Flash CS3: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2007
Pages: 530

Flash CS3 is the premier tool for creating web animations and interactive web sites, can be intimidating to learn. This entertaining reference tutorial provides a reader-friendly animation primer and a guided tour of all the program's tools and capabilities. Beginners will learn to use the software in no time, and experienced users will quickly take their skills to the next level. The book gives Flash users of all levels hands-on instructions to help them master:

  • Special effects
  • Morphing
  • Adding audio and video
  • Introducing interactivity
  • And much more
With Flash CS3: The Missing Manual you'll be able to turn an idea into a Flash animation, tutorial, or movie. This book will help you create online tutorials, training materials and full-blown presentations. It also teaches design principles throughout and helps you avoid elements that can distract or annoy an audience.

This is the first new release of Flash since Adobe bought Macromedia, which means that it's the first version that will integrate easily with other Adobe products. It's a whole new ballgame when it comes to Flash, and Flash CS3: The Missing Manual offers you complete and objective coverage. It's the perfect companion to this powerful software.
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the Absolute Best Beginner Book

By Dessun Norma

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Flash CS3: The Missing Manual:

The book does not cover Action Script or Interactive Components in detail, however, it does deal with them in a general sense and the reader is even able to practice several Action Script-based exercises. For someone who is brand new to Flash, this is THE best book available, as it covers the interface, the menus, tweening, timeline effects, etc, with THE most easy to understand approach. Withstanding the enormous advanced concepts such as Action Script and Components, this book nails ALL of the basics that a newby needs to know, and with impressively clear and simple delivery. For advanced Flash users, I would recommend this as an excellent primer and also recommend getting an Action Script cookbook to further your learning.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


The Good, the Bad, and the Buggy

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Flash CS3: The Missing Manual:

I purchased this book looking for a simple, easy-explanation, hands-on approach to learning Flash. I found this volume to contain incredible strengths, and, frustrating weaknesses as well.


The book is very easy to read, and covers all of the basics you need to know in order to create animations in Flash. Lots of humor and easy-to-understand explanations. From the basics to many advanced features, it's all here - for ANIMATION, that is. And best of all, there are loads of practice exercises - again, for ANIMATION.


As I read through the first ten chapters of the book, I was on fire. "Wow, it's all so clear! This makes sense!" The authors took the time to explain and provide walkthroughs for EVERY detail I could think of concerning animation. I just kept thinking, "Ok, I'm getting this animation thing down...I can't wait to dive into interactivity!" - arguably the "sweet-spot" of Flash. Well, come chapter 11 (near the very end of the book), I got into interactivity...for all of a few dozen pages. Suddenly, I was left with short, concise explanations of what my interactivity options were...but with few and usually absolutely no walkthroughs or how-tos. In fact, the following paragraph appeared over and over again: "Components are outside the scope of this book," "bindings are outside the scope of this book," and even "Actionscript is outside the scope of this book." Concerning Actionscript, apparently it is essential for writing in interactivity.


The sum result of this experience is that I feel frustrated and greatly let-down. Even the sources that the writers suggested for "further study" I found are not conclusive. If the 500-page book would take an additional 5,000 pages to deal with all aspects of Flash, then it's understandable that other sources need to be suggested. But in this case I recommend:

A) The writers offer substantial volumes that actually do cover everything not included in this Missing Manual, and not only O'Reilly books, and

B) Don't advertise on the back of the book that the book will cover "interactive features" if in fact they will be glossed over.

Funny enough, I'm still mostly in favor of this book due to the incredibly easy-to-understand first 10 chapters that deal with animation. However, if you are looking for a book that will help you create interactive features, such as tests, quizzes, and interactive learning modules, plan to be searching for another book after this one, because you will have learned little-to-nothing.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Mostly A Well Thought-Out Guide

By Noah

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Flash CS3: The Missing Manual:

More than most other creative programs, Flash requires learning a vast amount of information in order to use. As a beginning- and intermediate-level instructor of Flash, I am constantly searching for new ways of organizing and presenting this information that are quick, simple, and effective. Flash CS3: The Missing Manual is written for beginners, especially creative beginners, and approaches the learning of Flash differently from other books I have seen by organizing its Parts and Chapters more by overlying concepts, rather than the specific technologies and techniques used in the program. The authors realize -- correctly, I think -- that people learning Flash tend to want to accomplish something with it, and instead of organizing this book around concepts like Motion/Shape Tweening or MovieClips, which mean little or nothing to a beginner, they have given us chapters like "Animating Your Drawings" and "Interacting with Your Audience."

Besides its intelligent organization, Flash CS3: TMM contains all of the features I expect of a good-quality educational book: clear and concise language, screenshots (both Mac and Windows), tips and tricks, workarounds to common problems, and example source files (accessible from a Web site, rather than an enclosed CD-ROM). Perhaps the biggest strength of this book is the discussion of the "intangibles" behind any successful Flash project: planning, storyboarding, research, and critical thinking. The authors periodically take a step back from the hands-on, computer-program-using tutorials to ask us to stop and think about what we are trying to accomplish with our animation (or whatever we are working on). While not directly related to the learning of Flash, these insights are crucial to learning how to create quality Flash projects.

In terms of learning how to create quality Flash, the book could be greatly improved by not urging of the use of Scenes and teaching the placement of ActionScript code directly on objects (Buttons and MovieClips). Both practices have been discouraged for years by the Flash Industry and run contrary to the official Adobe Flash Best Practices (http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/flash8_bestpractices.html). These methods may be the quickest and easiest ways to get things done in the short run, but ultimately set people up for confusion and trouble later on as they progress in learning Flash. Better to take the time teaching the "proper" methods from the outset.

If you adhere to Adobe Flash Best Practices, you should be able to benefit from reading Flash CS3: The Missing Manual. Most of all, its unique organization of information and its discussion of the conceptual and planning foundation required before starting any Flash project. Its "Menu by Menu" appendix alone -- which defines each and every menu item in Flash and reveals their Mac and Windows keyboard shortcuts -- is priceless to any beginning or intermediate Flash user.

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