The First Tutorail from my friend Rafiq El-Manasy (ACE , Adobe Expert , AUGM). He runs the Adobe User Group (Egypt) specialize in Art-Work , Digital Art and Media .., he will starting talk about (Design , Animation , Art , .. ) into Flash CS4 throw “Flash:Zero To Hero” Series .. Thanks Rafiq for your effort.
Getting into Flash CS4 : by Rafiq El-Mansy
In this tutorials series we will dig into the Flash as a design and animation tool. One of the best advantages of using Flash is that it allows you to create content for many outputs not only the web.
Flash is a universal program that you can create output for different media such as web, desktop, mobiles devices, TV and video broadcasting and DVD players…etc.
The aim of mentioning this is that when we create a new Flash project we should know what is the possible media that we will output the project for. And thus, we decide the suitable specifications for the project and project details.
For example, when you create a project for TV, you can either create the document dimensions and frame rate based on the PAL or NTSC TV broadcasting systems. Also, when you work for Flash website, you should consider the user type, loading fast and add a preloader to appear to the user while the content is loading.
Creating a New Flash Document
When you create a new Flash document, you can either create a new document or set its properties as you like or choose from the existing templates. These templates can be updated to include more varieties.
When you open Flash, you can create a new document either for the splash screen or through the File > New command. Both options gives you the option to create your custom new file or select from the templates available.
Figure01. Adobe Flash CS4 splash screen
Also, you can create a new Flash file by choosing New in the Flash menu. The New dialog box, has two tabs, one for the New documents and the other tab for the templates documents.
Figure02. New Document Dialog box
The New Flash documents can be compatible with Action script 2 or 3, you can choose a Flash file for mobile or Action Script file.
New Document Properties
When you create a new document, you can set the properties of the document through the Properties panel. The Properties panel includes the following properties:
Document dimensions, you can set the width and the height of the document.
Frame rate, the frame rate shows the speed of the animation by the number of frame that will be played in a second FPS.
Stage, this option lets you choose the color of the stage which is the color of the movie background.
This is the first step in creating a Flash project, which lets you create the new document that will include your work project and in the next articles we will dig more to understand the Flash drawing tools and animation concept.
FLASH BIRTH !
“If you ever think Flash is difficult to use, you should try drawing with a joystick on an Apple II before the concept of undo was invented. That will test your patience.”
Jonathan Gay, Creator of Flash
Before we starting Flash:Zero To Hero Core Tutorial, let’s make a fast trip throw Flash History to discover the evolution of flash during the past years.
Flash began as Jonathan Gay’s dream of being an architect. While designing sketches of houses, Gay came to the sad realization that there was not a lot of opportunity for him to actually see his designs in final form. It was when an Apple II entered his life that Gay began to program, and soon discovered that with writing programs, you can design something, build it and then see it work and respond to the user. His designs would now reach final form - however, his bits of Apple II Basic were not as impressive as building houses.
His first full program was a game, written in Basic, that was a copy of Space Invaders. From Basic he graduated to writing in Pascal; the language used to write his first graphics editor (SuperPaint) which he won an award for at his high school’s science fair.
In January 1993, Jonathan Gay, Charlie Jackson, and Michelle Welsh started a small software company called FutureWave Software , Work on the FutureSplash Animator continued, the company became restless with the idea that they were too small to generate the popularity they were looking for, so in October of 1995 they tried selling the software technology to John Warnock at Adobe, In December of 1995, the company was almost sold to Fractal Design but they too were mostly interested in SmartSketch “A drawing application for pen computers running the PenPoint OS”, SmartSketch was designed to make creating computer graphics as simple as drawing on paper. When PenPoint failed in the marketplace, SmartSketch was ported to Microsoft Windows and Mac OS., and declined on FutureSplash.
In the summer of 1996, the FutureSplash Animator software was shipped and began to gain public interest. FutureWave’s biggest success was in August of 1996, when Microsoft was working on their web version of MSN and they wanted to create the most television like experience possible on the Internet, FutureSplash was their solution. FutureWave’s other high profile client besides Microsoft was Disney Online. Disney was using FutureSplash to create animation and interface for their subscription based online service Disney’s Daily Blast.
In November of 1996, Macromedia approached FutureWave about working together. Since FutureWave had been running for 4 years with a total investment of $500,000 they took the offer and in December of 1996, Macromedia acquired the company and Future Splash Animator became Macromedia Flash 1.0.
After more than ten years , Adobe Acquired Macromedia and Released Flash CS3 , CS4 and continuing the amazing stories of Flash Innovations
FLASH TIME LINE
FutureSplash Animator 
Initial version of Flash with basic editing tools and a timeline. In December 1996, Macromedia acquired FutureSplash and later released it as Flash 1.0.
Flash 1.0 
(December 1996) - The first release after Macromedia re-branded the FutureSplash Animator (contracting the former name, “Future” and “Splash”).
Flash 2.0 
(June 1997) - the object library was added to Flash.
Flash 3.0 
Flash 4.0 
(15 June 1999) - internal variables, an input field, advanced Actionscript, and streaming MP3.
Flash 5 
(15 March 2002) - UI Components, XML, compression, streaming video codec.
Flash MX2004 
(10 September 2003) - text alias, Unicode, Actionscript 2.0, improved streaming video codec, behaviours. Launch of a Pro version - all Flash MX 2004 features plus a form and slide editor, web services integration, Object Oriented Programming in ActionScript 2.0, and Media Playback components, which encapsulate a complete MP3 and/or FLV player in a component that may be placed in a SWF.
Flash 8 
(13 September 2005) - Added an external interface allowing the host machine to programmatically control Flash content. At the same time the Pro version was released - with improved higher-quality of video codec and encoder. Added Filters and Blending Modes for movie-clips and buttons.
Adobe Flash 9 Alpha 
Adobe CS3 
(27 March 2007) - Become a proud part of Adobe CS3 suite. Added cool features like Import Photoshop Files,Exporting Motions and Animations,Improved Skinning of Components,New and Improved Flash Video Importer,Brand New Interface.
Adobe CS4 
(as version 10, released on October 15, 2008): Contains inverse kinematics (bones), basic 3D object manipulation, object-based animation, an enhanced text engine, and further expansions to ActionScript 3.0. CS4 allows the developer to more efficiently and quickly create animations with many improved features that were not included in previous versions.
Resources :- Rick Waldron, FlashMagazine.com , Adobe , ivantodorov.com, Wiki
What if it was possible, for ourselves as a community, finally we are already started our new campaign to help everyone finally release their maximum potential, in everything they ever imagined and wish to do in Flash, or any other technology.
We will start first with FLASH: ZERO to HERO Series.
Flash: Zero to Hero !
I have already tried, in the previous 3 years, to make the biggest e-learning gateway for Flash, “FlashLive,” but after 3 years of experience in e-learning techniques, I halted it for while to restructure it. I also have a book ready for publishing, a tutorial for Flash. I think it is the time we started our first series of technical Tutorials. It will becalled “Flash: Zero to Hero.”
The series will contain scheduled tutorials in all Adobe Flash techniques including features, design, development, and even animation. The series will start with articles in the discussion area. We already have some topics to start with, and we need from the group members to submit requests about any topics they need. the Flash tutorials will start at the 25th of April, repeating every Saturday at a weekly basis.