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How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5: The Art of Design and Animation Paperback – Aug 13 2010

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (Aug. 13 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240522079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240522074
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 19 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #332,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"All new content and cheats on ActionScript and MotionEditor are included in a pick from veteran Flash animator who packs in a range of Flash animation techniques. No Flash or animation computer collection should be without this!"--Bookwatch

From the Back Cover

Chris Georgenes shows how to work from the problem to the solution - from the viewpoint of an animator who has been commissioned to create a job and is working to a deadline and to a budget. With his in-depth knowledge of the little-known secrets used by the pros to produce creative, professional animations, Chris is the go-to guru for designers and animators who want to create great animation, applications or motion design with Flash. Fully updated for CS5, How to Cheat in Flash CS5 is a goldmine of artistic inspiration, timesaving practical tips, tricks and step-by-step workthroughs that you'll wonder how you survived without it. Each technique is designed as a double-page spread so you can prop the book up behind your keyboard or next to your monitor as a visual reference while working alongside it. Many of these workthroughs are real-world client projects, with the source files supplied for you to open and explore. With these real-life professional projects you'll discover how to bring objects to life with cool motion effects, make it rain, snow or set your world ablaze, develop flash mobile applications and many more tips and tricks not found anywhere else!

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've used flash, and have experience with other graphics programs - but I felt that when it came to flash animations I was always doing things the hard way... or at least not the shortest way. I picked up this book in the hopes that it would teach me some quick and useful tips for speeding up my workflow - and it has! I'm really enjoying this book. The way that the material is presented is wonderful. Lots of colorful graphics, not too text heavy - just enough to get the point across. Plus it points out the short-cut keys for everything. This seems like a simple thing - but I've had many ah-ha! moments for simple things. (such as holding down the shift key when doing free-transforms to constrain it to 45 degree rotations)

If you're familiar with Flash, and want to learn some new tricks and even get some graphical inspiration - I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
* Brief Overview
** Should I Buy This Even If I Don't Have CS5?
*** Conclusion

* HOW TO CHEAT IN ADOBE FLASH CS5 by Chris Georgenes is an instructional companion book to Flash CS5. Filled with step-by-step lessons from the fundamental of graphic arts and bitmap creation through the video/ animation layout of Flash, it is more of a "classroom-in-a-book" than a mere guide to how the program works or an introduction to the tools of the software.

This book, like HTC/CS3 in which I bought several years ago, is much more valuable than the title relays. If you're going to use ANY kind of animation software, a book such as this become an essential reference. I found this to be true in my recent struggle to comprehend/ use the animation software, Anime Studio Debut 7. There the layout is much more simpler to grasp than Flash, but and this is a big but, ASD7 lacks that weight to do real animation: animation that can produce files or movies that is presentation-quality. This is the beauty of Adobe Flash. It is also why you (and I) paid the big $$$ for it as well. HTC-Flash CS5 is filled with the fundamentals of basic animation. It's thorough and prepares one for the challenges of most animation software. This, in my opinion, makes the book more universal and exceeds its premise of just applicability to Flash.

** If you don't own at least HTC-Flash CS3, I'd say without question. If you have to buy a Flash tutorial/ classroom-in-a-book, this would be it. (I'd also throw in another book,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9cec5690) out of 5 stars 47 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cef76e4) out of 5 stars Chris has done it again everything you need to know is right here! Aug. 17 2010
By Hawktime2010 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How to Cheat in Flash CS5 is the kind of book that can help you out if you are unsure about something for a project you are working on. This book will keep you busy for plenty of hours if you follow every chapter with the actual lesson on the cd that comes with it which is packed will flash extensions, example files, and demos of Flash CS5's powerful new features. This book is designed to let you know which version of flash is required to do the exercise. It will either have a flash cs3, cs4, or cs5 icon. So what does that mean? Simple. It means you need Flash CS5 to do everything in the book and why wouldn't you want to have the latest version of flash when it has so much more features to offer then any other version.

So the book is as follows:

Chapter 1: Design Styles

Chapter 2: Transformation and Distortion

Chapter 3: Masking

Chapter 4: Motion Techniques

Chapter 5: Character Animation

Chapter 6: Flash to Video

Chapter 7: Animation Examples

Chapter 8: Working With Sound

Chapter 9: Working With Video

Chapter 10: Interactivity

Chapter 11: Extending Flash

Chapter 12: What's New In Flash CS5

-----------My Thoughts on Each Chapter---------------

Chapter 1: Design Styles
This is great for anyone who never used flash alot of basic drawing and navigation but a real jewel in this chapter is the explanation of how to use the art deco brush, the 3d brush.

Chapter 2: Transformation and Distortion
Squash and stretch is something every animator needs to learn, 3d rotation shows how advanced flash has become, warping is a great tool for quick manipulation of an animation.

Chapter 3: Masking
This chapter has alot of fun feather and blurring masking techniques including making a flag wave in the wind.

Chapter 4: Motion Techniques
This has an in depth look at the motion editor, bones, 3d motion tweens, and adding shadows to your animation, as well as blurring animation tricks. Needless to say this is a very important chapter.

