    Flash is actually stupid easy if you understand 3 concepts: Vector Art, Keyframing, and Tweens. Everything else is cake. Now actionscripting on the other hand...that's stupid difficult...atleast for me, but i don't think the "code" lobe of my brian works.

    -JE

    oh, and what's wrong with a flash dependent site? I know in the web community it's taboo, but over all, flash allows for a lot more creativity and design than other methods. Don't get me wrong, with flash websites comes the ability to make everything spin, bounce, flip, run around, and fly...but flash website can be tasteful. I mean, look at http://www.leoburnett.com, or http://www.jonathanyuen.com. Those are wonderful, tastefully designed sites completely dependent on Flash.
     
  15. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Norfolk, UK
    #15
    you answered your own question in my opinion :)
    Really, you must have a different view on it to me. Not knocking the ability of the designer but the first one is a pita to navigate with the menu moving, so I left after a few seconds, the second one (once I found the start link) took so long to get to the next part I got fed up with it and switched off too.
    I have not yet come across a well designed and easily navigated purely flash based site which does not have a design which could easily be done using html at most likely less bandwidth.
     
  16. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

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    #16
    well, then i'll agree to disagree. For me flash isn't about it's gimmicks, it's about the ability to be creative. It's not about how you get to the final product, but what the final product is. If as a creative, your concept is to have a floating logo, and a pencil that allows people to write/draw, and flash easily allows this, then what is wrong with that? If you want to have a site that runs accross like an illustrated timeline, and flash allows it, then why should that be a problem. Honestly, most HTML/CSS/Etc...website have become the same set of interfaces just with different graphics, but everyting is in basically the same places. If flash allows for people to think outside the box, i don't see where a problem is. And what i said about twirling, flipping, bouncing, etc...is completely true. People take flash too far. But it's just not flash, bad designers are bad designers. I'm a minimalist by nature, but i did my website in flash, because (A) it allows for a more fluid feel and (B) it allowed for one fancy effect i wanted to try and didn't know another way to do it. Good design comes from an idea, good designers use whatever tool necessary to make that idea happen. Fun discussion though.

    -JE
     
  17. bluetooth thread starter macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    Toronto
    #17
    I would tend to agree with LeviG. I found the pencil to be a innovative and creative concept but it would have been a lot better if it were just used on the homepage or splash page and not throughout the entire site. I also found the moving menu to be a little distracting and annoying and gave up after clicking through to just one page.

    I agree with his opinion on the second site as well. Wasn't sure what to do on the splash page and it was taking quite a while to get to the next paged so I just closed out. Readers come to a site to enter it and I find that this splash page actually prevents that.

    Whether it be static or flash, I feel people still come to a web page for specific information, and it can be detrimental to have to wait through prolonged animation throughout a site or search around for the "enter" or "skip" button(s).

    I just don't think that the usability of a website should be or needs to be sacrificed by the use of a splash page or flash animation. It's a fine line and although these two sites are quite unique and creative, I feel the usability has been somewhat sacrificed in the process.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  18. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #18
    yeah but good web design also requires the user to be able to find their way around quickly and without having to wait for ages. In my opinion the whole point of a website is to encourage a viewer to either come back, stay and spend money or be able to find what they are looking for, portfolio sites which show off specific talent are only any good if people can be bothered to stay and look at them.

    Flash can be quite good for a menu, or even a presentation but I still feel that html is a far more user friendly experience, especially now css/javascript is becoming more common place (well for those who know how to work it :eek:).
     
  19. shecky Guest

    shecky

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    #19
    i mostly agree with levi; i think flash is overused and basically sucky for 99% of sites that use it. harder to navigate, harder to bookmark, often a showcase for crappy interface and information design which the vast, vast majority of flash developers just do not understand.

    but...

    the 1% of sites that actually use flash in an appropriate and interesting way can be wonderful. i give the "requiem for a dream" and "Donnie Darko" sites as examples of when flash works. these are sites where the mystery is the site; the confusion and layering is what makes the site so good.
     
  20. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

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    #20
    yes, i agree that CSS/Javascript/AJAX/etc... has helped the web design world out alot, and that flash can be the most confusing thing on earth, but the beauty of flash is that there are no limits. All you HTML fans want to limit creativity by telling people to not use flash, because it's hard to use, gimmicky, and confusing. It doesn't have to be, and i don't understand the slow comments. I don't know what kind of internet connection you people are on, but my DSL runs flash quite nice, and i only have to wait for large files that are useful. Flash does an amazing job of compression, especially seeing that alot of the things you see in sites that are usually images can be pretty vector objects in Flash. I just don't understand the problem. Why the revolt against it? It doesn't hurt anyone, for designers to use it. Yes there are some bad flash sites, but i can take to just as many (probably more) awful HTML sites, that take years to load, are done from ImageReady, using slices, and are just plane crap. Does that make image based HTML bad?

    _JE
     
  21. jSunbeam macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    #21
    I think the problem comes when Flash is used (in a website) to the extent that basic website functionality and navigation is seemingly disregarded. The most important thing to consider when making a website (flash or not) is how easy and pleasant it is to use and navigate. There seems to be a tendency among flash-based sites to almost disregard this for the sake of 'creativity' - unfortunately, your creativity doesn't count for anything if the end user gets so irritated by things moving around and not being able to click links that they close the window!

    I don't think there's a single thing wrong with using flash in web design, but you mustn't get so carried away with making things whoosh about the page that you forget the basic principles of good modern web design.
     
  22. lil'homunculus macrumors regular

    lil'homunculus

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    #22


    not to mention, not everyone is blessed with a super-duper hyper-accelerated download velocity (me included). I, myself, usually resort to tabbing a flash/Movie based site and move onto something else whilst it does it's business...:rolleyes: 'welcome to the modern world. As usual, not all things are created equal.' Take That! freemarketcapitalism!!!:rolleyes:
     
  23. G4DP macrumors 65816

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #23
    Creativity is pointless if the website is unusable. The two examples above a rediculous. They use flash for the sake of it. Not because it imrpoves the function and appearence of the sites.

    If anything the over use of flash is pretentious and arrogant. The first site is just stupid, I got fed up with it in 20 seconds, the second one is impossible to navigate around. It's all when and good using flash, but it should be to enhance the site. Which is not the case in the two links provided.

    Have a look at www.callingtonstudios.co.uk/flash.html. This is a simple flash site. The client asked for both HTML and Flash versions. Throughout design and implementation, simplicity and ease of use was the key factor. Something which a lot of flash designers forget.
     
  24. lil'homunculus macrumors regular

    lil'homunculus

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    #25
    i love how you can pontificate upon 'design principles' and yet get the most simple precepts of simple communication so wrong. Shucks:p
     

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