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The Capabilities of Flash

written by: Daniel Robson•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/16/2010

Flash is the most widely used tool for creating high-quality multimedia content. Its image handling capability, simple animation rendering and other features are best of all. If you are an enthusiastic designer, it is worth knowing Flash capabilities. Read on to find out…

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    Flash At Its Best

    Adobe Flash is much more than just an animation tool. Besides its vector-drawing capability, there is broad range of other things it can handle, such as:

    Raster Graphics

    raster-graphics Raster graphics generally represents a rectangular grid of pixels or points of color. The color of every pixel and position in a grid is stored separately, which results in a very large file compared to vector-based images. Although Flash is not designed to manipulate images on a pixel level, still it has a capability to apply lossless compression to imported bitmap images.

    Multimedia Authoring

    Besides vector and bitmap image formats, Flash supports a wide range of other media formats as well. Most audio and video file formats such as MP3, wav, avi, wmv are supported by Flash. In addition, Flash can import these files directly into the authoring environment. Moreover, using ActionScript, we can further enhance our content and make them interactive.

    Vector Graphics

    Flash is capable of creating vector graphics. When many lines, arcs and fills defined by a set of coordinates and paths along them gettogether, they make up a vector drawing. Vector graphics are drawn by mathematical functions and that’s why these images are resolution independent and therefore can be made smaller and larger with no loss of quality. Moreover, images grounded on mathematical calculations are usually smaller in file size compared to bitmap images. This gives a benefit of fast delivery of graphics on a small bandwidth Internet connection.

    Vector Animation

    When it comes to vector animation, Flash is outstanding at it. On a vector-based animation, color and alpha effects can be applied by using Flash’s tweening feature, by making use of manually modified keyframes or by using ActionScript to control the symbols. Flash-created animations can be streamed so that they can be played before the complete Flash movie downloads itself into the FlashFlash animation Player.

    Dynamical Runtime

    Your Flash works can integrate dynamically loaded content such as text, sounds, images, etc. During runtime, different multimedia content can be integrated with Flash movie to optimize the movie to make it eye-catching. While the movie runs, the movie information can also be sent to a server or database for storage or manipulation.

    -Note that this list is not comprehensive. Flash is also a great tool for swift prototyping of applications, moreover, with Flash, we can build easy and exciting utility applications such as slideshows, data viewers, etc. There is a lot more we can do with Flash and you will likely find even more ways to use Flash as well.