This is a flash tutorial,for anyone that has questions
HTML is ideal for creating statics websites where text and image are placed at fixed positions
It doesn't support dynamic sites,where text,images and animations are moving around the screen
Traditionally,these effects were acheived for .gif images and java applets
Flash vs. Animated GIF
When the animated GIF is loaded onto a webpage, the browser simply loops the images. This means, if you make an
animation of a clown that moves his hand up and down in 25 small movements, then the animated area of the image is saved
25 times. So it doesn't take a lot of animation to create a GIF image that's remarkable bigger than a regular clown
Therefore,even small animations take forever to load
While animated GIFS can be used for animations,they don't support interactivity.They simply loop images
in a predefined order and thats all
In Flash, you can control the animations. For example, you can make the animation stop and wait for the user to click a
button. And when the animation starts again it can be dependant on which button was clicked
Another thing is that GIF only is limited to a 256 limited colour palette
So compared to animated GIFs, the advantages of Flash are that:
Flash movies load much faster.
Flash movies allow interactivity.
Flash movies can use more than 256 colors
FLASH vs JAVA APPLETS
Aside from animated GIFs, another approach has been used to add dynamic effects to web pages: java applets.
One of the most famous is the lake applet.
Unfortunately, java (the programming language for applets) requires programming skills. This means that you can't just
start creating your own applets.
Therefore, some programmers have created free applets that allow customization. So instead of learning the programming,
people can simply use the already programmed applets.
Again, the lake applet is a good example. It makes a wave effect on any image of any size. But if you wanted to add
anything else to the applet you would have to either program it yourself or find a free applet that actually did what
Flash movies are in many ways similar to java applets. Small programs that can be embedded into your HTML pages. But
unlike java applets, it is fairly easy to create animations in Flash without programming skills.
Applets have often be criticized for "killing" browsers.
Sometimes, java programmers are not as skillfull as one might have wished. Some applets are programmed so they
eventually take up all resources on the computer, and this results in "freezing" the browser.
So compared to java applets, the advantage of Flash is:
Flash movies are easier to create than java applets.
Flash movies are more stable in web browsers than java applets.
Note: While Flash has these advantages over applets, there is more to the story. There are things that you can program
in java that just can't be done with Flash. But since the focus here is Flash we will not go into the details.
WHERE TO GET FLASH
In order to create Flash movies you need a to buy the Flash program.
It is developed by Macromedia and the latest version is Flash Mx.
It should be emphasized here, that buying the Flash program is only necessary for Flash developers.
Anyone that has the free Flash plug-in /Active-X installed with their browser can view flash movies.
WHO CAN VIEW FLASH MOVIES?
Macromedia reports that by January 2002 more than 400 million browsers were able to view shockwave flash movies. That is
close to 100% of all browsers on the web. (The data was estimated by an independent third party: IDC).
HOW IS THE FREE PLUG-IN DISTRIBUTED?
The Shockwave Flash plug-in is bundled with the newest Netscape browsers as well as the Windows 98 operating system.
This means that anyone who runs a new Netscape browser, or is running Windows 98 as their operating system, can view
People that do not have the plug-in installed can download it for free from Macromedia's site (size only some 120 Kb).
And if they're using a version 4 browser or newer, the download and install can be automated.
Where Do I Start?
Once you've installed the Flash program, you should start by completing the 8 lessons that come with it.
To run these lessons: start Flash then click Help in the top menu and choose Lessons.
This will teach you the very basics of the Flash program.
Our tutorial takes over where the 8 Lessons ends.