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Programming in ActionScript 3.0 - Resources and Reviews

Here are some online resources and books that we used, which you may find helpful to hone your AS3 as well as Flash CS3, CS4 and CS5 skills. Also, books concerning the newest frontier: AIR for Android!

Books

  • Developing Android Applications with Adobe AIR, Véronique Brossier, O'Reilly 2011.

    This book is now available at Amazon. EXCELLENT! The book is an excellent, in-depth resource for AIR Android developers. We found there explanations of many fine points and answers to many questions.

  • Android Development with Flash: Your visual blueprint for developing mobile apps, Julian Dolce, Wiley 2010.

    An great introduction to developing apps for Android with Adobe AIR. In case you need it, the book contains a gentle introduction to authoring in Flash CS5 as well. A very good starter book.

  • ActionScript 3.0 Game Programming University (2nd Edition), G. Rosenzweig,
    QUE Publishing, 2011.

    This book is geared for game developers but it contains a lot of useful AS3 tricks that can be used in any context. The second edition is updated to Flash Player 10 and Flash CS5. Several new games added. Very helpful.

  • ActionScript 3.0 Bible - Second Edition, R. Braunstein, Wiley, 2010.

    A new edition of this great book. Fully updated to Flash Professional CS5, Flash Builder 4, Flex 4, and AIR 2. Interesting chapters on 3D methods, Pixel Bender, and TLF text engine. Highly recommended!

  • Learning ActionScript 3.0: A Beginner's Guide - Second Edition, R. Shupe and Z. Rosser, O'Reilly, 2010.

    If you are a beginner programmer or new to Flash, this book is a great resource. The first edition was great. And so is t his second edition updated to Flash CS5. The book is focused on Flash rather than on both Flash and Flex. All examples in the first five chapters use Timeline scripting. AS3 classes are introduced and covered and the OOP nature of AS3 addressed but only after a gentle and very clearly written beginning. If you are planning to eventually venture into more complex AS3 applications, the authors recommend using their book in conjuction with The Essential ActionScript 3.0 or ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook. We would add ActionScript 3.0 Bible as another possibility.

  • ActionScript 3.0 Image Effects, T. Yard, friendsofed, 2009.

    A great book! It gives thorough, clear explanations of programmatic image processing. It covers filters, blend modes, advanced bitmap programming, just about every image effect you might want to accomplish and some video effects. It explains clearly very advanced concepts. The book is fully updated to Flash Player 10 and has an excellent coverage of Pixel Bender supported by FP10. The book focuses on image effects as it is definitely not a general manual on learning AS3. But who isn't interested in image effects? Highly recommended!

  • AdvancedEd ActionScript 3.0 Animation, K. Peters, friendsofed, 2009.

    As all books by Keith Peters, this one too should be a part of every AS programmer's library. The book in a continuation of Peter's earlier book, Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!, as well as an update to AS3 methods supported by FP10. A wealth of examples on advanced programmatic animation techniques. The book has the cookbook quality: you can pick an example of interest to you or read it cover-to-cover. Either way, you will find it very helpful.

  • ActionScript 3.0 for Adobe Flash CS4 Professional Classroom in a Book, Adobe Creative Team, Adobe Press, 2008.

    This book is updated to Flash Player 10 AS3 methods. Most of it, though, is a generic, step-by-step manual to learning ActionScript 3. Very good for beginners. The book walks you through basic AS3 techniques in 14 lessons, and covers most of the central topics: animation, event-handling, loading external data, working with XML, working with sound and video. Definitely recommended.

  • Essential ActionScript 3.0 , C. Moock, O'Reilly 2007.

    A MUST!  As with all books by Colin Moock, this one is a must for ActionScript programmers. The author explains concepts with amazing clarity and depth. The book provides comprehensive coverage of AS3.

  • ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook, J. Lott, D. Schall, and K. Peters, O'Reilly 2007.

    An excellent AS3 resource. Beware though, the book is meant for Flash as well as Flex and it does not address timeline scripting. On the other hand, the book contains answers to so many practical questions, we can't imagine working without it.

  • ActionScript 3.0 Bible, R. Braunstein, M. Wright and J. Noble, Wiley, 2007.

    Unlike the previous incarnations of ActionScript Bible by J.Lott and R. Reinhardt, this ActionScript 3.0 Bible is not specific to Flash. It covers AS3 ehaustively on the level general enough to be applicable to Flash CS3, Flex 2 and 3, and the upcoming AIR - Adobe Integrated Runtime. AIR (now in public beta) provides desktop runtime environment for AS3 applications. Don't expect examples of timeline scripting and tips on Flash CS3 authoring! The examples in the book consist of collections of custom classes, one of which should be entered as a fla file Document Class. On the other hand, the coverage of AS3 begins with the basics and should be accessible to a beginner programmer. Second Edition available! See above.

  • Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move!, K. Peters, friendsofed, 2007.

    If you are interested in programmatic animation and not afraid of Object-Oriented programming, this book will teach you everything you need to know. The book by a renown AS expert, Keith Peters, is meant for Flash, Flex, and AIR developers. Together with lots of AS3 examples, it gives you a solid backgroud in mathematics and physics that you need to know to make your 2D and 3D animations realistic and cool.

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