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Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! [Paperback]

by Keith Peters
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 8, 2007 1590597915 978-1590597910 1

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.

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Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! + Essential ActionScript 3.0 + ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University (2nd Edition)
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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 (, 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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (April 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590597915
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590597910
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
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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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great buy, not a great upgrade June 24, 2007
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Can't Actionscript Do? August 13, 2007
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its only OK October 18, 2007
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes sure you have a solid foundation.. Easy to follow.
The book is not exactly made for a 'total beginner' as the discussion of IDE will confuse you. The author is adamant this is a Great Book. Covers all bases.. I really liked it.
Published 6 months ago by marketminutdave
Nothing else can be expected for a successful purchase.
That is the reason why I recommend it to all people without distinction around the world.
Be on record!
Published 6 months ago by Lidia Lopez
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
this is not a bad book to get your feet wet for animating in AS3. Its great to apply the code then read about the details after. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dean Boytor
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Class
I had to get this book for a class that I'm taking. The book definitely made all the lectures
and homework easier to understand and complete. Read more
Published 14 months ago by AL Hudson
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
I bought this for school. The prices here are so much better and cheaper in what's offered in the campus book store.
Published 16 months ago by And u
5.0 out of 5 stars You NEED THIS BOOK! Seriously. Just click buy it right NOW
This is the book that I have been looking for(and that you probably have been too). I bought the sequel Advanced Actionscript 3.0 Animation after reading the second chapter. Read more
Published on April 10, 2011 by mike ferguson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing SUPPLEMENT for someone with basic AS3 knowledge!
This book is great for beginners, but I recommend it as a SUPPLEMENT and at least going over the very basic stuff before venturing into this book. Read more
Published on April 1, 2011 by Newberry94005
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Introduction to Actionscript Animation Ever!!!
This is absolutely A MUST for all those looking to become proficient in coding animation with Actionscript. Read more
Published on March 18, 2011 by Marcos A. Bruno
5.0 out of 5 stars Very solid Book
This came along at the right time in my programing life. Once you've put in some hours in Actionscript and you want to move to the next level this is a perfect stepping stone.
Published on February 2, 2011 by Scott R. Unruh
1.0 out of 5 stars Full of problems
This book is full of problems, especially if you are using CS5. I had to go to google to find this out, as the companion site does not contain any fixes. Read more
Published on October 11, 2010 by J. Breuer
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