animation interaction multimedia

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AIM your flash project
 

Course
Information

Syllabus

Calendar

Requirements

CourseQuest

Workshop

Course
Resources

Exploration

Projects

Applications

Approaches

Evaluation

Basics

Animation

Interaction

Multimedia

Planning

Issues

Packaging

 

CourseQuest

multimediaA waste of time and bandwidth, only for kids or entertainment, just plain annoying...

These are a few of the comments made by people who have seen Flash animations in the past. It's your job to convince people that Adobe Flash isn't just a fad or toy for techies. It's a practical tool for producing engaging informational and instructional materials for a wide variety of audiences.

In this course, you'll be exploring and evaluating existing Flash projects, incorporating animation, interaction, and multimedia elements into Flash projects, and applying these skills to professional environments. Finally, you'll design a project that addresses a particular need or interest. In addition, you'll need to defend the use of Flash as a tool to address specific needs.

Use the following resources on this page to complete your CourseQuest:

Process

airplaneThe CourseQuest leads you through the course readings, Try It activities, Flashlight assignments, and Final Project requirements.

Throughout the readings, you'll see eye icons eye means read . These are required readings.

You'll also see Try It! try itactivities. These are assignments that you should complete on your own. Think of them as homework you don't have to turn in. These will help you build valuable skills that you'll apply in your formal assignments.

A Flashlight activity is a skills-building assignment related to your understanding of the readings and software. Your assignments and responses are shared in Oncourse. For more information about how to address the readings, Try It!s, Flashlights, and project, review the Requirements page.

Move through the readings, assignments, and projects below. Use the Course Calendar to check due dates and Course Checklist to keep track of your progress.

The CourseQuest Process is divided into the following areas on this page:

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Exploration and Evaluation

bookRead the Exploration page. This section provides an overview of Flash.

bookExplore the Flash Projects page to find many links to Flash projects.

flashlightWeb Sharing Setup
You will be completing five activities and a project during the semester. Each of these activities must be uploaded and accessible on the web through a single web page. You may use any website space you wish including the Oncourse File Manager space, University web space, or your own free or subscription space. If you don't wish to make a web page, consider uploading your projects using the Oncourse MyWorkspace (be sure to make the site Public), creating a blog (http://blogger.com) or wiki (http://wikispaces.com) to share each link. You could also create your web page in Google Sites. However they won't allow you to store your files, so you'll need store then in MyWorkshop then link to them. Although not required, you may wish to create links to your favorite Flash projects, so you can find them again later.

Keep in mind that some of your files may be VERY large and may take a while to upload. Be sure to check your files to be certain they have successfully uploaded.

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bookRead the Flash Applications page to explore how Flash can be used to entertain, inform, instruct, or persuade.

bookRead the Flash Approaches page. This section focuses on information focus, organization and presentation.

bookRead the Evaluation page to explore criteria for Flash evaluation.

bookRead Chapter 1: Exploration and Evaluation (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter is 1.1MB, so it will take a little while to download.

flashlightFlashlight 1: Evaluation (7 Points total)
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
Explore the Flash projects provided as well as others you find online. Select three Flash projects and conduct indepth evaluations of each. Be sure to provide the name and URL (web address) for each project. At least one of the three projects must be different from those provided in class. Compare and contrast the three projects. Which are most or least effective and why? What would you change if you were designing each project? Why? Discuss how you could apply a particular feature of one of the projects to a library or education setting. Be specific.
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Are three indepth evaluations provided?
• Are effective comparisons made among projects?
• Are suggestions provided for potential changes?
• Is a specific feature identified and an example given?

Posting. It is suggested that this project be written in Microsoft Word or as a web page. In your posting, you can direct users to your URL or Word document. Use your name as the Subject Line for your assignment.

Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment.

There are two ways to receive a reply point.

First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area of Oncourse.

Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

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Flash Basics and Animation

bookRead the Basics page for an overview of the Flash software and tools.

bookRead Chapter 2: The Basics (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter will take your step-by-step through using the Flash Stage, Library, and Timeline. You'll also create layers, draw objects, import graphics, and create text. You'll import an airplane and a house into your project. In this chapter, you'll create the art for a simple project called Takeoff. In the next chapter, you'll add the animation.

bookRead the Animation page for a basic understanding of Flash animation.

bookRead Chapter 3: Animation (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter will take you through applying the different types of Flash animation. Again, we'll use the Takeoff example.

Also, try making the Hot Air Balloon example in the Workshop QuickStart (PDF document) on pages 5-9 for additional practice.

flashlightFlashlight 2: Animation (7 Points total)
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
Create a simple Flash project. Incorporate animation elements into a Flash project. Be sure to include the following elements: at least 1 text box, at least 1 shape you create in Flash, at least 1 graphic from somewhere else, at least 1 frame-by-frame animation, at least 1 shape tween, at least 1 motion tween, AND tweak an animation with motion guide and/or easing. (6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)

Posting. Save and upload both the .fla and .swf versions. In addition, write a short project plan to describes the purpose and audience for your animation. In other words, your project should "do" something such as tell a story (i.e., mini-cartoon), provide a greeting (i.e., a greeting card), stimulate inquiry (i.e., ask a question), or advocate a position (i.e., public service announcement).
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Project Plan - This should be a formal paper that accompanies your assignment (1 point)
• Required elements (3.5 points - 7 elements at .5 point each)
• Effective, efficient, and appealing project (1.5 points)

Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment. There are two ways to receive a reply point. First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area. Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

Examples. Although the project plans aren't included, the following student assignments might be helpful (examples may be been produced in an earlier version of Flash):
A Apple (.swf & .fla) - S. Jackson
Beer Brewing
(.swf & .fla) - M. Witt
Birthday Card
(.swf & .fla) - L. Colbert
Green Eggs and Ham
(.swf & .fla) - K. Mosbaugh
Nice Day for a Drive
(.swf & .fla) - J. Heaphey
Eclipse
(.swf & .fla) - M. Burkhart
Jazz (.swf & .fla) - J. Colvin
Peanut Butter & Banana
(.swf & .fla) - A. Hurford
Powerlines
(.swf & .fla) - K. Pizarek
Sunflower
(.swf & .fla) - A. Kelly
TechKnowledge (.swf & .fla) - M. Gish
Valentine's Day Card (.swf & .fla) - J. Delph


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Flash Interaction

bookRead the Interaction page. This section focuses on designing active exploration and learning environments.

bookIMPORTANT NOTE: Two versions of ActionScript are currently being used to create interactivity on Flash projects. If you have an older version of Flash, you'll be using ActionScript 2. If you're using Flash CS3 or newer, you have your choice between ActionScript 2 and 3.

ActionScript 2.0 is continuing to be supported because it's much easier to use than the newer ActionScript 3.0. When you create a NEW flash project, you can choose between ActionScript 2 or 3. The options are Flash File (ActionScript 3.0) or Flash File (ActionScript 2.0). If you're not sure which you are using, choose File>Publish Settings>Flash and it will provide the ActionScript Version. Although it's possible to convert a project from 2.0 to 3.0, it messes up coding and is not recommended.

It is recommended that you use ActionScript 2.0 unless you have a reason for switching to the new version.

Read Chapter 4: Interaction (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter examines how ActionScript 2.0 is used to facilitate interactivity. You'll create an interactive version of the Takeoff example as well a build another example based on the Utah National Parks.

If you wish to try using ActionScript 3.0, try extending the Hot Air Balloon example in the Workshop QuickStart (PDF document) on pages 9-11 for additional practice.

flashlightFlashlight 3: Interaction (7 Points Total)
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
Incorporate interactive elements into a Flash project. If you are a beginning user, you should use ActionScript 2.0. If you are an advanced developer, you may choose to use ActionScript 3.0. The points are the same.

