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Introduction

When Macromedia unveiled Flash MX 2004, they added a lot of new features to make the process of creating complex Flash movies easier for the novice, and at the same time, give the experienced user more power to control the Flash environment. An example of ease with power is Flash's new Timeline effects. Timeline effects allow you to change shapes over time, such as explode and object, or create a blur or drop shadow. Since these effects are part of the Timeline, they're animated effects. Timeline effects are similar to motion tween effects without all the hassle. You start with an object in a specific keyframe, and then work through an effects dialog box, to instruct Flash exactly how you want the effect to appear. Once the effect is created, you can modify how the effect appears on the screen, at any time during the design process.

One more bit of news about Flash MX 2004 is that it's extensible. That means other companies and 3rd party vendors can create add-on products to help to further automate your workflow. As time goes by, you will see more and more automation features and Timeline effects, being offered free, or for a small fee. What that means to you as a Flash designer is that you will be able to do more complicated Flash animations, in less time, and have more control over the effects.


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