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Flash is an application that facilitates adding multimedia effects to webpages. Because Flash was designed specifically for the web, the file sizes created by Flash are relatively small. That allows web designers to add animations and interactions to webpages in the same number of bytes as a good photograph. Flash is primarily used for its entertainment value. If used inappropriately, it can turn off, rather than engage your audience. Flash is therefore not appropriate for all web sites. Flash is most often used to create animations or movies. However Flash can also be used for rollover effects like those that can be accomplished using JavaScript.


Flash is based upon vector graphics rather than raster graphics. GIF and JPG/JPEG files are based on raster graphics. In raster graphic files, each pixel is defined with a color intensity. If you zoom in on a raster graphic, each pixel can be enlarged to the point that it looks like squares. Curved lines will eventually look jagged. In vector graphics files, geometric equations are used to define an image. As you zoom in on a vector graphic, the outlines will continue to be smooth. Raster graphics are better for photographs. Vector graphics are great for images that consist of lines and shapes. Flash can also incorporate raster images.


Flash has undergone many drastic changes and revisions since this tutorial was originally created. This section will be updated at a later date.


Introduction to Web Design by Cynthia J. Martincic :: Credits