This "Advanced Training from the Source" book introduces you to ActionScripting by guiding you, step by step, through projects that explain not only what's happening but why and how. Because the focus of each project is to teach you ActionScript, you'll find that any graphical elements and objects that aren't directly related to the task are already set up for you (though we'll always tell you why we're including them and, if necessary, what they do). The curriculum of this course should take you 20 to 25 hours to complete and includes the following lessons:
Lesson 1: Introducing ActionScript
Lesson 2: Using Event Handlers
Lesson 3: Understanding Target Paths
Lesson 4: Understanding and Using Objects
Lesson 5: Using Functions
Lesson 6: Customizing Objects
Lesson 7: Using Dynamic Data
Lesson 8: Manipulating Data
Lesson 9: Using Conditional Logic
Lesson 10: Automating Scripts with Loops
Lesson 11: Getting Data In and Out of Flash
Lesson 12: Using XML with Flash
Lesson 13: Validating and Formatting Data
Lesson 14: Controlling Movie Clips Dynamically
Lesson 15: Time- and Frame-Based Dynamism
Lesson 16: Scripting for Sound
Lesson 17: Loading External Content
Each lesson begins with an overview of the lesson's content and learning objectives, and is divided into tasks that teach you how to use aspects of the scripting language that relate to the theme of the lesson. What distinguishes this Advanced Training from the Source book from a standard Training from the Source course is that it offers more: more conceptual information, more in-depth material, and more explanations plus special features, including:
These offer shortcuts for carrying out common tasks as well as ways to use the skills you're learning to solve common problems.
Additional information pertaining to the task at hand.
In addition, Appendix A contains a list of Flash resources pertaining to many aspects of using Flash, including scripting, design, animation, usability and more.
This course is designed so that you build your skills as you work through each lesson. By the time you've completed the entire course, you should understand ActionScript's syntax, capabilities, and the logic that drives it and thus be able to create your own dynamic, highly interactive Flash content!
The enclosed CD contains all of the files necessary to complete each lesson. Files for each lesson appear in their own folders, titled with the lesson name. Each lesson folder contains two subfolders: Assets and Completed. The Assets folder contains any media files needed for the lesson, as well as the initial Flash file for the lesson. The files you will need are identified at the beginning of each lesson. The Completed folder contains completed files so that you can compare your work or see where you're headed.
We suggest that you create a folder on your hard drive and transfer all lesson files to that folder before beginning the course. The reason for this is that you will need to test your work using Flash's Test Movie command, which creates a temporary test file in the same directory as the currently opened .fla. Thus, if the authoring file was opened from the CD, Flash will attempt to create the temporary test movie on the CD, which is almost always impossible and will result in an error.
The lessons in this book assume the following:
A collage of some of the many projects you will script in this course.