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What You'll Learn in This Hour:
Believe it or not, Flash started life as drawing software. The creators of Flash intended to make a "more natural" drawing tool. Of course, Flash has evolved to become an animation tool and, now, even a rich application development platform. Because you'll be animating images, it's convenient that you can draw these images right inside Flash.
This hour exposes you to the fundamental drawing concepts in Flash think of it as your "basic training." There's a lot to cover, and you might find that it actually takes a little longer than one hour to complete. This lesson's length gives you ample chance to play with all the tools.
If you have little or no background creating graphics on a computer, you're in luck! Flash is so unique that the less you know, the better just let your mind act like a sponge and soak up all the information. If you have experience with computer graphics, try to forget everything you know about drawing software and get ready to learn the "Flash way."
Graphics created in Flash are considered vector graphics (as opposed to raster graphics, which are sometimes called bitmaps). Unlike a bitmap, for which the computer must store information about every single pixel, a vector graphics file contains just the math to redraw the shape. Therefore, a vector circle is described with the mathematical formula for a circle. Vector files are very small (and therefore download quickly), and they scale to new sizes easily (for example, the radius for a circle can be changed). Sometimes vector graphics tend to look too "computery," containing clean lines and solid colors. Not in Flash. After you get a feel for drawing in Flash, you should understand why Macromedia has called Flash "vector clay" it's a vector format at heart, but it can be molded naturally like clay.
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