One of my clients provided me with Flash for me to learn it so I could make them Flash content for their site and future projects. It was amazingly hard to get even the simplest animation done.
I then tried a thirty day demo of Adobe's LiveMotion. In that thirty days I did enough work to pay for the full version (the same way I bought my first Create license by the way).
Sadly LiveMotion is not the most stable Mac OS X program I've ever seen and Adobe has discontinued it. This isn't a problem for me as I already have it, but for others I been recommending using the Export to flash feature added to ImageReady CS. It uses the same feature that you would use to make an animated GIF file while out putting a flash (SWF) file.
While I think this could
maybe be added to something like GIFfun, I doubt it could be done at GIFfun's price (FREE
). I think there might be some additional license fees Macromedia asks developers for.
Major differences between GIFs and SWF files are in size (SWF tend to be smaller) and quality (GIFs are limited to 256 colors while SWF are JPEG and vector based and can use thousands).
Can SWF be used in place of GIFs... yes. As someone who wants to ensure compatibility with viewers browsers, I tend to keep my SWF in the range of Flash 4/5 compatibility so people aren't forced to go find a plug-in to view my sites (these days most systems have at least those versions preinstalled).
You can add SWF files to Create, though you won't see it in
Create. You can use the embed tool feature (I use it for quicktime movies). You'll need to add additional tags, these are grabbed from some of my sites:
<embed src="splash.mov" BGCOLOR="#999999" width="320" height="255" pluginspage="http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/" AUTOPLAY="TRUE" VOLUME="100" CACHE="TRUE" align="BOTTOM">
<object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,0,0" height="450" width="600">
<param name="movie" value="splash.swf">
<param name="quality" value="best">
<param name="play" value="true">
<embed height="450" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" src="splash.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" quality="best" play="true">
I think that is all the additional code you would need (modifying it for size and file name/location), it has been a while since the last time I made anything beyond the standard page with pictures. It takes some getting used to, but it puts out a nice result.
Hope that helps.
Oh, and thanks for the complement on my posts.
I have fun writing them and it is even better knowing that people find them helpful.