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Introduction

Introduction

Macromedia is not exaggerating when it says that Flash is “the professional standard for producing high-impact web experiences.” You only need to visit a few sites that use Flash to understand how compelling it is. Using graphics, animation, sound, and interactivity, Flash can excite, teach, entertain, and provide practical information.

More than half a billion users already have the free Flash player (which is needed to view Flash movies). The fact that Macromedia continues to distribute this software so effectively means that the potential audience for Flash content is huge and continues to grow. Also, the fact Adobe decided to acquire Macromedia is due to Flash's enormous success.

The tools needed to create Flash movies are within your reach. After you purchase Flash, the only investment you need to make is time learning. You can even download Flash from www.macromedia.com and use it for 30 days before having to purchase it. It's exciting to watch people go from fiddling with Flash to making entertaining movies. Imagine a great musician picking up and learning an instrument in a matter of days. It really is that amazing. If you're motivated, with just a moderate time investment, you'll feel as though a powerful communication tool has been given to you.

Flash is so unique that sometimes the less experience you have, the better. If you have preconceived ideas about what Flash is or how you're supposed to use drawing tools, it might be best to try to forget everything and start fresh. This book is organized in such a way that you should start seeing successes quickly. With each task, you'll prove to yourself that you're acquiring knowledge and skills.

I don't need to give you a pep talk because you'll see for yourself. In just a few one-hour lessons, you'll be creating drawings that you may have thought you weren't capable of. After that, in a few more hours, you'll be making animations. Finally, after 24 one-hour lessons, you'll be unstoppable. I know this. I've taught Flash to hundreds of students, and invariably even those who don't have fire in their eyes at first will recognize the power Flash has given them and that they can hone their Flash skills over time. Where you take your skills is up to you, but you'll get a great foundation here.

You may not feel like a pro overnight, but you will feel that you have a powerful communication tool in your control. When you can't wait to show others your creations, you'll know you're on your way. Get ready to have some fun.

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