Images are an important part of the whole web browsing experience that some of us could not do without. These come in a variety of sizes and formats that are all meant to serve a specific purpose and help us understand some concepts better or describe moments and activities in our daily lives.
Static images are the most common on the internet and have been for a long time. The standard image formats for web based images are JPG or JPEG and PNG, which are smaller in size and make them very portable. Static images have gained a new dimension with the appearance of the GIF format in 1987, which was able to unite static images into animations.
GIF images can also be static, but their most interesting aspect apart from the great portability is their ability to become animations. GIF animations are made using what those who are tech savvy call ‘frames’; an animated GIF is made out of a sequence of images put together that give the impression of movement because of these frames that are actually related to time (mostly in milliseconds).
However the appearance of Flash through Macromedia Inc. and later through Adobe has taken animation to the next level. Flash animations are made using frames as well as static images or figures are placed on a stage and have a specific time to act within a frame. Anything from a linear motion of a triangle or circle to very complex animations can be made with the help of Flash.
There are many advantages to Flash animations. Compared to GIF images, they contain a full set of colors and are not limited in any way. Another Flash animation advantage is the possibility to make more complex animations using static images. The difference between the three types of media files is enormous and Flash is clearly the most evolved and forward way of creating animation.