Monday, April 24, 2006

May's project

... last week I re-installed the Flash 5 program on my laptop. I bought it at the university's bookstore a few years back, intending to learn it and make a cool animated webpage. I quickly found out that my computer skills weren't as sharp as I believed they were. It turned out to be a frustrating learning experience when I attempted to complete the tutorial and I never ended up using the program.
... Flash was updated several times after that - versions 6, 7, MX, and 8 were released and Macromedia became a part of Adobe. My skills and comprehension of graphics programs improved and my love of animation deepened at the same time. Purchasing Toon Boom Studio inspired me to reinstall Flash 5 and I dug out the installation CD, found the original manual, and set the program up - again. Determined to succeed, I started the tutorial, beginning with the basic lessons in the manual, and continuing on to the tutorial. It was easier this time, I understood key concepts and devoted my energies to learning. There was, however, something missing - the "Aha!" moment, when you undeniably know that you've learned the material and can use the information. I needed help, something beyond the dry, boring manual.
... I went to the local bookstores and combed the shelves, hoping to find something beyond that manual. Finding many books written to augment the Flash manual and teach the program, I was dissappointed to learn that they were all for the latest version of the program. Undaunted, I visited the book "resellers" with high hopes that I would find something useful on their shelves. Dissappointed again, I went to the public library and found one book that, in all actuality, appeared to be a plagerized version of the manual.
... I am not the type of person who gives up without a fight, so I came home, logged on to "that gigantic online bookseller" and did a search, using the program name and version number as keywords. Seconds later, I found exactly what I was looking for at my fingertips, a mouse click away from being mine. Amazingly, the "used" editions were remarkably affordable, the price was often less than the shipping cost. I purchased four different books, all with instructional CD's. Two of these books teach the program in broad terms and two are more specific and focused. The books have all been shipped and will begin arriving shortly.
... May 2006 will be dedicated to learning Flash 5 and I have no doubt that I will become proficient in using this program. Having explored several professional, commercial websites which use Flash animation very effectively, I stepped back and looked at the art and design concept I came up with for my homepage. The idea is solid, it will work. It is also original and unique. While I wait for these books to come I will tweek the design and strengthen the plan.