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Designing SWF Files

There are three types of SWF files. A single-frame SWF file is a static image. Although not as exciting as an animation, static SWF files are extremely useful for displaying maps, technical illustrations, or other drawings that work better as vectors. Because these illustrations are vectors, they are much smaller than either GIF or JPEG graphics. And because you can zoom in on SWF files, your viewers can move in to examine details without losing sharpness. A single Illustrator document can easily be turned into an SWF file by using the Macromedia Flash Export option.

Multiframe SWF files create animations by playing all the frames one after another. This allows you to simulate motion, fades, transformations, and other effects. Because Illustrator doesn't have multiframes, you need to use multiple layers to simulate the multiframes. I'll cover how to do this very shortly in the section “Turning Blends into Animations.”


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