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Flash Animation

The overarching purpose of Flash is to add excitement to static and boring web site design. Although you can still make sparkling web pages with images, HTML code, and a bit of hard work you can't really create efficient animations that intrigue and excite your visitor.

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Macromedia Flash provides a means for creating these interactive, entertaining web pages and movies by allowing web developers to create animations quickly and efficiently. These animations that Flash is so famous for are created with the use of tweening.

Flash Animation: Tweening

The basic idea behind tweening is to create animation by taking two points in time and automatically creating an animation to fill in the gap between them.

Imagine we have a time A that is a circle on the left of the screen and we have a time B that is on the right of the screen. With the use of Flash we can take these two times and have Flash create the animation to get from point A to B.

Flash would create a "tween" by creating many other points in time to fill in the gaps between A and B. The circle might move 5 pixels to the right for the first increment of time between A and B. Then another 5 pixels and another and another. Eventually we would have a timeline that would slowly move our circle from the left to the right, automatically created by Flash's tweening!

Each of these different times that Flash has created to fill the gap in time are called frames. With many Frames you can create animation.

When you load up the Flash Player it would play these times A through B to create an animation! The great thing about this is all the time it saves for the developer. Instead of having to create 100 different frames of an animation you need only create two and have Macromedia Flash fill in the rest!

Another bonus to this type of animation creation is that you can do each frame individually if you do not like what Macromedia Flash creates for you.

How to Create Flash Animations

Flash animations are created using two main tools from your tweening toolbox: Shape Tween and Motion Tween. A shape tween takes two shapes and creates an animation between them. Similarly, a motion tween takes two symbols and creates a motion between them. The next two lessons will go into more detail on how to utilize these two types of tween to create Flash animations.

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