Unit 1.  Introduction to FLASH MX 2004(I)


What is FLASH?

 

Flash MX 2004 is a powerful tool created by Macromedia that has overcome the best expectations of its creators.

Macromedia Flash was originally created in an effort to realize colorful animations for the web as well as to create animated GIFs.

Designers, web professionals and amateurs have selected Flash MX 2004 by many reasons. Further we will see why Flash MX 2004 is interesting.

Why should I use FLASH MX 2004?

 

The possibilities of Flash are extraordinary, each new version has outstripped the previous one, and the present Flash MX 2004 is not an exception. Although its common usage is to create animations (during this tutorial we will see how easy it is) it has far more applications. They are so numerous that all web designers should learn how to use Flash.

Flash has been made up in order to fix the great lack in the Internet: that is, Dynamism. This dynamism does not imply only animations but rather interactive animations, which allow users to see the web as something attractive, not static (unlike most of the pages that are made by the use of the HTML language). With Flash we can easily and quickly create animations of all types.

It is easy to learn how to handle Flash, it has friendly environment that invites us to sit down and spend hours making whatever our imagination suggests, but that is not sufficient to be preferred by professional designers. Then what is it?

From Flash MX to Flash MX 2004

 

There are companies that improve their products just by the economic necessity. When it happens, users promptly notice this by the few improvements in the newer version. That is not the case of Flash MX 2004, which continues considerably improving the new versions of its products following the Macromedia tradition.


If we thought that Flash MX was already insuperable, do not miss the improvements that Flash MX 2004 provides. These improvements consist in: easy handling, higher graphic potency and integration with programs of image edition, in having ability to import video, possibility to create multi-language applications and significant increase of ActionScript capability for advanced users. Let us analyze these advantages in more details:

 

Easy Handling: Flash MX 2004 allows the using Templates that eases the creation of animations, presentations, formularies and help; so far it also makes another tools available to make our work more comfortable and fAST such as more complete and accessible context help, the utilization of files to move immediately between different open documents, the existence of one start page where to go when we wish to realize tasks, which we frequently do, then we can do this from the initial page, etc

Shortened Methods: If in Flash MX you wanted to facilitate the navigation through your movie by means of the keyboard, to increase the compatibility or the navigation ability, it was necessary dedicate hours and hours to this end, since the facilities did not exist and in many cases, we had to use tricks and complex calls in ActionScript. With Flash MX 2004, we can program brief methods that allow interacting with Flash only by the use of keyboard in an easy and fast way.

SpellChecker: Finally, Flash allows detecting the spelling errors in the texts that are included in our animations, this fundamental utility was deficient.

Search for objects: Now we can easily search any object existent in our movies, minimizing the time invested to find objects created time ago, such as symbols, sounds, videos, bitmaps, texts etc.

More powerful animation: Flash MX 2004 allows applying "effects of Timeline"; that separate the objects in specified layers to which different effects can be applied. Moreover, Flash MX 2004 introduces the Controlling instance using behaviors, which allows to add functionality to our movies controlling the videos in them or downloading different objects (graphics, sounds etc).

More powerful graphics: In addition to the importation of Freehand or Fireworks archives, now Flash MX 2004 also supports archives with format of Adobe Illustrator version 6 or later one, EPS archives of any version and PDF archives of the version 1.4 or previous one. Moreover, Flash MX 2004 admits the DXF format of the 10th version of AutoCAD. On other hand, Flash MX 2004 corrects the problem of Flash MX with the fonts of small size, which now are more accurate.

Assistant for the importing of video: To ease the working with video formats, Flash MX 2004 provides an assistant with different functions (prewritten values, edit functions...) in our disposal.

XML Compatibility: It allows increasing the power of Flash, provides new functionalities such as the multilanguage support to our movies, providing by the new "Strings panel".

Enforced Security: The security is still a priority for Macromedia, and due to the numerous deficiencies detected in Flash 5, they have not stopped an evolution in this aspect: The exact correspondence of domains is now a indispensable requisite to carry out calls between various movies, the restriction HTTTPS/HTTP prevents change from a secure protocol (HTTPS) to non-secure one (HTTP) by the use of Flash (even when both are in the same domain) avoiding in such way possible pernicious actions...

Enhancements in the detection of the PLUG-IN of FLASH: All who have worked with any version of Flash know the doubts that come up when you publish any SWF document; Can the users see it? Will problems occur on downloading the PLUG-In? Do they have a previous version? ... The new Flash helps to eliminate these doubts by advanced system for detection of Flash Player versions and redirections that will manage to make the users see correctly our animations.

Improvements in the performance of Flash Player: The performance in terms of running time has enhanced in a proportion from two to five times for the video, the creation of scripts and the presentation on screen.

ActionScript 2: Finally, ActionScript is a completely object oriented language, the new ActionScript 2 allows to declare classes of objects and work with them, supports events, admits inherency, realizes the verification of types during compilation ... The enthusiasts of ActionScript are congratulated with the new ActionScript2 .

 

Flash MX 2004 brings many novelties



     
   
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November-2005.