From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 14:48:32 Pacific Time, Saturday, 8 January 2005.

The Art of Cartooning with FLASH (With CD-ROM)

   by Daniel Gray / Gary Leib / John Kuramoto

    Sybex Inc
    21 November, 2001


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Editorial description(s):

Adam Tracksler,
"If you are serious about making cartoons with Flash... you should definitely read this book."

Steve Landis, Help 4 Flash
"The book, combined with the CD, is an excellent resource that will give you a fast start to Flash Animation."

Face it, funny doesn't come in the Flash box. Alas, there's no "make funny" button. At long last, here's a book with the pure intent of helping you squeeze more entertaining bits out of Flash. If you've ever dreamt of creating your own animated cartoon, this book is a must read.

In The Art of Cartooning with Flash, you'll learn how to:

From the Back Cover
Face it, funny doesn't come in the Flash box. Alas, there's no "make funny" button.

At long last, here's a book with the pure intent of helping you squeeze more entertaining bits out of Flash. If you've ever dreamt of creating your own animated cartoon, this book is a must read.

In The Art of Cartooning with Flash, you'll learn how to:

Apply the 12 classic principles of cartooning to Flash
* Build bandwidth-stingy digital puppets
* Master the walkcycle and other intricate techniques
* Craft a strong story and dynamic characters
* Storyboard and layout like a pro
* Create an animatic to test your ideas
* Analyze a cartoon, frame-by-frame

About the Author
John Kuramoto and Gary Leib are the big geniuses behind Twinkle, an animation studio in New York City. Twinkle's work has appeared in numerous venues including, PBS, MTV, ABC, Adobe's website, and in the Sundance award-winning film, The Tao of Steve. Daniel Gray is a designer and author of more than a dozen graphics and Internet-related books.

Book Description
An indispensable resource for those interested in cartooning with Flash! This unique book contains superb coverage of proper animation technique and practice, focusing on cartooning using Macromedia Flash. Written by professional animators, cartoonists, and computer artists and presented in a beautiful, full-color package, this book offers real-world examples, step-by-step explanations, and helpful diagrams. The CD includes lesson tutorials (using sample animated characters), a trial version of Flash 5, Flash toys and games by Twinkle, sound and graphics tools, and links to studios as well as learning and job resources.

Reader review(s):

Intermediate Book, but still not perfect. 3.5 to 4 stars, January 3, 2002
This book will help with putting together a better Flash cartoon. The book is fairly well organized and the content inside is all relevant to making a Flash cartoon. I liked that there wasn't a lot of fluff.

The Art of Cartooning with Flash goes through the process of cartooning the way the Twinkleland Studio does it. It's a third theory about animation and cartooning, a third tutorials and disecting one of their cartoons step-by-step.


It starts off by saying it's an intermediate book and it hits the mark.

It didn't go through how to use Flash's drawing tools and beginner level stuff which is a lot of filler if you know how to use the program.

Their tricks and examples on how to do a walk cycle was very informative.

Their theory portion of the book is really good.

The book tries to raise the bar on making better flash cartoons and gives examples how, treating the cartoon more like a movie.

The artwork is pretty good.

It really focuses on traditional animation and applying it to Flash.


Some of the tutorials are difficult to follow. The screenshots were a little small, and wasn't 100% step by step, which made it a little confusing.

The theory was good, but maybe at the expense of more Flash content. I thought there needed to be much more on lip syncing and facial animation (not a lot of information on both aspects of this book)

The book is an odd shape, and makes it difficult to fit properly in a standard bookshelf (being a little picky)

They only showed the method of animating a character on seperate layers, not the method of grouping in a hierachy on the same layer.

The actionscripting portion of the book is limited, and is in Flash 4 context, still using Tell Target. They should have updated this to Flash 5.

A portion of the book was animating a one legged robot. Robots are very boring to animate and always easier than human or moster characters.

This book is not the perfect Flash cartooning book. (When will there be one???) Nor should it be the first Flash cartooning book you buy. It is a good reference book and complementary book, especially for the tricks with a walk cycle and the theory portion. This book is worth buying if you're considering making a real effort to put together a better Flash cartoon. I think it's worth 3.5 to 4 stars.

Other cartooning books I've read and bought:

Flash 5 Cartooning:
My first Flash cartooning book I read. It taught me the basics, was a little pricey. The artwork was bad, and they used a robot to animate the walk cycle. Definately a beginner book, okay value.

Flash 5 Cartoons and Games:
My second Flash cartooning book I read. Better than Fash 5 cartooning because it covered more, at the same level. It also covered rotoscoping and lip sync better than any Flash cartooning book yet. I got the most value from the cd where a complete cartoon was included, complete with a very good preloader. Pretty good value.

Flash Character Animation: Applied Studio Techniques:
Very poor value. STAY AWAY! This book was a lot of fluff. The artwork is horrible for 2/3's of the book. It says it's an advanced book, but doesn't come close to hitting the mark.

