Flash is dead, long live flash?If you haven’t heard recently, many browsers have blocked Flash. Both Firefox and Chrome have decided to block ads from serving that require Flash.

Way back in 2010, Steve Jobs saw the end of Flash Player. Flash Player should have gone the way of the Dodo long ago. Flash Player doesn’t work on mobile devices, it was a bear on resources, a volatile security risk and made otherwise light web applications heavy. The problem is, Adobe has done a really crappy job of separating Adobe Flash, the tool, from Adobe Flash Player, the plugin.

Adobe Flash Player is a plugin that became a binky for advertisers to serve up video ads and rich media ads. The problem is everyone else hated it. Adobe Flash Player has long had security issues and suffered from instability. It was a problematic bear of a plugin that had to go.

On the other hand, Adobe Flash itself is still a useful tool for designers and animators. There are other programs out there for 2D animation, such as Adobe’s After Effects or Toon Boom Studio. But Flash’s timeline based animation is still the closest things to hand drawn animation. Flash is great if you’re doing character animation with lots of interactive movement like walk cycles. It’s also super easy to tweak existing vector graphics you’ve drawn by stretching and squashing elements to the shape you want. Some animators draw directly into Flash. I prefer to draw in Adobe Illustrator and then import the characters into Flash to articulate and customize. Talking characters? Running characters? Flash is the way to go. At least for me.

I’ve tried other animation tools. After Effects is the best tool for post production and for slick, motion graphic driven animations. But the fluid character movement you can get in Flash and it’s timeline frame-based animation is hard to beat.

You can also export from Adobe Flash direct to H264 Video which is native to QuickTime. Playable and uploadable anywhere. Outside animation, many Flash developers are publishing direct to platforms like HTML5 Canvas or WebGL.

Adobe should have separated Adobe Flash and Adobe Flash Player years ago. They were separate products and served completely separate purposes. By not separating them, they’ve given Flash, the robust animation tool, a bad name.

What do you think? Can Flash survive or did the death of Adobe Flash Player spell the end of Adobe Flash because of association?


Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts