Chapter 16. Using ActionScript for Animation

Macromedia Flash can be used for all sorts of design and development activities; however, its roots lie with animation. Right from when the product was called FutureSplash, the focus was on cultivating a product that would provide developers with ways to easily create animated content. Although Flash is now much more than an animation tool, it still does that very well.

Unfortunately, Macromedia Flash has been marred as well by years of "Skip Intro" content. Many sites have been created where the focus was on the animation, not on the message. Many people have gotten very tired of this and have dismissed Flash overall as a nuisance plug-in. Fortunately, the tool has matured, and best practices have come out to guide developers in creating content that can be both cool and usable.

Developers have also realized that Flash can be used for more than just site intro animations. For instance, the plug-in makes an ideal distribution mechanism for online learning applications where animation provides clarity to the concepts being taught. Animations can also be used sparingly within web applications to provide feedback to users. Many sophisticated games are developed using Flash, and aspiring artists use Flash animation as a tool for self-expression.

All-in-all, Flash animation is still alive and well and has evolved into a mature means toward both productivity and self-expression. This chapter introduces the concepts and techniques needed to make ...

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