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:
- Creating Animated Flash Thumbnail Galleries
- Developing Dynamic Websites
- Creating Unique Site Navigation Menus
- Creating Popup Tooltips
- Designing a Custom Mouse Cursor
- Creating a Video Player
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:
- The Dress-Up Doll
- The Magic 8-Ball
- The Coloring Book
- The Fortune-Teller
- The Flash Color Quiz
- The Screaming Maze Trick
- Decorate Your Own Christmas Tree
- The Trivia Quiz
- The Jigsaw Puzzle
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:
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: