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Flash | Flash 5 Cartooning (with CD-ROM)

Posted on: September 21, 2007

Flash 5 Cartooning (with CD-ROM) by Mark Clarkson
Published by Hungry Minds, Inc. | ISBN: 0764535471 | English | PDF | 246 pges | 42.7MB
Flash 5 Cartooning is a stunning, full color book that reveals scores of tips and techniques for building great cartoons, regardless of your artistic experience. Everything from cartooning fundamentals to advanced Flash techniques like ActionScripting and selling your work online is covered here, in this unique guide to creating exciting Flash cartoons.


Author Mark Clarkson dives deep into the key topics cartooners need to know, with an emphasis on things like interactivity, special visual and audio effects, timing (it’s critical to a good joke, you know), cartoon physics, and more! A free companion CD-ROM is packed with sample cartoons from the book, additional cartooning material, and product tryouts.

Finally someone has written a book on animating in Flash. It’s a wonder there aren’t more like it. Flash 5 Cartooning covers the cartoon production cycle from a Flash artist’s standpoint–drawing, writing, storyboarding, animating, and keyframes. Sounds like a book on traditional animation, doesn’t it? But everything is examined from a Flash perspective. When the book talks about drawing, it means drawing with a tablet. When it talks on keyframes and in-betweens, it is within Flash and not on paper that these issues are covered.

The book has two outstanding features: first, it’s about making cartoons, not Flash. It just so happens that the tool of choice is Flash and the mode of distribution is the Web. Topics like scripting (writing a cartoon story, not computer scripting), storyboarding, layout, camera moves, and basic animation technique are well covered, as well as the Flash interface, how Flash works, how to compress media for faster downloading, basic HTML, and other Flash- and Web-specific topics.

The second great feature is the CD-ROM, which includes samples and material used in the chapters, but above all contains a digital version of the book. Not a stripped-down, bare-bones text version, but a full-color, searchable version. Having a material like this at one’s fingertips on CD-ROM raises its usability rating through the roof.

Written in a clear, concise, and lighthearted voice, the book spans 15 chapters. Every page has a handful of screen shots, and every page is in full color. There were no shortcuts taken in either content or production value.

It’s remarkable that there aren’t more books like this. Sure, Flash is a great tool for all kinds of dynamic graphics and interactivity, but the Flash cartoon sites get a disproportionately high number of hits. Flash cartoons download fast, are often wonderfully creative, and in most cases carry a strong sense of the artist who created them. This is what Flash and the Web have created–a venue for independent animators. Maybe cartoons still aren’t taken seriously and that’s why so little has been published on the topic; regardless, Flash 5 Cartooning excels in its class, not because the genre is so nichey, but because it is simply a terrific book. –Mike Caputo

Book Info
(IDG Books Worldwide) Beginner to advanced level guide to working with Flash 5 software to create cartoon animation. Uses full-color examples and savvy advice to guide the reader through the challenges faced by Flash animators. The CD-ROM contains bonus cartoons and other helpful materials. System requirements: Windows 95/98/NT 4 or later or comparable Mac. Softcover.

From the Back Cover
Your Complete Guide to State-of-the-Art Flash 5 Cartoons Flash has opened up a whole new world for animators. But how do you create cartoons that make the most of Flash — cartoons that feature appealing characters, convincing movement, and great sound? Flash 5 Cartooning provides the answers. Brimming with full-color examples and savvy advice on the craft of cartooning, this unique guide focuses exclusively on the challenges you face as a Flash animator. From choosing a cartoon style and building repetitive motion cycles to lip-snyching, mastering sound effects, and creating ActonScript-controlled movie clips, it shows you step-by-step how to capitalize on Flash animation tools — and create engaging, commercial-quality cartoons. Bonus CD-ROM

* Example cartoons from the book
* Interactive tutorials
* Flash 5, Fireworks 4, Dreamweaver 4, and FreeHand 9 trial versions
* Adobe LiveMotion, Adobe Streamline 4, and Illustrator 8 tryout versions
* Paint Shop Pro evaluation version
* Screenweaver and ACID Pro trial versions
* ScreenTime for Flash and SoundForge XP demos

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