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Flash Math Creativity, Second Edition [Paperback]

Glen Rhodes , JD Hooge , Pavel Kaluzhny , Ty Lettau , Gabriel Mulzer , Kip Parker , David Hirmes , Keith Peters , Manny Tan , Jared Tarbell , Brandon Williams , Paul Prudence , Ken Jokol , Jamie McDonald
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 16 2004 1590594290 978-1590594292 2
The seminal book, Flash Math Creativity, completely revised for Flash MX 2004 and AS 2.0! Macromedia Flash is the industry standard design tool for digital design and web programming. With the release of the latest version of this exciting product, Flash MX 2004 and its accompanying built-in language ActionScript 2.0, Macromedia has yet again upped the standard for creating immersive digital experiences. This book revolves around Flash and math. It's what you do in your spare time: just take little ideas and mess around with them. This is a book of inspiration, beautiful enough to leave on the coffee table, but addictive enough to keep by your computer and sneak out while no-one's looking so you can go back to that movie that you were tinkering with 'til 3 o'clock this morning. It's a fun book! Flash Math Creativity is a book of iterative experimentsgenerative design. It's a showcase of the fifteen authors' experiments. The book will explain how these work and how you to can experiment further yourself. Each author does four experiments. Each experiment takes up four pages. We give you the code and explain the essence, then you take away your inspiration and run with it. The purpose of the book is to learn through experimentation because you are inspired to do so, not because someone is telling you to do so.

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About the Author

I started my mind going early in life when I was about 4 years old. At that age, I began playing the piano, which was sitting unused in our house. I've been playing ever since then. Later, in 1997, I co-wrote a full-length musical called Chrystanthia. Somewhere along the way, I picked up game programming as a hobby, and eventually ended up making games professionally for home console systems. Then, in 1998, I discovered how I could take all my experiences and combine them when I discovered Flash. The rest is history. I share my ideas on my website, www.glenrhodes.com.

After graduating from design school in 2000, I started the Fourm Design Studio with 3 close friends. Since then, I have been dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences through interactive experiences. I am constantly learning, probing and absorbing information and insight to bring into my own work. Above all, I enjoy solving problems, whether working with a client or on a side project. In my spare time, I have been working on several time-consuming projects such as infourm.com, gridplane.com, miniml.com, and have recently been collaborating on installations for a conceptual art gallery in Milwaukee.

I was born at 1979. Since then I've had many achievements. I graduated from Moscow State University department of Computer Science, where I've research methods of texture compression. I'm interesting computer graphics, image processing, 3D visualization and so on. I also like playing computer games and creating them. My currently work is associated with Macromedia Flash. Sometimes, I think that it's the greatest software for development. It gives me all tools what I need.

Ty is a partner at the Fourm Design Studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He created Fourm with JD Hooge, Craig Kroeger and Erik Natzke.
Ty\'s personal site -Sound of Design - explores and experiments with the possibilities of interactive media. He also teaches part-time at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Ty has recently created projects for Vector Lounge and Born Magazine.


I was born last century in southern Germany and currently live in Berlin. I work as freelance media / motion designer. At the moment this means working a lot with Flash and on concepts. I lecture on occasions and also write sometimes too.


I\'m a resident of London, born on 31 January 1973. Having previously worked as a van driver, nanny, ice cream seller, sandwich maker and band manager, in 1997 I answered an ad that said \"Do you want to be a web designer?\". I now work through my own company Hi-Rise and in collaboration with Anthony Burrill as friendchip.
Friendchip\'s first commercial job was for German electronic band Kraftwerk, and we\'ve gone on to work largely with bands and music companies. Current projects include ongoing work for 13amp.tv, and a new site for Bjork (littleibooks.com). As Hi-Rise I\'m working with airside on a multi-player game for 23rdfloor.com.

First I wanted to be a fireman, then an astronaut, then a car mechanic, then an architect. Then I wanted to make dioramas for the Museum of Natural History. Then I wanted to be a rock star, then a writer, a 3D animator, a carpenter, and then a writer again. Then for a while all I wanted to do was ride the F train drinking Tecate from a can. Then I wanted to be a web designer, then an artist, then a roof gardener. Now I\'m back to fireman.

Keith lives in the vicinity of Boston, MA, in the USA with his wife Kazumi and their new daughter Kristine. He has been working with Flash since 1999, and has co-authored many books for friends of ED, including Flash MX Studio, Flash MX Most Wanted, and the ground-breaking Flash Math Creativity.

In 2001 he started the experimental Flash site, BIT-101 (www.bit-101.com), which strives for a new, cutting edge, open source experiment each day. The site recently won an award at the Flashforward 2003 Flash Film Festival in the Experimental category. In addition to the experiments on the site, there are several highly regarded Flash tutorials which have been translated into many languages and are now posted on web sites throughout the world. Keith is currently working full time doing freelance and contract Flash development and various writing projects.

