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Web Design and Hosting Creating sites, scripting, and hosting discussions.

Dreamweaver/Flash newbie but experienced mac artworker


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Artworker_Dan

 
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Member Since: Jun 20, 2009
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire
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As this is my first thread, firstly let me introduce myself and say a big hello to you all.

My name is Dan and I've been a mac artworker for over 18 years within the design/advertising/marketing industry for print and packaging in west Yorkshire, UK. I am by no means a novice when it comes to using a mac or the usual Adobe packages.

As a few people on here will have come to find over the past 12 months, and as a good old school artworker who has no aspirations to become a designer, the necessity to keep up with current trends and economic climate has forced me to now make the conscious decision to finally get some web application abilities and working knowledge 'strings added to my bow'. I know some of you are probably thinking quite rightly that I should have done this years ago, but having always been a permanent employee in various companies, it hasn't been necessary for me to pick learning DW and Flash up... until now.

As I have been using packages such as Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator and Quark since they first came out, I know full well that learning what I need to know from the books such as the Lynda.com and Peach Pit Press series, although fantastic as they are, are going to teach me more-or-less 2/3 more than I ever need know to do the jobs which I likely to undertake on a freelance level, and in some parts, stuff I will probably never use on a commercial level.

I'm hoping there are a few people out there who have already been where I am now and have got this relevant experience under their belt who can offer me some valuable advice when entering this side of the market. I feel that as a freelance artworker already suffering the blows of the UK recession, having a few more skills such as Dreamweaver and Flash to my list of abilities, more-so from the artwork side of the industry than the design side, may just tip the scale for securing more work.

Any advice for best and probably quickest solutions to this issue will be greatly appreciated. I may also add that 3-day courses at 800 are not an option as I am on a budget.

I have a few books that I picked up last year that I am hoping may be sufficient, as listed below:

Dreamweaver for dummies
Dreamweaver MX H.O.T. - Lynda.com
Hot to cheat in Flash CS3
Flash CS3 the Missing Manual
Flash Professional - Peachpit - Lynda.com
Flash Professional - Visual Quickstart Guide - Katherine Ulrich

A few I know but some were given to me and others were picked up after pretty good reviews.

I'd be interested to know how those of you who use DW and Flash now, commercial learned them. I've always taught people 'on-the-job' and simplified a lot of what the books unecessarily trawl you through for the sake of it.

Thanks guys - I hope my expertise in my areas can serve you as well as I hope this thread will serve me.

Dan

Dan Markinson
Freelance Creative Mac Artworker West Yorkshire
http://www.danmarkinson.co.uk
info@danmarkinson.co.uk
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Well people learn differently. I was self taught in HTML and almost all the Adobe Suite.

I would probably subscribe to Lynda.com and download the tutorials for the applications you want to learn.

That would be the fastest way to learn. The tutorials there are pretty much step by step and you can follow along as well.

Then there are books...but those never really help me learn an application. They are good for learning little tricks and key commands mostly.

Night classes at a community college or adult school, would be another option. They are pretty inexpensive and depending on the teacher and the environment you do learn quite a bit, plus if you get stuck someone can help you.

Flash has a huge learning curve, because you need to animate and worry about coding at the same time. I don't like flash at all, but I'm learning it anyways. >_<"
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Artworker_Dan

 
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Member Since: Jun 20, 2009
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Cheers, thanks for that. Certainly food for thought. I ideally wanted to stay away from the coding side of web stuff and the real techy stuff and try stay more front end. Someone else told me about the Lynda.com training videos as well today. I have always found video tuition more concise in the past which is probably why I ended up with so many books. Your right though, they do always come in handy as reference points.

Dan Markinson
Freelance Creative Mac Artworker West Yorkshire
http://www.danmarkinson.co.uk
info@danmarkinson.co.uk
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todd51
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Welcome, Dan! I hope you enjoy your stay here at the forums.

Throughout college I wanted to learn more about wed design and development. I really advise you to get started on learning HTML coding and then move into CSS.

HTML will set up the structure of web pages. The CSS helps style the webpage and give it a nice look and overall feel. If taking some beginner classes are not an option for money (I learn better when taking classes) buy some beginner's books on learning HTML and CSS. You can make some really nice looking sites with these two web codes combined.

Dreamweaver is a very nice application and used by a lot. I would definitely recommend learning it. However, often times beginners rely too much on the Design view and never look at the Code view. Don't rely too much on the Design view only. Knowing the code will help you troubleshoot (there will be many headaches) the websites that your building. And trust me, if you understand the code, you will have a step up in your freelancing competition.

Just don't give up on it! Your half way there, buy having a very good design aspect, you can learn how to design a site completely in Photoshop and convert it into well written, clean code and please your clients!
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Artworker_Dan

 
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Member Since: Jun 20, 2009
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Thanks for your reply Todd.

I am actually looking at purchasing some of the Lynda.com training videos, namely, Dreamweaver Essential Training, HTML and CSS2 ones. That way I get the best of both worlds in terms of actual visual training and a reference point I can keep referring to.

Unless any one has them already and can either sell me their 'surplus' copies or recommend me NOT Pparting with my hard-earned cash.

Cheers

Dan Markinson
Freelance Creative Mac Artworker West Yorkshire
http://www.danmarkinson.co.uk
info@danmarkinson.co.uk
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Julie designs

 
Member Since: Jun 23, 2009
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Hi Dan,

I'm in a similar situation because I changed careers in mid-life and am doing web design now. I have several suggestions for books that are sitting here on my desk, dog-eared and well-used:
1. CSS - the missing manual is by far the best book for learning all that CSS can do to your xhtml in web design. Author is David S McFarland.
I shuddered at the thought of having to learn any 'code' or 'markup' language but now I couldn't go back to design view in Dreamweaver (DW) if I wanted to. This is probably terrible to admit but I use DW as a text editor primarily and used code view then preview everything I design in various browser windows.
2. Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers by Tom Green and David Stiller is the best Flash book I've used so far.

I have not subscribed to online tutorials for the reasons you stated. I am just now networking with other web designers (locally and online) and uber code types (code poets) and ultimately hope to be a part of a local group of designers for info sharing and support; alot more friendly than paying hard earned money for courses that may not answer your questions.

All the best in your new endeavors in virtual designs!
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