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Flash 5 Tutorial Introduction
music loops

Welcome to the Flash 5 tutorial section. In this tutorial, we will cover all the basics of Flash and a few advanced features it has to offer. First thing you need is the software. You can download a demo of the software at the Macromedia site, click here. If you have the software and have not installed it yet, click here to go to the Installation tutorial.

What is Flash?
Flash is a vector graphic based application. It is used worldwide to produce movies, animation, presentations and more. You can use it to create presentations for your company, equipped with an up to date database to show the right information at the right time to creating a button for your web site. An example would be a Stock Ticker. Flash is very easy to use and a very effective tool in the web development industry. One advantage to Flash is it is a cross-browser platform, which means you can show your movies in any browser out there, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Work environment:
Flash is a little like the program Paint for Windows. Although it is used mainly for animation, if you have ever used Paint, creating graphics and artwork in Flash is the same way. You have all the same tools that Paint uses, such as the square/rectangle tool, the circle tool and the line tool. The work environment in Flash consists of four major parts:

1 - The Stage:
The stage is the area in which you will be working. The stage is basically your drawing board, where you can create, add and delete your work. The stage(s) are the only areas in which you can put in graphics, and while your movie is in play on a web site, and only the content in the stage will be displayed. You can also use special features and import your graphics from other programs.

2 - Timeline
The timeline is the area that represents moving objects in your stage. The timeline is consisted of frames and layers. Each frame is a brand new image. Using simple tweening motions will allow you to modify your objects in your timeline to produce a quick movie. Layers represent each layer of transparency on your stage, you can have as many layers as you want and you can only see objects on the layers.

3 - Library
The library is just a small database where Flash stores all your graphics and symbols. From the library, you can click and drag symbols onto your stage area, which saves you a lot of time, instead of re-creating new graphics.

4 - Panels
The panels used in Flash 5 allow you to control anything you do, such as modifying your text, of setting effects for a symbol. The advantage about the panels is that they can be hidden allowing you more work space to work on. Go to Window > Panels for a complete list of your panels.

Flash 5, now allows you to import MP3 sound files. This new feature allows you to play music, add sound effects to your buttons, etc. This new feature is only useful using supported sound files, such as .mp3 and .wav.

Remember to open a new document for each tutorial. This will make it easier to work with, and a lot faster.

To begin, click Next to continue to Chapter II.

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