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Foundation Flash 5 Paperback – November, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-1903450314 ISBN-10: 1903450314 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews Review

This new addition to the growing library of Flash instruction books gives readers a solid base in this popular and increasingly necessary Web development application. The book promises a foundation that's both accessible, meaning that you won't be daunted by ActionScript or any of the other topics, and extensible, meaning that you'll find it easy to add to your knowledge after you've finished the book.

Foundation successfully avoids the trap, so common in other instruction books, of an all-encompassing but shallow overview. It successfully performs an in-depth treatment of the more essential aspects of using Flash. At the end, you might not know every menu option, but you'll be able to construct your own Flash Web site. The book uses one case study project: a Web site interface with animated buttons, soundtrack, and Flash-enabled content. Small-scale lessons within chapters and application of these lessons to the larger-scale project help reinforce the material (support files for the case study can be downloaded from

The writing follows a narrative style (longer paragraphs both before and within the numbered steps), and manages to be just the right amounts of casual and friendly. Personal anecdotes, when they occur, actually enhance the lessons. Although this style makes hopping around the book and troubleshooting specific problems more difficult, the payoff for reading in a linear, cumulative fashion is a better handle on the pros and cons of Flash's core features. Another plus is that readers can follow along, even if they're not sitting at the computer. (Learn Flash on the subway! Why not?) Throughout the book, the authors often point out alternative methods and uses for features, too, which encourages creative thinking on how to apply the lessons to your own projects. First-time users of Flash, as well as experienced users who have put off trying scripting, will find this book a good place to start. --Angelynn Grant

Topics covered:
Step-by-step instruction of Flash 5, using a Web site interface case study. Lessons include:

  • The authoring environment
  • Toolbox
  • Symbols and libraries
  • Managing content on the stage with rulers, guides, grids, and so on
  • Working with color, bitmap graphics, and typefaces
  • Tweening
  • Masks
  • Actions
  • Beginning and intermediate ActionScript
  • Sound
  • Optimizing and publishing
  • Principles of good site design


I receive many questions every week from beginners, and from now on intend to point them towards this book. 9/10 --

This is by far the best introductory Flash 5 book I've found and gets a solid recommendation from me --

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Product Details

  • Series: Designer to designer
  • Paperback: 625 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903450314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903450314
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,511,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The book teaches in a easy to understand and fun to read manner.
An excellent starter book, one which I recommend to anyone who wants to learn Flash, and if you want to learn more, there are more advanced books in the series.
A. Calvo
As further testomional, Foundation Flash 5 is the number 1 best selling Flash book in's bookstore.
C. MacGregor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful By mldevore on November 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
Lately, Macromedia is giving birth to newer versions of its applications at faster rate than the Alien Queen in the Sci-fi classic movie, Aliens.'s only natural that a flurry of new books would be released to capitalize on those newer release version. That's to be expected. What's different in this case is that such a high quality book as Foundation Flash 5 is one of the first Flash 5 books out of the gate.
At the time of this review (November 22, 2000), there are only three other Flash 5 books currently out (Flash 5 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide by Katherine Ulrich, New Masters of Flash (WITH CD-ROM) by Yugo Nakamura, et al, and Flash 5 Fast & Easy Web Development by Howie Green)with nearly 30 more books looming on the horizon in the next three months.
However, Foundation Flash 5 has the punch of a book released at the height of an application version's mautrity instead of at its infancy. The trio of authors (Sham Bhangal, Amanda Farr and Patrick Rey) are part of the new wave of dynamic Flashers who can both create Flash works that qualify as pure art while being able to find a way to teach those very same skills and techniques to both Flash beginners and seasoned veterans.
Foundation Flash 5 covers it all: Essentials, Tools, Motion and Shape Tweening, ActionScripts, Actions & Interactions, Sound, Optimizing, Publishing, Design, Content and much more.
At more than 600 pages, this book definitely has space for plenty of examples. Screenshots are used very effectively with code samples and text that can help any Flasher of any level understand the concepts being presented. Foundation Flash 5 is easy to navigate with informative appendices on Sound Sampling and the melding of HTML and Flash.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Brian on March 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
My name is Brian. I am certified in MCP, A+, I-Net+, M CIW D (Master Certified Internet Webmaster Designer) and a CTT(Certified Technical Trainer). I do web site design, consultation and I do corporate training for a living.
All I can say is YES!!!!! Buy this book and do it now!!! I have recommended other books on here but this one is really a cut above! I just finished it and it really helped put the polish on my skills! Do you really want to learn Flash 5? Are you lost in a sea of confusion, trying to decide which direction to go? Do you want me to recommend step by step what books to buy? Ok, buckle up Spanky.... here we go..... BOOK 1)- As far as what is published right now I would tell you to start with this book! It gives you an excellent foundation of the tools, interface and abilities of Flash 5. It gives you smart ideas, suggestions and best practices for using Flash 5 alone and with a website, on top of teaching it. They go into sound and tweaking, layers, scenes, events and everything else!!! It even goes into modest depth on ActionScript!!! It gives you real world examples. The book takes you through Flash 5 step by step but at the same time has you building your own "Flash 5 website"! Cool huh?! You will actually put your skills to work! You do not need to complete the website to learn it though. It has plenty of pics to guide you. They are just black and white..nothing fancy! The book has a companion website that provides the file samples to practice with, a forum to post questions, a Developer's corner where you can really learn the ropes and other info. This book takes you from learning the interface to showing you how to publish your "movie" via FTP to a website.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Paulo C. Rios Jr. on December 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
There are many books on Flash and a whole lot more coming up on Flash 5. Nearly all of them covers only the basic stuff. When things start to get interesting, you will find out that "this is beyond the scope of this book". In some books you will get the impression Flash is a sort of Freehand with some animation tool built-in. Other "artists tell their Flash techniques" sort of books will make you inspired with so many nice ideas. But then too often you will soon find out that you are just about to learn an adhoc Flash solution. There is a huge gap between the power of Flash 5 and all the existing and coming generation of books. This is all very compeling to me, because it may finally get me down to use my skills and experience in object-oriented technology and databases to show what Flash 5 can do to professional, mission-critical web sites and everybody, who knows or at least may know it, wants to keep to themselves. Yet this one book fits very nice in the picture. It is one of the very few and successful attempts to cover basic Flash in a smart and proper way. It does not stop at the "Freehand with animation" border nor at the "this is your first animation" one. It has a nice balance and explores areas other basic Flash books did not dare to touch. The web site kept by two of the authors shows the breadth of their understanding and it is by itself a reference to the quality of this book. You will have a fine book in your hands that will help you to get ahead in ways other basic Flash books just don't do.
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