A FLASH ANIMATION or FLASH CARTOON is an animated film that is
created with the
Adobe Flash platform or similar animation software
and often distributed in the
SWF file format. The term Flash animation
refers to both the file format and the medium in which the animation
Flash animation has enjoyed mainstream popularity since
the mid-2000s, with many Flash-animated television series, television
commercials, and award-winning online shorts being produced since
In the late 1990s, when bandwidth was still at 56 kbit/s for most
Internet users, many
Flash animation artists employed limited
animation or cutout animation when creating projects intended for web
distribution. This allowed artists to release shorts and interactive
experiences well under 1 MB, which could stream both audio and
Flash is able to integrate bitmaps and other raster-based art, as
well as video, though most Flash films are created using only vector
-based drawings, which often result in a somewhat clean graphic
appearance. Some hallmarks of poorly produced
Flash animation are
jerky natural movements (seen in walk-cycles and gestures),
auto-tweened character movements, lip-sync without interpolation, and
abrupt changes from front to profile view.
Flash animations are typically distributed by way of the World Wide
Web , in which case they are often referred to as INTERNET CARTOONS,
ONLINE CARTOONS, or WEBTOONS. Web Flash animations may be interactive
and are often created in a SERIES. A
Flash animation is distinguished
Webcomic , which is a comic strip distributed via the Web,
rather than an animated cartoon.
Flash animation is now taught in
schools throughout the UK and can be taken as a GCSE and A-level.
* 1 History
* 2 Distribution
* 3 Professional studios
* 4 Creating
Flash animation from other software
* 5 See also
* 6 Footnotes
* 7 References
* 8 External links
Adobe Animate § History
The first prominent use of the
Flash animation format was by Ren &
John Kricfalusi . On October 15, 1997, he launched The
George Liquor Program , the first cartoon series produced
specifically for the Internet. The series starred
George Liquor (a
fictional character rumored to have ended Kricfalusi's employment on
Ren "> gaining more than 90 million views since its release in 1999.
The Von Ghouls went live in November 1999, featuring the first music
group with cartoon episodes online including original songs, in the
vein of Saturday morning cartoons of the 1970s. A number of popular
portal sites featured
Flash animation during the dot-com boom of the
late 1990s, including Newgrounds, Icebox, MondoMedia, CampChaos,
MediaTrip, Bogbeast and AtomFilms. Stan Lee of
Marvel Comics launched
an animated comics site.
Internet also saw the proliferation of many adult-only Flash
cartoon sites. Some of the shows from that period made the transition
to traditional media, including Queer Duck, Gary the Rat, Happy Tree
Friends , and the politically minded
JibJab shorts. Occasionally, the
trend has been reversed: after being canceled from both ABC and Fox,
Atom Films and Flinch Studio created net-only episodes of The Critic
in 2000–2001. In another instance, Flash almost made the transition
to the big screen. In 2001, production began on what would have been
the first Flash-animated feature film, the ill-fated Lil\' Pimp ,
which also began life as an
Internet series. As potentially
controversial as its subject matter was, it had a relatively large
budget, a number of well-known actors (including William Shatner,
Bernie Mac, and Lil' Kim), a full crew, and a running time of nearly
80 minutes. Although
Sony Pictures decided not to release the film, it
was eventually released on DVD by Lion's Gate.
In 2000, another major milestone occurred in the world of animation
when the first broadcast-quality
Flash animation aired on television.
Dice Raw's music video "Thin Line between Raw and Jiggy" appeared on
the big screen at Resfest 2000, on television via BET, and the Web on
sites such as Sputnik7.com, Shockwave.com, Heavy.com and was also
included with the CD. Its creation became one of media history’s
first convergent entertainment productions. Todd Wahnish, who would
later go on to create Marvel Entertainment's "All Winners Squad",
pioneered the early conversion of traditional hand-drawn techniques
into vector-based animation seen in the video. The video triggered a
flood of Flash-based television animation.
Several recording companies experimented with releasing animated
music videos to promote their artists' releases online, including
Beastie Boys and
Tenacious D ; however, none became the hit
that allowed for the expansion of Flash animated music videos. Adam
Tim Burton , among others, released original Internet-only
animated works, but were not able to devise successful financial
models and the trend dissipated, largely as a result of a lack of
viable micro-payment systems.
Several popular online series are currently produced in Flash, such
Emmy Award -winning Off-Mikes , produced by
ESPN and Animax
Gotham Girls , produced by
Warner Bros. ;
Crime Time ,
Future Thought Productions and
Homestar Runner produced by
Mike and Matt Chapman .
Alejo "> that only the category "made for Internet" will survive, as
competitions at animation film festivals are typically arranged in
categories defined by film length and distribution channel, rather
than by animation techniques or tools used to create it.
While the creation of animation using Flash can be easier and less
expensive than traditional animation techniques, the amount of time,
money, and skill required to produce a project using the software
depends on the chosen content and style.
Internet distribution is
considerably easier and less expensive than television broadcasting,
and websites such as
Newgrounds provide free hosting. Many Flash
animations are created by individual or amateur artists. Many Flash
animations first distributed on the web became popular enough to be
broadcast on television, particularly on such networks as
MTV and G4 .
Flash animation production is enjoying considerable popularity in
major animation studios around the world, as animators take advantage
of the software's ability to organize a large number of assets (such
as characters, scenes, movements, and props) for later re-use. Because
Flash files are in vector file format, they can be used to transfer
animation to 35 mm film without any compromise in image quality. This
feature is used by several independent animators worldwide, including
Phil Nibbelink , who saw his 77-minute feature film Romeo & Juliet:
Sealed with a Kiss released in theaters in 2006, and
Nina Paley , who
Sita Sings the Blues in 2008. For Disneyland's 50 Magical
Years film featuring Live action Steve Martin interacting with Donald
Duck, the hand drawn animation of Donald Duck was cleaned up and
colored in Flash. The
Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! , a
straight-to-DVD feature of the animated series
Drawn Together ,
Comedy Central and released in April 2010, discarded the
series' traditional animation and used
Flash animation instead.
CREATING FLASH ANIMATION FROM OTHER SOFTWARE
There are a number of other software packages available that can
create output in the .swf format. Among these are
GoAnimate , Toon
Boom , Xara Photo -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;
* ^ Simpson 2007 .
* ^ Amid 1999 .
* ^ Dannacher 2000 .
* ^ Brandweek - 3/15/1999
* ^ Adweek - 7/13/1998
* ^ Broadcasting & Cable - 9/3/2000
Animation World Network - 8/8/1999 Archived 2009-04-30 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "Prix Ars Electronica - 2001".
* ^ Carrera 2011 , p. 17.
* Amid, Amid (February 3, 1999). ""WhirlGirl" is a new animated
series on the \'net".
Animation World Network. Retrieved April 15,
* Carrera, Philip (2011).
Adobe Flash Animation: Creative
Storytelling for Web and TV. Jones & Barlett Learning LLC. ISBN
* Dannacher, Lee (January 1, 2000). "Quenching The New
Millennnium\'s Thirst For Animated Fare".
Animation World Network.
Retrieved April 15, 2016.
* Simpson, Aaron (April 23, 2007). "John K\'s Guide to Surviving the
End of Television". ColdHardFlash. Retrieved 2007-04-23.