The evolution of Flash. From 1996 to the present day
Adobe Flash is by far the most popular multimedia Internet platform. Just install a flash player and you have a whole world - videos, chats, games. And with the release of ActionScript 3, developers got almost limitless possibilities.
But there was a time when Flash was just a small program for editing vector animation. He was born in 1996 under the name FutureSplash Animator and today, after fourteen years, he lives in almost all forms - on personal computers, mobile devices and servers.
FutureSplash Animator - 1996
The first flash editing program was called FutureSplash Animator and was created by John Gay and Charlie Jackson , founders of FutureWave Software. It was, in fact, an expanded version of their other program - FutureWave's SmartSketch, a vector editor for computers with tablet input. The first version of FutureSplash Animator went on sale in 1996, and after 7 months Macromedia acquired FutureWave and flash got its usual name - Flash.
Flash 2 - 1997
Flash 2 did not give users particularly noticeable new features, but it is famous even for the fact that most of the old-school flashers started with it. Perhaps the main innovation is the Library, which allowed storing, managing and exporting various types of data. Flash 2 already knew how to make friends with buttons, sound effects, and fonts. Therefore, he very quickly became one of the most advanced tools for illustrators, animators, and a just emerging family of web artists.
Flash 3 - 1998
A year after the second version, Flash 3 came out and introduced a lot of new features to the world. Movie clips appeared in the program, the ability to work with different levels of transparency of objects was added, as well as projectors files - executable video clips that did not require an additional flash player installed on the computer to run. For the first time, action games have appeared - the first step to the modern interactive paradise of Flash technology.
Flash 4 - 1999
By the time the fourth version was released, Flash had actually become the standard for web animation. The four pushed the boundaries of technology even further. Not only the tool icons have changed, but the tools themselves. Now it was easy to switch from editing scenes to editing objects. New Inspector panels, similar in functionality to today's Info and Transform panels, made it possible to more accurately control objects and animations. Changes have also been made to the Library - folders and the ability to edit objects directly in it have been added.
Flash 4 can be called a breakthrough in technology, as the motion tweening function, which has become one of the main functions of the editor for many years, has been brought to the fore. There is a full-fledged layer management - visibility and the ability to lock the layer. The contour adding function has become integrated. Flash began to support the mp3 format, as a result of which Internet music players flooded the network.
Editable text fields became available, as well as Get URL action (with POST and GET variables). The functions Load Variables and Load Movie appeared, presenting truly fantastic features. Flash has become incredibly popular thanks to its powerful tools, with the help of which you could create anything you want.
Flash 5 - 2000
Flash 5 said goodbye to an interface in the style of the 90s and entered the new millennium with a bunch of new features. Independent Info and Transform panels appeared in place in the Bose of the departed Inspector panels. A shared library has made the ability to exchange objects between different projects a simpler thing than ever. Well, the “highlight of the program” is the birth of ActionScript. Previously, actions were collected exclusively by selecting the necessary functions in the drop-down menus. Well, now the developers themselves could write their own scripts. This gave developers freedom with a capital “C” (well, syntax errors, of course). The era of flash games has arrived.
Macromedia Flash MX - 2002
The Flash MX version was the starting point on a long journey of integration into graphics packages. For the first time, it was released as part of the MX package, the predecessor of the Adobe Creative Suite. And, finally, there was a separation of design and programmer components of the program. Inline user interface components as well as XML were introduced. The Free Transform tool and the ability to group layers into folders were added. Another revolutionary feature is video support. Streaming video has become a common thing and only a few years remained before YouTube.
Flash MX 2004-2003
New components, ActionScript 2, and Unicode support. Flash MX 2004 is the next step from a humble ancestor, a vector graphics editor, to a dominant internet application platform.
Flash 8 - 2005
Flash 8 introduced filters and blending modes, which further expanded the possibilities of animation. The new Object drawing mode added functionality that brought the features editor closer to Adobe Illustrator. There were contour hinting, control over the appearance of the end points of the curve (end caps). Controlling the speed of an animation by editing a graph curve is another tasty bun for animators. The previously used Sorensen video codec was replaced with On2 VP6 - a coincidence or not, but YouTube was launched three months later.
Flash CS3 - 2007
Having appeared in the Adobe Creative Suite, Flash CS3 could boast of an updated interface, improved work with video and simplified work to change the appearance of components. One of the important improvements is the ability to export animations, which made it easy to transfer animations from one object to another. The release was marked by the maximum integration of the editor with other programs of the package - especially with Photoshop and Flex. Well, for dessert - the advent of ActionScript 3.0.
Flash CS4 - 2008
CS4 gave inverse kinematics - the ability to build animations based on the movements of the "skeleton", as well as the Motion Editor - a new panel that gives amazing freedom to control animations (dope sheet in 3D editors). There was initial support for 3D.
Flash CS5 - 2010
The code editor and inverse kinematics were improved, snippets were added and new formats based on XML - .XFL and .FXG were introduced to simplify the work with the code and reduce the number of errors associated with the old binary file format. Flash Catalyst has appeared - a new tool that allows you to export data from other programs in the package with a minimum of effort and problems.