Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a 3rd party multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity inside web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements and games. More recently, it has been positioned as a tool for "Rich Internet Applications" ("RIAs"). According to Adobe, 98% of desktop computers currently support Flash (taken mid 2011).
Flash manipulates vector and raster graphics to provide animation of text, drawings, and still images. It supports bidirectional streaming of audio and video, and it can capture user input via mouse, keyboard, microphone, and camera. Flash contains an object-oriented language called ActionScript.
- Flash Developer Center - official guides for using Flash.
- foundation-flash.com - has some great ActionScript 3 tutorials including this one called "Drawing by mouse".
- actionscript.org - including a very simple "mouse drawing" tutorial and more complex example "A Smooth and Responsive Drawing Application in AS3 Flash" by Dan Gries, who's also done some amazing experiments with particle simulations, music and all sorts of stuff on his site.
Convert a Bitmap to a Vector
- Import an image into Flash: File > Import > Import to Stage.
- Select the bitmap image on the stage and click Modify > Bitmap > Trace Bitmap.
- Try different values to get different effects.
Open Source Projects
- ActionScript - includes some scripts I've written.