ActionScript 2.0 Requirements -
Incorporate at least three of the following elements:
• Create a unique appearance for each of the four button states (up, over, down, hit)
• Use invisible buttons
• Use draggable symbols
• Use item from Component panel

Incorporate at least three of the following ActionScript functions: stop, gotoAndPlay, gotoAndStop, getURL, nextFrame() .
Be sure to make effective use of layers.

Alternative Activity: ActionScript 3.0 Requirements (Advanced Developers Only) -
Create a unique appearance for each of the four button states (up, over, down, hit).
Incorporate at least two additional scripting elements of your choosing.
Incorporate at least three ActionScript functions of your choosing.
Be sure to make effective use of layers.

Posting. Save and upload both the .fla and .swf versions. In addition, write a short project plan to describes the purpose and audience for your interactive elements. In other words, your project should include interactive elements that serve an entertainment, informational, instructional, or persuasive purpose. Be sure to provide a list of those elements that you are using so they are easy for me to find.
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Project Plan - This should be a formal paper that accompanies your assignment (1 point)
• Interaction elements (3 at 1 point each)
• ActionScript elements (3 at .5 point each)
• Effective, efficient, and appealing project (.5 point)


Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment.
There are two ways to receive a reply point. First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area. Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

Examples. Although the project plans aren't included, the following student assignments might be helpful (examples may be been produced in an earlier version of Flash):
3 Little Pigs
(.swf & .fla) - A. Goben
3 Little Pigs
(.swf & .fla) - S. Jackson
Dog Quiz
(.swf & .fla) - M. Burkhart
Hilton Head
(.swf & .fla) - K. Mosbaugh
Library
(.swf & .fla) - K. Pizarek
New Hampshire
(.swf) - P. Slater
PAi-Gow
(.swf & .fla) - A. Hurford
Phantom Planet (.swf & .fla) - L. Colbert
Shapes (.swf & .fla) - M. Witt
Time
(.swf & .fla) - J. Heaphey
Valentine Card
(.swf & .fla) - J. Colvin

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Flash Multimedia

bookRead the Multimedia page to learn about adding sound, video, and visual elements to your Flash project.

bookRead Chapter 5: Multimedia (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter explores options for adding multimedia elements into Flash projects.

Also, try extending the Hot Air Balloon example in the Workshop QuickStart (PDF document) on pages 12-13 for additional practice.

flashlightFlashlight 4: Multimedia (7 Points total)
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
Incorporate multimedia elements into a Flash project. Incorporate each of the following three areas :
• Audio
• Video
• Visual (i.e., masking)

You can use existing multimedia resources or create your own. For instance, you may want to create audio using the free, open-source software Audacity and place it into your project, insert a movie you create using the Window's download Photostory 3, or incorporate video that you shoot on your digital camera. It's up to you. However keep in mind that you may not use copyrighted materials without permission.

Because you'll need to upload these files, try to keep the file sizes small. Consider a series of very short edited clips.

Posting. Save and upload both the .fla and .swf versions. In addition, write a short project plan to describes the purpose and audience for your multimedia elements. In other words, your project should serve a purpose.
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Project Plan - This should be a formal paper that accompanies your assignment (1 point)
• Required elements (4 points)
• Effective, efficient, and appealing project (1 point)

Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment.
There are two ways to receive a reply point. First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area. Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

Examples. Although the project plans aren't included, the following student assignments might be helpful (examples may be been produced in an earlier version of Flash):
Australia
(.swf & .fla)- J. Heaphey
Birthday
(.swf & .fla) - M. Witt
Coyote
(.swf & .fla) - M. Burkhart
Escape (.swf & .fla) - A. Goben
Jamaica
(.swf) - A. Hurford
Library
(.swf & .fla) - J. Delph
Preschool
(.swf & .fla) - S. Jackson
Stella
(.swf) - L. Colbert
Where are You? (.swf & .fla) - M. Gish

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Flash Design and Development

bookRead the Project Planning page.

bookRead the Design Issues page.

bookRead the Packaging and Publishing page.

bookRead Chapter 6: Planning and Producing (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter explores options for adding multimedia elements into Flash projects.

