Animation can be a great way to attract visitors to your Web site. This article offers some tips on how to it.
If you're like most Web
authors, you want to take your online offerings to the next level. Static text
and graphics are fine, but a surefire way to catch the attention of the jaded
Web surfer is add moving images, text, or a banner to your site. Let's face it:
animation gets noticed.
Adding animation to your Web
pages is fairly easy. All you need to do is decide what you want, pick the
software to do the job, and away you go.
Types of Web Animation
There are several ways to create
animation for Web pages. Some are simple, others aren't. The two most common
and popular types of Web animation are frame-based animation and Flash.
The oldest form of Web
animation is the animated GIF. GIF is the most common graphics format on the
Web, and it can store and display multiple images. Animated GIFs are a lot like
traditional animation. Each image in an animated GIF is a single frame. Each
frame does nothing on its own, but when played they appear as a continuous
sequence. This is why animated GIFs are often called "frame-based
GIF isn't the only image format
the supports animation. Two younger formats, PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
and MNG (Multi-Image Network Graphics), can also do it. What's more they support
more colors than GIF -- 16 million instead of 256. The only problem is that
users may need a Web browser plug-in to view animated PNGs and MNGs.
Frame-based animation is that
it's simple, and you don't need expensive
software to create it. On the downside, complex animations increase the
file size tremendously. On top of that, you can't add sound effects to your
Flash has become an incredibly
popular and widespread Web animation format. And for good reason: it produces
beautiful, rich content. With Flash, you can create your own images, or import
existing ones. Then you can add some amazing effects as well as sound. In fact,
Flash is so powerful and flexible that people have created complex
presentations and games with it.
Flash's biggest selling point
(besides its flexibility) is that animations look the same, regardless of the
browser or operating system visitors to your Web site use. Flash files are
often quite small, although large ones aren't uncommon. But in order to view a Flash
animation, Web surfers need to download a free plug-in.