What is this course?

This course is made with the “CS4” version of which 95% is found in the “CS3” version.

As you go through Lesson 2 , you will know what exactly you can do with the “CS3” version.


What is “Flash”?

For those who would not know, “Flash” is generally used to create “Animation” for a website or CD-Rom and design games and banner ads.

“Flash” has lots more than that.
With “Flash” we can make movies, or web-based applications, such as shopping carts and news design.

“Flash” is built like a cartoon divided into time units, called “Frames”

In every “Frame”, the developer decides what the visitor sees. The major unit is called a head “Frame” or keyframe in English.

This forms the final structure of the application or “Animation”.


File Types

In “Flash”, we work with two types of files.

One is , the “FLA” file, we use this to design and edit the “Animation” and the other, the “SWF” file is used in the “Flash Player” to view the “Animation”.

So you need the “Flash Player” to view your “Flash” movies.

Do not panic, the “Flash Player” is installed by default on more than 99% of Internet-connected computers.

If you belong to that 1%, you can still install the free www.adobe.com website.


“Welcome Screen”

When we open “Flash” we see the “Welcome screen“.
If you do not see this, click the “Edit” button in the menu bar and select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
This opens the dialog “Preferences” dialog where the category “General” is selected.
Click the downward pointing arrow next to the “On Launch” box and select “Welcome screen” in the drop-down menu.
I can imagine that when you have spent many days on working with “Flash”, you would never ever want to see this “Welcome screen“.

Choose “New Document” or “Last opened documents” in the drop-down list if you do not wish o see the “Welcome screen”.

In the middle of the “Welcome screen“, in the “Create New” column choose a file type.
The first option “Flash File (ActionScript 3.0)” is the latest option added, so we click on it.
However if you wish to make a “Flash” movie for your mobile phone, GSM in Flanders, then choose “Flash File (Mobile)”, that is clear.


The new working environment

A second way to create a new file is to open the “File” menu in the menu bar and select “New” from the drop-down menu.
Instead of choosing “New Document” as our file type, in our case we choose “Flash File (ActionScript 3.0)” and click the OK button.

Another way to open a new document is the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + N” on your keyboard.

Whatever you do, does not matter because both open a new “Flash Document”.

Those of us who are already using the previous version of “Flash” see that a there is a change immediately.

The first thing to note is that the timeline(1) is moved to the bottom and that the tool bar (2) is now on the right side.

However, if you wish to work with the previous format, no problem. Click “Window” in the menu bar, choose “Workspace” in the drop-down menu, and click “Classic”.

Or click the “Essentials” (3), and select “Classic” in the drop-down menu.

If you want to change this back again to the new environment, choose “Essentials” in this drop-down menu.

As you can see also in this drop-down menu we have a number of preset workspaces, “Animator”, “Classic”, “Debug”, “Designer”, “Developer”, though these have their own open panes.

If you need space to design according to your needs, you could possibly create your own “Workspace”.

To do this, firstly you need to close all panels that you hardly need, open all panels that you want in your working environment and choose “New Workspace” in the drop-down menu.

In the window that appears, give your “Workspace” a name, and click the OK button.

The “Workspace” you now created appears in the drop-down menu.

We will learn more about the different panes when we use them.

In the next lesson we first see what is new in Flash “CS4”


You've completed Lesson 1