How Adobe Flash Animation is Useful in Multimedia and Web
Adobe Flash - a well known software
The software Adobe flash is well known all over the world to most of the software engineers, web designers and animators. It was formerly known as Macromedia Flash. Flash manipulates vector and raster graphics and provides animation for still images, input text, designs and drawings. It has frequent usage in gaming, ads and flash animations for broadcast. It is used as a tool for Rich Internet Applications. Bidirectional streaming of both audio and video is supported. It does capture the user input via mouse, keyboard, microphone and camera.
Even schools and colleges teach this software to students and help them in their project work and presentations. Today children who have learnt the computer skills show their liking to learn Flash too. Simple animations and masking done in flash attracts children very much. Tweening option in Flash gives them an idea of what animation actually is. It makes them more creative as they go to higher levels in learning. Adobe Flash is extensively used in web designing for banner animations, Logo animation and text animation. Without a flash animated banner the web page is not much attractive to many who like the moving objects, transitions and effects. Even interactivity to web pages is provided with colorful and animated buttons. Interactive maps are done beautifully. Audio and video is also supported in Flash. So people can enjoy the animation with music or any other audio that they need. Morphing can be done in some Photo morphing software and added to the banner animation that is done in Flash.
Tips for Beginners
Adobe Student and Teacher Editions provide the software for a cheaper price. For people who are interested in learning Flash, the best way is to draw cartoons or sketches on the Flash stage and learn using the V and N tools properly. Before going to the next step know all the tools and their uses. Later learn the tweening and masking.
By this time one will be able to learn working with the main time line as well as the stage. Then proceed to the animation, transitions, components and the effects. While learning not only use the Help but also go to some good tutorial sites and download some .fla format files. This will not only create interest but also will be able to know how to proceed further.
Keyboard shortcuts are very important while learning any software. It will not only make the work faster but saves lot of time. To test your capability at home whenever there is free time try to create a web banner or an image gallery. Try some text effects. This helps in improving the imagination and creativity skills and can thus become an expertise in this field.
To make money after learning Flash register to web sites like mmfiles.com, flashcomponents.net and activeden.net and sell your work there.
For Flash tutorials and Tips
Aadhar logo animation using Flash
Uses of Flash in every day life
The content in flash gets displayed on various computer systems and devices that use Adobe Flash Player, which is available free of charge for common web browsers, some mobile phones and a few other electronic devices (using Flash Lite).
The output of flash animation is mostly swf format for web related animation. The swf format keeps the file size lesser. There are also options to reduce file size further by entering the library in Flash (Control + L) and reducing the image size by using the properties option provided in it. The preview generated by flash while working is also seen in swf format. Just press the Control + Enter buttons to see a preview of animation done while working on it.
In the multimedia field, 2D animators use flash for the ease of work it provides. The onion skin option is used to generate the in betweens to keys provided by key animator. 2D animation has become much faster than it was at one time. Classical animation was done only using the light box. In companies where gaming is done flash animation is the main software. In big cities animators have a huge scope for their animation work. In the latest adobe flash version even the PSD format from Photoshop and Ai format from Illustrator can be imported easily and without losing quality. Videos can be imported in flash and displayed on web using different media players that are available. The effects and transitions for text or other animation are provided by either the components available or software like Swish. The swf generated by the software can be imported into Flash for further use. Even the videos generated in other softwares can be imported after converting to swf format but the file size will be much higher and it plays very slowly.
Flash sometimes becomes a substitute to Power Point (PPT) Presentation and even the animations done in Flash can be imported easily into Power Point. E-brochures are done for big companies by the help of this software. Pie charts and bar graphs look more attractive when animated. Video output can be taken out of the flash animation just by using the export movie option given in the File menu. There is also an option to make the objects work in 3D environment. There is also bone tool and bind tool for 3D but may work only when the document is created in ActionScript 3. It may not be as useful as that of Maya or 3DS max for the 3D output because they have certain limitations.
The advertisements done in flash are used in big advertisement panel boards displayed in the malls. Thus flash animators have a chance to create ads for vertical and horizontal panels by using flash. These ad panels work like a Media player. The ads done in flash are listed and set by using a remote control. The animated swf format file is fed into the panel using a USB stick. The USB port is at the bottom end. The adobe flash player is used to play the animation in these panels. It is good business for the owner of these panels. Once he installs the panel in a mall. He gets ads from the various business establishments and displays them in it. He gets paid for it once in three months after he takes an initial advance payment. Now-a-days even Volvo buses have the LCD monitors displaying ads continuously. One such ad panel is shown in the video below.
Ad display panel at a mall showing Flash animation ads
Ideas for Logo animation
I always follow three steps to animate a logo:
1. First appearance or the Impact stage: In this step, the logo animation creates an impact or a first impression in the mind of the viewer.
2. In-between or the Transforming stage: Logo transforms itself using special effects to reach the final shape with all its glamor. Most of the time it also conveys some useful message to the viewer.