My name is Manuel Tan but almost everybody calls me Manny.
I currently work for a design shop called The Fin Company here in New York. In my spare time I update my sites www.uncontrol.com and www.66mph.com. Both deal with programmatic movement in Flash. Uncontrol is the place for me to experiment with motion and behaviors through code, while 66mph is where I do my more arty farty stuff.
I've been published in a few books like New Masters of Flash 2002 annual, 72 DPI, and Young Guns NYC III as well as exhibiting works at OFFF in Barcelona and ADC in New York. I was recently involved in the Biennial at Tirana and was exhibited locally at the Deitch Gallery in Soho, NY. When I'm not doing Flash stuff I build Bandai models, mountain bike, and grow my herbal plants on my windowsill.

Jared Tarbell was born in 1973 to William and Suzon Davis Tarbell in the high-altitude desert city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. First introduced to personal computers in 1987, Jared's interest in computation has grown in direct proportion to the processing power of these machines. Jared holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from New Mexico State University. He sits on the Board of the Austin Museum of Digital Art where he helps promote and encourage appreciation of the arts within the global community. Jared is most interested in the visualization of large data sets, and the emergent, life-like properties of complex computational systems. Jared has recently returned to Albuquerque to work closer to friends and family while enjoying the unique aspects of desert living.

Additional work from Jared Tarbell can be found at levitated.net and complexification.net.

Brandon is a senior at Spring Woods High School in Houston, Texas, with many years of mathematics and computer science study in his c.v. His mathematics focus has been single and multivariable calculus, real analysis, linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, elementary combinatorics, and number theory. His computer science experience is based on programming design, object-oriented programming, and problem solving. His goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Mathematics. In his spare time, he helps run the math forum at Were-Here under the name of ahab, and works for Eyeland Studios as a games programmer.

[Bio updated October 2008]

Paul Prudence\'s current work can be found at transphormetic.com


Paul is an artist and real-time visual performer working with computational and visual feedback systems and video. Uses VVVV, Flash & processed Digital Video. He\'s also a lecturer on visual music and syneasthetic art.


Paul is a researcher and writer at Dataisnature.





