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If you need help learning to use Flash for animation, you might like to keep an eye on my BiteyCastle Academy page. I'm releasing one chapter at a time and there are 2 free chapters up there now.
Something like 2 years ago I was contracted to write a Flash 8 'how-to-animate' manual for a publisher who eventually decided not to publish it. As a result, I had written and illustrated 10 complete chapters that would never see the light of day. 6 months of really hard work for almost nothing.
This made me just a little bit angry (i.e. I was seething with white hot rage), mostly because the publisher owns all the work I had done. Having no ownership rights prevented me from using any of the work, taking it to another publisher or publishing it on my site. However, despite not going to print, they did pay me some of what I was owed (it was a contract, after all) so I had to be grateful for that much.
Recently, I decided that I could rewrite the whole thing from the ground up, thereby creating a completely new book that was entirely mine and loads better than the first. This would be time-consuming but not too difficult because I already had done all the groundwork. The best thing is that there wouldn't be some clueless editor telling me to revise chapters when he didn't have a fucking clue about what animation is or how it's done!
So I wrote and illustrated a completely new book, provided completely new exercise files and took new Flash CS3 screenshots. I got my girlfriend to be tech-editor because she knew absolutely nothing about Flash and was therefore the perfect test reader. She read every page and completed all the exercises. If there was anything in the book that she didn't understand, I'd rewrite it or clarify with extra screenshots/illustrations. Needless to say, she now knows how to use Flash :D
The result of all this is on my BiteyCastle Academy page, where I've released those 2 free chapters (almost 80 pages), with other chapters to follow in the weeks and months to come.
Future chapters will be charged at between $2 and $5 each, depending on the content but the best thing is that unlike a book from a publisher, you can choose what individual chapters to buy. For example, you may already know how to do basic illustrations and animation in Flash CS3, so perhaps you only want the Special Effects chapter. You'll have that option when it's released ;)
Even if you know how to use Flash CS3, do me a favour and check out the first two free chapters and let me know what you think. If you don't know Flash CS3 yet, I'm sure you'll get a lot out of those introductory chapters.
Here's the link again: BiteyCastle Academy.
Hope you like it!