Macromedia Flash

Macromedia Flash, also known as Adobe Flash or Shockwave Flash, has become a popular program to create animations, advertisements, web pages and presentations since its introduction in 1996.Now, it is even used to program games and internet applications. Macromedia Flash contains a scripting language called Action Script. The program Flash was the brain child of Jonathan Gay, who developed the idea in college and developed the software while working for Silicon Beach Software.

Basically Macromedia Flash is an animation tool for creating movies that run on your computer as well as on the Internet using the Flash player. It is now widely used to create animated and interactive advertisements for the web pages. These kinds of advertisements are more effective than static advertisement because of the animation well as sound and music that accompanied them. In fact, Macromedia Flash itself can create a whole webpage and it is more lively than plain HTML.
The list of applications that you can build with Macromedia Flash is endless. For example, you can make your own cartoon shows for own enjoyment or share them with the Internet users, educators also can build interactive classroom to teach the students almost any subject such as physics, mathematics, chemistry , biology, language and standalone interactive games and games that can be played on the Internet. Lastly, you can also program interactive games.

Macromedia Flash at elementary level is relatively easy to learn, you can almost master it in one or two weeks. However, for higher level applications like games programming,you need to learn action scripts.

Lesson 1: About interface
In order to start creating Macromedia Flash applications, you need to buy the Macromedia Flash Pro 8 software from any computer retail store or online store (The installation is self explanatory, remember to check the requirements first!). After installing Macromedia Flash Pro 8(which is the version of Flash that I am using, there are many other versions.), the program and you would see the interface of the program as shown below.


Lesson 2: Introducing the Flash tools

In this lesson, I will introduce you the tools in Macromedia Flash Pro 8.The tools in Macromedia Flash Pro 8 are shown in Figure 2.1

Figure 2.1


1.Selection Tool
2.Subselection Tool
3.Free Transform Tool
4.Gradient Transform Tool
5.Line Tool
6.Lasso Tool
7.Pen Tool
8.Text Tool
9.Oval Tool
10.Rectangle Tool
11.Pencil Tool
12.Brush Tool
13.Ink Bottle Tool
14.Paint Bucket Tool
15.Eyedropper Tool
16.Eraser Tool
17.Hand Tool
18.Zoom Tool
19.Stroke color
20.Fill color
21.Black and white
22.Swap color
23.No color

Lesson 3: Putting Text into Flash Applications
Every flash application you see in the Internet contains text. Text is important as it can be used in creating caption, label, explanatory notes and stories. To put text into flash, first click on the text tool:


Then, drag the textbox to any size you want the textbox to be on the blank space. After that, it should look like this:


Lesson 4: Smoothen/Straighten Flash drawings
In this lesson, I will show you how to smoothen lines and drawings. First, draw a line with the pencil tool or brush tool. The outline of the drawing doesn't look smooth, does it?


To smoothen the drawing/line, right click the drawing and click smooth


After that, it should look like this:

Figure 4.3


Compare the drawing that has been smoothened with the previous drawing, does it look smoother?

To straighten a drawing, just click straighten after right-clicking the drawing. After that, it should look like this:

Figure 4.4


Now, you can use this method to improve the quality of the drawings you draw in flash, though it is also good if you use other programs to draw the pictures.

Lesson 5:Animation Part 1- Using Layers ,Key frames and Motion Tweening
Layers are added to the movie so it will be easier to make a picture with different positions (front, behind etc.).

To add a layer, click on the insert layer button, which is shown below.


After adding the layer, the interface should look like this:


Now, the movie has two layers, the pictures at the bottom layer will appear behind whereas the picture in the top layer will appear in front.

You can draw different pictures in each key frame. Now, right click on the 10th frame, and then click insert key frame to add a key frame.


After that, it should look like this:


In this lesson, I will show you how to make a simple animation with motion tweening. First, draw a picture in frame one, which can be anything that you want to animate. After drawing the picture, the key frame will change it's color to grey:


Click the first frame and press enter or click control, then press play to test the animation. Notice that the picture stays at the same position until frame 9 then it goes to the next position in frame 10 instantly . To create the animation, you have to use motion tweening. To use motion tweening, right click the key frame then click create motion tween.


Note that only key frames can be changed. So, frames 1-9 are the same as the key frame in frame 1. Now, copy (right click then click copy) the picture to key frame 10(right click then click paste in place so that after you paste the picture, the pictures position will be the same. Otherwise, the picture will be in the middle). Then, move the picture to a different position. After that, it should look like this:
After that, it should look like this:


Press enter again to test the animation and you would see the complete animation of the picture going from the first position to the second position. Motion tweening is useful for making animations much quicker than frame by frame animation. Though frame by frame animation has a better quality than motion tween animations. In the next lesson, I will show you how to make frame by frame animation.

Lesson 6:Animation Part 2- Shape tweening
In the previous lesson, you have learnt how to use motion tweening to make a simple animation. In this lesson I will teach you shape tweening. Shape tweening is used to change the shape of an object. First, draw a perfect circle (hold shift):

Figure 6.1


Then put a key frame at frame 10 (Hotkey: F6). After that right click frame 1 and convert it into a shape tween:


Now draw a different shape at frame 10:
Figure 6.3


Play the animation and you will see the circle slowly turn into a square.

Draw anything you want to animate on layer1. Put a key frame at frame 10 (or more, because 10 frames may be too fast) then create a motion tween just like the previous lesson. To use a motion guide line, first, right click layer 1 then click on add motion guide:

Figure 6.4


Then, in the motion guide layer, draw a motion guide line (the path you want the object to follow) using the pencil tool or brush tool:

Figure 6.5


Then, at the last key frame, move the object to the end of the line. Play the animation and you will see the object moving on the line. test the movie (Hotkey: Ctrl + Enter) to see the object moving but you will not see the line. So it is useful for making guided animations, much easier than frame by frame animation.

Tweening is a non-frame by frame animation. Now, I will show you how to make frame by frame animation.

First, draw anything you want to animate. Then, add a key frame (Hotkey: F6), then move the drawing to a different position or change it slightly.

Repeat the process and you will get something like this:

Figure 6.6


I used the onion skin to see 3 frames behind and in front of the frame. To use it, click the onion skin button:

Figure 6.7


Then, it will be easier to make frame by frame animation because you can see the previous frames.


Himaneesh Chabbra(2014044)
Harshit Verman(2014042)
Rajeev Nagarwal(20104084)

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