animation interaction multimedia

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AIM your flash project
 

Course
Information

Syllabus

Calendar

Requirements

CourseQuest

Workshop

Course
Resources

Exploration

Projects

Applications

Approaches

Evaluation

Basics

Animation

Interaction

Multimedia

Planning

Issues

Packaging

 

CourseQuest

multimediaA waste of time and bandwidth, only for kids or entertainment, just plain annoying...

These are a few of the comments made by people who have seen Flash animations in the past. It's your job to convince people that Macromedia Flash isn't just a fad or toy for techies. It's a practical tool for producing engaging informational and instructional materials for a wide variety of audiences.

In this course, you'll be exploring and evaluating existing Flash projects, incorporating animation, interaction, and multimedia elements into Flash projects, and applying these skills to professional environments. Finally, you'll design a project that addresses a particular need or interest. In addition, you'll need to defend the use of Flash as a tool to address specific needs.

Use the following resources on this page to complete your CourseQuest:

Process

airplaneThe CourseQuest leads you through the course readings, TryIt activities, Flashlight assignments, and Final Project requirements.

Throughout the readings, you'll see eye icons eye means read . These are required readings.

You'll also see Try It! try itactivities. These are assignments that you should complete on your own. Think of them as homework you don't have to turn in. These will help you build valuable skills that you'll apply in your formal assignments.

A Flashlight activity is a skills-building assignment related to your understanding of the readings and software. Your assignments and responses are shared in Oncourse. For more information about how to address the readings, Try It!s, Flashlights, and project, review the Requirements page.

Move through the readings, assignments, and projects below. Use the Course Calendar to check due dates and Course Checklist to keep track of your progress.

The CourseQuest Process is divided into the following areas on this page:

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Exploration and Evaluation

bookRead the Exploration page. This section provides an overview of Flash.

bookExplore the Flash Projects page to find many links to Flash projects.

flashlightWeb Sharing Setup
You will be completing five activities and a project during the semester. Each of these activities must be uploaded and accessible on the web through a single web page. You may use any website space you wish including the Oncourse File Manager space, University web space, or your own free or subscription space. If you don't wish to make a web page, consider uploading your projects using the Oncourse MyWorkspace (be sure to make the site Public) and creating a blog (http://blogger.com) to share each link. Although not required, you may wish to create links to your favorite Flash projects, so you can find them again later.

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bookRead the Flash Applications page to explore how Flash can be used to entertain, inform, instruct, or persuade.

bookRead the Flash Approaches page. This section focuses on information focus, organization and presentation.

bookRead the Evaluation page to explore criteria for Flash evaluation.

bookRead Chapter 1: Exploration and Evaluation (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter is 1.1MB, so it will take a little while to download.

flashlightFlashlight 1: Evaluation (7 Points total)
Explore the Flash projects provided as well as others you find online. Select three Flash projects and conduct indepth evaluations of each. Be sure to provide the name and URL (web address) for each project. At least one of the three projects must be different from those provided in class. Compare and contrast the three projects. Which are most or least effective and why? What would you change if you were designing each project? Why? Discuss how you could apply a particular feature of one of the projects to a library or education setting. Be specific. (6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Are three indepth evaluations provided?
• Are effective comparisons made among projects?
• Are suggestions provided for potential changes?
• Is a specific feature identified and an example given?

Posting. It is suggested that this project be written in Microsoft Word or as a web page. In your posting, you can direct users to your URL or Word document. Use your name as the Subject Line for your assignment.

Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment.
There are two ways to receive a reply point. First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area. Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

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Flash Basics and Animation

bookRead the Basics page for an overview of the Flash software and tools.

bookRead Chapter 2: The Basics (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter will take your step-by-step through using the Flash Stage, Library, and Timeline. You'll also create layers, draw objects, import graphics, and create text. You'll import an airplane and a house into your project. In this chapter, you'll create the art for a simple project called Takeoff. In the next chapter, you'll add the animation.

bookRead the Animation page for a basic understanding of Flash animation.

bookRead Chapter 3: Animation (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter will take you through applying the different types of Flash animation. Again, we'll use the Takeoff example.

flashlightFlashlight 2: Animation (7 Points total)
Create a simple Flash project. Incorporate animation elements into a Flash project. Be sure to include the following elements: at least one of each of the following, one text box, one shape you create in Flash, one graphic from somewhere else, one motion tween, one armature tween, one shape tween, and tweak an animation with motion guide and/or easing.

