Flash

Flash is an authoring tool that designers and developers use to create presentations, applications, and other content that enables user interaction. Flash projects can include simple animations, video content, complex presentations, applications, and everything in between. In general, individual pieces of content made with Flash Professional are called applications (or SWF applications), even though they might be only a basic animation. With Flash, one can make media-rich applications by including pictures, sound, video, and special effects.

The SWF format is well suited for delivery over the Internet because its files are very small, using vector graphics instead of bitmap graphics. Vector graphics require significantly less memory and storage space than bitmap graphics because they are represented by mathematical formulas instead of large data sets. Bitmap graphics are larger because each individual pixel in the image requires a separate piece of data to represent it.—abridged from Creating a simple document in Flash CS4 Professional

Introductory Activity: Building an interactive movie

Introduction to Flash MX (slides)

Sample button

Sample interactive movie

Sample sounds

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External resources

Animated GIF vs. SWF

Flash Development Centre

Sounds: Free-Loops.com

Wiki