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5.0 out of 5 stars
Forget the Coffee Table...Keep this One by the Computer,
By Mike Carter (Ojai, CA)  See all my reviews
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (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.
4.0 out of 5 stars
Math Creative?,
By
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (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. Fastforward 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.
1.0 out of 5 stars
garbage; waste of time. i swear, i'm not an immature kid.,
By self knowledge is key "kmusician" (New York United States)  See all my reviews
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (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....
5.0 out of 5 stars
The most essential nonbeginner flash book,
By
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (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?
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Power of Math with Flash1 year later,
By A Customer
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (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 paintbythenumbers 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. It is not a "practical" book in the sense that if you learn how to create a Flash site for some suit, but it is very practical if you'd like an invitation to discover concepts in their own right. Finally, I found it ironic that such a book using Flash 5 would be published almost exactly at the time Flash MX was unveiled. Well, the algorithms are even more appropriate for Flash MX because you can do so much with movie clip drawing methods with MX that were not available in Flash 5. It's probably not even going to have to be revised for Flash MX because the kinds of people who would buy this book would have little problem in taking its wisdom and doing even more with it in the new Flash.
2.0 out of 5 stars
Is this the magic behind Flash?,
By
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (Paperback)
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. A review of some basic concepts would also be helpful. It's true that a lot is done by trial and error, but those who grasp the basics are the ones who know what can be done with what is available.
This book has beautiful, colorful pages and many contributors, some with great ideas  learned from some imagination and from some trial and error. Yet this one book fails considerably. Great opportunity, great idea. But no math is really taught, no basic technique is really given. What can be found is only a mixed bag of adhoc math solutions to produce some nice effects and little meat. What is wonderful about this book is its potential. What is tragic about this book is its end result.
2.0 out of 5 stars
Not all that Impressive,
By A Customer
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (Paperback)
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. This book is basically just a bunch of Flash guys paid to show off thier work. Each chapter has a different author and they walk you through the creative process and code of the movies featured. Each author has thier own unique style. Some chapters have amazing Flash movies and some are simply unimpressive. All of the .flas are available online for you to dissect and play with. If you like this kind of stuff, then you may like this book. If you have a ton of money and want a book to "play" with, I would recommend this book. Otherwise, spend your money on something that can actuallly teach you something.
4.0 out of 5 stars
incomplete codes,
By
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (Paperback)
very good designs to stimulate creativity using maths. Too bad the downloads don't contain all the codes. For example, each author writes several sections, and in each sections there are some samples, some are variations one design, but the variations can be quite substantial at times. The download only gives the basic design. You would have to figure out how the other ones will look like on the screen, without the movie clip design. This is not satisfactory.
3.0 out of 5 stars
Good for Inspiration, but not on concepts,
By Christopher Bennage (Kirkland, WA)  See all my reviews
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (Paperback)
While this book can encourage you to explore the creative aspects of Flash, it will not be much use to the practical designer/developer.
There are plenty of pretty pictures, and the source code in printed in the book (but not included on a CD). However, I found it lacking descriptions of the underlying mathematical principles and concepts. This makes a great coffee table book for geeks.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very cool book,
By Tony Montana (Canada)  See all my reviews
This review is from: Flash Math Creativity (Paperback)
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. It is also a candidate for the coolest layout of any Flash title. Chicks dig it, (jk). ;)

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Flash Math Creativity, Second Edition by Jamie McDonald (Paperback  Dec 16 2004)
Used & New from: CDN$ 3.82
 