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Animation Excellence
Sep 03, 2001 08:39 PM 3058 Views

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Have you used Flash yet? No?


Where have you been!


We are up to Flash 5 now and it is simply the answer to all of your animation and graphical needs.


The best thing about FLash nowadays is that its being incorporated into more and more systems so that you dont need to go off and download any plugins anymore.


In the not too distant future, you


wont be asked to go off and download it as it will be part of your browser.


For now though, its only a small and simple dowload from Macromedia, the company who make the software.


Flash is the tool used to make these movie files. They normally appear on websites with the extension .swf (ShockWaveFile)


So how does it work?


Well its very much like your modern paint style tools with pens, fonts, effects, colours and all the other gadgets that we have become accustomed to with PSP 6 or Photoshop.


The difference here is it builds animation for you exclusively for websites.


Being web based and intended for an end user at home, the SWF files are made compact. Little download time means the web user is less likely to leave the site while it loads.


So you can build animated movies with action script behind it.


So you can make interactive menus that move onclicking or hovering.


Forms that move when entered into.


Entire websites that need to be graphically intensive.


How do you make a movie.


Its very simple.


Its all built up using frames.


You add layers to the movie. The Layers contain all of the moving parts such as the buttons. You add the layers to the movie and dictate on screen where you want a particular item during aq particular frame. Drag it and drop.


When you play the movie, it then animates the button or graphic around the screen.


All the effects can be applied to the layers individually so individual items behave as you want them.


Sounds complicated doesnt it?


Well its not. Its a very simple drag and drop tool.


The tutorials and examples offered by the application are second to none and online help is abundant.


Why not give it a try.


Its a brilliant web tool to have on your CV too.


Price? about £300 but worthwhile.


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