Learning ActionScript 3.0 a Beginners Guide- Review

Learning ActionScript 3.0 a Beginner’s Guide was written by Rich Shupe and Zevan Rosser, those names speaks for themselves. This book contains everything a flash designer or beginner flash developer will have to learn to easily create full ActionScript 3.0 projects.
This will sound silly but for me the best part of this book was the full color print. I loved it, it was like reading a book about graphic design. I would buy it just because of the looks, even if the content was crapy (which is great but we will talk about it later). Learning ActionScript 3.0 is a complement for Learning Flash CS4 Professional, Rich didn’t want to release it as one huge book (thanks for that!), so now we have two beautiful books with great content (I will review Learning Flash CS4 Professional later this moth).

The best ActionScript book ever written.

-Lee Brimelow, creator of The

If you already know Flash, and you just want to make a switch to ActionScript 3.0 or you want to learn AS3 but you have never touched that stuff before this book is for you. I have been working with Flash for a few long year and still there where many new techniques that I have learned from this book. Rich has amazing gift of passing knowledge, each chapter brings something new. Event if you already know ActionScript 3.0 it’s fun to read, because you will always learn something from it!
Now it’s time for some numbers and description of the content. This book contains 15 chapters divided into 5 parts – here is a brief description:

  1. ActionScript Overview – what is ActionScript 3.0, few words about Flash Platform and how to use Document Class.
  2. Core Language Fundamentals - Variables and data types, loops, conditionals, arrays, functions etc. – beautifully described with tables and code examples.
  3. Properties, Methods and Events – Properties, events, methods, timer events and removing event listeners.
  4. The Display List – The sum of its parts, removing and adding children. Managing names, position and data types. Changing the display list hierarchy.
  5. Timeline Control – playhead movement, frame labels, grame rate and description of application structure.
  6. OOP – clases, inheritance, composition, encapsulation, polymorphism – briefly described all you have to know about OOP as a beginner developer.
  7. Motion – Basic movement, geometry and trigonometry, physics, programmatic tweening, particle systems .
  8. Drawing with Vectors – Graphics class, geometry package, motion package, 9-slice scaling, examples.
  9. Drawing with Pixels – Bitmap catching, bitampData class, blend modes, bitmap filters, color effects, image encoding and saving.
  10. Text – Creating text fields, selecting and formatting text fields, parsing, using CSS and HTML to skin your text field.
  11. Sound – ActionScript sound architecture, internal and external sound, playing stopping and pausing sound, buffering sound, changing the volume, reading ID3 Metadata from MP3, visualizing sound data, working with mic.
  12. Video – Encoding, Components, Full-screen video, captions, coding Your own Video Playback.
  13. Loading Assets - Loading Sound and Video, Loading Text, Loading Display Objects, Communicating Across ActionScript Virtual Machines, security.
  14. XML and E4X - Understanding XML, creating an XML Object, reading and writing XML, delating XML elements, loading external XML, communicating with XML servers, xml-based navigation system.
  15. Programming Design and Resources – Programming design methodologies, object-oriented design patters, resources.

My favorites are Chapter 7 and Chapter 9 they filled the gaps in my knowledge, I think Learning AS3.0 is a great book for anyone who looks for and easy guide through ActionScript 3.0 if you are an advance developer I would consider buying ActionScript 3.0 Essentials (or both). After reading beautifully designed Learning AS3, Essentials ActionScript 3.0 looks boring and depressing :) But don’t get fulled AS3 Essentials has great content too!

In the next few months I will be reviewing:

P.S If you already have this book please comment and tell us what you think!

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About the Author: Kuba Gaj

Hi, my name is Kuba and I am the founder of massiveProCreation. I am interested in almost everything that is connected to technology (specially Adobe Flash). If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me :)

5 Comments + Add Comment

  • I just love this book. It is well structured, hs lots of code samples and it all makes sense. It covers pretty much everything you need to know as a starting AS3 developer.

    Although I use this book quite often, it should not be the only guide a developer uses. Use it in combination with the AS3 Cookbook, because LAS3.0 does not cover more detailed information on for instance Event Propagation.

    This guide helped me very much to struggle through AS3 OOP.
    Go buy this book and learn!

    - Cyppher

  • I am not a Flash guy but since you’ve mentioned that this book is very good I will definitely buy it!

  • The Shupe-Rosser book is NOT good for true Action Script beginners, especially for artistic types.

    The “Learning Action Script 3″ book does not include enough examples of basic scripting concepts for it to sink in with a beginner. As the book progresses, many examples and chapters are far too complex and advanced for a beginner.

    I think most beginners will find the Shupe – Rosser Action Script 3 book confusing and very frustrating.

    If you’re an artist or graphic designer who is intimidated by Action Script and have found most books on the topic confusing, here are some books that helped me, and I think you may find them easier to understand as well:

    Action Script 3 titles:

    -‘Flash CS4 Professional Advanced for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickPro Guide’ by Russell Chun.

    -‘ActionScript 3.0: Visual QuickStart Guide’ by Derrick Ypenburg

    Action Script 2 titles
    (helpful for understanding programming concepts, even though the AS2 syntax is now dated):

    -“Sams Teach Yourself Flash MX ActionScript in 24 Hours” by Gary Rosenzweig

    - “Macromedia Flash MX ActionScripting: Advanced Training from the Source” by Derek Franklin and Jobe Makar

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