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Flash, specifically Adobe Flash Professional, is a multimedia computer program used to create interactive objects such as web applications

, games, movies, and content for mobile phones and other devices. These needs to be viewed, played, and executed using the Adobe Flash Player. Flash helps to manipulate graphics to provide animation of text, drawings, or still images. Adobe Flash Professional is the successor of a product known as the FutureSplash Animator. It is an animation program released in May 1996 by FutureWave Software. Later on in December 1996, FutureWave was acquired by Macromedia, who renamed the animation editor (FutureSplash Animator) Macromedia Flash. Macromedia Flash goes on to their Macromedia Flash 8 released in 2005. Adobe Systems then acquired Macromedia in 2007. Adobe Flash CS3 Professional is now the next version of the latest Macromedia Flash. When it comes to using Adobe Flash Professional, it provides a lot of tools for you to play with. You can just create a basic frame-by-frame animation to creating games and movies with a lot of graphical effects using actionscript with complexity. There’s a lot you can do with this program and it helps especially someone who works on graphics. Even some of the big companies use flash for advertising/showing their products. Some animation studios use flash too! There are terminologies that you have to know in getting started in Adobe Flash Professional. One of the most important things is the timeline. The timeline in Adobe Flash Professional organizes and controls a document’s content over time in layers and frames. Just like in Adobe Photoshop, Layers are like multiple filmstrips stacked on top of one another, each containing different image that appears on the stage. There are 3 major components of the timeline: layers, frames, and the playhead.    Layers in a document are listed in a column on the left side of the Timeline. Frames contained in each layer appear in a row to the right of the layer name. The timeline header at the top of the timeline indicates frame numbers. Playhead indicates the current frame displayed on the stage. As a document plays, the playhead moves from left to right through the timeline. By default, the playhead loops when it reaches the end.

Parts of the Timeline A. Playhead B. Empty keyframe C. Timeline header D. Guide layer icon E. Frame view pop-up menu F. Frame-by-frame animation G. Tweened animation H. Scroll to Playhead button I. Onion-skinning buttons J. Current frame indicator K. Frame rate indicator L. Elapsed time indicator

The stage in Flash is the blank rectangular area where you place graphic content when creative a flash document. This is the scene where you put all of your drawings, pictures, objects etc. from the library. The library is basically a place where you store all of your objects such as
pictures, text, and symbols. A symbol is a graphic that you create manually in Adobe Flash or by using the ActionScripts. Once you’ve converted an object to a symbol, the symbol appears in the library and you can reuse it by dragging out instances of it throughout your document. You can also copy symbold to use in other documents.

ActionScript is the scripting language used in Adobe Flash Professional to control playback of SWFs (file format used in flash) at runtime in Adobe Flash Player. Using ActionScript, you can add complex interactivity, playback control, and data display on your application. You can add ActionScript in the authoring environment by typing code into the Script pane of the Actions panel.

A keyframe is a frame in Adobe Flash Professional where a new symbol instance appears in the timeline. A keyframe can also be a frame that includes ActionScript codes to control some aspect of your document. You can also add a blank keyframe to the timeline as a placeholder for symbols you plan to add later or to explicitly leave the frame blank. One main purpose of this program is animation. Flash provides several ways to create animation and special effects. Each one of these methods provides you with different possibilities for creating an animated content. Adobe Flash Professional supports the following types of animation: Motion tweens, Classic tweens, Inverse Kinematics poses, Shape tweens, and Frame-by-frame animation. Tweens are used to set properties or motion for an object. It is useful for animation that consists of continuous motion or transformation of an object. The inverse kinematics poses allow you to stretch and bend objects in a group to make them move together in naturalistic ways. Frame-by-frame animation lets you specify different art for each frame in the timeline, and change that shape or drawing to another shape at different frames. This is basically a slideshow of pictures played rapidly to create motion. There are more programs other than Flash that creates 2D animation. This is just one way of creating animation and there are many more! There is like Pivot Animator, Apple iAd Producer, Autodesk animator. These animation soft wares are simpler than Adobe Flash Professional but you can do all sorts of amazing stuff with them.