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A LITTLE FLASH HISTORY

Flash arrived on the scene as a product called SmartSketch, which was created to make it easier for people to draw and sketch with a computer. It is somewhat ironic the full circle which has formed since Flash’s early incarnations, with this book dealing with pen input and Flash.

SmartSketch was a great tool, but the only real way to distribute animation was via CD-ROM or VHS. That was about to change, however. The Internet and the World Wide Web were gaining traction and it seemed that this new pipe could be used to transfer animations and graphics. Work began to make FutureWave’s SmartSketch into the animation tool that would also playback within Netscape’s new plug-in architecture, which gave web browsers more functionality. SmartSketch was renamed Cel Animator to foster the animation theme, but it was quickly renamed FutureSplash Animator so it would gain more acceptance than simply being associated with cartoons. In 1996, FutureSplash began to ship as a boxed product, and companies such as Microsoft and Disney started to flock to FutureSplash for its television-like animation qualities over limited bandwidth (at the time 9.6kps was fast). In 1996, Macromedia bought FutureSplash and it became Flash 1.0.


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