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Macromedia Flash MX

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2 Reviews

Flash MX - Complete package - 1 user - EDU - CD - Win - English

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      10.06.2009 11:41
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      Animation software for web aplications and games development

      Flash MX. Macromedia held a launch event in Manchester in 2002, I went with a contingent from the my ICT department. I was into the third year of a Computer Science degree at the time, one of my subjects was Multimedia, so I was a very interested party. Anything that would add a bit of pzazz to be upcoming Multimedia project was OK with me. When I saw what Flash MX could do, I was blown away. Up until that time I had only achieved a very rudimentary form of animation, using Visual Basic programming, based, on setting event timers. Here was a piece of software which would allow me to achieve the sophisticated effects that are taken for granted on websites and in games today: Images appearing and fading away on screen, being replaced by new images; Images moving smoothly across the screen as if drawn by some invisible finger; Sound playing on a webpage, as the cursor goes over it, the list is endless. Everything in the application mimics the real life animators craft. Flash MX soon became Industry Standard for the production of web animation. Working for an Adult Education Service, I devised a course to teach it to would be web designers and games programmers. It is not the most user friendly piece of software to learn and use. This is not surprising as, the more complex the end result, the more complex the software that produces it must be. The user interface (what you see on your screen) contains elements that are not found for instance in the Microsoft Office suite that many people are familiar with. For example: Timelines that allow different thing to appear on screen at different times during the replaying of the animation: Layers that allow things to appear to to go behind something else on the screen: Gradients that make things appear to have depth on a flat screen. There is even a template for making quizzes. There have been many changes to Flash MX since it first launched, has been upgraded many times since then, but Computer Profesionals acknowlege that it played a massive part in the development of the webpages we all use on the Internet today. If you were buying Flash today, you would be looking at Adobe Flash CS4, which does everything Flash MX did and more.

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      21.02.2003 21:33
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      Well folks, it is finally here. Flash MX (6) has been released, and there is no longer the hustle and bustle over little kiddies getting their hands on hacked beta copies. I must say that the first thing that impresses me overall about Flash MX, is the fact that Macromedia, for the most part, listened to the community of Flash developers, and actually let a few of them into the development process. A lot of the quirks and quibbles about the program are now fixed, although a few still remain. Ok, so enough of me babbling on, and onto the actual juicy review. The first thing you will notice about MX, is the new interface. The new properties tab/console allows you to edit ANY property for ANY object on your stage. It allows you to edit between Motion and Shape tween, allows you to edit Alpha, Tint, Brightness, etc. on objects, it allows you to transform the _x and _y coordinates on the clip, etc… Basically it took away about 4 or 5 of the palettes you had before (Effects, Info, etc.). A lot of my friends have actually mentioned that they don't like how much space the Properties panel takes up, but when you think about it, it actually just saved you from having 3 or 4 different panels open. Another interface change is the fact that each panel/palette is dock-able, and minimize-able. This has to be one of my favorite features, as it allows me to have my Library, Align, Components, and many other panels open all at once, and I can just minimize or maximize as needed. Another great feature integrated in MX, is the ability to import video and embed it into your FLA file. Flash MX uses the Sorenson Spark codec to "squeeze" your Quick Time files down to minimalist sizes. In a test, I took a 43 MB Quick Time file, imported it at 50% quality, and 24 frames per second, and 100% scale (320x240) and my final SWF output was 1 MB!!!! Although, I will say, that the quality wasn't the best, but what can you expect at 50% quality? If you go t o http://www.sorenson.com they are now selling the Sorenson Squeeze software that will compact your Quick Time files even more before you import them into Flash. You can now also dynamically import JPG's and MP3's through the loadMovie command as well. This I see as a VERY fun feature of Flash, and I myself can see my own Photography section being updated through MX VERY soon. Example: on (release) { loadMovie("whatever.jpg", 0) } on (release) { loadMovie("whatever.mp3", 0) } Put these commands on a button and then…..voila….it imports :) Just a quick example of a powerful feature. Be careful though, don't try to load Progressive JPGs in, or you will lock up the Flash Player. Onto the next feature, the Components. WOW! I am liking these :) The new components in Flash MX give you the ability to Drag and Drop a Scrollbar, Scrollpane, Checkbox, Combobox, Listbox, Pushbutton, or Radiobutton, right into your file, and implement it INSTANTLY! But wait, the best part is yet to come….you can actually create your own components and sell them on the flash market, give them away as open source, or do whatever you want with them. The timeline has also undergone a great bit of improvement as well. You now have the ability to create folders in which to put your many many layers. Also, if you create a piece of text, and decide to make a text effect out of it, you can just choose to Distribute as Layers, and Flash is nice enough to put each letter on a different layer for ya. Awww how nice :) . One GREAT feature that I haven't heard many people notice is the Select All Keyframes. I don't know how many times I have sat around and waited for Flash to go through its maximum 16,000 frames while holding my mouse to the right side, and then I wake up and find out I have somehow stopped at frame 10,000. YES, I know there are easier ways, but the Select A ll Keyframes is better than any way at all :) . Macromedia also decided to put in a free transform tool, so that now we can actually do REAL transforming! The Envelope feature is another favorite of mine, as you can make your text look wavy, etc. (it's the little things that please me) There are many new features here that I am probably missing, but it's a short review, buy the program and find more for out for yourself! A couple features I have decided to miss here to make this shorter are as follows: · Answers palette (updateable support connected to macromedia.com) · Fill Transform Tool (FINALLY an easy way to edit Gradients) · MANY MANY actionscript changes (too many to list) · Webcam and microphone support (not yet released) · Drawing API (draw vectors, etc through actionscript) · New color palettes (all around better) · Faster Flash Plugin on Mac, Slower Flash Plugin on PC So, in review, I would give the upgrade to Flash MX, a 9 out of 10. In my opinion, this is a must upgrade for any professional Flash developer. But once again, that is just my opinion, and you should form your own opinion by visiting http://www.macromedia.comand downloading the trial and determining for yourself.

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    • Product Details

      Macromedia presents Macromedia Flash MX, the latest version of the Macromedia Flash development environment, which will usher in a new generation of rich Internet content and applications. With support for video, application components, and accessibility, this milestone product builds on the track record of Macromedia Flash for enabling the creation of expressive online content and applications. Macromedia Flash MX unites designers and developers who can build on their existing knowledge to deliver more effective, rich Internet applications. Macromedia Flash MX applications provide increased return on investment for companies, and amazing user experiences across everything from mobile phones, PDAs, interactive TV systems, game machines, Internet appliances, Web pads, and in-room hotel entertainment systems.

      Macromedia Flash MX meets the needs of both designers and developers to deliver rich Internet content and applications that can be experienced consistently across all leading platforms and devices. The product simplifies the process of visual authoring for traditional Web developers who want to use a rich client technology for their applications. The more than one million designers already familiar with Macromedia Flash can use their existing skills along with new server technologies to address the emergence of rich Internet applications. Video support enables developers to deliver a better overall user experience by bringing and adding interactivity to video clips within the overall Macromedia Flash content. Video content in Macromedia Flash allows designers to maintain control of the look and feel of their applications, unlike today's existing video options, which require external players to be launched and have platform inconsistencies. Support for the Sorenson Spark codec ensures compressed, high-quality video playback. Macromedia Flash MX enhances the authoring workflow with a flexible workspace that can be customized to maximize productivity for both designers and developers. Pre-built user interface components accelerate development by providing users with customizable scrollbars, list boxes, and other standard interface elements to ensure a common experience across applications. Macromedia Flash MX also supports industry standards such as ECMAScript, HTML, MP3, Unicode, and XML.