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Product Review - Macromedia Studio and Flash MX 2004




For many years, Macromedia Flash has been the industry standard for creating motion graphics, interactive web content and desktop applications. When most people think of Flash they think of the motion graphics character animation that you find in ecards and digital games. But there is no limit to what you can create with Flash. Many times people will encounter Flash applications on the web in other formats. One of the most common formats is form applications used for collecting and storing customer data. Another is e-learning, testing and scoring applications that can be used on or off the web. You can also use Flash to create business applications such as product demos and marketing presentations. So how is it that you can do so much with Flash? The answer is Flash's extremely versatile authoring tools and rich multimedia support.

For those who are new to Flash or just short on time, the Start Page can get you up and running quickly. You can choose from several customizable templates for projects that range from advertising banners to business presentations. All you need is to add your own images and text to the built-in templates. For the more experienced, you can choose from several blank startup documents.

Templates

Ad Banners
Form Applications
Mobile Devices
Photo Slideshows
Presentations
Quizzes
Slide Presentations
Video
Blank Documents

Basic Flash Document
Flash Slide Presentations
Form Applications
ActionScript File
ActionScript Communication File
Flash JavaScript File
Flash Project


For those who prefer to start from scratch, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. Flash comes packed with many built-in components that range from Timeline Effects such as common animation presets to built-in behaviors such as navigation. You can even use the direct link on the Start Page to visit the Flash Exchange on the Macromedia website and download more components. If these preset components do not meet your logic/control needs you can program your own using the ActionScript programming language. You can also create your own visual elements from scratch using Flash's timeline sequencing, drawing and animation tools.
Studio MX 2004 System Requirements

Windows
600 MHz Intel Pentium III processor or equivalent
Windows 98 SE (4.10.2222 A), Windows 2000, or Windows XP
256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
800 MB available disk space

Macintosh
500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor
Mac OS X 10.2.6 and later, 10.3
256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
500 MB available disk space

Flash MX 2004 System Requirements

Windows
600 MHz Intel Pentium III processor or equivalent
Windows 98 SE (4.10.2222 A), Windows 2000, or Windows XP
128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
347 MB available disk space

Macintosh
500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor
Mac OS X 10.2.8 and later, 10.3.4
128 MB RAM (256 MB recommended)
280 MB available disk space



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