Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform that is used to add animation, video, and interactivity to Web pages. You find it used in games and advertisements, and more recently it is being used as a tool for Rich Internet Applications (RIA).
Adobe Flash is not the easiest program to learn and the documentation that comes with the product is not always the most intuitive. This is where Flash CS5: The Missing Manual comes in. It tries to be the manual that should have been included with the product. Being lively and engaging it encourages you to learn Flash CS5. It does this by showing you step-by-step how to get the most from Flash. Flash CS5: The Missing Manual has 784 pages, 21 chapters and is divided into five parts.
Part One, "Creating a Flash Animation," will walk you through the creation of your first Flash 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 as well as how to animate your art.
Part Two, "Advanced Drawing and Animation," will get more into the heart of working with Flash. You will learn how to organize frames and layers, work with more advanced drawing and coloring, and the use of advanced color techniques. You will see how to choose and format your text as well as use symbols and templates so 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.
Next you will see how to work with motion presets, work with advanced tweens as well as taking a tour of the motion editor. You will add special effects by using the built-in timeline effects. Finally, you will be introduced to the different types of media files that Flash lets you work with. Here you will work with non-Flash media files, bitmap graphics, video clips, and sound clips to add to animated sequences.
Part Three, "Adding Interactivity," will show you how to work with ActionScript 3 to create automated effects. ActionScript is the programming language within Flash that you can use to make your animation interactive. You will learn how to control your animation especially if you need to jump to different spots within your timeline.