Flash is an authoring tool that lets you create anything from a simple animation to a complex, interactive web application such as an online store. You can make your Flash applications media rich by adding pictures, sound, and video. Flash includes many features that make it powerful but easy to use, such as drag-and-drop user interface components, built-in behaviors that add ActionScript to your document, and special effects that you can add to objects.
When you author in Flash you work in a Flash document, a file that, when saved, has the file extension .fla. When you are ready to deploy your Flash content, you publish it, creating a file with the extension .swf. Flash Player, described in the next section, runs the SWF file.
If you want simple animation, such as a few blinking dots or a marquee effect, animated GIFs (the animated bitmap graphics that you often see on the Web) might be smaller than Flash movies, so they load faster. You can create animated GIFs by using animated GIF editing software.
Flash, from Macromedia, Inc., is the software that runs some of the coolest Web sites around. When you surf the Web and see sites that contain animation across the entire page or buttons that do spectacular stunts when you click them, you're probably seeing some Flash magic. If you create a Web site, you can use Flash to rev up the basics and actively respond to users' choices so that your viewers will say, "Wow!"
The Macromedia Certified Professional Program (MCPP) is for graphic designers, Web designers, developers, and business professionals seeking official recognition of their expertise on Macromedia products.
- Getting Started with Flash 8
- Working Within the Flash Environment
- Creating Graphics
- Working with Groups, Symbols, and Instances
- Working with Text
- Importing Graphics
- Creating Frame-By-Frame Animations
- Animating with Motion Tweening
- Animating with Shape Tweening
- Creating Masks
- Working with Sounds
- Working with Video
- Applying Timeline Effects
- Using ActionScript Behaviors
- Using Basic ActionScripts
- Debugging a Movie
- Adding Display Components
- Adding Advanced Display Components
- Adding and Modifying Data Components
- Automating Your Work
- Publishing a Movie