Learning Flash (or other design software for that matter) is no small task. Whether you’re an aspiring Flash professional or simply making animations in your free time, there’s always more to learn. This page is resource for users looking to learn more about Flash.
Books generally offer more comprehensive learning environments than online tutorials, so they can be a great place to start. I’ve read thousands of pages of software books. In my experience, the Classroom in a Book series is among the best for new users looking for hands-on lessons.
- Adobe Flash Professional CS5 Classroom in a Book
- Flash Professional CS5 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide
- How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5: The Art of Design and Animation
- Animation with Scripting for Adobe Flash Professional CS5 Studio Techniques
- ActionScript 3.0 for Adobe Flash Professional CS5 Classroom in a Book
- Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Essential)
Some of Justin’s Personal Favorites
- Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!
- Foundation Flash CS4 for Designers
Books can be fantastic, but sometimes it helps to have moving images and narration. There tons of great video tutorials available. This section lists some of the top commercial training sites, but there are also some free videos in the “Online Tutorials” section below.
Lynda.com offers a subscription service that allows you to view video tutorials online. You can also purchase DVDs, if you like. I have nothing but good things to say about Lynda.com. I’ve yet to see a bad (or even mediocre) tutorial on this site. Generally, each course allows you to preview a number of videos within the course to see it is of interest.
- Learn Flash (includes free sample videos)
- Complete list of Flash Tutorials
- Flash CS5 Tutorials and Training
Total Training produces some great in-depth (multi-DVD) training series. Their products are generally very comprehensive.
The American Graphics Institute also has free video tutorials.
In addition to the tutorials on this site, the web is filled with useful sites that can help you learn Flash.
Chris has tons of fantastic tutorials. Here are some of the best ones.
- Character Design & Animation (video recording) (youtube link)
- Advanced Character Animation (video recording)
- Lip syncing in Flash (video recording) – alternate link
- Character Design & Animation
Other Great Resources
- Kirupa (big resource)
- Cartoon Smart (video tutorials)
- David Stiller (extremely well-written tutorials)
- Flashthusiast (Jen DeHaan) (Jen has all kinds of great motion info on this site)
- Community MX (subscription site with tutorials, a forum, and more)
- Senocular (free Flash files and tons of information)
- Flash & Math (ActionScript tutorials)
Sometimes it helps to have a back-and-forth with other users. If you need a tough question answered, try searching a forum. If no one has asked the question before, you can create a new post.
Cold Hard Flash Forum(no longer online) Keyframer Forum(no longer online)
- Actionscript.org Forum
- gotoAndLearn Forum
- Official Adobe Flash Forum
Showing your work
Chances are, you’re wanting others to see whatever you make in Flash. Here are a couple of ways to do so.
Having your own site will provide the most control. That means signing up with a web hosting company. We currently use Lunarpages, which I much prefer to other hosting companies that I’ve used through work. So far, they’ve been reliable and have provided all the features necessary to maintain this site. Plans start as low as $3.95/month. Use coupon code aff15off to get a 15% discount.
In addition to having your own site, you should consider posting your work on public portfolio sites. You can include a link back to your site to draw traffic into to your own pages. This will help clients locate your work.
It’s not exactly a portfolio site, but Newgrounds is also a good place to post your Flash work.