As you know, Adobe Flash is a robust platform for creating web and desktop applications as well as simple animations. IT Training & Education currently offers three workshops focused on Flash:
- Flash CS4: The Basics — Basic instruction on the interface, drawing, and Flash concepts.
- Flash CS4: Interactivity Basics — Introduction of ActionScript 3.0 to create interactivity using buttons in a Flash movie.
- Flash CS4: ActionScript Programming Basics — Basic concepts in ActionScript 3.0 such as the use of control structures, collision detection and animation.
While these workshops give you a great foundation in Adobe Flash, there are many, many topics that aren’t covered in-depth. Lynda.com can be used to fill in and augment the topics in these workshops. From now until December 20th, IU community members get FREE access to lynda.com. As of this writing, lynda.com offers 10 courses in Flash CS4 and 7 courses in ActionScript 3.0. Remember that the Flash platform isn’t limited to the Adobe Flash software. In addition to the Flash specific courses, lynda.com offers 4 courses on Adobe Air and 10 courses in Flex. That’s 31 courses about or relating to the Flash platform. To simplify things, this article will focus only on the courses related to the Flash application as well as ActionScript 3.0.
Continue after the jump!
How do you effectively take advantage of all this great Flash information? Let’s first talk briefly about some of the vocabulary that lynda.com uses and what it all means. When you log in, you’ll notice two titles included with almost every topic: Getting Started and Essential Training. Getting Started is analogous to STEPS workshops entitled “The Basics.” It includes information for beginners. Essential Training on lynda.com includes training on an application as a whole — the phrase “everything including the kitchen sink” comes to mind here.
For more information about how to navigate the lynda.com interface, check out this video: A Brief Tour of lynda.com.
The following table should help demystify the rest of the courses offered in Flash:
|Course on Lynda||Topics Covered||Learning Path Location|
|Flash CS4 Professional New Features||Synopsis of all the new features in Flash CS4||Previous work in Flash is helpful to more easily grasp this course.|
|Flash CS4 Professional Getting Started||Introduction to basic topics in Flash CS4||No previous Flash knowledge required.|
|Flash CS4 Professional Essential Training||Introduction to almost every tool in Flash CS4||No previous Flash knowledge required.|
|Flash CS4 Professional Tools for Character Animation||Using the Motion Editor, 3D tools, the Bone tool to create advanced animation effects.||This workshop deals with animation tools, so Flash CS4: The Basics or Flash CS4 Professional Getting Started should be taken first.|
|Creating a First Web Site with Flash CS4 Professional||Process of creating a web site including interactivity and animation||This course is similar to Flash CS4: Interactivity Basics, so Flash CS4: The Basics or Flash CS4 Getting Started are pre-requisites.|
|Flash CS4 Professional: Building UI Elements||Create UI elements using ActionScript 3.0 such as scrollbars, pre-loaders, sliders, and checkboxes.||This is a more advanced tutorial, Flash CS4: ActionScript Programming Basics and Flash CS4: Interactivity Basics or Creating a First Web Site with Flash CS4 Professional should be taken first.|
|Flash CS4 Professional: Building Search Engine Friendly Sites||Search Engine Optimization for sites that are constructed heavily with Flash||Possibly one of the most advanced topics in the Flash curriculum on lynda.com. You should be familiar with Flash CS4 concepts as well as web design topics such as XHTML, CSS, Search Engine Optimization, etc.|
The following table describes the ActionScript courses related directly to the Flash application:
|Course on Lynda||Topics Covered||Learning Path Location|
|ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS4 for Designers||Covers basic web programming terminology and techniques.||No previous programming knowledge required; however, should be familiar with Flash CS4.|
|Flash CS4 Professional: Object-Oriented Programming||Discusses more advanced programming techniques such as inheritance and encapsulation to stream the creative process.||A moderately advanced topic, Flash CS4: ActionScript Programming Basics or ActionScript 3.0 in Flash for Designers would give a good foundation before tackling this course.|
|ActionScript 3.0: Building Particle Systems||Teaches the creation of particle systems to create the effect of splashing or spraying in an animation. For example, the wake behind a motor boat or the water coming out of a fountain.||Flash CS4 Professional: Object-Oriented Programming should be watched before this course.|
|ActionScript 3.0: Working with XML||Teaches the use of RSS feeds for integration with blogs of podcasts as well as how to perform common XML based tasks.||Flash CS4 Professional: Object-Oriented Programming as well as a good, solid understanding of XML will help with this course.|
|Flash CS4 Professional Audio Techniques||Manipulation of audio files in Flash CS4 using ActionScript 3.0 including monitoring playback, generating a playlist from XML data, and displaying this information to the user.||Knowledge of XML and ActionScript will help, Flash CS4: ActionScript Programming Basics, ActionScript 3.0 in Flash CS4 for Designers and ActionScript 3.0 Working with XML|
|ActionScript 3.0 Projects: Game Development||Covers game design topics such as dealing with case sensitivity, creating randomly moving enemies, determining win or loss situations, artificial intelligence, and how to overcome challenges to create any kind of game.||Probably the most advanced topic listed in this article, a strong foundation in ActionScript and Object-Oriented programming topics is a must to be successful in this course.|
As you can see, Flash CS4 topics on lynda.com cover a broad range of concepts. Like I mentioned earlier in the article, I only covered the topics related directly to the Flash CS4 application. Lynda.com also contains many courses that focus on Flex and Adobe Air, which are also part of the Flash platform.
Hopefully this article helps you wade through one of the more complex topic groupings on lynda.com! Happy development!