From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 02:21:55 Pacific Time, Tuesday, 1 March 2005.

New Masters of Flash

   by Joshua Davis / Eric Jordan / Yugo Nakamura

    01 July, 2003


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Editorial description(s):
Learning by doing is always good, especially if you have good role models to follow. As part of the publisher's "Showing It" series, this book brings together 19 of the most innovative designers who are working in motion graphics, and gives them lots of page room to talk about their work in general, their inspirations (movies, games, etc.), and how they created some of their best projects. Some of the best-known participating artists include Tomasz Jankowski of, Todd Purgason of Juxt Interactive, Eric Jordan of, and Irene Chan of

Following along is easy; large screen shots and step-by-step narratives guide readers through each process--often telling not just how to do a particular something, but also why. How you then apply these methods to your own work might not be spelled out, but by re-creating the projects you'll gain the confidence and experience that you need to push your skills to the next level.

Projects range from thevoid's fairly basic, tween-heavy ripple animation to an interactive menu that's driven by dynamic ActionScripting from James Paterson of Simple text effects are covered, too, along with an introduction to ActionScripts, 3-D animation using only Flash, ActionScripting and Swift 3D, deciding between bitmap and vector art, discussions of download time, integration of Photoshop and Director, and many other topics. All project files are included on the companion CD-ROM, along with some extras.

This is a great addition to the Flash library, but the book unfortunately gives off an overpowering ink smell. The layout of the chapters is sometimes confusing, too. Neither of these issues applies to the CD-ROM, however, which reproduces everything in the book in animated form. All you have to do is sit back and watch. And there are some great interview movies, through which you can get to know some of the personal motivations and philosophies of favorite Flash gurus. --Angelynn Grant

Topics covered:
Profiles of 19 designers who work in Flash, with illustrations of their work and influences

Basic and advanced instruction in Flash, including the following:

--This text refers to the edition.

From the Publisher
New Masters of Flash is a compendium of advanced Flash techniques aimed at working Flash designers who are looking for inspirations and radical techniques. Across the twenty chapters you will learn deployable skills for a wide range of effects and applications, many of which take ActionScripting right out of the box. Also covered are optimising Flash assets for use in Director, scripting in Flash 5 for advanced sound control and an introduction to translating geometry directly into ActionScript. This is not a beginner's book. You'll need to feel comfortable with the Flash 5 interface and know some basic scripting constructs in order to get the most from what these experts have to teach. But apart from that, a load of curiosity and a taste for pushing web-design to the max is all that's required. --This text refers to the

Book Description
New Masters of Flash is both global showcase and practical tutorial. Twenty of the planet's most awe-inspiring Flash designers share their influences, ideas and objectives in individual introductory essays. They then take the reader through a step-by-step tutorial explaining in detail how to create in Flash 5 the interfaces, applications and effects that they have made famous. On the accompanying CD, watch interviews with the designers, follow animated versions of the tutorials and download the FLAs for Flash 5 (F4 FLAs are also available from the support website). The author-designers are some of the most legendary Flash innovators currently working - from the US to Japan, Europe to South Africa: Yugo Nakamura, Joshua Davies, Manuel Clement, Irene Chan and Tomato's Joel Baumann together with fifteen other leading Flash practitioners. These are the designers who are expanding the horizons of interactive interface design with Flash. Join them.

About the Authors Nineteen legendary Flash artists and designers, including Yugo Nakamura, Brendan Dawes, Todd Purgason, Joshua Davis, Irene Chan, Tomato's Joel Baumann, Tony Ke and more, who between them have won an amazing haul o f prestigious design awards. Cool Site of the Year, Macromedia SSOD, FlashForward, Clio etc etc, they've won them all.

