2 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Objectives Explain vector graphics and raster images and their role in streaming technology. Use the Flash Player. Recognize Flash file formats. Recognize Flash in action in various Web sites.
3 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Flash adds content and animation to Web pages Flash movies use vector graphics to reduce size and download time. Movies can be “streamed” into a Web browser, which means they can begin playing before they are fully downloaded. Flash movies can include interactivity to allow the viewer to enter input, including two-way messaging.
4 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Flash supports vector and raster images Although Flash is vector-oriented, it does provide support for raster images as well. Vector images consist of lines and curves and descriptions of their properties. They are usually smaller than raster images, download faster, and scale better. Raster images are created by mapping the placement and color of each individual pixel. These are also called bitmap images. They are usually larger than vector images and tend to distort or lose quality when scaled to a large magnification.
5 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Scaling a raster versus a vector image At standard size, a raster image and a vector image may appear identical. However, when scaled up to a larger size, the vector image will maintain a smooth edge while the edge of the raster image becomes very jagged.
6 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Flash file formats Flash is primarily vector-based and can open images from other vector-based graphic programs, such as Fireworks. It can also support several raster image types, including: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, PICT, PNT and TIFF. Files saved from Flash are saved in FLA format. Files saved in FLA file format can be used to create stand-alone movies, HTML files, and SWF files.
7 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Use the Flash Player to view movies Movies created in Flash require the Flash Player to be viewed on the Web. The Flash Player is now bundled with many Web browsers and some operating systems. Flash Player is a small file and can be downloaded to your computer from the Internet at the Macromedia Web site.
8 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Using the Flash Player You can create Web pages in Flash that are preset to look for the latest Flash Player version when the page is loaded so the user can update their system automatically. Using the Flash Player is similar to using a VCR or a DVD player to watch a movie. You can start and stop play when desired. You can rewind or go forward in the movie. Flash MX 2004 ships with the Flash Player included.
9 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Create stand-alone movies You do not need the Flash Player installed to view movies on your desktop. Flash movies can be converted into ”projectors,” which are stand-alone executable files. This figure shows two icons. One is for a standard Flash FLA movie file. The other is for a Flash movie that has been turned into a projector.
10 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Surf the Web to find Flash sites Flash is in use on many Web sites around the world, including the following sites: There are many other sites you can surf to see Flash in action. Observe the download times for some of these sites and notice that, the more complex the animation, the longer the download normally takes. Note that the animations will begin to play while they are being downloaded.
11 Introducing Macromedia Flash MX 2004 – Lesson 1 Summary In this lesson, you learned: About streaming animations and the role vector graphics and raster images play in these. To use the Macromedia Flash Player. To recognize Flash file formats. What Flash products can look like when used in Web sites.