Migrating from Flash to Edge Animate
Illustration by John Hersey
Watching:

A history and comparison of Flash and Edge Animate


From:

Migrating from Flash to Edge Animate

with Jake Ströh

Video: A history and comparison of Flash and Edge Animate

While the animated GIF certainly pioneered simple animations on the Web, it wasn't too long before Flash became a preferred alternative offering more options and techniques for animating on the Web. Being able to add vector and raster imagery while adding sound to animations was a dream come true for beginners and pros alike, who wanted to express their ideas within this relatively new medium. Creative output accelerated in sites dedicated to short-form animation began to proliferate while influencing an ever-expanding Internet culture.
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  1. 1m 24s
    1. Welcome
      41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
  2. 5m 25s
    1. A history and comparison of Flash and Edge Animate
      5m 25s
  3. 31m 26s
    1. Comparing Flash and Edge Animate interfaces
      4m 49s
    2. Importing and managing assets
      6m 24s
    3. Animating keyframes
      5m 54s
    4. Working with symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Animating symbols and previewing the animation
      6m 44s
    6. Utilizing Orient to Path
      3m 45s
  4. 12m 7s
    1. Working with text in Edge Animate
      4m 1s
    2. Customizing text styles
      4m 29s
    3. Revealing text with clipping
      3m 37s
  5. 32m 16s
    1. Comparing JavaScript and ActionScript 3.0
      3m 18s
    2. Working with the code window
      7m 26s
    3. Understanding timeline interactions
      6m 56s
    4. Creating button rollovers and timeline labels
      7m 7s
    5. Targeting symbol timelines with JavaScript actions
      7m 29s
  6. 46m 8s
    1. Reviewing an existing Flash project
      1m 32s
    2. Re-creating a Flash document in Edge Animate
      2m 32s
    3. Importing and managing project content
      3m 19s
    4. Creating and placing elements on the stage
      4m 58s
    5. Creating symbols, groups, and animations
      5m 36s
    6. Working with buttons and instances
      10m 8s
    7. Creating the image gallery
      8m 49s
    8. Exporting the project
      4m 12s
    9. How Edge Animate and Flash implement content on the web
      5m 2s
  7. 10m 33s
    1. How video and HTML5 work together
      6m 48s
    2. Working with video in an Edge Animate project
      3m 45s
  8. 7m 36s
    1. HTML5 Canvas in Flash
      2m 59s
    2. Converting SWFs to HTML5 using Swiffy
      3m 9s
    3. Working with other Adobe Edge products
      1m 28s
  9. 47s
    1. Next steps
      47s

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Watch the Online Video Course Migrating from Flash to Edge Animate
2h 27m Intermediate Jun 25, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Are you an experienced Flash developer feeling stranded or left behind by the shift to HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript? There's hope yet, in the form of Edge Animate, which translates Flash's ease of use into code. Watch this course and learn how to make the connections between developing in Flash and in Edge Animate, and then make the leap to a more modern web development workflow.

Jake Ströh explains how the web has evolved away from Flash, while pointing out key similarities and differences in Edge Animate that make migrating at times both smooth and challenging. He shows how to re-create a simple Flash banner ad inside of Edge Animate, walking through tasks that should be familiar to Flash developers, like keyframing parameters and working with symbols and nested timelines. Text, audio, and video work differently in Edge Animate, so Jake also spends time on those techniques. Then he'll work through the process of developing an interactive mobile prototype that accepts input from touch screens. When you're done, you should have the tools you need to migrate to Edge Animate and start building web projects that live up to modern standards.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the history of Flash and the evolution toward HTML5
  • Comparing the interface, keyframing, and asset management
  • Re-creating a Flash project in Edge Animate
  • Working with web fonts and CSS font styles in Edge Animate
  • Adding interactivity with JavaScript actions
  • Working with HTML5 video
  • Developing for touch screens
  • Converting SWFs to HTML5 with third-party tools
Subject:
Web
Software:
Edge Animate
Author:
Jake Ströh

A history and comparison of Flash and Edge Animate

While the animated GIF certainly pioneered simple animations on the Web, it wasn't too long before Flash became a preferred alternative offering more options and techniques for animating on the Web. Being able to add vector and raster imagery while adding sound to animations was a dream come true for beginners and pros alike, who wanted to express their ideas within this relatively new medium. Creative output accelerated in sites dedicated to short-form animation began to proliferate while influencing an ever-expanding Internet culture.