3. Target or the Final stage: The final act of self expression takes place at this stage. The logo appears in its full form ultimately.
Logo animation in Flash is very easy. In the properties panel there is a filters panel. This panel becomes visible only when clicked on a movie clip or a tweened object which is created on the stage. Transforming and disappearing tween animations can help a lot. Masking and text effects can enhance the look of logo animation. There are also motion presets in the panel that also shows the library. Motion presets give lot of options for the animators while creating text or object animation. But before starting it is better to refer some logo animation related websites or Youtube videos.
Relate the design of logo to some other object in nature or surroundings. Experience and a little bit of intelligence is needed to make an external object appear in the animation sequence if needed. This should be very much supportive to the logo that is animated and should never deteriorate the quality of output.
This website gives an idea as to how logo animation can be done using flash - flash logo animation
MARS Digital Signage systems
MARS Technologies is one such company that produces the Ad display panels. It is a part of the IT industry since 2001 and has always had the objective of providing new, innovative, resourceful and economical products for users. Keeping with this trend, has diversified into providing LCD based Digital Signage Solutions to the SOHO, Corporate, Mobile and Public Sectors. This is an advanced LCD along with the cutting edge electronics which renders High quality images and video in full color and maximum resolution. MARS Digital Signage enables retailers and brand marketers to use vibrant, media-rich messages directed to the right audience anytime, anywhere. This method ensures message control while allowing for the delivery of real-time content driven by time, location, demographics, and promotions. The ability to impact viewers and customers is increased by the use of full motion and color video, and a multi-feed functionality that allows for varying images.
MARS Digital Signage systems come in many flavors. Horizontal and Vertical Orientation, Wall mount as well as stand Mount etc. MARS is always ready to meet customer specific requirements as the entire gamut of hardware and Software in indigenously developed in-house. Panel sizes vary from 19” to 55” in all mounting formats. These Systems are well suited for applications listed below……
- Rail/Road/Air Station Info Systems
- Many more…….
MARS Digital Weather Stations is an offshoot of MARS Digital Signage Solutions. These Systems have special Protocol Inputs to accept data from various Weather systems and display them in an aesthetic, graphical and informative manner. These panels work 24/7 with real time inputs and display them. The Panels have specially designed flash animations pertaining to parameters in weather display formats. Data is accepted either on Serial, USB or TCP inputs and processed to convert them into legible informative weather parameters.
The LCD Weather display systems not only display information but store them as well. The weather log can be retrieved at any given instant thru any of the above mentioned device hardware ports using appropriate applications on PCs.
These Panels are fully customized for user specifications so the end user sees and feels the information he expects. Panels can be manufactured from 19” up to 55” sizes.
Display Content Formats
Flash - FLV, SWF
Docs - PPT, PPTX
Video - MPEG-1 (MPG/DAT), MPEG-2(AVI/ISO/IFO/MPG/VOB)
WMV, FLV, MKV,RM/RMVB, TS, m2ts, mts, TP,
MJPEG, MOV, VC-1
Images - JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIF, PNG
Audio - MP3, WMA, WAV, LPCM/PCM, AAC, OGG
Memory & Connectivity
Built-in - 2GBFLASH/250GB HDD
User area - 800MB/240GB
Connectivity (Content Updating)
Wi-Fi Adhoc, Computer to Panel (Customized Application)
Mobile to Panel (Customized Application)
Wi-Fi Infrastructure (Optional)
FTP download (FTP site Configurable)
USB USB media update (Setup thru Customized Application)
Technical Specifications (32”)
Screen Size - 81.28cm (32")
Display Resolution (pixel) - 1,366 x 768
Dynamic Contrast Ratio - 50,000:1
Display Color - 16.7M True colors
Brightness (CD/m^2) - 500 (typ.)
Viewing Angles (CR >=10) - 178/178 deg
Response Time - 5 mS
Wi-Fi - 802.11 b/g/n
USB - USB 2 1-PORT (minimum Functionality)
Power Consumption - 210W typical
Power Input - 120~240V AC
Chassis - Wall Mounting
Operating Temperature - 0 ~ 45 deg C
Humidity - 10-90% (Non Condensing)
Dimension (LxHxD mm) - 480x790x105
Weight - ~25Kgs
Flash is an equivalent to 3D software today
Web designers and animators think further. They use After Effects software to get the special effects done for their ads or web banners. They import the output of AE(After effects) in Flash to get fantastic looks for their websites. But sometimes loading the flash in a website becomes a big problem. It takes time to get displayed as the preloader shows the percentage of the loading in the animated banner. Most of the US companies do not use the flash websites for this purpose. But the Movie and Gaming related web sites have to display their animation and trailers. So they depend on the software more than anyone else. Some have also opted the Flash Builder (formerly Flex) for this purpose and have got good results.
More and more options in Flash have made the software equivalent to the 3D softwares today. It is already in the list of Rich Internet Applications.