I almost made the mistake of lumping this book into the numerous but worthy publications that deal with Flash design. I own a dozen or so books on illustration, digital animation and the like. And, of all the publication that produce art and media related instruction books, Focal Press is, by far, the best. It seems that they (Focal Press) have the youngest and most innovative instructors producing their titles. Sometimes you have competing authors who essentially produce similar works, in which case, having one title is usually sufficient. What I thought this book ("Flash Cinematic Techniques") was and what it actually is like the distance of a football field.
This is a must-own title.
* What is this book really about? / Brief overview
** Comparing other Flash titles and animation books
*** Who's this book really for then?
* FLASH CINEMATIC TECHNIQUES is, first and foremost, about storytelling. It is about filmmaking. It is digital illustration. It is about incorporating storytelling, filmmaking and illustration.
Some of the lessons taught:
- Creating drama
- The use of color
- Seeing/ creating character in/with basic shapes
- Exaggerating personalities
- Basic character development
- Drawing a storyboard and digital storyboarding
- Building animatics in Flash
** There are very good Flash Animation books that are geared toward helping someone interested in creating web animation. How to Cheat in Flash CS3: The art of design and animation in Adobe Flash CS3' is one of the best, but its focus is on beginning to intermediate skill levels. And, each lesson are separate, unrelated exercises. The end result is that the Flash user has a working knowledge of how Flash works and how it may help the designer to fulfill her/his vision.
Timing for Animation, Second Edition is the foundation of all animation texts. But, this title while considered "The Bible of Animators," has a very narrow focus of discussing how movement and speed affect the overall project/ vision.
How to Make Animated Films: Tony White's Complete Masterclass on the Traditional Principals of Animation is a course in creating 2D--or 2 dimensional/ hand drawn--animation films. Tony White's "Masterclass" goes over the fundamentals of how the old Disney animators utilized techniques of traditional illustrations to create images, emotions and movement as the foundation for animated films.
Flash Cinematic Techniques combines the essentials of the aforementioned titles and expands the discussion to take into consideration film, video/ DVD, and television standards.
*** This book is for intermediate to advance Flash designers, film enthusiasts and those who're interested in bridging the gap/ seeing the potential of on-line animation, HD, and traditional film pieces. Despite what the author says, THIS BOOK is NOT For Beginners! It is very advanced.
**** FLASH CINEMATIC TECHNIQUES is quite literally a course in storytelling and filmmaking from a digital animation standpoint with a specific focus of delivering content with Adobe Flash.
This book answers many questions and I suspect you'll discover answers to questions yet to be asked. I highly recommend owning this book and considering it more than a book on Flash and deem it a book that crosses disciplines.