Posting. Save and upload both the .fla and .swf versions. In addition, write a short project plan to describes the purpose and audience for your animation. In other words, your project should "do" something such as tell a story (i.e., mini-cartoon), provide a greeting (i.e., a greeting card), stimulate inquiry (i.e., ask a question), or advocate a position (i.e., public service announcement).
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Plan components (1 point)
• Required elements (3.5 points - 7 elements at .5 point each)
• Effective, efficient, and appealing project (1.5 points)

The plan document can be text directly entered into the posting at Oncourse that links to your site (At the site, link to your fla and swf versions or a file or page at your website). Within your plan start with an introduction or description of the product and then identify your primary audience (reminder that one size does not fit everyone; i.e. reading / ability levels, interest, etc), explain why this flash product, how you see it being useful, and identify where you used the required elements within your product. Also reflect on the process you encountered in preparing for and completing the product; i.e., the good and the bad, what worked and didn't, and any recommendations you would make to others.

Note: You need to plan and develop a navigation system at your site so that all of your work can be acccess from your entry page.

Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment.
There are two ways to receive a reply point. First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area. Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

Examples. Although the project plans aren't included, the following student assignments might be helpful:
A Apple (.swf & .fla) - S. Jackson, Spring 2006
Beer Brewing
(.swf & .fla) - M. Witt, Spring 2006
Birthday Card
(.swf & .fla) - L. Colbert, Spring 2006
Green Eggs and Ham
(.swf & .fla) - K. Mosbaugh, Spring 2006
Nice Day for a Drive
(.swf & .fla) - J. Heaphey, Spring 2006
Eclipse
(.swf & .fla) - M. Burkhart, Spring 2006
Jazz (.swf & .fla) - J. Colvin, Spring 2006
Peanut Butter & Banana
(.swf & .fla) - A. Hurford, Spring 2006
Powerlines
(.swf & .fla) - K. Pizarek, Spring 2006
Sunflower
(.swf & .fla) - A. Kelly, Spring 2006
TechKnowledge (.swf & .fla) - M. Gish, Spring 2006
Valentine's Day Card (.swf & .fla) - J. Delph, Spring 2006

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Flash Interaction

bookRead the Interaction page. This section focuses on designing active exploration and learning environments.

bookRead Chapter 4: Interaction (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter examines how ActionScript is used to facilitate interactivity. You'll create an interactive version of the Takeoff example as well a build another example based on the Utah National Parks.

flashlightFlashlight 3: Interaction (7 Points Total)
Incorporate interactive elements into a Flash project. Incorporate at least three of the following elements:
• Create a unique appearance for each of the four button states (up, over, down, hit)
• Use invisible buttons
• Use draggable symbols
• Use item from Component panel
Incorporate at least three of the following ActionScript functions: stop, gotoAndPlay, gotoAndStop, getURL, nextFrame() .
Be sure to make effective use of layers.

Posting. Save and upload both the .fla and .swf versions. In addition, write a short project plan to describes the purpose and audience for your interactive elements. In other words, your project should include interactive elements that serve an entertainment, informational, instructional, or persuasive purpose.
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Project Plan (.5 point)
• Interaction elements (3 at 1 point each)
• ActionScript elements (3 at .5 point each)
• Effective, efficient, and appealing project (1 point)


Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment.
There are two ways to receive a reply point. First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area. Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

Examples. Although the project plans aren't included, the following student assignments might be helpful:
3 Little Pigs
(.swf & .fla) - A. Goben, Spring 2006
3 Little Pigs
(.swf & .fla) - S. Jackson, Spring 2006
Dog Quiz
(.swf & .fla) - M. Burkhart, Spring 2006
Hilton Head
(.swf & .fla) - K. Mosbaugh, Spring 2006
Library
(.swf & .fla) - K. Pizarek, Spring 2006
New Hampshire
(.swf) - P. Slater, Spring 2006
PAi-Gow
(.swf & .fla) - A. Hurford , Spring 2006
Phantom Planet (.swf & .fla) - L. Colbert, Spring 2006
Shapes (.swf & .fla) - M. Witt, Spring 2006
Time
(.swf & .fla) - J. Heaphey, Spring 2006
Valentine Card
(.swf & .fla) - J. Colvin, Spring 2006

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Flash Multimedia

bookRead the Multimedia page to learn about adding sound, video, and visual elements to your Flash project.

bookRead Chapter 5: Multimedia (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter explores options for adding multimedia elements into Flash projects.

flashlightFlashlight 4: Multimedia (7 Points total)
Incorporate multimedia elements into a Flash project. Incorporate each of the following three areas:
• Audio
• Video
• Visual (i.e., masking)

Posting. Save and upload both the .fla and .swf versions. In addition, write a short project plan to describes the purpose and audience for your multimedia elements. In other words, your project should serve a purpose.
(6 Points for Posting; 1 Point for Reply)
The following criteria will be used in evaluating your posting:
• Project Plan (.5 point)
• Required elements (5 points)
• Effective, efficient, and appealing project (.5 point)

Reply. If you have technical questions related to this assignment, post them in the Troubleshooting Thread in the Flashlight assignment.
There are two ways to receive a reply point. First, you can provide a technical suggestion for someone in the troubleshooting area. Second, you can comment on a peer's project. You might provide suggestions, comment on their approach, or provide an example of another way one of their techniques could be applied.

