Monday, July 03, 2006

What do you need to know about Flash?

After the last session I begun to think a bit more about what exactly my students need to know about Flash in order to make its effective use for design of visual and interactive representations. Flash is a very powerful development tool, many programming and multimedia design things can be created. However, to start using the tool to effectively design representations, one does not need to know all of these. To my opinion, my students need to understand:

-- Use basic drawing tools, import images, create and understand symbols (button, movie and graphics)
--Create buttons (visible, invisible, animated, with sound effects etc) that can be used to either move to a different location on a timeline or to control another move that is housed on the main stage.
--Design and utilize sliders
--Create simple manipulations of variables.

I noticed that some in the class still have small difficulty understanding “anatomy’ of a button. A button might have three states (up – as is seen on the screen by a user; over -- as displayed once the user position a mouse arrow over the button, and don – as displayed after the user click on the button and before lets off the mouse), and defined hot-spot area (hit area). Here are some examples of buttons:

Let’s hear form you what other things you like to know about Flash...


At 10:36 AM, Blogger Chris said...

For information:

"Best Practices of Flash"

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Christina MLIM said...

Many thanks of Chris's note to provide the best practics of flash to us, it is quite useful if you want to explore more in Flash.

For me, I feel the basic techniques shown in the lessons are good enough for the assignment purpose. In fact, it is inevitable that there are some difficulties for the first time users because the background concepts of Macromedia Products are totally different from Microsoft Products. I think the reason of difficulties is, most of our classmates are traditional Microsoft users.

This issue is related to the software and user interface design of the software products. For example, the tool bars of them are different, the concept of objects, like a rectangle, are totally different. A rectangle of Microsoft is a rectangle, but a rectangle of Macromedia is separated into two, i.e. border and fill-in.

I remember when I was first-time learning of Flash (long-time ago), the first thing the tutor emphasized was the "property", because everything has own property, the shape, the line, the color, the background...etc. But the Microsoft users are lack of these concepts.

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Chris said...

The new Web Tools 8 (Chinese version only) is now available for teachers and students. For details please visit:

There is no English version for the press release. Below is the summary:

Web Tools 8 (HK$799 only)
Dreamweaver 8 + Flash Basic 8 + Fireworks 8 + Freehand MX

With 6-hour training

+HK$199 you'll get ONE of the following:
1. 4" x 5" Wacom Graphire pad, or
2. GrandVision MP3, or
3. Font pack

Grandtech said there was not any promotional offer for the English version at this moment.

Anyone interested? Let's purchase it together.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thanks Chris frop providing this infomration. I am glad to see that you guys are independent and keen to explore things in your own.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Peon Cheung said...

I think the following url could be a help for us to learn Flash:

At 4:59 PM, Blogger irene said...

I would like to learn about the drag and drop. As I want to design a simple game if possible.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Sincere said...

I would like to know how to get an input from a user and further process it to give different outputs.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Thanks David Lau for his idea of the zooming effect on the map. This is useful for our animation too.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Terence Chow said...

Yes, it is a good start for us to learn flash.



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