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factfile5.9 Flash advertising banners


Increasingly, more and more banner ads are being created using Flash instead of animated GIF files. This allows more complex animations and greater interactivity but still keeps the file size very small. Quite often Flash video can also be included.

An animated GIF uses Stopframe animation. To move a ball smoothly from one side of the banner to another would require several separate frames that would move the ball a small distance, so the file size could become very large.

ballA Flash animation uses Keyframe animation. To move a ball you would need to add a keyframe with the starting location of the ball and then a second keyframe with the final location of the ball. Flash uses a process called Tweening, which calculates all the steps between the two positions and creates a smooth animation. This type of animation produces much smaller files. Flash files (swf) are usually vector rather than bitmap which also means they can be rescaled without becoming distorted.

Serif DrawPlus has the ability to produce keyframe animations that can be exported as Flash movies to use as advertising banners on websites. They have smaller file sizes and allow for interactivity and media rich content such as video and audio. When making more complicated animations for Adobe Flash, it is important to consider factors such as the frame rate, the number of frames and the effect on the smoothness of the animation.

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The frame rate is the number of frames displayed every second of animation in order to create the illusion of motion. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the motion, because there are more frames per second to display the transition from point A to point B. A frame rate that is too slow means your animation might not appear to be smooth; a frame rate that is too fast might make the action difficult to follow or text unreadable.

For more about keyframe animation, look at the Serif unit Creating Animations.

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