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Byte-Size Flash MX

Anything to reduce our .swf's a few bytes while still looking cool By Adam Bell
click to buy
Byte-Size Flash MX
Various Authors
Friends of Ed Publishing
$29.99 US/$46.99 CAN
342 Pages
Click on image to buy
Flash MX is an incredible motion graphics tool to be sure. Problem is though many of us create Flash sites and presentations that are way too big. And we're all guilty of doing so, including yours truly. That's why Jakob Nielsen came up with that 'Flash is 99% Bad' quote eons ago before he started kissing Macromedia's rear. As much as I hate Nielsen, many of his points were very vaild and I think it woke a lot of us to seriously work at compressing our movies big time. Eliminating elements that weren't really needed. Reducing the number of bitmaps and doing tweens with tints instead of alphas. Anything to reduce our .swf's a few bytes while still looking cool.

Which brings me to this new book. Which really raises Flash to a whole new level.

I have seen a number of experimental Flash sites that use ActionScripting to create movement and even using the new Drawing API in Flash MX to create motion graphics with absolutely no symbols at all. While many of these sites will let you download the .fla and .swf files to play with the code, they don't explain in detail how these projects came to be.

That's where Byte-Size Flash MX comes in.


In this book, there are many examples on how to create amazing Flash motion graphics and presentations that are extraordinarily small and powerful. You'll be able to create everything from a 3D city landscape to fire effects to, er, uh, place in the city landscape. One of my personal favorites are the various effects that resemble designs I used to create back in the 70s on my old Spirograph. I already have plans to use and tweak these as background elements for some of my future projects. That's how cool they are.

Also in the book are examples of how to create a midi-like music device that kind of resembles a Casio keyboard to a navigational scheme that uses XML to create it's links.

While there are some examples you'll probably never use (I personally don't plan to use the JavaScript pop-up window examples since so many people frown on pop-ups), the majority of this book offers many amazing examples that you'll definitely want to learn from and expand your horizons with these presentations.

Just do me a favor. Don't use 'em all in one .swf or that byte-sized 5K example could eventually end in a 500K .swf. Then we'll all have to unleash Jakob on you.

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Adam Bell is the Design Director, CEO, Videographer and sometimes janitor with dzign@datatv.com (http://datatv.com/) amazingly not getting plastered in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA.
Related Keywords:Byte-Size Flash MX, Adam Bell, Macromedia Flash, Freinds of Ed, book review

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