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Exploring "How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5"

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Let's take a look at How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5: The Art of Design and Animation published by Focal Press. In it, Chris Georgenes takes you from problem to 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.

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From the first time you see this book, you will realize it is different from any other Flash title on the market. What makes it unique is the author behind it. Chris Georgenes has been one of the most talented cartoon animators and Flash gurus for decades. His ability to convey information in a funny and interesting way really helps you get the most from his experience and talent.

Those little cutie pigs are obviously very attractive, and this attraction never leaves you until you reach the last page of the book.

How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 review

Although Flash drawing and animation tools may look simpler than other animation applications such as Adobe after Effects, it's very flexible and can be twisted to create the design and animation you need. If you have basic knowledge of Flash, the next step is logically learning about getting the most out of Flash tools through tips and tricks to create more advanced designs and animation in Flash. At this stage, the "How to Cheat in Flash" series comes to your aid.

The First of its twelve Chapters covers Flash design tools and how to work with them. In this chapter, you will learn different drawing techniques, such as drawing with and manipulating basic shapes. It also demonstrates how to draw complex objects using vectors and working with the Pen and Brush tools. The chapter then moves on to cover coloring, working with gradients and how to achieve cartoon style coloring and shades. The first chapter also covers the Deco tool which allows better drawing workflow in Flash.

How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 review

Chapter two completes what you started in chapter one by demonstrating how to edit your drawings using the different Flash tools such as the Free Transform tool which allows you to scale, rotate, skew and envelop. The chapter continues, covering another important feature that was recently added to Flash CS4 and CS5. The 3D Tool allows you to transform and animate Flash objects in a 3D environment.

Chapter three covers one of Flash's trickier features, that being the Mask. This feature can be employed to make 3D animation in Flash much easier than before.

The fourth chapter comes to a very interesting element of Flash: Animation. Although the animation timeline in Flash seems to be simpler than the animation timelines in other applications such as After Effects and Premiere, it has amazing capabilities in providing different types of animation styles and techniques. With his characteristic style, Chris covers this part of Flash with his extraordinary animation characters. The chapter discusses different animation methods in Flash and working with the motion editor to give you more animation capabilities. The chapter also looks at the Bones Features, which help in creating animation based on IK armatures. This relatively new feature helps in creating more professional cartoon movement.

How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 review

Flash provides more than 2D animation, whilst never achieiving true 3D. The best definition of the animation you can perform with Flash is 2.5D. Chapter five shows how to create tricky cartoon animation give a more 3D look to your 2D work. This is arguably one of the most important chapters as it shows how to create different character animation techniques using motion tweening, bones and bitmap animation.

Chapter six completes your knowledge by providing tips for organizing your document and workspace to display your drawing tools.

How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 review

The book continues to move forward in chapter seven, covering Flash video and more interesting animation techniques.

Since sound is very important in animation, chapter eight talks about working with sound for Flash using a very easy and useful application called Adobe Soundbooth.

Flash is more than an animation application, it is a powerful coding tool that can give your attractive design and animation the ability to be interactive. In chapter ten, you'll learn common interactive tips in Flash such as working with sound, loading images and dragging. Furthermore, the next chapter extends your knowledge to cover 3D party addition helping to improve your productivity. The book ends by discussing the Text Layout Framework tool which extends your work with text in Flash and allows you to create professional text layout, links within text and more.

How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 reviewHow to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 review

As a Flash Designer, I see this book adding a great deal of value to your knowledge of Flash. It helps, not only by pinpointing important features, but also by demonstrating interesting examples that will help you to take your Flash skills to a totally different level.

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