Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! by Keith PetersFoundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! by Keith Peters

Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!

byKeith Peters

Paperback | April 18, 2007

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Flash has long been one of the most approachable, user-friendly tools for creating web-based animations, games, and applications. This has contributed to making it one of the most widely used programs for creating interactive web content. With each new version of Flash, ActionScript, its built-in scripting language, has become more powerful and a little more complex, too. ActionScript, now at version 3.0, has significantly matured as a programming language, bringing power and speed only previously dreamed about to Flash-based animation, going far beyond traditionally used keyframes and tweens.

The material inside this book covers everything you need to know to harness the power of ActionScript 3.0. First, all the basics of script-based animation and setting up an ActionScript 3.0 project are covered. An introduction to object-oriented programming follows, with the new syntax, events, and rendering techniques of ActionScript 3.0 explained, giving you the confidence to use the language, whether starting from scratch or moving up from ActionScript 2.0.

The book goes on to provide information on all the relevant trigonometry you will need, before moving on to physics concepts such as acceleration, velocity, easing, springs, collision detection, conservation of momentum, 3D, and forward and inverse kinematics. In no time at all, you'll both understand the concepts of scripted animation and have the ability to create all manner of exciting animations and games.

Keith Peters lives in the vicinity of Boston with his wife, Kazumi, and their daughter, Kristine. He has been working with Flash since 1999, and has co-authored many books for friends of ED, including Flash MX Studio, Flash MX Most Wanted, and the ground-breaking Flash Math Creativity. In 2001, he started the experimental Flash site, B...
Title:Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!Format:PaperbackDimensions:568 pagesPublished:April 18, 2007Publisher:APRESS PUBLISHERSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1590597915

ISBN - 13:9781590597910

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative and inspiring "Foundation ActionScript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move" is a new edition of Keith Peters' "Foundation ActionScript Animation". The main difference, implicit in the title, is that the code in the new edition has been updated to use ActionScript 3 in Adobe Flash CS3 Professional. If you're familiar with Keith Peters and the tutorials on his bit-101 blog, you'll have some idea of the kinds of things covered in this book. Creating animation with ActionScript is all about math, and this book dives right in. Peters' writing style is clean and direct. Even if you're not comfortable with math, difficult concepts are explained clearly and simply. I already have other books on my shelf devoted just to physics and trigonometry, but "Making Things Move" comes very close to replacing those altogether by with its effective explanations of the concepts behind the code. After the introductory chapters, which include an AS3 primer (more on that below), Peters begins by covering the most basic type of animation. Subsequent chapters build on the foundation created by the previous chapters. As new concepts and formulas are introduced, what started out as a simple ball moving across the screen becomes something much more sophisticated. In a relatively short period of time, you'll have multiple objects zipping around the stage, colliding and interacting with one another. Seeing those basic elements repeated and tweaked helps reinforce what you learned earlier on. This edition follows the same well-structured format as the previous edition. Each chapter covers just the right amount of material, so you never feel like you're taking in too much at a time. Like any good book on programming, it encourages and rewards a leisurely pace. Simply running the sample code to see what it does before moving on to the next section will teach you something, but it won't exhaust what you can get out of this book. Peters points out where you can experiment with the code, suggesting values that you can change to see what effect it has on the animation. Playing around with the sample code will deepen your understanding of what's happening, so it's worth taking your time. As I mentioned earlier, the book opens with a short primer on ActionScript 3.0. If you're at all familiar with Object-Oriented Programming in ActionScript 2, the primer does a nice job of bringing you sufficiently up-to-date with what's new/different in AS3 to help you get the most out of the book. If you've never done any OOP with ActionScript before, the chapter provides enough information to get you going, and you can use the framework Peters provides and concentrate on the animation. (If you are familiar with AS2, and don't see yourself making the jump to AS3 in the very near future, I'd recommend that you buy this book instead of the version specifically for AS2. The principles are the same, and the code can be ported to AS2. Plus, when you finally do start working with AS3, you'll be ready to go.) Besides what you'll learn directly, this book is valuable for the ideas and inspiration it provides. I didn't get very far into the book before I was adapting the code to work in my own projects, and also thinking of games and user interface elements that I could build around some of the concepts in the book. Just one such idea can repay your investment of time and money. All in all, if you have any interest in using ActionScript for animation, this book belongs in your library.
Date published: 2007-10-21

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