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Flash Cinematic Techniques: Enhancing Animated Shorts and Interactive Storytelling [Paperback]

Chris Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 25 2010 0240812611 978-0240812618 1
Apply universally accepted cinematic techniques to your Flash projects to improve the storytelling quotient in your entertainment, advertising (branding), and educational media. A defined focus on the concepts and techniques for production from story reels to the final project delivers valuable insights, time-saving practical tips, and hands-on techniques for great visual stories. Extensive illustration, step-by-step instruction, and practical exercises provide a hands-on perspective.
Explore the concepts and principles of visual components used in stories so you are fluent in the use of space, line, color, and movement in communicating emotion and meaning. Apply traditional cinematography techniques into the Flash workspace with virtual camera movements, simulated 3d spaces, lighting techniques, and character animation. Add interactivity using ActionScript to enhance audience participation.

* A unique focus on the principles and techniques of the visual art in storytelling.
* Concepts are illustrated with deconstruction of technical issues, step-by-step instruction, and exercises.
* Companion CD-ROM contains digital examples and media files for exercises

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Review

"Chris Jackson has a remarkable talent for explaining complicated visual concepts so that anyone can easily digest and incorporate them into their daily workflow. Flash Cinematic Techniques is yet another of Chris' books I recommend keeping within arm's reach for that daily dose of knowledge and inspiration." --Chris Georgenes, Art & Animation Director, Mudbubble, LLC

"Chris Jackson's excellent new Flash primer does a great job of patiently focusing on important design principles and the effective methods of storytelling as they apply to the medium. Using a great number of illustrations and examples, Jackson discusses various ways to improve a project's look and structure as well as incorporating virtual camera movements, simulated 3D spaces, lighting techniques, character animation and interactivity. If you get heart palpitations each time you think about taking your toon idea from paper to pixel to vectors, Jackson is the man who can calmly take you out of your tech nightmare."--Animation Magazine

About the Author

Chris Jackson is an author, computer graphics designer, and tenured professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He teaches a variety of graduate-level courses and professional workshops focusing on 2D computer animation, 3D digital imaging, instructional multimedia, and motion graphics. He is a multimedia consultant for Fortune 500 companies and national museums. Chris' professional design work has received over 25 distinguished national and international awards for online communication. He has presented his research and professional work at Adobe MAX, ACM SIGGRAPH, UCDA Design Education Summit, and the Society for Technical Communications (STC). Chris is the author of Flash + After Effects and Flash Cinematic Techniques: Animating and Building Interactive Stories, and co-author of Flash 3D: Animation, Interactivity, and Games.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Andre Lawrence TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
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?
**** Conclusion

* 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 Adobe Flash CS5: The Art of Design and Animation is one of the best, but its focus is on beginning to intermediate skill levels. And, each lesson are separate, unrelated exercises.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than A Book On Flash Design! Flash Cinematic Techniques: A Critical Review May 6 2010
By Andre Lawrence - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
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?
**** Conclusion

* 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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle customers, from the publishers customer service center Oct. 18 2010
By A. Salmons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I emailed both Amazon and the publisher regarding the exercise files included on the CDROM from the printed version of the book.
Amazon referred me to the publisher and this is the response I received.

"Thank you for your inquiry.

Any of the free companion products are only available with the printed version of the product. So when an E-book is downloaded the free companion product are not included.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or need any further clarification."

Which is very strange since most companies make the exercise files available for download. This information should be listed on
The product page, to me it makes the ebook version worthless.

After seeing the authors comments to this review I purchased the kindle version, contacted the publishers customer service center and got this reply:
This CD is a free companion CD that is included with the purchase of a print copy of this book. When you download an e-book you are not eligible to receive these companion products unless it is included in the download. These CD's are not sold separately and Elsevier does not have stocked copies of this free companion product.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thank you,

Tony Cardinale
Customer Service Americas
Elsevier
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing Files Jan. 17 2012
By Nkosi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I bought the Kindle version of this book for my girlfriend for xmas. I knew it wasn't coming with a CD with the accompanying files so I assumed that I would just find a link in the book directing me to a place where I could download these files. I've bought dozens of similar books and they all host there files on their websites also, even though they supply a CD with the paperback book. Unfortunately this publisher doesn't host the accompanying files online, even if they don't supply it with the Kindle version of the book.

I emailed them and got this reply:

Dear Nkosi,

Thanks for contacting Elsevier with your inquiry.

Although we do offer certain titles for the kindle, these e-books do not include an activation code for online access. To obtain online access customers must purchase the print + online access package.

I apologize for any confusion you may have experienced when purchasing this product from Amazon.com.

Thank you,

John Brown
Elsevier Customer Service
Americas

Why even offer this book in Kindle format if you don't plan on giving the users the vital resources needed to properly use the book?

Decent book, but poor distribution. Get with the times Elsevier. It's 2012.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Applying film techniques to flash May 21 2010
By Lynellen Perry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"Flash cinematic techniques" is a fantastic book to learn about the artistic, movie-like side of flash animations. You'll learn how to create traditional cinematography techniques in flash. The book starts by reminding you how to build a good story structure, then shows you how to create the characters in layers so that they are maximally flexible for animation. The step-by-step exercises make this book extremely valuable. Next the book gives very valuable technical information about stage size settings for various video formats. Safe colors are discussed, and then the author shows you how to simulate camera shots, angles and movements. Chapter four is about composition of the scene and how to simulate depth in flash. Chapter five starts putting together shots to create animated scenes and discusses how to cut between scenes/characters. Chapter six is more about simulating a moving camera: panning, zooming, and parallax scrolling. Chapter seven is about lighting and effects; chapter eight is about audio, sound effects, and synching dialog to the animated face. Chapter nine brings in action script to allow the viewer to interact with the animation, and the final chapter is about optimizing and publishing your finished flash movie. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't learn flash, but you will learn how to tell better stories with flash May 20 2010
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
There are a lot of books out there that will teach you how to make movies in flash, but this is the first one I've seen about making better and more interesting movies with flash. I think that many who make animations with flash do have a good story to tell but don't know much about the cinematic techniques that can "bring the story to life". I often think that just a strong plotline is enough to keep the watchers interested, but this book really helps you how much the presentation really matters and how easy it is to change your viewer's expectations and perceptions with visual cues.

So if you need to learn flash, get a different book. But if you need to know how to make better movies with flash and you don't have a cinematic background, definitely get this book!
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