I'm a motion graphics artist with knowledge of After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop and FCP. I was taught the basic knowledge of these programs at either university or school. I was wandering what was the best way to learn flash from the basic's (which i have limited knowledge of) to an intermediate level at least without enrolling on a course.
Any one have any hints on books or online site that i could follow over a couple of months?
Lynda.com has a great library of Flash tutorials. There are some free lessons but you need to pay a subscription fee for total access to all of Lynda.com. As a video editor, I go there a lot for AE and sporadically for Flash. I'm trying to commit myself to learning the entire program, too.
Please post any resources you'd recommend!
I've been messing around with Flash since version 5, but CS4 and ActionScript have seriously changed the terrain. The tween animations are different as is the interface. But most important is that ActionScript 3.0 is very different from previous versions and much more difficult and complex. Even designers will have to wrestle with AS 3 in order to use Flash CS4 effectively, at least that is the buzz.
I would second the previous recommendation of lynda.com. You have to pay, but you get a lot of bang for your bucks for $25/month. Unfortunately, in order to download the example files for the courses, you have to join for a year, and that costs $300+.
By way of bibliotherapy for Flash CS4, I have recently ordered several books and worked through them. Adobe has two Classroom in a Book (CIB) titles, one for learning the graphic side of Flash and the other for ActionScript 3, which claims to be targeted to designers. They are both pretty good, although sometimes they plod a bit for my taste. Nevertheless, I think the AS3 CIB title is probably the easiest to follow for a non-programmer.
I also like the Aquent Digital Classroom series book on Flash CS4. Like the CIB titles, it is a tutorial approach and you practice as you go along.
Don't buy Learning ActionScript 3.0 by Shupe and Rosser. It is really terrible, no sense of gradation from easy to difficult in their presentation, and constant flinging around of difficult technical terms they don't explain. I was in over my head by lesson 3.
Friends of ED's Foundation Flash CS4 for Designers gets mixed reviews, but I have found previous editions (by Sham Bhangal) helpful. He apparently doesn't write Flash books anymore.
Also, the Net if full of free Flash tutorials, with the quality varying drastically, some pretty good, most too elementary for most people.
Finally, I'm not so thrilled with this new version of Flash. The new tweenings don't work, nor do the new graphics tools, and there is the usual feature bloat to convince you to upgrade.
Macromedia was one of the most progressive software companies around, founded by Marc Canter, one of the few creative geniuses in the software world. The theater metaphors of stage, sprite, puppets, etc., grew out of Marc's early training as an opera singer! I heard him speak in 1990 and was very impressed. I shed many tears when Adobe bought Macromedia out.
This may be the worst advice you could follow in the long-run, but will get you started in flash.
Macromedia Flash MX Actionscript for Fun and Games (Paperback) is an excellent book for making you think about what you want Flash to do. The examples are all a bit twee, and the code is going out-of-date, but it got me thinking about the ways to make a game and the processes involved.
It looks like the same author has a new AS3 book out, ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University which while I can't vouch for it, might be a more sensible option. Might buy it myself actually.
http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films