16 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2006 9:38 AM by Mister Peanut

    Good Actionscript books for beginners

    Simulacrum_
      Hey all,

      I became a Flash user about 3 months ago. I am still very much a beginner, but I am working my butt off to become an expert. Unfortunately I am not able to take face to face classes on Flash and Actionscript, so the only course of action I am left with is to work my way through tutorials.

      Please share with me the titles of books or resources that helped teach you Actionscript or intermediate Flash, so that I can study them as well. I have no previous coding experience, so more basic is better.

      Thanks a bunch for any help!
        • 1. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
          funkysoul Level 4
          Personally I think that the "Training from the Source" books fits best for beginners-intermediate users. Later on you can jump on books like Actionscript animation by FOE.

          • 2. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
            Level 7
            funkysoul wrote:
            > Personally I think that the "Training from the Source" books fits best for beginners-intermediate users.

            The Training from the Source ActionScript books are good. Another book
            that you might like to consider is "Foundation ActionScript for Flash 8"
            (friends of ED). Disclaimer: I was one of the authors, so am biased.
            However, it's the fourth edition of a book originally written by Sham
            Bhangal, which has proved very popular over the years. It takes you from
            zero knowledge to a high intermediate level. More information on my
            website ( http://foundationphp.com/flash8_as/).

            --
            David Powers
            Adobe Community Expert
            Author, "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" (friends of ED)
            http://foundationphp.com/
            • 3. Good Actionscript books for beginners
              Simulacrum_ Level 1
              quote:

              Originally posted by: Newsgroup User
              funkysoul wrote:
              > Personally I think that the "Training from the Source" books fits best for beginners-intermediate users.

              The Training from the Source ActionScript books are good. Another book
              that you might like to consider is "Foundation ActionScript for Flash 8"
              (friends of ED). Disclaimer: I was one of the authors, so am biased.
              However, it's the fourth edition of a book originally written by Sham
              Bhangal, which has proved very popular over the years. It takes you from
              zero knowledge to a high intermediate level. More information on my
              website ( http://foundationphp.com/flash8_as/).

              --
              David Powers
              Adobe Community Expert
              Author, "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" (friends of ED)
              http://foundationphp.com/




              Thanks for the posts.

              David, it's interesting to hear you are an author in the Foundation Actionscript books. I am actually currently using the MX 2004 version of that same book. I was progressing quite well through it until I got to the Hangman example and became derailed. I do not understand parts of the code in that example.. wish there was more explanation. Even using the book I can't get it put together and make it work properly. I guess I feel like the book left me in the dust. I was hoping to find something more remediary and then return to it.

              Thanks again guys.
              • 4. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                everynewday
                I used "PHP 5 for Flash" by David Powers. It actually teaches you how to use PHP, Flash, and MySQL all at once. I had no prior knowledge of any of these when I started using it, and I still followed it. It's a great book.

                Heh, I just noticed that he posted.
                • 5. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                  Level 7
                  Simulacrum_ wrote:
                  > David, it's interesting to hear you are an author in the Foundation
                  > Actionscript books. I am actually currently using the MX 2004 version of that
                  > same book. I was progressing quite well through it until I got to the Hangman
                  > example and became derailed. I do not understand parts of the code in that
                  > example.. wish there was more exlanation.

                  Sadly, the MX 2004 edition of that book was seriously flawed. It is full
                  of misprints and coding mistakes. Quite why it happened, I don't know,
                  because Sham Bhangal is a good author, and extremely knowledgeable. The
                  book was published shortly after the original owners of friends of ED
                  went bankrupt and the new editorial team hadn't really settled in. Since
                  then, the editorial quality has improved greatly.

                  The Flash 8 version corrects all the mistakes, and adds about 20% new
                  material. After your experience, you probably don't want to splash out
                  on a new edition of a book that's given you problems. However, do post
                  any questions that you have got about the MX 2004 version and the
                  Hangman game in the friends of ED forum. Either I or someone else will
                  try to come to your rescue.

                  --
                  David Powers
                  Adobe Community Expert
                  Author, "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" (friends of ED)
                  http://foundationphp.com/
                  • 6. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                    Level 7
                    everynewday wrote:
                    > I used "PHP 5 for Flash" by David Powers. It actually teaches you how to use
                    > PHP, Flash, and MySQL all at once. I had no prior knowledge of any of these
                    > when I started using it, and I still followed it. It's a great book.
                    >
                    > Heh, I just noticed that he posted.

                    Yes, I drop in here from time to time, although I spend more time in the
                    Dreamweaver forums. Glad you found the book helpful.

                    --
                    David Powers
                    Adobe Community Expert
                    Author, "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" (friends of ED)
                    http://foundationphp.com/
                    • 7. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                      Simulacrum_ Level 1
                      David,

                      I want to take back the negative things I said about Sham Bhangal's Foundation ActionScript for MX 2004. Although it is full of code errors that had me pulling my hair out, it really is an interesting and informative book. I decided to skip over the Hangman example (which I still don't like), but I've learned a ton from the rest of the book. Sham's a great writer and teacher.

                      I also just ordered your PHP for Flash 5 book today to assist me with a new project. I've heard good things and I'm looking forward to tackling it.