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Course Project

man running with reportNow that you've worked your way through the course materials, it's time to apply your skils to a meaningful Flash production. This project is worth almost half of your grade, so be sure to do your best work.

Your Flash project should be useful, purposeful, and substantial. The guidelines are flexible enough to meet the professional needs of most students. Although there are many applications, it is suggested that you focus on one of the following areas:

  • Digital Tutorial
  • Digital Collection
  • Interactive Exhibit
  • Electronic Book
  • Sophisticated E-card
  • Simulation
  • Website Component Makeover (splash, headings, advertisement, ecard)

Final Project Requirements

Although the final product is flexible, you must include the following elements:

  • Website. Your course web page linking to the required components.
  • Project Report
    • Visual plan/storyboard
    • Written plan highlighting:
      • design (i.e., audience need, goals, purpose, context for use)
      • features (i.e., text, graphics, layers, animation, interaction/ActionScripts, multimedia)
      • user interface (i.e., considerations to address user needs, accessibility)
      • formative evaluation (i.e., usability testing, at least 3 outside evaluations)
      • personal reflection (i.e., strengths, weaknesses, desires, frustrations, wishes)
      • convincing argument for Flash use for this task
      • description of the elements integrated into the project.
  • SWF file. Published, web-based .swf file
  • Original File. Original .fla file burned to CD or uploaded to web space
  • Basic Requirements. The following elements are required. However you can decide how you'd like to infuse them into your project.
    • Text, Graphics, and Layout
    • Animation
    • Interaction
    • Multimedia
  • Advanced Requirement. This is your chance to explore a new aspect of Flash. As you've explored the online tutorials, websites, and examples, you probably found lots of ideas that weren't specifically mentioned in the course materials. Try something new. Be sure to describe it in your project report and integrate it into your project.

Final Project Examples

Below are a few examples from over the years. Most do not contain their project plan. Many of the very larger projects on CD/DVD were not included:

If you'd like to see a few Flash projects from a summer workshop, check out the following (keep in mind that this workshop had different course requirements):

Final Project Evaluation

The following criteria will be used to evaluate your project. Be sure to double-check that you've completed all requirements before submitting your project.

Project Evaluation (22 Points)

  • Project report (5 Points)
    • visual plan/storyboard (.5 Point)
    • design (.5 Point)
    • features (.5 Point)
    • user interface (.5 Point)
    • formative evaluation (.5 Point)
    • personal reflection (.5 Point)
    • convincing argument (.5 Point)
    • professionally presented (.5 Point)
    • description of each of the required elements below and how they were incorporated (1 Point)
  • Text, Graphics, and Layout (i.e., effective use of text, graphics, layers, symbols) (3 Points)
  • Animation (3 Points)
  • Interaction (3 Points)
  • Multimedia (3 Points)
  • Advanced Element (3 Points)
  • Properly exported and linked to website (1 Point)
  • Professional quality work (1 Point)

flashlightPeer Review (Required, No Points)
You are required to provide constructive feedback related to the final project for at least three of your classmates. You may do this during the development process or after the final project has been posted. Although most people will posting comments on the Final Project discussion thread, you may wish to send personal mails.

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Conclusion

goodie bagAlthough Flash is a useful tool for creating cool animations, fun interactions, and exciting multimedia, it's also a wonderful software package for developing effective, efficient, and appealing informational and instructional materials. Now that you've experienced the "basics," it's your job to find meaningful applications for this powerful production tool.

Have fun with your new bag of electronic goodies!

 

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