Flash CS3 is the first version of Flash since Adobe bought out Macromedia on December 3, 2005. Now with support for Actionscript 3.0, better integration with other Adobe products as well as other enhancements, it is still the undisputed king of animation software. Flash CS3: The Missing Manual is ready to help you learn how to use Adobe Flash.
OK, well there is a manual that you can get with Adobe Flash, but it is the same kind of manual that you get with every other kind of software package; kind of dry and matter-of-fact. What Flash CS3: The Missing Manual tries to do is create a manual that should have been included with the product, something lively and engaging that encourages you to learn Flash CS3. It shows you step-by-step instruction, but also it tries to explain why you want to do each step.
Flash CS3: The Missing Manual has 14 chapters divided into 5 sections. I will give an overview based on the sections. It is designed for all skill levels except for "super-advanced-programmers." If you have never used an animation program, the book would be a training book, if you have or are more advanced, it would serve more as a reference book. Obviously, to work through the examples you will need a copy of Flash CS3 and a computer to run it on. The book references both the Windows version as well as the Macintosh version.
Part one, "Creating a Flash Animation," will walk you through creating your first animation. It begins by showing you around the Flash interface, explaining the different panels and controls that you will be using. It will show you how to create simple drawings and then how to animate those drawings.
Part two, "Advanced Drawing and Animation," will teach you how to manipulate your drawings by rotating skewing, stacking and aligning them. You will learn to organize them, color, add special effects by using the built-in timeline effects. If your work needs you to create variations on a theme, then you will learn how to save documents as templates so you do not have to start from scratch each time. Finally, you will be introduced to the different types of media files that Flash lets you work with. Here you will work with bitmap graphics, video clips and sound clips to add to animated sequences.