Flash Studio Secrets:
Lots of intermediate to advanced tips, but the cartooning portion of the book is very small. An overall "Tricks with Flash" book.

Awesome book, at least for me!, February 6, 2002
I can't evaluate this book's value for an expert point of view, since I'm more of a beginer rather than an expert.

So, I must 5*-rate it just because it showed me just about everything I should know about animation, but also opens your doors to the world of Cartooning. This is not one of those Dogma-like books where the Universal Solution is the goal.

Here you can understand what's going on, and then give your best shot!

Sure I wouldn't mind a thing if Gary Leib would have 400 more pages dedicated to the drawing section, but at least I got myself a direction of what steps should I follow, since the amount of information in this kind of mean, is simply staggering (at least I think so).

Since I think a book never ends on it's last page, I didn't hesitate and got myself sharing some ideas and feedback with John Kuramoto via email... So, that extra mile gives the 5* status to the book.

I'm not saying this is the very best you can find, but it is the best I could find, and I recommend it.


Go for it! And if you don't like it at all, you can always cross the ocean and beat me ;-)

Its a decent book, September 3, 2002
This is a pretty decent book. However, for the most part it had nothing new or original to offer that I hadn't already seen in other animation books. Nice artwork thought and it's definitely pretty to look at so I guess in a way it's useful in providing inspirational material. But you're not really going to gain anything new by reading it.

WEAK!!!, August 29, 2002
I just got this book and I am utterly dissapointed in my purchase. First off this book talks a lot about some interesting concepts of animation, like secondary action, but fails to show you what the hell is it is. I had to look in another book to figure it out....bottom line, the book is very wordy. The artwork was very minimalistic and every thing is totally based on a stiff cut system. So stiff, that the walk cycles dont even look right! If you like generic Icebox type animation, dive right in because thats what this book will teach you.

Want to be a Flash Cartoonist? , October 1, 2004
Want to be a Flash Cartoonist?
Walk, no run and grab a copy of "The Art of Cartooning with Flash" by Daniel Gray and "The Big Book of Cartooning" by Bruce Blitz.
You must also have a few simple items to create your cartoons: paper, pencil, papermate felt tip pen and scanner, graphics tablet or mouse.
I draw my cartoon characters using paper and pencil so I prefer to use a scanner instead of a mouse or graphics tablet.

These books have taught me a lot and are a lot less expensive than going to animation school, flash cartoon workshops or buying how to cartoon in flash tutorials online. There are several flash cartooning books out on the market but I have found "The Art of Cartooning With Flash" to be the best one.

I also have the following books and think that the Savvy series is great:
"Dreamweaver MX / Fireworks MX Savvy" and "Flash MX Savvy".
I recommend buying from the Amazon marketplace because you get more bang for your buck.

10/5/04 - Update
"The Art of Cartooning With Flash" includes several transitions that "Flash 5 Cartooning" doesn't.
Transitions are a must in your cartoons!

10/7/04 - Update
"The Art of Cartooning With Flash" is for advanced users and "Flash 5 Cartooning" is for beginners.

10/13/04 - Update
I have purchased several flash cartooning books. In my opinion "The Art of Cartooning With Flash" covers everything you need to know about creating cartoons with flash.
This includes the principals of animation, walk cycles, grouping symbols and how to create a flash cartoon from start to finish.

ehhh, okay..., August 27, 2002
I found this book to be poor in content. The artwork was okay but I didnt learn much in terms of tricks and tips. It waqs pretty basic. The book despite its hype, was a bit dissapointing. I think a better buy is another new book, The Flash Animator. The book tends to have much better layout and the interviews w/ all these animation legends are pretty unique for a flash book.

Pretty Good Value, August 4, 2003
Shows you how to make use and organize symbols. Also some helpful hints and how to make use of alpha and tint functions. I learned how to make use of the transitions and shape tweens in animation very helpful. If only it were more specific on character animation and staging it would get a five star rating.

i'm animation crazy now!, November 4, 2004
A few years ago I tried learning Flash animation by using tutorials on the Internet. I learned a little bit, but most of the tutorials weren't concise and they were confusing and usually I found myself aggravated with Flash deeming it was "too complicate to learn." I found this book for $5 and decided to give Flash another try. Gray made this book easily accessible for novices and advanced users alike with clear instructions. Each chapter begins with a few words on the techniques you will learn in that chapter and some tips. Then the rest of the chapter consists of hands-on exercises. Artwork and sample files are included on the CD-Rom if you do not have any original artwork. These exercises are very easy to follow. I completed the first four chapters and I made a short movie with music. That was only two days after reading the chapters. I read the help file about importing music. This topic isn't covered in the first four chapters but it is in later chapters. It does not take hours upon hours to learn Flash animation using this book. Knowing some basics of Flash beforehand will come in handy, though. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn to make Flash animations. You will not regret your purchase!!

*The CD-Rom also includes software. Macromedia Flash 5, Adobe Photoshop, Bias Peak VST, Bias Peak LE, Bias Deck, and Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge. Most of the programs are PC & Mac compatible.*

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