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Flash 5 Cartoons and Games f/x and Design [Paperback]

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Item description for Flash 5 Cartoons and Games f/x and Design by Richard Bazley...

This book teaches how to create cartoon characters for television and music videos. Then, it explains how to use those cartoon elements when scripting and programming interactive games on the Internet. This book includes a CD-ROM with complete a full-length cartoon show and source codes for several games. With

Outline Review
There was a time when making an animated film meant, at the very least, a huge investment in time and equipment. Flash 5 Cartoons and Games demonstrates how things have changed, teaching a new generation of animators that all you really need is an ordinary PC or Mac and Macromedia's Flash authoring program.

Diverse and powerful, Flash can be used to create Web sites and multimedia presentations. Animation is an art in itself, and the book approaches the use of Flash from an animator's and game designer's perspective. Eleven chapters describe a production workflow, from early story development to using Flash to create a storyboard, adding sound, creating elements and movement, and creating backgrounds.

There are a number of outstanding features to this book: for one, it doesn't focus on the technology. There is as much information on using Flash as there is in composing a scene, using color and sound to evoke a mood, and using quick sketches for storyboard timing. Also, there is a strong emphasis on character animation. Chapter 5 is, in fact, called "Character Animation," followed by chapter 6, "Lip Syncing and Facial Expressions." These sections and others throughout the book show how to use Flash features like reusable symbols and libraries to create believable characters.

A little more than half the book focuses on animation. The second half covers game design, programming, and animation, with an emphasis on trivia and adventure games. You'll need to know a bit about Web scripting and how Flash scripting works to get the most out of the material.

The CD-ROM includes a wide variety of examples, including runtime files (*.swf) and the authoring files used to create them. This provides the beginner with an opportunity to see the finished product as well as look behind the curtain to see what makes it tick.

Beyond the golden age of cartoons (1930s to mid-'40s), it's hard to think of a better time in history to be an animator than right now. Not only are the tools to create entire films easily accessible, but reaching a global audience is a breeze, thanks to the Web and technologies like QuickTime and Flash. Flash 5 Cartoons and Games can show you how to harness these tools and take advantage of the new medium. --Mike

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Item Specifications...

Pages   368
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.98" Width: 8.1" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   2.31 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2002
Publisher   Paraglyph Press
ISBN  1932111573  
ISBN13  9781932111576  
UPC  788581095850  

Availability  0 units.

More About Richard Bazley

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Bazley has worked as Lead Animator on feature films. He is currently creating short films entirely in Flash.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Computer & Video Games > Video Games
2Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > General
3Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Graphics & Illustration > General
4Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Programming > General
5Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Web Development > Web & Multimedia > Flash
6Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Web Development > Scripting & Programming > General
7Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > General
8Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Games > Video & Electronic Games

Reviews - What do customers think about Flash 5 Cartoons and Games f/x and Design?

An impressive survey course for the era  Jan 8, 2007
Look at the prices. Even a used a copy of this book is expensive today (2007), five years after it was current. Flash has moved on from version 5 to 6 (MX) and 7 (MX 2004) and now 8, but these tutorials are still relevant and instructive. Most of the ActionScript used in the examples is still current (not outdated or deprecated), and you can easily open the .fla files on the CD and modify them for your needs.

I had a couple of personal peeves about this book. 1) Its manufacture and illustrations are unattractive. The cover is easily dogeared and the perfect binding does not look long-lived. I really hate the drawing style used for the main animation examples (a duck called Weber, drawn in a style that makes me think of the cruder strips in Viz), though these examples are very useful and do the job. 2) There is almost no Richard Beazley work in the book, and no Beazley working files on the CD. Beazley, a veteran animator who draws in a Ronald Searle-derived style, is featured on the cover. A few .swf files from his 'Edwin Carp' cartoon are included on the CD, and they are nice-looking but not worth the price of the book. I felt that inclusion of Beazley among the authors, with his Edwin Carp character on the cover, was a unfortunate instance of bait-and-switch.

