This content has been marked as final. Show 9 replies
If you consider yourself more of a designer then a programmer, then my concern would be, how far are you planning to go with programming in ActionScript? It’s not common to have someone superb at designing and coding, from my experience. It may help, in some projects to know ActionScript to animate components, but not necessary give it logical sense, as a programmer would probably do. But in other projects, this is not even needed by the graphic artist, as components are created during run-time and not author-time. This is how I would think it is mostly in America, I am not sure where you are located.
You mentioned, “It is too cumbersome to try and really learn AS and tackle a project at the same time…” hey I praise you brother! I tend to use the latest class files that Flash has to offer or anything 3rd party, regardless if I used them before. I really appreciate someone that pushes themselves to learn new (better) ways of doing things. However I wouldn’t tackle as much as you are currently doing, considering you are primarily a designer that is learning ActionScript. I personally cannot work well under pressure, let alone learn. I can pick up new things fairly quickly now, but with all new things there is a learning curve. And that learning curve is something that you really need to consider if you choose to do it, especially at work.
From this forum is where I picked up ActionScript pretty well. Not so much posting for help but helping others. The users that were asking for help drove me to learn more and more about ActionScript. During the same time I was working a website of my own. I was doing all of this on my own time, granted I wasn’t working at the time, so I had plenty of time to learn. But I wasn’t lazy or inconsistent about it either, roughly everyday for about a year I was coming to this forum and working on my project until I landed myself a job doing ActionScript. So essentially it was a job for me.
And I think that is what you may need to do (perhaps not as much as I did) if you want to learn AS, to separate our work time from learning time. Dedicate an hour or two a day for strictly learning AS.
Buying videos and books are going to help only if you give yourself the time and environment to learn. I would suggest replying back to other peoples questions on a forum and doing small online tutorials as I had. Once you become familiar with AS, then go and get a book. The book at this point shouldn’t be as daunting as it did prior.
Thanks for the tips....I guess like you say, learning anything new is often just a matter of persistence.
I used to be able to learn AS by just applying what I wanted to learn to a project I was working on. And I did also learn a lot in the beginning by going on forums, asking and answering questions. But now the problem is, there is such a big gap between what I can do, and what i want to be able to do that this method isn't working. I think, like you say, I just need to take a period of time when I am not working and dedicate it to learning AS, knowing that it will come in time...
I think one thing I also need is a primer on programming concepts, as I really need more of a broad understanding. Someone recommended this tutorial on OOP on the Kirupa site that I've just started reading: http://www.kirupa.com/developer/oop/index.htm
Let me know if there are any other resources you know of to give me a good basis/grounding in the concepts that I'll need to move forward as more of a programmer.
I think I can help you because I'm having same kind of background you have. Although now I'm working as a Tech Lead (Action Script). What you can do, leave all other things and start from the basic concepts of Programming like OOPS, Basics of programming concepts, how to work with classes etc.
I think the best way to learn this is to refer good books. Make a habit to read atleast one to two hours daily and create some dummy projects or examples with all the things you learned. One you are familiar with basic concepts, you can go far away. If you concentrate on too many things simultaneously, you will not be able to give 100% to each and every thing, so just focus on one book and learn new things from that book only. Once you complete one book then go for second. You can find lot of books at www.expressionsz.com
One good book you will find at expressionsz.com is Object Oriented Action Script for flash8
I have recently started reading Colin Mooks , O'reilly : Essential Actionscript 3 (ISBN 10: 0 596 52694 6, ISBN 13: 978 0 596 52694 8) So far so good. Very good / clear explanations of OOP concepts and examples of applying these concepts to AS3.
So far i would highly recommend.
PS. I too am a designer getting more into development every day.
Great tips-thanks guys.
Another question is, can you make any recommendations on whether I should be delving into AS2 or AS3?
I suppose that would depend on what your end product is going to be. If you are designing mainly for flash lite then as3 isnt supported yet, however if your flash apps are for pc / mac use then i would say as3 would be your best bet. I am personally on the transition from as1 to as3 missing out as2. From what i can see if you know as3 then as2 wont be a problem anyway.
I'm designing for the web...pc/mac.
Sounds like I should jump straight into AS 3. Like you, all I know currently is AS1 (and even that, I don't know well), so I'd be making the jump too....is there any reason not to jump into learning AS3 instead of 2, (other than what you say about Flash Lite)?
kirupa.com has great articles, I always stop by there to see if they have an answer to my problems. However I had a hard time understanding OOP during my early years programming. I think that knowing the basic syntax of ActionScript (and I recommend start using ActionScript 3.0) and being familiar with Flash’s built-in class’s methods, properties and event handlers would be more beneficial to you then jumping in OOP. But, I don’t know what skill level you are with AS, so perhaps jumping into OOP is good thing for now. And I am not putting down OOP in anyway, I prefer it and I enjoy using design patterns.
And for resources, again this forum has plenty of users here to assist you and recommend other suggestions to your replies. Start with small tutorials and mess around with snippets for code, by changing a few values. The list below are the resources I have found to be helpful (in order);
-Helpdocs/Livedoc- just hit F1 in Flash. I go to it almost everyday when programming to find out the class’s methods and properties. I mostly use the ‘ActionScript 2.0 Language Reference’.
- http://www.ultrashock.com/ - they have a OOP section that has awesome moderators and users that contribute.