Flash CMS! AE Expressions! Missile Game Tutorial!!

These were actually ready yesterday, but since it was the dreaded “worm-attack day”  I figured everybody would be too scared to buy or download anything. But since its a day later, lets get loose again. So here’s the latest newsletter….


…With a not-as-different-as-I-planned-look. But whatever. I tried a white background, heck I even tried a New York Time type thing. It all failed. Apparently I can only work with black backgrounds now. As usual that link above gets you to the discount page for all 3 new courses this month for the meager price of $15 (thats about 6 hours of training too).  But if you’re reading this post in the distant future, those same discounts won’t be around. 

So what’s so cool about this month’s lesson. Well I actually taught one course. My first for-sale course that I’ve taught in a while, which is the Flash CMS tutorial( thats the permalink for the course, undiscounted). And it only took about 4 years of people asking for a Flash-based content management course for me to put one together. So that means it will either be a hot-selling lesson, or it will only be bought by the 20 people that emailed over those 4 years.  

But despite how bias I am because  (A) I taught the lesson, and (B) I make a small amount selling it, I do think its an amazing tutorial. By the end of it you’ll be able to give your clients the ability to edit their own Flash text. WITHOUT having to create some lame backend to the site. Once your clients are logged in, they can edit text as they see it. So normally unselectable, uneditable text on their Flash page, because selectable/editable and they can change it and save. All this happens with Actionscript 3, PHP and MySQL. So just be sure your host supports MySQL (4 or 5).

Flash CMS tutorial

Also this lesson will probably be the basis of future Flash & CMS courses. Right now I’m planning out one where clients can upload and change images in their Flash files, but I don’t plan on reteaching everything thats in this course. So these course will build off one another. 

Next course!… 

Eric Schmidt returned to teach a Missile War game tutorial. This uses Actionscript 3 and Classes for a change. My Flash courses usually don’t teach classes, so if you aren’t familiar with that, it will be a small change for you and worth learning. And of course by the end of the tutorial, you’ve created a Flash game. Win.

Eric also taught these tutorials

Missile Game Tutorial

Last course!…

Manuel D’Macedo, the French version of me, returns for one more After Effects course. This time an Expressions tutorial.  Check out the example video, it will blow your mind (if you’re high). Expressions in AE, if you don’t know, are usually one or two lines of very simple code, that can be used to animate your objects properties with math or just tying one objects property to another. So you could make the X trajectory of one comp, be equal to the Y trajectory of another. And what’s the point of that? Well thats what the lesson goes into. It is a major time-saver in the right situation and for doing complicated FX, its a life saver. 

Also this is probably our second-to-last AE course for a while. Both my AE guys, Manuel and Jeremy Hicks are moving onto other topics. Jeremy is hopefully working on iPhone tutes, and Manuel will be looking into doing something with Papervision 3D. Also, I’m not sure why this paragraph is in italics, but I’m kinda used to it now, so it’ll stay. 

Caleidoscope effect using Expressions in After Effects


Whaaaaaaaaat?! Today was the First?!

I thought November had 31 days! Okay well another CartoonSmart deadline out the window. I might have something new to launch tomorrow. At the latest though, the day after.  In case you’re curious, the two lessons ( sold together and cheapened as usual) will be….

First, an After Effects tutorial that teaches somebasics and also some not-so-basics of the 3D in the program (or 2.5D).  An example of the finished project is here.

AND the second course is a basic Actionscript 3 tutorial which teaches how to create an overhead view tank game. Finished example is here ( arrow keys to move, mouse clicks to shoot )

So thats what’s coming. For sale soon!

After Effects “Arrivals Board” Tutorial!

Confession time. Teachers are not always the best students. If my software knowledge were a swimming pool, the Flash side would be the deep end, with lots of inflatable toys and a kick ass slide and diving board. But it would be clearly roped off from the shallow side of the pool which would represent my mastery of other equally cool Adobe programs like After Effects or Premiere.  And why is this?…maybe lack of necessity, lack of training, or just a lack of enthusiasm for learning new things in general? Probably all of the above. Which is too bad, because I’ve been bitten by the AfterEffects bug, and I’m kicking myself for not learning this program sooner.

I spent last weekend going through step by step of the After Effects tutorial just released, (obviously I didn’t teach it)  and the weekend before that I watched another lesson (soon to be released). So I’m starting to feel like the training wheels are coming off, and its exciting to be playing around. Especially coming from a Flash background I can see how these two programs will really come in handy together. And Adobe has done a great job making After Effects and Flash CS4 feel like sister products. 

Anyway, let me talk a little bit about the specifics of this tutorial. The first hour is an introduction to the program. Jeremy, the instructor, goes through an overview of the user interface, and gets into some conceptual stuff, like what a composition is, why use them, etc.  Jeremy also uses Flash so he makes some cool comparisons between the two that will be helpful if you’re coming from that background like me. 

The last two hours deal with creating the Arrivals Board, ( you might recognize the letter flip effect from the beginning credits to the movie “The Terminal”).  This is a genuinely fun starter project and relatively easy, but you should get a feel for the real power of After Effects. So again, I’m sold. Like that hair plug guy used to say, “I’m not only the president, I’m also a client”….  If you didn’t get the Adobe suite with AfterEffects, consider upgrading to include it. They do have that option somewhere on the site.

And if you’re interested in buying the lesson, it is $15  ( a fraction of the cost I paid to have it made )  but keep in mind too, if you sign up for the newsletter right now until probably early December, you’ll get this lesson AND the Illustrator tutorial from the previous post for the same price.  Click here or the advert below to get to the sales page