That's enough whining. The book does the job.
Beginning and intermediate users may want to pass...  Jul 26, 2003
On the lower right corner, on the back cover of this book, you will find a small yellow panel announcing that this book is for intermediate to advanced Flash users. If you are new to ActionScripting, wait until you are much more familiar with it to purchase this pricey tome. Written in a soothing informal tone, the co-authors walk the reader step-by-step through the very beginning nuances of the game scripting, explaining each in detail. This is nice even for someone with an intimate knowledge of scripting, as a game vehicle may be new territory.
But then suddenly, and without warning, despite words of encouragement and promises of clarity, the reader is left with no direction, and only a CD-ROM and a tangled web of scripting left to pull apart. A more moderate explanation throughout the entire process would have been much more helpful; the beginner/expert switch in the middle of a project is more than a little disheartening.
Despite the odd art and the organizational letdowns, I still found this book inspirational.
Not too shabby  Jul 12, 2003
I think the other reviewers are being too negative. Would I recommend this book if you wanted to make Hollywood quality pictures? No. But if you are interested in a Hobby or even a small consulting practice focusing on Flash Cartoons and Games then this book is a wonderful addition to your library. You need other books on the fundamentals of Flash to fill in the gaps and get your understanding of Flash up to the level necessary to use this book.
Another Techie Book  Nov 23, 2001
This book is simply too technical. It goes into that Bible format. Not enough pictures either.

The Richard Bazley section is worth reading though

3.5 Stars for this one. It's worth the money for the cd  Sep 5, 2001
This Flash 5 book is 3.5 stars. Here's what I thought. It totally focuses on Cartoons and Games, just like the title says. I think it's geared towards the intermediate Flash user. For a beginner, I would suggest another book to supplement it, like the Flash Bible or just go through the help files with the software.

The construction of the book is very poor. My book is almost falling apart where it is bound. Pages are ready to fall out if I'm not careful. If I was near a store, I would definately return it for a new one, but since I ordered over the internet, and I'm in Japan right now, that's not an option.

The first few chapters are slow. They deal with story development and character development. I think most people would read the first few chapters and say, "Interesting." But that's about it. The meat of the book starts later with character animation and lip syncing. The book goes on to briefly talk about preloaders etc. I found the most value coming from the cd. The cd that comes with this book is invaluable. It includes the actual source file from Bill Turner's cartoon, along with a percentage preloader. I spent some time, going through the source file and figuring out how he did his tricks. I believe this is one of the best ways to figure out things. I think if the book hadn't included this, it wouldn't have been worth the money. A lot of my questions were answered, especially about a percentage preloader. I couldn't find the specific information on the internet. Only when I went through the example in the source file did I finally understand.

The second half of the book is code intensive, mainly dealing with action script in order to create Flash games. This half of the book I found half interesting, half dry. They once again include the source file for a Trivia Game made in Flash and an Adventure Game. This is a help, because I believe the latter half of the book, you need to read and reread along with rip apart the Flash file to get a good understanding of it.

When they start to get into explaining the code, I think they could do a better job. There isn't any step by step, line by line analysis. The author gives you an explanation, gives you the code and then moves on in most cases. This is especially true when they talk about making an adventure game. My interest is to go to the next level with Flash and to build games, and this book will help, but will need more information, especially with Actionscript, so I'm buying some more books that deal more indepth. This isn't one of those books where you buy it and feel, "I don't need any other books, this will do." I'm still waiting for a book like that.

If you focus is on cartooning or games, I think with the cd, it's worth the money I spent. I wouldn't have learned nearly as much without a cd on this one. If you're into learning the basics or web development, simply by another book. This one is suited for an intermediate Flash level. If you're a beginner, and still thinking about this book, make sure you go through the Flash sample lessons and hopefully have another all-round Flash reference, which there are many available.

Update: September 14th, 2001. My book is really starting to fall apart.


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