Chapter 5: Character Animation
Simple walk cycles, advanced walk cycles, looping backgrounds, this chapter has alot of useful exercises in it which I encourage anyone who is serious about animation to learn. It also has a great audio lip syncing exercise to get your vocals to sync with your animation which is just as important as a good cartoon itself.

Chapter 6: Flash to Video
CS5 video templates explained. How to get you animation ready for the big screen which it hopefully ends up on including hdtv. Which colors are safe to use. How to export you flash document into quicktime and other formats.

Chapter 7: Animation Examples
How to make a complex animation such as a sausage grinder in CS5 from drawing the shapes to knowing which symbols to group together to the animation itself. How to use the bone tool and spray brush in unison great technique when you have to animation several small objects that are a like. Cool page turn trick, how to create fire, snow, rain, steam, fireworks, and much more.

Chapter 8: Working With Sound
Like I said before sound is just as important as your animation. Different sound applications explained. Dynamic as3 sounds to add life to your animation and user interactivity.

Chapter 9: Working With Video
How to import video in every version of flash. A short but very useful chapter.

Chapter 10: Interactivity
This is for the the real coders out there. As3 and As2 actionscript covered. This chapter basically dives deep into user interactivity. Dragging objects, pausing the timeline, loading images, toggling sound on or off, and event handling.

Chapter 11: Extending Flash
Crazy amount of flash extensions which will make you fall in love with the best program even more. There are plenty of extension packed on the cd to make your workflow ten times as fast for those tedious tasks that we hate to sit through. You can make your own desktop app with flash jester and create some sweet 3d effects with swift 3d.

Chapter 12: What's New In Flash CS5
Publishing your flash product for the iphone in no time. The spring tool explained and it shows you just how important this tool really is. Text layout framework is a easy way to layout multiple paragraphs that are linked to each other.

My overall view:
I don't need any other book when it comes to animating in flash. Everything I need is literally in this book. I don't understand something I can look at the actual file on the cd. Great reference and hours of fun.

What I want in future books by Chris Georgenes:
I want to see more animation examples like panning with the camera and how to put together a short and then animate it from start to finish. More advanced animation tutorials such as morphing objects, and compiling a full character, 360 turns, and jumping animation.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cef7b10) out of 5 stars eReader Version March 15 2011
By Peter H - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read enough of this book to recommend it to others. With one MAJOR caution. To date, I've not been able to find any way to obtain the example files that normally come with the DVD. I bought the electronic version to read on my Xoom and it works ok... the electronic version lacks a table of contents but the index is nicely hyperlinked and the book is fully searchable with my Kindle reader on the Xoom.

Just missing the files on the DVD... which I normally rely on heavily as I work through something like this.

Wrote to the publisher but no response so far. I'll update this review if anything changes with this situation.

Seems to me that if I don't get the same experience with an eReader version that I get with a dead-tree version, it should be discounted even further than it normally is discounted. Hope this helps someone else...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cef7d38) out of 5 stars It's Not Cheating! Dec 6 2010
By Dave Millman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'm going to keep this review short: If you've created a few animations in Flash, and are ready to become an expert, this is your book. It won't teach you how to use Flash, but rather how to become an advanced Flash animator.

Specific examples:

* The 6 pages on Walk Cycle and Advance Walk Cycle are awesome. Finally a simple way to make characters look right when they are walking.

* Four pages on lip syncing! For me, the Character Animation chapter alone was worth the price of the book.

* The chapter on Flash Video is a real eye opener, although too brief. I had no idea that Flash was used to create feature length animation for television, but it is.

* The Masking chapter was particularly instructive for me. I wasn't paying attention on Masking day in Photoshop class, so it's always been somewhat mysterious for me. This chapter shows you how to use masks, and in particular imported Photoshop and Illustrator files, to make stunning animations.

* The Motion techniques chapter shows you how to pull it all together with bones and tweens and spans and blurs and shadows and...

When you read this kind of book, you want to try the things you learn right away. The included DVD has Flash files and source graphics for many of the examples used in the book. This is a great way to try things immediately without having to gather artwork and build all the timelines and tweens and everything else from scratch.

Summary: If you are a Flash beginner, don't buy this book (yet). But if you already know your way around the timeline and want to create great animations, this book shows you how.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cef7f84) out of 5 stars Good ideas/tips, but unnecessarily confusing May 29 2011
By zhiwan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First off, I am not a flash expert by any means. Probably not even intermediate, but I am pretty good with Photoshop and Illustrator, so I figured I could jump right into this book. Let me say that I did learn a lot through this book, but I had to figure a lot of small things by myself due to some glaring errors. One thing that made it more difficult was that the DVD exercises did not always match up with the book.

For one example, in chapter 5, the section on "Sync (Classic tweens)", I had to replace a bee character animation along a guided path with a new dog character animation. The goal was that even with a whole motion tween in place, one could easily replace the character with a "swap" for the whole timeline. Except I couldn't. As soon as a new keyframe occurred, the bee would come back. After much re-reading and re-doing, I noticed the "Hot Tip" on the right of the page, which stated this trick only works with graphics and not Movie Clips. Well, I looked and the bee was a Movie Clip. That is NOT a helpful exercise. It is one where the reader rips out his/her hair and gets older trying to find what went wrong.