Flash was originally called FutureSplash, which was developed by a company called FutureWave. In 1996, Macromedia purchased FutureWave and renamed it Flash 1.0. By the time it had reached version 5.0 in 2000, Macromedia had added programming abilities with ActionScript, which added object-oriented programming influenced by JavaScript and the ECMAScript. This feature prompted a high adoption rate for developers. Between ActionScript and high adoption rate of the Flash Player plugin, this gave developers great cross-browser, multimedia support and the ability to create more complex interactions.

Online animations, game development and websites built entirely with Flash began to show up everywhere on the Web. In 2003, Macromedia developed the Flash Video Codec to better distribute video on the Web via its Flash Player. This new codec offered a way to stream video on the Flash Player. Quickly, Flash video became the preferred format on the Web for consumers and producers, alike. Then, when you factor in the timing of the launch of YouTube and their quick adoption of the Flash Video Codec, you suddenly had a new video revolution and a video standard to support it.

In response to the demand for language better suited for larger and more complex animations, Macromedia released ActionScript 2.0 in tandem with the release of Flash MX2004 and Flash Player 7. This version of ActionScript also conformed partially to the ECMAScript draft specification. In 2005, Adobe purchased Macromedia, and Flash became Adobe Flash. In 2006, ActionScript 3.0 was introduced with a fundamental restructuring of the language that conformed completely to the ECMAScript for draft specification.

It extended the capabilities far beyond preceding versions. In 2007, the iPhone was released. And as we all know, the device and its operating system did not include the ability to consume Flash content. Initially, it seemed as if it was a minor oversight on Apple's part, and many criticized the iPhone for not offering the full Web experience. In 2010, when the iPad was released, there was still no way to consume Flash content or Flash video on the iPhone, or on this new, more powerful device that many considered an alternative to a laptop.

Competitors began their claims of new products forthcoming that would offer an alternative to the broken devices that Apple had made. This became the beginning of the battle between Apple versus Adobe, as well as fever-pitch debates between Flash versus HTML5, and open versus proprietary. Days later Steve Jobs issued his open letter, Thoughts on Flash. He explained why Apple would not ever integrate Flash into its iOS devices. He cited reliability, security, performance and especially battery life issues.

He declared what modern technologies he thought would win out in the mobile era. That being, HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. This, of course, turned the tech world on its ear and if HTML5 wasn't a buzzword or on the radars of some, it certainly was now. Nearly two years later, Adobe announced that it would no longer support the Flash player on Android 4.1 or later. Many felt that this settled the debate once and for all and that Adobe had lost.

Or maybe Adobe took Steve Jobs' advice at the end of his Thoughts on Flash letter, where he asked Adobe to perhaps focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future. In August of 2011, Adobe announced Adobe Edge Preview, and a year later, they released 1.0. And today the current version in CC is 3.0. When we understand the elements involved in actually creating animation and interactivity with HTML5, which of course means that we have to also use CSS and JavaScript, we can look back at Flash as a tool and realize that it made complexity simple for creatives.

Adobe decided to adapt to what the Internet culture wanted in terms of content development and consumption, and the development of Adobe Edge Animate again attempts, and I'd say succeeds, to make the complex simple for creatives. What's more, for those of us who have a history with the Flash platform in development, is that Adobe clearly has considered those of us considering to create HTML5-based animation and interactivity.

There are currently no FAQs about Migrating from Flash to Edge Animate.

 
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