Examples. Although the project plans aren't included, the following student assignments might be helpful:
Australia
(.swf & .fla)- J. Heaphey, Spring 2006
Birthday
(.swf & .fla) - M. Witt, Spring 2006
Coyote
(.swf & .fla) - M. Burkhart, Spring 2006
Escape (.swf & .fla) - A. Goben, Spring 2006
Jamaica
(.swf) - A. Hurford, Spring 2006
Library
(.swf & .fla) - J. Delph, Spring 2006
Preschool
(.swf & .fla) - S. Jackson, Spring 2006
Stella
(.swf) - L. Colbert, Spring 2006
Where are You? (.swf & .fla) - M. Gish, Spring 2006

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Flash Design and Development

bookRead the Project Planning page.

bookRead the Design Issues page.

bookRead the Packaging and Publishing page.

bookRead Chapter 6: Planning and Producing (PDF document) from AIM your Flash Project. This chapter explores options for adding multimedia elements into Flash projects.

Beyond the requirements for class, consider ways you can apply Flash to your home or work setting.

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Course Project

man running with reportNow that you've worked your way through the course materials, it's time to apply your skils to a meaningful Flash production. This project is worth 30% of your grade, so be sure to do your best work.

Your Flash project should be useful, purposeful, and substantial. The guidelines are flexible enough to meet the professional needs of most students. Although there are many applications, it is suggested that you focus on one of the following areas:

  • Digital Tutorial
  • Digital Collection
  • Interactive Exhibit
  • Electronic Book
  • Sophisticated E-card
  • Simulation
  • Website Component Makeover (splash, headings, advertisement, ecard)

Although the final product is flexible, you must include the following elements:

  • Website page linking to the required components
  • Project Report
    • Visual plan/storyboard
    • Written plan highlighting:
      • design (i.e., audience need, goals, purpose, context for use)
      • features (i.e., text, graphics, layers, animation, interaction/ActionScripts, multimedia)
      • user interface (i.e., considerations to address user needs, accessibility)
      • formative evaluation (i.e., usability testing, at least 3 outside evaluations)
      • personal reflection (i.e., strengths, weaknesses, desires, frustrations, wishes)
      • convincing argument for Flash use for this task
  • Published, web-based .swf file
  • Original .fla file burned to CD or uploaded to web space

Below are a few examples from Spring 2006. Most do not contain their project plan. Many of the very larger projects on CD were not included:

If you'd like to see a few Flash projects from a summer workshop, check out the following (keep in mind that this workshop had different course requirements):

Project Evaluation (22 Points Total)

  • Project Plan and Report
    • visual plan/storyboard (1 Point)
    • design (.5 Point)
    • features (.5 Point)
    • user interface (.5 Point)
    • formative evaluation (.5 Point)
    • personal reflection (1 Point)
    • convincing argument (.5 Point)
    • professionally presented (.5 Point)
  • Basic Elements (i.e., effective use of text, graphics, layers, symbols) (2 Points)
  • Animation (4 Points)
  • Interaction (4 Points)
  • Multimedia (4 Points)
  • Properly exported and linked to website (1 Point)
  • Peer Review (2 points)

flashlightPeer Review (Required - score included with Final Project)
Provide constructive feedback related to the final project for at least three of your classmates. You are to complete this process a few days before the final project is due (Check Calendar). Constructive reviews may include suggested changes. Word such in a positive manner with the intention of helping each other make the final projects the best possible. This is a teamwork approach.

Although most people will post the Peer Review comments on the discussion thread, if necessary you may send personal mails directly to an individual (In that instance, you should also copy that information to the instructor).

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Conclusion

goodie bagAlthough Flash is a useful tool for creating cool animations, fun interactions, and exciting multimedia, it's also a wonderful software package for developing effective, efficient, and appealing informational and instructional materials. Now that you've experienced the "basics," it's your job to find meaningful applications for this powerful production tool.

Have fun with your new bag of electronic goodies!

 

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