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Review Foundation Flash 5

Added on 6/20/2001



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Foundation Flash 5

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Author: MediaMacros (website)

Foundation Flash 5 gives you all the skills you need to get started in the latest version of Flash. It takes you from your first drawing and animation project in Chapter 1, through to a strong foundation for exploring the sophisticated ActionScripting capabilities now built into Flash 5. It is a thorough and practical, tutorial led book, where each chapter helps to build up a case study project- reinforcing what you've learnt in that section and how it can be applied in real design projects. By the end of the book you'll have built a working, Flash-rich website, and you'll have the skills to develop and modify your own Flash 5 effects. Professional level design with Flash has taken a quantum step up with Flash 5. Foundation Flash 5 provides you with all the climbing gear you need for the steeper learning curve. You'll break a sweat. But when you get there the view from the top is really worth the effort!

My initial reaction to this book was "Ok another Flash book" but on reading just the first few chapters I was blown away by the wonderful layout and easy to follow flow. This book believes in one thing I think a lot of beginner books miss; Pictures! For the novice the concepts can initially be hard to follow but the great illustrations and screen captures make it very east to track each example start to finish. Another key point is that the author realizes this book is for beginners and sticks to the fundamentals in a very detailed way.  The series of books is set up to address the user's level of expertise, so all 620+ pages are devoted to taking you from novice to intermediate as a Flash developer. Once you are finished you can then move on to the next book in the series, rather than trying to cram everything in flash into one book.

Each lesson is easy to follow.  The book does not come with a CD, but frankly does not need one. (And I would personally rather save the $20 most publishers charge for an add on CD anyway.)  As someone that has used both the web and books to find good info, I usually default to online resources, but this book flows so easily that you will find yourself zipping through the chapters and before you know it you will be totally comfortable in Flash 5. On completion you can move on to "Foundation ActionScript" to get a handle on Flash's ever growing scripting language, then finally for the pros, pick up "New Masters of Flash" to really polish your skills.

The great thing about this book is that it is not a single book sitting by itself.  Most books you buy are for one level, or try to span all levels, then you are left to find another author or publisher to fill the gaps or take an awkward next step with some items missed and others repeated.  Friends-of-Ed has done a fine job as a publisher in creating each book as a series that builds on the previous book to allow a seamless flow from one to the next.  If you want to learn Flash 5 from basic to advance as quickly as possible, this is the way to do it!

In addition to the book, the web site offers some very nice add ons.  There are code examples to accompany the book (free rather than the usual cost of a CD with most books) and you can also check news and contact the publisher as well.  This is a bit of a first to find a publisher that actually supports their books!

If you are looking to start Flash or just improve your skills to pull more Flash into Director, this is definitely the book for you!



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