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Seminar 1. Macromedia Flash MX and Web S... > The Features and Functionality of Fl...

The Features and Functionality of Flash MX

Before you begin using Flash, you should understand the important characteristics of Flash—mainly its use of vector graphics, streaming animations, and functionality for user interactivity.

Vector-Based Program

Flash is a vector-based program as opposed to a raster- or bitmapped-based program. A vector graphic is composed of a mathematical formula or set of instructions. This mathematical formula describes the shape, size, color, and location of an object on the Stage. A vector graphic is composed of endpoints, lines, or curves. Because the image is represented by a mathematical formula, its edges are always clean and smooth. A vector graphic usually is smaller in file size than a raster graphic, but unlike a raster graphic, there are no stray pixels that can cause the image to have a blurry edge or to have the “jaggies” effect. When a vector graphic is enlarged, the mathematical formula simply adjusts and the image is displayed cleanly and in the same proportion as the original image. It maintains its smooth curves and lines. Therefore, any Web browser window, no matter what size, can display a Flash file as it was designed—clean and jaggie free while maintaining the proportion of the design (see Figure 1.9).


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