First, I started with a good online resource that shows instructional videos and allows the learner to work through sample files. I'm using Lynda.com which has turned out to be a great way to learn most of the Adobe products. The instructor shows the very basics but also some of the shortcuts and best practices for using the tool itself. This has been a great way to get started.
Flash animation is the big brain buster for me. I'm familiar with editing images, photos, and interactive web sites. However, dealing with animations is proving to be the key concept I'm going to have to learn to master Flash. So I'm learning tweens, shapes and key frames but it's not all gelling yet. The first project I wanted to do in Flash has proven that I'll need more than just Lynda.com to master the animation portion.
I'm at the level now where I can do an interactive Flash animation using simple shapes, symbols, buttons, and action script. However I'm not yet at the point where I can do a complex animation. For example, a scene where you see someone using a computer from behind the person's back and then zoom in to show the monitor full screen. I'm still working on that one.
Next, I'm going to order a few books from Amazon.com to try to push myself to the next level. I'll also need to start doing some small projects in Flash because this seems to be one of those things that requires a lot of practice. Any thoughts from those of you who have been down this road before?