Flash has a beautiful, intuitive drawing engine. Ever since I first opened it (as Splash Animator) back in 1995 and experienced it’s simple yet elegant and fast way to create and modify – essential in frame-by-frame animation – I’ve loved it.
Acquisition by Macromedia added a host of new features quite rapidly, and the advent of ActionScript suddenly changed the landscape of the web at the time. AS evolved fairly quickly, and the decision to adopt ECMA 262 as the basis for the language suddenly turned this humble animation tool with interactive features into a giant – applications were possible, and the Flash community grew at a phenominal rate. At the time, it was almost impossible to meet the demand for training – Flash for Academy Class was our biggest product and as we had some of the best Flash and AS instructors in the UK we could fill courses without even thinking about it.
Then along came the iPad.
Flash demand dropped almost instantly, and almost everyone I speak to is of the opinion that Flash is dead, or dying, or in a “niche” (lol) market like gaming. Edge Animate is rapidly filling our Flash vacuum but is Flash really dead? If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber you have Flash as part of your membership – here are a couple of (big) reasons why it’s still worth the install…
Animation you create can be exported – automatically – into a sprite sheet animation which can then be animated in a range of frameworks (and Flash can even export the necessary code too for some of those, including easel.js). There’s a nifty tutorial (ok, so a bit game-ish) on the DevNet: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/using-sprite-sheet-generator.html
Flash introduced support for <canvas> export last year and it’s really good – most of your existing Flash skills translate as is and there’s a lot of help available for migrating AS3 projects here: http://helpx.adobe.com/flash/using/creating-publishing-html5-canvas-document.html.
If you’re not up with all the new fangled (ok, so only six years old) Motion Tweens and prefer “Classic Tweens” then you’re also quids-in as it’s the preferred method – “Motion Tweens” get converted to frame-by-frame animations.
Adobe Evangelist, Paul Trani hosts a nice video tutorial on the Flash team blog.
And there’s more…
With support for createJS, and handy new JS code snippets in the code samples panel, as well as integration with the Adobe Media Encoder (no longer limited on exporting movies to .mov on the Mac) there’s still a pulse – fetch me the paddles!
For the list of enhancements visit the Adobe website.
Now, if only the <canvas> element were accessible…