Reader review(s):

decent book, but not for learning Flash 5 correctly..., November 16, 2000
I agree with Water monkey. Don't get me wrong, this is a good book for getting design inspirations and ideas, but not for learning Flash 5 the right way. There's enough books on Flash about doing the basic to intermediate stuff, but what everyone wants is a good Actionscript book. This book is better than the Flash 4 Magic book (which has tons of scripts but no explainations), and it actually does try to explain the definition and reason behind the applied scripts. One major complaint I have is quite a few chapters have scripts showed in Flash 5(a good thing) action window, but its obvious the codes are converted over from Flash 4 format, not written in the efficient manner using the dot syntax format of Flash 5. SO IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK TO SHOW HOW TO CODE PROPERLY IN THE FLASH 5 WAY, THIS BOOK WILL DISAPPOINT YOU. The codes in this book still use the // and ../ or /: way of addressing, which is what Macromedia trying to phase out with version 5. Well, that's my two cents on this book, great for visual inspirations, not for learning advanced Flash 5 script properly.

Nice Flash showcase that can be found on the web, November 10, 2000
When I first saw this book I was hoping for a good reference book on some of the more advanced Flash topics, like the various scripting languages and ODBC connectivity. Lets face it there are no truly advanced Flash books available. All Flash books assume you know little more than rudimentary tweening skills.

This book does expect you to know more than just your tweens, which is good. Many of the topics in this book can't be found in any other books. The designers even do a decent job showing you how to re-create their designs (although little concept and reasoning is applied to their actions).

The problem with the book is the tutorials are specific to the design created. This is probably the same reason advanced Flash books are not published. There are no generalized tutorials. If you are lucky enough to pull pieces from the designs and use them within your own , great.

As far as the designs themselves, they are inspiring, but you can view them on the web for free. By going to the designers web sites you can view their protfolios and see their work. Of course, they won't provide the tutorials.

This is a nice book to get ideas from, I just wish it had more instruction and reference material.

D I S S A P O I N T M E N T, December 28, 2000
These guys (and one girl) should stick to Flash design and keep as far from writing informative text as possible. All of the things the show are watered down versions of what is on their websites and their very cryptic when it comes to re-creating their we don't learn anything that you can't find tutorials on the web for. Their writing is more about their personal visions than anything solid we can grasp and make use of. This book is nothing more than a "I'm better than you...ha ha ha...oh but here's some table scraps for you to chew on so you don't realize I just pick pocketed you."

Designers tend to be overly insecure, protecting what they feel is their holy grail of knowledge like the guards at Fort Knox. This book is a great example of that insecurity on steroids. We will all be better off once world class designers realize that they have a vision that can't be consistently duplicated, therefore sharing their techniques elevate the craft...and everyone wins.

These 19 designers are the definition of insecurity.

YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS, January 23, 2001
Before you plunk down a bunch of money to buy this book, you should know that all of the examples given use Flash 4 actionscript. Not a big deal, right? is. Flash 5 (the latest version) features a heavy re-write of the Actionscript code that powers all of your movies. In some cases, the syntax is completely different. If you know the differences between Flash 4 code and Flash 5, you should be able to easily understand what to do. If you don't, you'll be stuck learning code that is outdated. It's a shame they couldn't wait a little bit longer and publish this book with up-to-date actionscript. The examples and methods are good, but whenever they show the actionscript code that powers the movie, it's Flash 4. Don't use this book to learn actionscript. Get a book on Flash 5 actionscript instead. This book is good for inspiration and not much else.

not a well-design book; not helpful, November 22, 2000
I waited several weeks for my copy of New Masters of Flash and I am extremely disappointed. It is cheaply produced, clumsily written, and perhaps worst of all, the designers of the book have chosen not to show full screens of the timeline and menus but rather -- horribly -- display only tidbits of menus inside of weird polygon shapes. You can't read the menu names, see an entire process, or gain any meaningful insight into how an effect was built. The text was written by designers, not writers, so it is extremely subjective and lengthy and quite unclear. A total disappointment.

Simply an incredible collection of strong design philosophy, February 12, 2001
If you are looking for a strict how-to Flash 5 Techniques/Actionscript book, then turn back. This book offers more to the seasoned designer than to geek-heads or weekend designers looking to scramble up some new effects and action scripting techniques for their latest project. What's more, this book is the first to concentrate on design principals and philosophies and allows each author to express where they drew their influences from, how their sites have evolved, and what lead them to make the design decisions that ultimately put them on the map. Furthermore, this is all in conjunction with the step-by-step how-to. So often, people (lazy designers) are looking for an easy source to duplicate what they see rather than using these resources to deepen their creative forces and ultimately create something of their own.

