A flash animation is created using the Adobe Flash Animation software. These animated films are often distributed in the .swf file format. All these files can be created either with Flash or with other programs that support and write the .swf files. Flash animation doesn't solely refer to the flash file format but also to a particular type of visual style or movement which can be regarded as being unpolished or simplistic.
Flash animations are commonly distributed by the Internet, where they are usually considered as online cartoons, internet cartoons or wantons. These web flash animations are sometimes interactive and are developed in a series. A flash animation is totally different from a Web comic. The Web comic is a comic strip which is circulated through the web but it is not an animated cartoon. Flash animations are now being largely used in the multi-user communities with the aid of flash generators and embedded videos all over the internet.
Flash has been developed by Macromedia along with a few other of their programs and were then attained Adobe in April 2005. The first person to make significant use of the Flash animation format was by John Kricfalusi, of Ren & Stimpy. He boarded on a journey to bring cartoons in the world of internet. John produced a number of animated projects with the help of Flash including numerous online short for Icebox.com, a music video and some television commercials. From that time onwards, internet cartoons started to appear everywhere.
Numerous highly-viewed online series are nowadays produced using Flash, for example, the Emmy Award wining Off-Mikes which have been produced my Animax Entertainment and ESPN, Gotham Girls, by the Warner Brothers and Crime Time, by Future Thought Productions. A number of animated series have been produced with Macromedia Flash which is a result of the lower production expenditure and the distinct style that the software gives to its products. Among them, few of the popular ones are Metalocalypse, Happy Tree Friends, Odd Job Jack, Queer Duck and many more.
In all major animation studies throughout the world, flash animation is nowadays very popular. Flash animation production has gained popularity as it allows the animators to enjoy the full benefits of the software's ability to manage a great quantity of assets, for example, scenes, characters, movements and props for future re-use. Since the flash files are developed in vector file format, they can be easily utilised to pass animation to 35mm film with no compensations in the quality of the image. This special feature is used by a number of independent animators all over the world.
Animation can be created with more ease and cheaper by using flash than other stereotypic animation techniques but the quantity of time, skill or money that you put into your animation depends of what particular content and style you want to put in it. The easiest way to distribute your flash content is through the net and it is way less inexpensive than television broadcasting. There are even a few websites such as UGOplayer and NewGrounds that provides its users with free hosting. A large number of flash animations are developed individually or by amateur animators. However, if you want to create a significant piece of work, you will definitely need some technical knowledge about the software. Numerous flash animations have been broadcasted on TV channels such as G4TV and MTV after it gained popularity by first being distributed on the internet.
Numerous software packages are available can be used to create files using the .swf format such as Animo, Toufee, Toon Boom Studio, Anime Studio and many more. These additional software help to provide some extra support in the creation of cartoons by adding specialised tools that are more tailored to the stereotypic animators and adds extra rigging for the various characters which can boost up the speed of the character animation greatly.