Original Publish Date: 10/20/2006
Author(s): Jordan Chilcott, Tom Green
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: friends of ED (June 19, 2006)
Overall Score: 3/5
As someone who has been working with video in Flash quite heavily recently at work, I was eagerly anticipating this book to be released. At first I wasn’t disappointed as the book has a great intro to video. It goes through a relatively thorough explanation of video and how it works on the net, talking about progressive and streaming downloading, and so on. As the title suggests, this book is a Foundation book so it is not code heavy and is perfect for beginners.
There is a chapter in the book about editing video, which if it is out of the scope of the book or not, is a very handy chapter. Not everyone in the world could afford huge software packages like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere (or After Effects, depends on how you like to do things I suppose). This chapter goes over how to edit video with some of the tools that come shipped with your OS, whether it be iMovie on OSX or Windows Movie Maker on PC.
Getting back to the whole code thing, as an ActionScript developer I sometimes get let down by not seeing a lot of code (although it really depends on how you see things, because not everyone is nerdy like me and would rather not sift through code and just do things a different way). Page 186 clearly warns that this book is about Flash video, not ActionScript programming, but I believe when doing video you HAVE to know how to code around it. I see some video apps on the web today and all they have is the default FLVPlayback component skin on them. That’s fine and dandy, but those things are ugly and everyone who knows how they were made just laughs at them.
Chapter 9 and chapter 11 get a bit more code heavy and even into some class programming, but the coding done throughout those chapters is geared more towards applying code to the video that make its stylized, a la blend modes and filters. To me, when I see a book on Flash video, I want to learn the ins and outs of controlling the video and making it do things like play videos in sequence, loading in the background, so on and so forth. I already know how to use blending modes and filters from the other great Friends of ED books (Flash 8 Essentials).
All in all, this really is a beginner book on video and if you’re looking for a way to learn to control your videos thoroughly in and out, you won’t find it here. If you just want to add some effects to your videos, this is the book for you.