I started reading the "New Masters of Flash" over the weekend. Yes, I'll agree it looks thick and the pages are filled with large screen shots, but by no means does this hinder the books ability to convey its rich source of information in any way. It's simply an incredible collection of strong design philosophy and mainstream techniques. I will agree that the step-by-step writing could have been better implemented. However, what I like so much about the book is that each author describes his/her own design philosophies and creative reasoning in detail, as well as showing work by other more credible artist and designers from the past who have inspired their ideas. The authors describe these influences and how they draw their ideas, elements and philosophies into their final Flash projects. Anyone can publish a techniques manual for Flash that you can duplicate the step-by-step instructions to create a variety of visual effects. But, New Masters of Flash offers a great deal more. It offers you a chance to be inspired by what has inspired the authors of this book. This book will help you make more productive design and creative decisions. This book truly opens your mind up for new and exciting creative ideas with Flash. Giving you a plethora of information and techniques to go off on your own with, rather than just, simply copying techniques verbatim. This book is a true joy for those looking to deepen their creative pool and advance themselves to a new level of artistry.

As far as the any missing tutorials on the CD-ROM go. You can visit various web sites listed in the book to download them. Some sites even offer bulk downloading for those of you with a broadband connection.

like other reviewers here, i bought this book looking for actionscript meat...having found little real info elsewhere. i was both excited and disappointed by this book, however. its clear from the description that you wont be getting a clear set of actionscript tutorials, so i dont understand why so many people here were upset by that. what you do get are loads of interesting examples of flash components and how to build them. some of the contributions are more interesting and useful than others, and i was especially peeved that not all of the contributions are included on the CD-ROM!

overall, this is a good resource to A) keep on the coffee table for a flash geek dinner party B) consult for design ideas C) as a last resort, consult to adapt actionscript examples provided on the CD

if youre looking for more detailed actionscript resources, youll have to wait til more books, such as foundation actionscript, are released.

Great Flash Book! Inspiring!, November 16, 2000
I spend all day checking out sites, looking for inspiration and I think I've found it. The book brings in different designers and highlights certain aspects of their sites, which then explains the process step-by-step. I've been doing flash for about over a year now and have been waiting for a book just like this. These designers are the cream-of-the-crop. The book manages to go over several flash secrets without being repetitious.

One thing, it is not a basic flash book. The book expects you to have the basics and some advanced actionscripting knowledge. If you know the basics this book is the next step.

don't believe the hype, January 5, 2001
I bought this book thinking that it would be a great reference to advanced action scripting. I am only sorry that I did not spend more time paging through its bulky and confusing pages in order to see what exactly I was buying. Back to the trenches- I say.

There is no purpose to buying this overpriced and obtuse book. The content can all be found on the web, and there is little real substance as far as action scripting goes. Many of my programmer friends think that Flash actionscripting is just a "pretend" language for designers who don't want to bother with learning a real language. I see many designers who are perfectly willing to learn and excited about actionscript's capabilities, yet are unable to find any good reference in order to learn it well- not just to create boring tricks, but to really implement strong web solutions. With this in mind, the examples in the book are not robust, they give only a sparse amout of info for you to try to figure out what they had done, with no practical value except perhaps recreation of their designs. Again, I expected more from the book as a useful REFERENCE, not as a display of design ideas. While some of the designers mentioned do some truly amazing Flash work, it really would have benefited their status and security to produce a tome equally great. Well, I guess some designers just aren't secure enough.

The way all design books should be written, January 17, 2001
Being a person who is both academically trained as a programmer and an illustrator this book was a breath of fresh air. Most Flash books out there now are aimed at two groups beginners and designers. This book shows us how flash is truly a right-left brain technology through not only its tutorials but also through the explanations of the thought processes that go into this right-left brain thinking when applied to Flash. Many here complain that these designers talk too much about their thoughts, and inspirations. But guess what, designers feed on this information and so to be more complete technology people should as well. And as for designers who complain that its to complicated I ask that you not question the book because it is to advanced for you, but instead look to it as a path towards expanding on your abilities. I hope others in the publishing industry use this book as an example of how to empower web developers and make us more understanding of both programming and design.

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