Definition and Format of Flash Animation
– Flash animation is created using Adobe Animate or similar software.
– It is often distributed in the SWF file format.
– Flash animation refers to both the file format and the medium in which the animation is produced.
– It has been popular since the mid-2000s, with many animated TV series, commercials, and online shorts being produced.
– Limited animation or cutout animation was used in the late 1990s for web distribution due to limited bandwidth.
Distribution and Characteristics of Flash Animation
– Flash animations are typically distributed on the World Wide Web.
– They are often referred to as Internet cartoons, online cartoons, or web cartoons.
– Flash animations can be interactive and are often created in a series.
– They are different from webcomics, which are static comic strips.
– Flash animations can integrate bitmaps, video, and vector-based drawings.
History and Impact of Flash Animation
– The first prominent use of Flash animation was by John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy.
– The Goddamn George Liquor Program was the first cartoon series produced specifically for the Internet.
– WhirlGirl became the first regularly scheduled Flash animated web series on Showtime in 1999.
– Flash cartoons gained popularity during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.
– Some Flash cartoons made the transition to traditional media, including Queer Duck and Happy Tree Friends.
– Flash animation allowed for the creation of animated TV series, commercials, and marketing campaigns.
– Flash animation was used in music videos by artists like Madonna, Beastie Boys, and Tenacious D.
– The first broadcast-quality Flash animation aired on television in 2000.
– Several popular online series, such as Off-Mikes and Gotham Girls, were produced using Flash animation.
– Flash animation was used in the Emmy Award-winning series Homestar Runner.
Challenges and Controversies of Flash Animation
– Poorly produced Flash animations can have jerky movements and abrupt changes.
– Flash animations faced controversies due to potentially controversial subject matter.
– Lil Pimp was an ill-fated Flash-animated feature film that faced challenges in its release.
– Flash animated music videos faced challenges in finding successful financial models.
– The trend of Flash animated works dissipated due to a lack of viable micropayment systems.
Production and Software for Flash Animation
– Macromedia Flash used for production.
– Low cost of production.
– Unique animation styles achievable.
– Examples of animated shows produced using Flash: Metalocalypse, Being Ian, Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, Kappa Mikey, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi.
– Other examples: Happy Tree Friends, The Buzz on Maggie, Astroblast!, Odd Job Jack, Little Einsteins.
– Internet distribution is easier and less expensive than television broadcasting.
– Many Flash animations created by independent artists.
– Some web animations became popular enough to be broadcast on TV networks like MTV and G4.
– Examples of TV shows that switched to Flash animation: Home Movies, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Ballmastrz: 9009, Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil.
– Major animation studios worldwide use Adobe Flash animation production.
– Flash software organizes a large number of assets for re-use.
– Flash files can be transferred to 35mm film without compromising image quality.
– Examples of independent animators using Flash: Phil Nibbelink, who made Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss, Nina Paley, who made Sita Sings the Blues.
– The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! used Flash animation instead of traditional animation.
– Other software packages available for creating Flash animations: Vyond, Toon Boom, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer, Serif DrawPlus, Toufee.
– Additional support and tools tailored to traditionally trained animators.
– Rigging for characters can speed up animation process.
– Moho and CelAction 2D are also used for Flash animation.
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Adobe Flash animation (formerly Macromedia Flash animation and FutureSplash animation) is an animation that is created with the Adobe Animate (formerly Flash Professional) platform or similar animation software and often distributed in the SWF file format. The term Adobe Flash animation refers to both the file format and the medium in which the animation is produced. Adobe Flash animation has enjoyed mainstream popularity since the mid-2000s, with many Adobe Flash-animated television series, television commercials, and award-winning online shorts being produced since then.
In the late 1990s, when bandwidth was still at 56 kbit/s for most Internet users, many Adobe Flash animation artists employed limited animation or cutout animation when creating projects intended for web distribution. This allowed artists to release shorts and interactive experiences well under 1 MB, which could stream both audio and high-end animation.
Adobe Flash is able to integrate bitmaps and other raster-based art, as well as video, though most Adobe Flash films are created using only vector-based drawings, which often result in a somewhat clean graphic appearance. Some hallmarks of poorly produced Adobe Flash animation are jerky natural movements (seen in walk-cycles and gestures), auto-tweened character movements, lip-sync without interpolation and abrupt changes from front to profile view.
Adobe Flash animations are typically distributed by way of the World Wide Web, in which case they are often referred to as Internet cartoons, online cartoons, or web cartoons. Web Adobe Flash animations may be interactive and are often created in a series. An Adobe Flash animation is distinguished from a Webcomic, which is a comic strip distributed via the Web, rather than an animated cartoon.
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