How Flash Came to Be
Created by Jonathan Gay, current VP of Flash
and Generator at Macromedia
(1993)Started a company called Future Wave
Future Wave’s first project, funded by a
company by the name of GO, was to develop
illustration software that would allow users to
physically draw on the screen using “pen
How Flash Came to Be (cont.)
Down the road, the project was dropped due to
heavy use of resources and was very expensive.
All of Future Wave’s work was now worth
(1995)Software was revamped to work on PC’s
and MAC’s as a simple illustration tool, known
as “Smart Sketch”
How Flash Came to Be(cont.)
(1995) Received feedback from customers that
they should turn it into animation software.
Future Wave is not crazy about idea.
(1996)Internet is growing exponentially.
Future Wave sees a market for 2-D animation
software for web designers.
Future Wave develops “Future Splash
How Flash Came to Be(cont.)
After doing some major projects for Microsoft
and Disney, Future Wave is approached by
Macromedia and the rest is history.
In the fall of 1996, Future Splash Animator
became Macromedia Flash 1.0 and web content
as we knew it, would never be the same.
What Makes Flash Tick?
One company merger and Eight revisions
Still using majority of the code that was used
when Future Wave revamped the pen computer
However, it is not the interface that makes Flash
Vector Graphics System
Flash uses what is known as a Vector Graphics
A system that uses simple system to build what
you see on the screen out of lines, points,
polygons, shapes, etc.
Why is this Important?
Because Flash uses the VGS, it keeps animation
file sizes down.
This allows animator to make detailed and
What does that translate to?
Flash’s Pros and Cons
Pro: Integrated languages like “Action Script”.
Pro: Ease of use
Con: It’s ease of use has caused the creation of
many ugly and unusable websites by new users.
Pro: Its ability to work will all kinds of media.
Con: Was designed for creation of web content
and is difficult to use if content needs to be
Pros and Cons (cont.)
Pro: Its functionality on the web.
Object-Oriented Language that is very similar to
Where JS handles windows, form, etc. Action
Script handles media. (i.e. movie clips, sound
Gives developer the needed control of all
aspects of the animation
In the most recent release of flash, Flash MX
Pro, AS 2.0 has become a full blown Object
Oriented languages that allows things like
declaration and inheritance.
These options were limited in the 1.0 release of
Ease of Use
A person with no computer experience can sit
down and tinker with Flash, create a simple
animated movie, and build up from there.
Has been one of Flash’s strengths from the
Downside of Ease of Use
At the ground level of developing animation,
things are simple.
When new users of Flash want to create a
detailed and complex animation, things get
People want to put out a website with a fresh
look with cutting edge technology and sites
become unusable when they do not know what
they are doing.
Flash’s ability to handle all kinds of media is
what separates it from the pack.
Now in its eighth release, Flash has the power to
embed images, HTML , streaming sound, and
Flash’s capacity to manipulate all of these
elements efficiently makes it an all-in-one
Flash’s functionality within a web environment
is pretty solid.
Displaying a Flash animation only requires a
simple tag that is embedded in HTML.
Does require plug-in and has some control
Macromedia projects that 95% of internet users
have some form of they’re Flash plug-in
installed (ahead of MSIE,NS,RP).