I\'m not American and I don\'t live in London. I just work in the UK as a web developer for cash. My site for this week is pinderkaas.com, and this is my life so far:
Acorn Electron, BBC Micro Model B, Spectrum 48k, ZX Spectrum +, Dragon 16k, Atari ST 520, Amiga 1200, 286, 386SX 25Mhz, 386DX, Pentium 166 Mhz, iMac 400, Power Mac G4 450 Mhz.
My ambitions were to be a palaenotologist, or a milkman (so I could sit at home, eat fish fingers, and watch Moonlighting).
One day I will learn how to tune my guitar.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
This is honestly one of the best books that I've picked up in a long time. There are so many books lately, that appear to be nothing more than a ploy at being the first book on the latest release of such and such software application. Flash Math Creativity avoids using interface clips from the Flash authoring environment, in order to concentrate on the content and not on something that has a much more limited shelf life. This book has so much to offer beyond getting acquainted with Flash 5 or MX or whatever. Becuase of the choice of displaying only raw code, it's probably not the best choice for a beginning Flash user. The examples, although excellent, aren't always well annotated, and often leaves you scratching your head -- but that's part of the fun.
I really appreciate the fluid examples, and the challenge of using the provided content for further investigation. These experiments should keep me busy for some time.
The graphics are quite beautiful and it would be hard to look at them and ignore the value of these creations on the basis that it doesn't have a practical application in the area of web design, as one reviewer stated. Plus, when did I start reading books and enjoying Flash only to do corporate stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Math Creative? May 7 2002
Format:Paperback
I always knew somewhere in the back of my head that Math and physics could be creative. I remember getting through Calculus and Intro to Physic course back in college by trying to understand the concepts visually. Mind you, I failed Intro to physics once and got a D in Calculus3 by doing it that way. Fast-forward 4 years. I've been using flash on and off for about a year but started doing actionscripting, about 2 months ago. I picked up this book when I bought ActionScript: The Definitive Guide, I think this book is a great companion. I found that I was using this book as a springboard to learn creative visual Actionscripting techniques. Though I found the explanations hard at time, definitely not a book for beginners, its a great source to get your hands dirty. I've coded examples and found myself going off in my own creative direction afterwards. I think the most satisfying moment I had was relearning Trig but seeing it on a screen. It definitely gave me a deeper understanding to some math concepts and proving my thoughts way back, that math can be visually creative.
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Format:Paperback
I don't know if you've realized this, but life is all about practicality. the content instructed within are not even close to being practical, neither for publishing within your website nor for presenting to web design clients.
some are ok.. i repeat JUST OK... but most of these fancy 3 dimensional gridline work aren't even that pleasing to the eye, even if you weren't considering practicality.
if you really really want to incorporate layered/masked/transparent grids within your flash content, just import it from photoshop or fireworks...
i know this is not directly relevant to this book, but it appears that ever since friends of ed publishing company established themselves as a respectable publishing co., it has been beginning to get greedy and publish garbage... similar to the trend new riders has been taking. new rider books initially were superb.. now they're getting greedy about their company cash inflow and publishing obvious or unimportant material that a person with average intelligence can figure out on their own. ex: Now there are flash 99% good? and other flash usablity books. give me a break... web usability in general is important; but flash usability? haha....
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most essential non-beginner flash book April 16 2002
Format:Paperback
This book doesn't explicitly teach mathematics. It shows how various maths are applied to movie clips, and how the various proximities of layers and code work. It also falls a bit flat in the "instructional" department with certain phrases like "at the end of the FOR loop"... is that inside it? is that outside it?
Also, all of the code is presented piecemeal. "Here is the code" is often said, with only one or two lines talking about exactly where to do it or what to do with it. Someone who is straining to learn the point of the code and how it works and to *visualize* the maths will easily skip over this & create code with error.
Why isn't that a problem? Why does this book deserve 5 stars? Because that error is the spirit of experimentation.
This /could/ have been a step by step walktrough with big type and captions like "this is what SINE does" and diagrams, but that would have allowed less code.
After fiddling with a few of the experiments and not being able to duplicate the code I gave up on trying to duplicate the code and began playing with "what ifs" and came up with my own solutions.
There are 2 separate tree examples that work similarly, but allow you to see nuances and possibilities, for instance.
Essentially, you will want to do every example this book has to offer.
As far as the "this book offers nothing new" argument that is peppered throughout the reviews... since when was math new?
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Math with Flash--1 year later April 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
After having had this book a year now and well into Flash MX, I still find this one of the best resources for moving Flash MX (or Flash 5) into a level of creativity not available by mere hacking through script or twiddling with tweens. Even now I keep finding new little gems in this book. However, as some reviewers have found, this is not for those saddled with sluggish imaginations or sense of exploration.
This book is one of the few that assumes some background in or appreciation of math as a tool for developing algorithms. It's not a book for everyone, and one reader rightly pointed out that it's not a primer in math. So if you don't have math savvy, this book may not be your cup of tea. However, from what I saw, one need not be a math whiz to work through the different kinds of interesting algorithms contained in this book, and you will learning something about both Flash and math.
One of the best lessons this book can offer (besides the sheer joy of experimentation even though you're not sure what you'll create) is how to use different elements of geometry and a little algebra with Flash to do some very interesting things. After beginning by following instructions to make a snail spiral, I quickly found myself doing my own experiments by changing different vectors, values, colors and whatnot just to see what would happen. I was surprised by my own results, and then I took elements from different chapters, mixed them together for even more new discoveries.
This book is not a paint-by-the-numbers book, and unless you like to explore for the sheer joy of the exploration and learn something for no particular reason other than it's sort of cool, the book is not for you.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Codes??
The projects are pretty cool if you have enough knowledge of flash to finish some of the code by yourself. With a few of these projects I had the feeling the codes weren't complete
Published on Feb. 15 2004 by Peter van Leijen
4.0 out of 5 stars incomplete codes
very good designs to stimulate creativity using maths. Too bad the downloads don't contain all the codes. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2003 by Chiu-ying Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool book
I was lame at math in school....but not anymore. If you want to apply trignometry, and coding to make cool animations (without messing around in photoshop) check this book out. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2002 by Tony Montana
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Inspiration, but not on concepts
While this book can encourage you to explore the creative aspects of Flash, it will not be much use to the practical designer/developer. Read more
Published on May 4 2002 by Christopher Bennage
5.0 out of 5 stars good
This book is excellent. Do not think that this book really teaches you Maths. It just gives you inspirations on how to use Maths with Flash. It is a must buy for Flash developers.
Published on April 8 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars Not all that Impressive
This book will not teach you anything about how math is used in Flash technically in a "how to manor." You can use the movies provided to teach yourself. Read more
Published on March 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Math is cool
I don't know if I had more fun writing my chapter, or going through the other author's chapters. The only problem I have with this book is that once I start messing around with one... Read more
Published on March 20 2002 by Keith Peters
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this the magic behind Flash?
Most of those amazing Flash films share have the very same secret: mathematics, especially geometry. Many basic and advanced techniques in this area need to be taught. Read more
Published on March 2 2002 by Paulo C. Rios Jr.
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