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Drag Slide Fade

Flash ActionScript for Designers By Adam Bell
It's not every day that I get a Flash book or any Web Design book for that matter than I can get truly excited about. However, ever since the announcement by New Riders that there was going to be an ActionScript book aimed in particular at the design community instead of the hard core programming geeks, I got pretty darned excited about that. However, making the promise and delivering on it are two entirely different things as you'll see.

Drag Slide Fade could really be called Drag Slide Fade Listen Capture Build Type Choose and Calculate as each chapter in the book focuses on one of those issues. There are example to do many of the features that many of us Flash designers have longed to do like creating sliding movie clips for navigational purposes, fake 3D effects, making distressed type effects and the ability to control multiple sounds all starting out from one smart clip.

Brendan offers many great samples and they can all be downloaded (whether you buy the book or not) from his booksite at which I highly recommend that you visit. Unfortunately, while he provides both FLA and SWF files for his projects, he only offers already completed FLA files with all the code in place. What good is that really when you're trying to follow a tutorial in the book and it starts from scratch. Instead, I would've offered the original files (Bitmaps, sounds, etc.) in separate files in each chapter's folder to allow us to easily create the projects from start to finish in the book. I guess Brendan expected us to go ahead and open the completed FLA as a Library in a new FLA, but this would've been better in my opinion.

As best as Brendan tries to explain a complex language such as ActionScript to the design crowd, it is still a very difficult process to undertake and it's kind of hit and miss and you can imagine. You can have an well-designed book (as this is) and offer lots of pictures and examples and we the actual explaining of the code can still get over our heads as was the case here. I'm not saying Brendan's book doesn't have a lot to offer. Just that if you're expecting to understand ActionScript from soup to nuts, you won't in this book and yes, you're still going to need that programming geek to do most of the hard core ActionScript that you'll never understand. Then again, try to explain to that geek Photoshop and he won't probably get it either!

That being said, there are still some excellent examples of Flash work in this book and if you want to learn how to use sound in Flash, I really haven't found a better set of tutorials than here in the book especially with the Smart Clip that's free for download. For that reason alone, it's worth checking this book out. I just wouldn't make it my only choice for a Flash book offering.

- Adam Bell

Drag Slide Fade: Flash ActionScript for Designers
by Brendan Dawes
New Riders Publishing
$45.00 US / $67.95 CAN

Want to buy it? Click image to see the price at Amazon.

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Adam Bell is the Design Director, CEO, Videographer and sometimes janitor with [email protected] ( amazingly not getting plastered in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA.
Related Keywords:Flash, animation, book,


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