                      • 8. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                        Sabbathacker Level 1
                        Well I purchased "Flash 8 Bible" The beginning was a bit slow. It was really geared for someone who has almost never seen flash. I've been "Flashing" for about 3-4 months so it was a review for me. About half way through it got MUCH better. This book is very detailed and very useful. I have heard that "Actionscript 2.0 Bible" isn't as good, but I have not read that one.
                        • 9. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                          Level 7
                          Simulacrum_ wrote:
                          > David,
                          >
                          > I want to take back the negative things I said about Sham Bhangal's Foundation
                          > ActionScript for MX 2004. Although it is full of code errors that had me
                          > pulling my hair out, it really is an interesting and informative book. I
                          > decided to skip over the Hangman example (which I still don't like), but I've
                          > learned a ton from the rest of the book. Sham's a great writer and teacher.

                          Yes, the code errors were a major disaster. It was bad enough for me and
                          Kris Besley when we updated Sham's text for the Flash 8 version, but
                          they must have been a real headache for anyone new to ActionScript. I
                          don't know how so many crept into the book, but I know from my own books
                          that keeping track of changes in code throughout several hundred pages
                          is very difficult. But you're right; Sham is a great writer and teacher.
                          I have learned a lot from him myself.

                          > I also just ordered your PHP for Flash 5 book today to assist me with a new
                          > project. I've heard good things and I'm looking forward to tackling it.

                          Thanks very much. I hope you're not too disappointed with Chapter 7 -
                          it's a database adaptation of Sham's Hangman game. :)

                          Sham was my technical reviewer on that book, and he helped greatly
                          improve the quality of the ActionScript.

                          --
                          David Powers
                          Adobe Community Expert
                          Author, "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" (friends of ED)
                          http://foundationphp.com/
                          • 10. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                            Mister Peanut Level 1
                            I am a beginner like you with about 5-6 months worth of experience. The flash actionscript bible was of very little help to me, although it comes recommended by many people. I, too, had no coding experience. You can get excellent training videos right now from learnflash.com, especially the actionscript 2.0 series. I think it is on sale today and tomorrow. A little expensive, but they are fantastic, as you can see exactly what they are doing, with a detailed explanation as to why.

                            I've also found macromedia flash advanced a relatively good buy, with lots of examples where you can tweak them to your liking.

                            The lynda HOT training books are good, a bit over-recommended, but good for the basics. The Beyond the Basics is okay, but focuses on an accumulative project where it is difficult to jump in at any chapter. You have to do the book from start to finish.

                            good websites are:

                            gotoandlearn.com
                            learnflash.com
                            keyframer.com

                            and for inspiration:

                            thefwa.com

                            cheers,

                            let me know how it all works out
                            • 11. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                              Simulacrum_ Level 1
                              Hey Mr. Peanut,

                              Thanks for your response. I have had a similar experience to yours learning Flash.

                              I started with the Flash MX 2004 Bible.. found it far too dry and lengthy, and switched to the HOT series.

                              Finished books 1 and 2, I found both to be excellent, although I agree you have to work straight through book 2. Big concepts are well-covered though, like movieClipLoader and LoadVars.

                              The book that really got me over the hump though was Sham Banghal's Foundation Actionscript. I got thrown by a few coding errors early in the book, but I got back into it and learned a ton from his writing style and examples. I would highly recommend it.

                              I just started reading PHP 5 for Flash yesterday.. so far it's excellent as well. I also have Essential ActionScript by Moock, but the dryness of that one led me to put it down for a while. I have a feeling I'll be back to it though.

                              Thanks for the post, and for the links. I've heard of gotoandlearn.com, but not the others. I shall check them out. :-)

                              • 12. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                                Mister Peanut Level 1
                                Cheers!

                                I will definitely check out Sham Benghal's book, and perhaps the PHP 5 for Flash. I'm always looking out for good sources.

                                P

                                The simulacrum is true, and I am the real deal.
                                • 13. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                                  Simulacrum_ Level 1
                                  P,

                                  Definitely check out Sham's book.. but get the Flash 8 version (see above posts for explanation). I haven't read enough of the PHP book to give it a high recommendation yet, but I'm about 80 pages into it and so far it's been a great read and has made perfect sense.

                                  Let me know if you come across any more good reads in your studies.

                                  Excellent simulacrum reference btw.
                                  • 14. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                                    rc3rdmd
                                    Get the Flash 8 Actionscript Bible - you can find it on Amazon for half price.

                                    This book has helped me greatly - I look something up and it works.

                                    Give it a try.
                                    • 15. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                                      Level 7
                                      Simulacrum_ wrote:
                                      > I haven't read enough of the PHP book to give it a high
                                      > recommendation yet, but I'm about 80 pages into it and so far it's been a great
                                      > read and has made perfect sense.

                                      It made perfect sense to me, too, but then I wrote it. ;-p

                                      Glad you're enjoying the book so far, and hope the rest of it lives up
                                      to your expectations. If you run into any problems, post them in the
                                      friends of ED forum. It's easier for me to spot them there.

                                      --
                                      David Powers
                                      Adobe Community Expert
                                      Author, "Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8" (friends of ED)
                                      http://foundationphp.com/
                                      • 16. Re: Good Actionscript books for beginners
                                        Mister Peanut Level 1
                                        Just another good resource I found:

                                        communitymx.com

                                        This site has loads of specific tutorials, some for free, others for sale at 4 bucks a pop. Great free tutorials on using AfterEffects with flv video. One of the most comprehensive sites I've seen, and not so well known, I think. They're on to something with selling these tutes individually. Hopefully Lynda.com and others will catch on as well.

                                        P