Thursday, January 26, 2006

flash for beginners

My daughter, Lannie is doing flash this year. As well as that Prensky has recommended it. So yesterday I began to learn it.

The user interface is based around video production, timeline, stage and layers (Macromedia, as in photoshop). The hard thing was getting the hang of the new UI and the new vocabulary: playhead, key frames (open dot or black dot), symbols (reusable objects), the object types (only three - graphics, buttons, movie clip), different types of layers such as Guides. It goes on and on.

The Macromedia Help gave me clues but not solutions. I just wanted some guidance to actually build something simple that worked.

In the end I found some tutorials on the net and some were great for beginners like myself. This particular one was a life saver when I got stuck for ages on why black dots were not appearing on my key frames.

I really liked this funny account of someone having difficulties learning flash. It reminded me of when I screamed at my computer and scared my dog.

Finally I managed to get a little red ball moving backwards and forwards. It gave me a sense of achievement even.


Anonymous Graham Wegner said...

Bill, I did a Beginner's Flash course a couple years back at TSOF. I knew then I was out of my depth because Steve O'Connor was the instructor and at one point, I got so confused and flustered, I gave up mentally and stopped trying. Now most teachers are used to success when learning things but it gave me a taste of what it's like for kids when the teacher is "talking over their head". I did get the hang of it enough later to show a couple of my Year 7 kids what I had done. One of them took the Flash demo CD home and over the weekend did a stick figure soccer game flash animation just based on my initial introduction. It blew me away and confirmed that we as teachers definitely don't need to know it all in order for kids to pick up and run with ICT. A year later, I discovered Swish and although not great at it, I found that simpler to use and create stuff with. Good luck with your course.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Bill, my wife has been teaching flash in primary schools over here in the UK. You can find her worksheets here, and some examples of the pupil work can be found here.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Bill Kerr said...

hi steve,

pass on my thanks to your wife - I just finished her bouncing ball tutorial and it was much clearer and achieved than the online tutorials. Just what I needed.

Hope you read this - suggest you leave an email on your blog sidebar so people can write to you direct. Write it in such a way so that you won't be spammed like I have done on my sidebar.

thanks graham, it's always hard to learn new stuff but as you say some young minds pick it up very quickly

this blogging connection has speeded up my learning of flash!

11:32 PM  
Blogger Leigh Blackall said...

Hey Bill, I have a few PDFs with MP3s that combine to make a prinatble screencast on a few things with Flash:

Importing photos, drawing and basic animation with Flash
Talking pictures

3:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Kerr said...

thanks leigh, I've bookmarked them for future use.

I'm on the Qland Games in Learning list - someone posted this great site for flash tutorials.
pdfs, they are very clear and useful - looks like teachers know how to write the best tutorials - macromedia Help was not helpful!

5:39 PM  

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