Flash: Overview Macromedia Flash MX Instructor: Adam Cavotta
What is Flash? • Flash is graphics application • Animation application • Video application • Application development tool
Flash Media and the Flash Authoring Environment • The word Flash is used to describe: • Media Output that the user sees • Authoring Environment used to create content
Streaming Media Output • Flash movies can be viewed while they as they are being downloaded. • Accommodates 56 Kbps modem connections fairly well • In some case, preloaders are still used.
Graphics in Flash • Flash supports Vector and Raster (Bitmap) graphics • Bitmaps are made to be displayed at fixed sizes • Bitmap graphics are the graphic we see most often on the Web • Vector graphics are size independent • Changes to the size and shape of a vector graphic do not affect image quality which makes them ideal for animations.
Flash Authors • Who are they? • Graphic designers • Programmers • Web developers
Basic Author Roles • There are two roles for Flash authors • Designer • Developer
Basic Author Roles: Designer • Designer • Typically, all Flash authors are designers to a certain extent. • Designers create and arrange graphical content and create animations. • Designers are artists
Basic Author Roles: Developers • Developers • Developers make Flash movies “do something” • Developers create interactive environments using ActionScript. • Developers are programmers
The importance of roles • The type of content created determines which role the author will play. • Learning opportunities and certifications are often categorized as being related to developer or designer roles. • Before learning Flash determine your ultimate goal • What type of content do you want to create?
Types of content • Animated Movies • Audio and Video • Web page elements • Applications
Advantages of Flash • File size is relatively small for type of output. • Flash player is widely available. • Authors create content for a player, not a browser.
Limitations of Flash • Some users are resistant to Flash content • Various player version sometimes add confusion about publishing and viewing files • Training is required to begin creating content in Flash
Learning Opportunities • ITS Training Services Free Technology Seminars • Extended Format Seminars offered through HRDC • Penn State’s Web-Based Training • The Macromedia Web site
ITS Training Services Free Seminars • Register Online • https://register4its.psu.edu/ • Intermediate level seminars that focus on specific tasks • Animations • Content focuses on the designer role. • Interactivity • Provides an introduction to the developer role.
Extended Format Seminars • Fee: $85 • Register Online • http://www.ohr.psu.edu/hrdc/catalog/HRDC_Catalog.cfm \ • Basic and Intermediate level seminars • Seminars focus primarily on designer role • Additional information about seminar content: http://its.psu.edu/training/extended/
Penn State’s Web-Based Training • Free service • Self paced • Assessments • Topics mostly relate to designer role • Go to: https://wbt.psu.edu/ to begin using Web-Based Training
Macromedia Web Site • A GREAT source of information • Provides content for both designer and developer roles • Provides support information • Forums are a great learning opportunity • The Macromedia Web site provides learning opportunities throughout the learners development process.
The Software • Latest Release: Flash MX 2004 • Two version in the new release • Professional version- targeted to developers, more robust • Standard version- less data connection and application development features • The software is also available in the Studio MX Suite
The Software • Available at Penn State’s computer store • http://computerstore.psu.edu/ • If you aren’t sure which software package to purchase, ask them. They are an impartial, objective source of information. • Discounts are substantial.
Thank you • Questions?