Adobe Flash equivalent or what is Swish Max?

Published on June 30, 2011

Adobe Flash equivalent or what is Swish Max?

Hello, Habr!

Before each, more or less dedicated to web development, the user, at one time, had a question (or interest) about flash. For some, this remained “magic”, someone settled on minimal animation and banners, and someone went headlong into learning Action Script. One way or another, but Flash to this day remains a common tool for creating interactive and cross-platform applications, despite the rapid development of HTML5, WebGL standard, SVG graphics, Silverlight, etc. and their widespread implementation recently. And besides the common development environment of Adobe Flash, there is not such a well-known Swish Max program. About it and will be discussed under the cut.

SwishMax: History

Max Swish - Australian software company Pty Ltd . The company produces a number of products that are somehow related to flash. The editor's line stretches since 2002. On the Swish website (as Swish Max was called at that time), there was almost no mention of it. But it has been and is developing to this day. The current version for today is the fourth, but Swish Max is updated quite often (there are various builds, by date.)

SwishMax: Description, Advantages, Disadvantages

Program interface

SWiSH Max is generally considered to be a simpler and less expensive Flash creation tool compared to Adobe Flash. Swish Max implements common Flash functions (creating various animations, working with vector and raster, editing code directly). The interface is slightly similar. But this is only a quick glance. There is still a difference. And there are also advantages and disadvantages compared to Adobe Flash. I'll start with the shortcomings:

  • Doesn't support ActionScript 3.0
  • Limited raster drawing capabilities
  • Minor restrictions when working with masks
  • Does not open .fla
  • Bugs

Most significant is the lack of support for AS 3.0. But in the latest version there is limited support for AS 3.0, which can only be noticed by sophisticated specialists in this programming field, because I personally have never noticed much difference. A raster in Swish Max is very poorly programmable (not AS scripts). The minimum required settings are implemented, compared with the same Adobe Flash. But this is offset by good work with the vector, which will be discussed below. For those who use Flash professionally - when working in Swish Max a slightly different work with masks will be noticeable. And of course, the editor does not open .fla files using its own .swi format, which limits the final processing of files in other programs. There are bugs in the program. Mostly not very serious, but sometimes something somewhere may not work right.

Now about the benefits:
  • Built-in effects and transitions
  • Swish scripts
  • Great vector support
  • Minimum System Requirements
  • Cheaper than Adobe Flash

One of the main factors influencing the acquisition of a certain popularity of this program is undoubtedly a wide range of built-in effects. Transitions, fade-ins / outs and just transformations. And all this without editing AS directly! Having figured it out, it’s not at all difficult for a person far from AS programming to create simple flash clips / banners / buttons and other simple elements. In principle, this set, with proper and sophisticated use, can be enough for something more serious, as the program includes a small set of ready-made solutions, such as audio and video players, all kinds of counters, load bars, and more.

Examples of built-in components

Swish Max has its own scripts, which are a variation of ActionScript, which are called Swish scripts. They contain b aboutmore functionality of AS 2.0, including support for ActionScript 2.0 classes starting from SWiSH Max 3. Also, the program implements good work with vector. Creating and editing, combined with the imposition of animation effects, gives a good result. Of course, it can not be compared with programs specially designed for working in the vector, but enough for quality details. Importantly, the latest version of the editor does not require a perfect computer, unlike the resource-intensive products of the Creative Suite line of the latest versions from Adobe. The site contains the following system requirements for Swish Max 4:

  • IBM compatible Pentium / AMD processor with a frequency of 900 MHz or higher
  • 512 MB RAM or more
  • 1024 x 768, 16-bit monitor (32-bit recommended)

I was sincerely surprised by the lack of mention of Swish Max on Habré. Whatever the case, the program deserves the attention of those who are involved in flash or want to do it.


Official website of the manufacturer:
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