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Flash is a daunting program to try to teach yourself - it has MANY layers of depth, and uses a vocabulary that is unlike anything you may have used before.
If you break it down though, think of Flash as a program that has three levels of sophistication:
1. It's a VECTOR ART program
2. It's an ANIMATION program
3. It's a PROGRAMMING program
Learn Flash in that order, bit by bit, and you'll get to understand WHY it works the way it does, and what the rules are for creating graphics with it.
(Memorize the areas of the screen on the left)
Alan Becker is an insanely talented animator whose classic "Animator vs Animation" has over 7 million views, and it's sequels have even more!
This is an EXCELLENT overview of Flash, and demonstrates the use of some of it's tools.
You can always hit the PAUSE and REWIND buttons if it goes too fast!
Start FLASH (Start - Programs - Adobe Web Standard - Adobe Flash)
Set up your screen
Close the "Answers" and "Components" Palettes (Right click their title bars and CLOSE)
Open the Library (F11)
Dock the Library (Grab it by the "Grip" beside the down arrow and drag it to the right side of the screen
Set the Frame rate (Double click the "12 fps" and set it to 30fps for video)
Set the stage size and background colour (640x480 for video size)
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"