Flash Animation is a form of animation regularly employed to create short, simple shows on the Internet. It has developed in recent years and is now a far more interactive and widely used form of website design. There are a number of sites on the Internet constructed entirely from Flash animation.
Originally developed by the Macromedia software company, Flash animation first came to prominence in the late 1990s as a simple way of creating cartoons or webtoons and storing them without taking up much disk space. Because of their small size they could be quickly loaded and viewed by slower Internet connections before the widespread availability of broadband.
Early Animations and Use
One of the first famous Flash cartoons was the "The Goddamn George Liquor Program" created by John Kricfalusi, famous for his "Ren & Stimpy" cartoon on Nickelodeon. First released in 1997, the program led to further Flash projects for Kricfalusi, including several online short animations for icebox.com.
In early 1999 the cartoon "WhirlGirl" became the first regularly produced Flash cartoon available online and on television, and as a result of its success, 50 episodes were produced.
Another notable early Flash animation was Joe Cartoon's "Frog in a Blender" which could be described as the Internet's first viral hit with over 90 million views since its release in 1999.
Further development allowed entire websites to be created in Flash. Programmers were able to allow users to navigate around an animation as easily as in a standard HTML site. This led to the development of more stylized and graphical websites.
Today Flash can embed video in websites. Popular video sharing websites like YouTube and Google Video use Flash to create a player for videos that people upload. These players can be embedded in people's websites so that the viewer does not have to access the YouTube or Google Video site directly to watch a video.
Flash Creation Programs
In 2005 Macromedia was bought by software giant Adobe. Today the most popular Flash authoring tool is Adobe Flash CS4, a development of the original Macromedia Flash software. It allows the user to create Flash animations as well as websites. In April 2010 Adobe announced the release of Adobe Flash CS5, which aims to allow users to develop flash applications for the Apple iPhone.
Ajax Animator is a popular third-party alternative to Adobe's official Flash software.
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