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March 25, 2008 Flash Is Your Friend An introductory level guide for getting acquainted with Flash by Tom Krupka
March 25, 2008 A Brief History: Adobe Flash, which was previously called Macromedia Flash, is a set of multimedia technologies developed and distributed by Adobe Systems. First introduced in 1996, Flash technology has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages, creating animations, advertisements , integrating video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications.
March 25, 2008 Flash Player Penetration: Flash as a format has become the dominant desktop video player and become the player of choice, because of its streaming ability. Adobe has over a 98 percent market penetration for desktop users. Here is a chart from the Adobe website, comparing it to other popular video streaming players. Millward Brown survey, conducted December 2007.
March 25, 2008 Version Penetration: “ Adobe's Flash player has done more to enable the current growth of interactive marketing and advances in design/interaction than any other plug-in in history. Penetration numbers have bounded to close to 100% for past versions of the player. “ Matt Dickman, Techno//Marketer.
March 25, 2008 Use of Flash with Video: Flash is increasingly used as a way to display and stream video clips on web pages. Flash is used as the basis for many popular video sites, including YouTube and Google Video.
The Annoyance Factor – Depending on how the flash was designed it could come off to be a serious distraction from the main content.
The main disadvantage of Flash is that the content is not currently indexed by search engines.
Accessibility Issues for Screen Readers etc…
March 25, 2008 Flash Symbols: Graphic symbols are reusable static images that are used mainly to create animations - Any drawn vector/plain text/imported bitmap (photo), or combinations of these, can be converted into a single controllable object: as a graphic symbol. They have only one frame in their timeline. Button symbols are used for timeline navigation - They add interactivity to the movie and respond to mouse clicks, key press or rollovers/rollout, and other actions. You define the graphics associated with various button states (Up/Over/Down/Hit), and then assign actions to the instance of a button. They have 4 frames in their timeline - one each for the up, over and down states, and one to define the hit area of the button. Movieclip symbols are reusable pieces of flash animation - Consisting of one or more graphic/button symbols - thus they are flash movies within your flash movie. They have their own non-restricted Timeline (any number of layers and frames - just like the main timeline) that plays independent of the main movie's Timeline. The best thing about using movieclips is that you can control them from actionscript.
New text rendering, code named "Saffron": this new text renderer will bring extremely sharp text display to the Flash Player, and I think it looks even clearer than ClearType.
Significant performance improvements: one of these is the addition of bitmap caching, which enables graphics and components to be displayed much more quickly. In the demo (shown on a Mac), some moving components jump from about 14fps to 125fps.
Realtime graphic effects: an array of new effects are being built into the Flash Player to enable rapid display and to keep content download size small. These effects include things like glows, blurs, drop shadows, color matrix, and others. They can be applied live to any objects in Flash, including graphics, text, and even video. Since these are applied live, they can react interactively and also reduces authoring time as it eliminates several post-processing steps in Photoshop or Fireworks that are required to achieve these effects today.
Realtime video alpha channel: video will have the added capability of a transparent alpha channel, enabling live composition of non-rectangular video on top of background elements (even other background video).
Kevin Lynch - Chief Software Architect at Adobe http://www.klynch.com/archives/000073.html
March 25, 2008 Flash Resources: http://www.kirupa.com/ http://www.flashkit.com/ http://www.bestflashanimationsite.com/resources/ Basic Flash Tutorials http://www.smartwebby.com/Flash/flash_symbols.asp http://www.kirupa.com/developer/flash8/tween.htm http://www.kirupa.com/developer/flash8/simple_animation.htm Flash Tenth Anniversary and future of flash info http://www.adobe.com/products/flash/special/flashanniversary/