What is Flash?
- Flash is a multimedia graphics program specially for use on the Web
- Flash enables you to create interactive "movies" on the Web
- Flash uses vector graphics, which means that the graphics can be scaled to any size without losing clarity/quality
- Flash does not require programming skills and is easy to learn
Flash vs. Animated Images and Java Applets
Animated images and Java applets are often used to create dynamic effects on Web pages. The advantages of Flash are:
- Flash loads much faster than animated images
- Flash allows interactivity, animated images do not
- Flash does not require programming skills, java applets do
FLASH vs. ANIMATED GIF
An animated GIF is actually many images saved in one.
When the animated GIF is loaded onto a webpage, the browser simply loops the images. This means, if you make an animation of a clown that moves his hand up and down in 25 small movements, then the animated area of the image is saved 25 times. So it doesn't take a lot of animation to create a GIF image that's remarkable bigger than a regular clown image.
Therefore, even small animations take forever to load.
While animated GIFs can be used for animations, they do not support interactivity. They simply loop images in a predefined order and that's it.
In Flash, you can control the animations. For example, you can make the animation stop and wait for the user to click a button. And when the animation starts again it can be dependant on which button was clicked.
So compared to animated GIFs, the advantages of Flash are that:
- Flash movies load much faster.
- Flash movies allow interactivity.
- Flash movies can use more than 256 colors.