I’ve been meaning to pick up Foundation Actionscript Animation: Making Things Move for a while now. Keith Peters is a fellow contributer to IFBIN and I’ve been enjoying the cool stuff he’s been showing off in his Bit-101 Lab. After he announced that the book had gone into it’s third printing in only five months, I finally decided I had better get my butt to Barnes and Noble and pick it up.
The book is a smooth read. There’s some math involved in most chapters, but Keith keeps things flowing smoothly and reassures us that it’s nothing too complicated. He warns the reader that his definitions would probably make a mathemetition squirm, but they’re perfectly understandable to a layman. My girlfriend looked over while I was reading through a particularly technical-looking page with sin waves and trig functions and said it looked boring. I pointed out that Keith was actually explaining a pretty cool example that made an arrow point anywhere the mouse moved on the screen. She changed her mind and said “I wish my math classes in high school had cool stuff like that.”
I enjoy Keith’s progressive approach. He reuses a few core examples several times. Each time he returns to a particular example, the reader is sure to see a new feature or a new level of realism. While they’re pretty simple, through his descriptions I’m able to imagine that each concept can be used in unlimited ways. Often, with other books, I have trouble visualizing the same flexibility.
I prefer to do my reading in bed, but Keith’s examples make me want to go into my office and fire up Flash so I can play around too. That’s makes Foundation Actionscript Animation a lot of fun. I’d recommend it to any Flash programmer looking for a unique book that goes beyond the basics.