Technology Technology

1. Create an Animated Character

1. Create an Animated Character

Flash offers tools that let you bring character animation right onto your home computer, with a full-featured animation studio that lets you create easily animated characters and environments.

There are many ways to animate in Flash, but my two favorite types of character animation are:
  • Traditional: using Flash's time-saving tools paired with principles of traditional frame animation to create detailed, dynamic 2D character animations.

  • "Paper Doll" Style: using symbols to create a character art breakdown with multiple segments that can be animated using tweens. This requires only one or two drawings, usually, and is great for animations featuring narration or background actions.

2. Build a Website

Although sometimes people take it overboard, Flash has a variety of uses online, such as:
The trick is not to go to excess, or you'll end up on the list of stupid Flash tricks. There are times when people will navigate away from any website obviously using Flash, simply because they've come to expect difficult navigation and a lot of glitter with no function.

3. Create a Game

Flash's interactivity has given rise to a number of games; the only limit is your creativity and your ability to incorporate user-responsive scripting into your animations. Some of my favorites are:
As you can see, they don't even have to be animated, although sometimes it helps.

All you need is a little interaction with the end user, some form of entertainment or challenge, and you have a game or puzzle.

Most of us aren't fans of advertisements. At this point most of us go blank if we even notice an advertisement on a web page, and we hardly ever click them - and no one's about to fall for the "hit the monkey, win an X-box" trick anymore. Sometimes advertisements are necessary, though, and there are a number of ways you can use Flash to incorporate them:
  • Google Adsense: This popular ad-serving service from Google selects advertisements for you and delivers them to your audience based on complex targeted algorithms. Although it's primarily code-based, it's not hard to incorporate into your Flash site.

  • Transparent Animations: We may not always be fond of them, but those roll-out animations that overlay on the actual website copy are good for getting attention.
  • Video Overlay: You can actually create transparent video (no background) that fits into your website and lays over your content, which is not only a neat effect but also a good way to deliver advertising.

  • Taking interactivity to the next level, you can also build flash applications with a more useful purpose than just games. A few of my own examples are:
    You can embed these flash applications into your website to add functionality that has some benefit to your users, whether it's just convenience or something more complex.

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