Beginner's Guide to Adobe Flash/Why Use Flash?

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Why Use Flash? This is a question that seems to be of some debate. In the old days (meaning a few years ago) Flash intros were large and seemed to take a lifetime to load. However because of Flash's continued development and drive to get better, we can now see many facets of the internet that would benefit from the use of Flash.

Browser compatibility[edit]

Flash allows many viewers to span the incompatibility of browsers across the net. This means that as a web developer we don’t have to be as worried about what our designs are going to look like on another machine. This is a huge advantage. Flash also has a very friendly layout that allows a novice to easily create an animated cartoon or flash intro. While the most effective and cool things you can do with flash aren’t unlocked until you can write some Action Script, a basic user can still make great projects.

File size[edit]

As with previous versions of Flash, a web developer can take advantage of the small file size of a Flash program. Flash really allows a lot of information to be packed down into a very tiny file size. This is important because most users are still on dial up connections.

ActionScript[edit]

When a web developer learns or uses ActionScript to unlock all the secrets of Flash, a website really grows into an interactive experience. For example with Action Script the programmer can activate a menu that changes dynamically when certain criteria is selected, they can load a new animation because a hidden link was pressed, one could even have content loaded into a window that’s size changed dynamically based on its content. Check this out to see what I mean. Another great use of Flash is for portfolio sites, with Flash a company can get more information across to the viewer than they would be able to if they were use another web format. Follow this link to see an example of what I am taking about.

Layout[edit]

Another thing that makes Flash great for the web is that you are not restricted to a grid system that is fairly confining, you are free to make animated splash pages as well as free flowing documents that break the grid system without a whole lot of tinkering around to make it look like you have broken the grid.

Animation[edit]

Animation in Flash is a beautiful thing when done properly, you have the usage of key frames and in betweens that can easily move objects from one point to another, with action scripting you can create cameras to zoom in and out. With the usage of symbols you can create complex characters with a wide range of movements and either with tweens or key frames move the symbol from one point to another in a very fluid and lifelike way. The usage of Flash is cutting the costs of animation in studios; Flash on the average costs about 1/10th the price of traditional animation to produce thanks to the libraries that can be set up. All you have to do is create the characters and objects once and then anyone can use them, with minimal need to redraw the actual characters.

Animation TV shows[edit]

Animation studios are starting to realize this and there are many cartoons being produced today that are making use of Flash. More than just web toons are being created; many cartoons on TV are using Flash to create their episodes. Shows such as Harvey Birdman, Frisky Dingo, Chaotic, Shuriken School, Yin Yang Yo, El Tigre, Mucha Lucha, and Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, are all created using Flash.