- Series: Foundation
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1st Corrected ed., Corr. 3rd printing edition (April 25, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590595181
- ISBN-13: 978-1590595183
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,580,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Foundation ActionScript Animation: Making Things Move! 1st Corrected ed., Corr. 3rd printing Edition
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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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Top customer reviews
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Peters starts with the very basics of physics and takes you step by step on how to translate it into Actionscript. As it goes, it explains what the code means and how it works, making it possible to actually learn a lot about Actionscript in general. Although he explains how the physics works, he makes an effort to keep it at reasonable level and I never found myself the slightest bit bored or confused. This book teaches by example, which is the easiest way for me to learn. Nearly every major and minor topic mentioned has its own example with code in the book (which can also be downloaded off the website).
As can be seen from the table of contents, he gets into some relatively complicated topics and even in these, he does a great job of explaining how it works and how to keep your code efficient, making sure to mention any shortcuts that can make things easier.
So to sum things up
-this book is great at teaching you how to program realistic physics-based motion
-it's amazing at explaining what each bit of code does and how it works to the extent that it can be used as a beginning guide to Actionscript in general.
If only Flash had been around when I was in high school! Fooling around with scripted animations--seeing the results, right here, right now, often with a surprise ending--has made me love math, which would have been unthinkable back then.
Problem is, I don't get to experiment with Flash math continuously, and the truth is, all the unrelated hacks I've used over time tend to get lost.
I had already looked into most of the material in this book--3d, easing, billiard balls--but I bought it because it looked like an accessible reference book.
Well...I spend all weekend reading it. Here are some new things I learned: springing is just easing applied to velocity instead of position, Flash ignores a pixel value below 1/20, 3d matrixes can be slow...
What excited me even more was the way the way all the old hacks come back to me and begin to hang together in a stronger, more flexible knit.
It's hard to describe how effectively the book is structured. If you've followed Keith Peters' web lab, you know he works by iteration, taking one thing, changing it a little, hooking it to another thing. He takes the same modular approach in the book; every step is clear, and builds on the last step in practical, albeit often surprising fashion.
This is a textbook from the future--where students will be introduced to difficult subject by fellow experimenters who get them involved immediately. Dudes like Peters.
My only gripe is with two short sections: one on the law of cosines, and one on 3d lighting. Both are necessary, but involve perplexing math. I think what would have gotten me over the hump in these sectios is more graphs, with more and better annotations on them. (The graphs are weak thoughout.)
By doing and redoing the problems posed by Peters, I could eventually understand them well enough to be able to program similar modules for my project. No idea seems too difficult for him to explain in a manner a beginner can understand, particularly with the working models at the FriendsofED.
I purchased nine books on the subject at the beginning of the project. I ended up using this one more than all of the others combined.
I also recommend his ActionScript 3.0. Being the same book written for two different versions of ActionScript, the two books give us a really good opportunity to compare and contrast the two languages.
The author does a real good job of not jumping around too quickly, establishing the basic concepts of Flash actionscript's gotchas before delving too deeply into showy tricks. Very unlike Joey Lott, who is a little more schzoid in the lynda [...] series, and often more showy, missing important concepts that need to be understood before moving on.