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.
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
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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