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Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! 1st ed. 2007. 2nd printing 2008 Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590597910
ISBN-10: 1590597915
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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, BIT-101 (BIT-101.com), which strives for a new, cutting edge, open-source experiment each day. The site won an award at the Flashforward 2003 Flash Film Festival in the Experimental category. In addition to the experiments on the site, there are several highly regarded Flash tutorials which have been translated into many languages and are now posted on web sites throughout the world. Keith is currently working full time doing freelance and contract Flash development and various writing projects.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. 2007. 2nd printing 2008 edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597910
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Boing Boing Boing!"

Keith Peters's engaging and readable book on Flash 9, Actionscript 3.0 Animation is quite unusual for a programming techniques book. It assumes you know very little, but it ends up being an authoritative work of lasting value.

Notwithstanding the "3.0" in the title, this is the second edition of "Making things Move," updated for Actionscript 3.0. The first version sold very well, but I think the second edition will open up Flash to a much wider audience.

This is because Peters almost always gives you two or three ways of doing something, and this extends to whatever Flash development environment you have chosen. There are three ways you can write Actionscript 3 for Flash: The Flash IDE (which you get when you buy Adobe Flash), Flex Builder 2 (which you get when you buy Adobe Flex Builder) and the free Flex 2 SDK (which you get when you download Flex SDK free from the Adobe website.) I use the third environment, so I really appreciate that "Making Things Move" tells you how to set up "trace" for debugging in the free Flex SDK environment. Because of the popularity of Flash animation, and the fact that the book tells you how to use the free development environment (and the fact that Actionscript 3 is so great), I think this book will be both popular and influential.

So, I found nuts and bolts information in the very beginning that was probably worth the price of the book even if I didn't animate a single bouncing ball, but what's the rest of the book about? Three things that everyone learned (or should have learned) in school: trigonometry, physics and how to think about stuff on your own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, the previous version was the best actionscript and or graphics book for the Flash environment I had ever read. Useful segments of script and the practical approach to getting common graphics, animation, collision, 3D and kinematics work done were invaluable.

My criticism of the current edition is that, with the exception of placing everything in a class structure for actionscript 3.0, the new edition lacks novel content. There are no new techniques, projects, nor animations. Also, the programs may be written in classes, but often the programs don't take advantage of the object oriented techniques encouraged in 3.0 actionscript.

The parts about using the Flex SDK are interesting as they allow people to program in actionscript without having to buy anything. It is pretty obvious that this book was written before the Flash CS3 version came out as it would be more aptly named "actionscript animation 3.0 for flex" as some of the techniques necessary to make graphical objects in the flex environment are inconvenient for those using Flash CS3.

So, my bottom line:
If you don't have this book and want to program graphics in flash/flex, get this book before all others.
If you already have the previous edition, don't bother upgrading. (though for me it didn't work out too bad because I used the previous edition so much I wore it out.)
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Format: Paperback
For animation and programming outside the Adobe Flash interface, this is one of the best books I have read. It starts out with an introduction to concepts that apply across the board for animation and then continues on in to physics based animation and eventually 3D programming. While the book uses ActionScript as the primary language, the concepts it employs easily translate into other graphical programming languages.

Something to keep in mind when you order this book is that it will not teach you how to use Adobe Flash. While "Making Things Move" is very applicable to this program, it is geared more towards Flex Builder 2 and the Flex/AS 3 command-line compiler and Flex 2 SDK (the last two of which are free from Adobe's website at the time of writing this review).

If you are looking for a book that will help you get started with Flash-based game development, this is a great book to use. I would consider it an excellent resource for both novice and advanced users.

If you are looking for a book on developing sites that interact with databases or send and retrieve online data, this is not the book for you. Instead I would suggest The Essential Guide to Flex 2 with ActionScript 3.0.

Another resource I would reccomend for any Flash developer is ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook: Solutions for Flash Platform and Flex Application Developers, which is good for just about anything else "Making Things Move!" and "The Essential Guide" don't cover.
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By Donnie on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have programmed in AS since Flash 5, and I have read many AS books. This book is an overall average. Its for those who know a little about AS and Flash. If you are totally new to AS, then the books coding in the first chapter will really frustrate you. There are minor coding problems in the first chapter, and the author has a bad time explaining basic definitions. However, its later chapters are overall good, and I enjoyed the book.
I would say: Buy the book if you can stand some frustration and some (minor) unclear explanations. For $25, it's a bargain.
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