Other inconsistencies poped up here and there, which got very frustrating, because I didn't know if it was something I was doing wrong, or whether the book/exercises was wrong. Sometimes directions would be vague, like creating and editing a new layer, but being unclear about which layer we are now editing. I am used to working with layers in Photoshop/Illustrator, so I shouldn't be confused by this.

All in all, this book does have good "cheats" and I have no doubt the author is competent with Flash, but the book is by no means easy to get through. On the back of the book, it states the level is for "intermediate to advanced flash and graphics designers". I felt competent enough to tackle this book head on, but the issues I ran into were not about being advanced in Flash or not, but about clarity. Hopefully, this book will go through a revision and fix the issues, but until then, be careful about buying this book.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cefc114) out of 5 stars A very good book for Flash animators and motion designers, with a few issues Oct. 9 2010
By BBP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I'm an animator/interactive designer and web developer. At the risk of sounding like an old fart, I first learned Flash when it was still Macromedia Flash, long before it acquired CS in its name. The number after ActionScript was "1.0". In the ten years since Flash 5, when I opened the program for the first time, Flash has grown by quantum leaps, becoming a truly formidable animation and interactive development powerhouse. Many of the things I had to do laboriously by hand are now accomplished with a few mouse clicks. The prime example is bones and IK (inverse kinematics). We didn't have bones until CS4. Deforming shapes convincingly was really difficult, tedious, and time-consuming, requiring frustrating shape tween hints or frame-by-frame animation.

Back then, as a poor recent graduate working at dotcoms, I didn't have much money for computer books and had to figure out all this stuff on my own by trial and error or going to communities like Flash Kit. Things like masking tricks, walk cycles, motion guides. I'm happy to say that it's all in here. Chris Georgenes has distilled years of experience and knowledge into this compact volume so you don't have to go through all the pain and suffering that I did. Be forewarned however, that this book is for intermediate to advanced Flash users. It is NOT for beginners. The author says so and so does the back cover. The book is divided into chapters: Design Style, Transformation & Distortion, Masking, Motion Techniques, Character Animation, Flash to Video, Animation Examples, Working with Video, Working with Sound, Interactivity, Extending Flash. Each lesson is cookbook style, being a 2-page spread. Most of the lessons are standalones, but some build on skills learned from previous lessons. The lessons go fast. Having only 2 pages per lesson is a bit short, as I feel some of the techniques require more explanation, especially when multiple screenshots take up most of the allotted space. Also, I have a problem with the layout. The steps flow left to right across the two pages. My eyes naturally wants to read down the first page first, then onto the opposite page.

Many wonderful effects can be achieved and problems solved with the proper application of masks. If you never knew about the power of masking, you will after reading chapter 3. Some very common or frequently used ones are flag waves, a spinning globe of the continents, and handwriting (all tricks I've employed in the field). The lessons on bones and armatures can be very useful for animators not yet familiar with breaking up complex characters into animate-able component pieces like heads, arms, legs, and body. This is covered in chapter 5, with a lesson from Jib-Jab and the wonderful dancing George Bush! Chapter 7 (Animation Examples) is all stand-alone recipes, including some very frequently-requested effects like page curl, Star Wars text scroll, how to do rain, smoke, fire, fireworks, etc.

From there, the book (last 80 pages) gets progressively less useful. The chapter on Interactivity (10) should've been totally left out in favor of more animation tricks. It's quite clear here that Georgenes is an animator, not a coder. It's a tacked on chapter that is very skimpy on actual ActionScript learning and if you're new to programming, you will probably get very little out of it. It discuses differences with AS2 with side-by-side screenshots, which at this point in ActionScript's history, frankly shouldn't even be mentioned. Contrary to what another reviewer said, this chapter is not chock-full of code. This entire chapter is only 18 pages, with 4 of them being about how to toggle sound off (is it really that important to take up 4 pages?). Objects and classes, the backbone of Flash OOP (object-oriented programming), is mentioned at the END of this chapter, as a scant 2 pages, with an accompanying image of a Rubik's cube meant to illustrate that everyone solves problems in different ways, like how the pieces of the cube can be arranged in a million combinations. If you want to use cut and paste code, this is OK, but plenty of online tutorials will teach you better. For this, and the layout issue I mentioned before, I deduct 1 star. The book would've been better without it.

In summary: How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 is a valuable book on Flash techniques and tricks that all animators should have on his/her bookshelf. If you are serious about Flash, you will need other books to supplement your learning. This book is not for coders, so scripters or even animators needing just a small bit of ActionScript understanding will have to go elsewhere, like Colin Moock's intimidating but necessary Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Essential). A very basic thing to do is detect user input, but the lesson on event listeners (detecting mouse clicks, rollovers, mouse movement) is a measly 2 pages, like every other lesson.

A great companion book for animators, but clearly not the be-all and end-all of Flash books. Highly recommended, with the above caveats.