Advanced Flash Multimedia Projects

Learn to create immersive, interactive multimedia experiences in Flash

In six intensive lessons and exercises, you'll learn flash and a creative and self-sufficient approach to developing high-level Flash applications for the Web, CD-ROM, and beyond. You'll create an online kaleidoscope, a programmatic animation, a working MP3 player interface, an interactive video piece, a site with dynamic text, and more, finishing off your Flash course with a monster project.

The focus is on working creatively, thinking about the big picture and the user experience, and integrating high-end technology into your projects with confidence. You'll discover how to become a multimedia "team of one," sourcing and editing your own bitmap, text, audio, and video files to bring your projects to life.

Note: The Flash ActionScript Game Design course (or equivalent ActionScript experience) is a requirement for taking this class.

Course Instructor(s):

Sessions Flash design instructor Geoph Essex

Geoph Essex  is a Web and multimedia developer, programmer, animator, and educator.

Course content developed by Geoph Essex and David Witt.
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Requirements:

To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection (56 Kbps modem or faster).
  • Flash Animation and Flash ActionScript Game Design or equivalent experience in Flash animation and ActionScript coding.
  • Adobe Flash CS5 or CS6.
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Prerequisites:

The following courses can help you meet the above requirements:

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Course Objectives:

Students learn how to:

  • Learn Flash techniques for immersing users in a realistic multimedia experience and study the work of high-level multimedia designers.
  • Apply flash animation, type, audio, and video creatively and with attention to user needs and delivery methods.
  • Use ActionScript coding to effectively integrate external multimedia content into the Flash environment.
  • Produce realistic physical animation effects using ActionScript, and create a recursive animation with code.
  • Apply dynamic text objects within a Flash movie that call external files and are formatted with Cascading Style Sheets.
  • Develop an intuitive interface that allows the user to fully control the presentation of audio content.
  • Import and edit video in the Flash environment for maximum interactivity, and learn the benefits and drawbacks of each method of video delivery.
  • Efficiently manage the coding workflow and multimedia production process.
  • Develop well-written and organized code, and effectively test and troubleshoot each final product.
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Course Outline

LESSON 1 Thinking in Multimedia

Multimedia design isn't just about the software and tools that create the content—it's about the big picture and the user experience. In this lesson, you'll learn what it takes to develop a creative product that immerses users in the new "reality" that you have created for them. You'll explore how multimedia pieces address the different human senses and examine strategies to independently to source content for your projects. In the exercise, you'll create a colorful and interactive kaleidoscope that loads external graphic files.

LESSON 2 New Directions in Animation

Flash animation extends a few light years beyond the humble tween. This lesson will take you beyond tweening and into programmatic animation—animation using ActionScript code. With ActionScript, you'll learn to take more control over your animation and create more realistic effects. You'll also explore case studies of two prominent programmatic animators who are truly inspiring. Get coding in the exercise to create an abstract and self-generating animation.

LESSON 3 Working with Text and Type

On the surface, typography design in Flash appears pretty limited—and it can be such a pain to change text after a project is complete. Lesson Three explores different methods of manipulating type in Flash, with a focus on separating text (content) from type (format). You'll examine some typography fundamentals that will enhance your sites and learn how text can be loaded dynamically from external text files for easy editing later on. In the exercise, you'll build a Flash Web site that grabs text from external files and formats it using cascading style sheets.

LESSON 4 Sound: The Added Dimension

Without audio, a multimedia experience can lack punch. Lesson Four covers a variety of methods for adding sound to your designs and ways to keep it user friendly and aesthetically pleasing. You'll look at the function and aesthetics of event sounds, which give users feedback on what they're doing, and background sound/music, which can set a mood for a piece. In the exercise, you'll learn how to load external audio files and use this to create an MP3 player application.

LESSON 5 Video and Distribution

TV, CD-ROM, the Web... there are so many ways to distribute video and present it using Flash. This lesson helps you make sense of all the distribution methods and introduces you to Flash video editing and Flash's video file format (FLV). You'll also learn how to prepare Flash movies for a CD-ROM that will run on any computer. Then in the exercise, you'll try your hand at working with video in the Flash environment and using coding to create an interactive user experience.

LESSON 6 Putting It All Together

When a new multimedia project rolls around, there's no need to start from scratch. This lesson will explore methods of streamlining your workflow by saving and reusing your code. After a look at organizing your work and at new developments in ActionScript coding, you'll check out some inspirational pieces that will keep those creative juices flowing. Your final exercise is a Monster Multimedia project that combines all you've learned throughout the course into a rockin' portfolio piece.

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student work
Flash kaleidoscope programmed with dynamic image loading and ActionScript animation
snap a bug