(1) See flash memory and flash button.
(2) An extremely popular multimedia authoring and playback system from Adobe. Flash formats are used for most of the animated ads and video clips on today's Web sites. Flash Lite is a version for mobile phones.
Created in authoring applications, such as Flash MX and Flash Professional, Flash "movies" in the .SWF file format are played back in Adobe's Flash Player within the Web browser or from a stand-alone application that accesses the Player.
Flash animations became very popular because they support vector images, which are very space efficient for illustrations on the Web. They also scale up and down with accurate detail when the window is resized (see vector graphics
Animated Graphics, Sound and Video
A Flash movie is choreographed on sequential timelines that define the location and interaction of graphics, sound and video elements created in other applications and imported. The timelines and multimedia elements are saved in an .FLA source file and published to an .SWF file for playback (see SWF
). Stand-alone videos are also widely encoded in Flash's FLV video format for viewing on the Web (see Flash video
As of Version 5, Flash became fully programmable, enabling the creation of interactive Web-based applications (see Flex
). Flash was created by Macromedia and introduced in 1996. In 2005, Adobe acquired the company.
Objects in a Flash animation are placed in separate timelines (top) so that they move together in the required sequence. Notice the set of basic drawing and painting tools at the top left.
Flash Animation Playback
This is the .SWF animation generated from the .FLA file above. For more about the subject of this animation, see protocol stack