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Chapter 2. Getting Started with Flash MX... > Humble Beginnings—Where Flash Came F...

Humble Beginnings—Where Flash Came From

In 1996, a small company called FutureWave software was selling a product called FutureSplash Animator. This product was designed to do vector-based drawing and animation.

Vector-Based Graphics

For those not familiar with vector-based graphics, here is an explanation:

Most graphics are pixel-based, which means that there are thousands of tiny blocks of color making up a picture. This becomes a problem when resizing images because for instance, if you increase the size of a JPEG, you are not redrawing it, but instead increasing the size of those tiny blocks of color, and the larger you make them, the more fuzzy and unclear the picture becomes.

Vector-based graphics are made with mathematical vector points so that in the case of a resize, they can redraw themselves to maintain quality. This and their generally smaller file size make them not only perfect for animation, but for the Web as well.

Figure 2.1 shows four circles; two are vector-based, and two are pixel-based JPEGs.

Figure 2.1. The difference between vector- and pixel-based graphics is obvious, especially in curves.




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