Week 7 Summary

This week I learned about creating animation in Fireworks.  I used that information to create an animation within my banner design.  I used states to create a simple flow of my leaves.  The important thing to remember is the timing between states and to export it as a animated GIF.  Below is the reading about animations for reference later.

Animation: Movement and Interactivity on the Web

  • Animation on the web has been in practice for years;
  • Designers search for creative and meaningful ways to interject animation into web pages;
  • Variation of animation methods currently available on the web;
  • Many animation types, are not full fledged motion graphics, but a very simplified, cell or frame based animation;
  • Layers of images are situated on top of each other, and frames are removed or hidden over designated times.

Two well known web animation technologies: GIF (screen by screen animated raster images) and SWF (animated vector animation with true interactive capabilities).

GIF Animation

Gif animations are low-bandwidth, low-tech ways to create animations. Introduced with the advent of GIF-89a (in 1989 – hence the name), the World Wide Web Consortium released it’s newest version of GIF with the ability for layered animation and transparency.

Why GIF animation has continued to prevail as a popular method of animating objects:

  • It is a simple format and a well known standard.
  • Decoding starts before the data has been downloaded entirely.
  • No additional software installation is required.
  • Receiver and decoder are deployed with the browser.
  • GIF animations are treated like static GIF files, with respect to HTML and how they are added to a page (ALT tags are included, etc)
  • GIF offers the ability to link to one HREF tag (no multi-screen linking)

SWF (Flash Animation)

SWF format is the compiled file resulting from Adobe Flash’s authoring environment. Flash evolved from early vector drawing programs that gained popularity after it was acquired by Macromedia and eventually the file format was recognized by major contributors like the W3C and Microsoft. Adobe purchased the technology in 2005 and integrated it into their Creative Suite.

  • The SWF animation technique is different than GIF animation. GIF animation is a simple, frame by frame animation of RASTER images, layered on one another.
  • Flash is a rich-media application and animation file format that creates VECTOR images (and has the ability to embed RASTER images).
  • Flash often refers to both a multimedia authoring program, the SWF file format and the free Flash Player.
  • Flash utilizes vector and bitmap graphics, sound and program code and bi-directional streaming video and audio.
  • Flash incorporates elements of typography, video, sound, it’s own scripting language (called Actionscript) AND animation.


The other avenue we took this week was basic design concepts.  I read chapter 1 in my text book reviewed the key concepts that I learned years ago in art school.  We are also covering design concepts in my graphic design class this week, so I was able to reinforce the information there as well.


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