Title: Flash MX Savvy
Author: Ethan Wattrall and Norbert Herber
Published by: Sybex; ; Book and CD-ROM edition (May 15, 2002)
RRP: USD $50.00(Less at Amazon)
Paperback: 784 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.49 x 8.98 x 7.60
User Level: Unknown
Review By: Tim Skyrme


This book gives incredibly detailed tuition on Flash usage in a very readable manner.

A very simple to understand book, which has great depth, so suits real beginners up to those who have avoided ActionScript in the past because it is a programming language. Once the basics are explained, this is not so complicated and with the help built into Flash MX when using scripting, should not put users off.

I can't find any drawbacks to this book. The lessons are uncomplicated and sensible and using the cdrom included, much can be achieved in a short time.

Bottom Line.

If you are only getting one book to learn to use Flash MX, then "Flash MX Savvy" must be a serious contender. If you know nothing of Flash, then it walks you through all the steps in a simple but not simplistic way. This holds true from beginning to the serious ActionScripting towards the end.

Links to inspirational sites featuring the major points of each lesson or chapter make this a book to savour.

At least one third of the book concentrates on ActionScript which enables real interactivity and also a very detailed section on sound, and it's application and installation in Flash movies. A worthwhile section on it's own as this is the way to enlarge your experience of Flash MX and it's relationship with other programs and the user.

Book description.

Paperback book of 746 pages made up of 8 sections and appendix.
Part 1 explains the basics of the layout etc.
Part 2 teaches how to use the basic tools.
Part 3 is about how to animate with Flash which is the basis of the program's use.
Part 4 is an introduction to using ActionScript for interactivity.
Part 5 is about using advanced interactivity and writing ActionScripts.
Part 6 is really important as it deals with audio and it's relationship with Flash.
Part 7 teaches how to incorporate Flash into other programs.
Part 8 explains how to publish and distribute Flash Movies.
Part 9 is the appendix and contains a wealth of information and ActionScript references.
This book is written from an interesting viewpoint. Firstly, it assumes no prior knowledge, but then also covers every complexity of this fascinating program, and once the basics are covered, it will make even the experts sit up and take notice.

It is full of subtle hints to enhance the user's experience of your creation, and the introduction to ActionScripting, which puts a lot of users off, is done in such a way as to not daunt the non-programmer.

Audio has long been a problem with Flash users who needed to lip synch or just have sounds play on demand, and this is dealt with in detail here, with explanations of the dynamics of sounds and how to employ them.

I got rid of my old Flash tutorial book because I won't need it again after this book. I can't be any more enthusiastic than that. At least look at it for yourself before purchasing any tutorial book.

This is one of the first of the Savvy range, and if the others are as good, then you should inspect them.

© Tim Skyrme 2002