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They are two very different applications and handle the method of producing animation differently.
What kind of animation are you trying to create? Do you want to make interactive animations? Do you want to make bitmap heavy animations?
hello Ko. Thanks for responding. To be honest I have know idea what's an bitmap heavy animation? So I'll just say both (I'll just look up bitmap animation, while i wait for your reply). I know I want it to move, dance and look cool and fun and interact with other objects. In the end, I just don't want these software sitting on my computer when I've paid top dollar for the whole CS3 master collection. I'm excited! I want to Wow people! with my work.
bitmap animation contains sources like QuickTimes, AVIs, Photoshop docs, JPEGS
Flash is strong with vector animation (Illustrator, path data).
Flash can handle bitmap images too - - it's just that usually, you'd use it to create more file-size light animations.
In Flash you can also do a ton of scripting to make those animations interactive as well.
There are two separate applications for good reason, they serve different animation projects.... you might need both!
Can you give us some examples of the kind of work you want to do? On the web? On TV or movies?
Hello steve. I really don't have any one site or movie I can think of, but the closes thing I can think of is this from adobe (http://www.adobe.com/creativelicense/?promoid=CSFTP). I just want the images that I create in illustrator to move, splash, fade in and out to different colors. I would like to also create a bunch of images and make a reel for my website to show all that my company can do.
Thanks Todd, I will look at that site.
Do you want the movement to be controlled by someone visiting your website, or a pre-made movie to watch? Sorry, I still have no idea what you're trying to do to give you any advice (as someone who uses Flash and After Effects exclusively).
Hello Steve, I want a pre-made movie. For example, when you go to Adobe, they always have this cool banner at the top, with vectors moving through-out, telling you the latest thing with there software, and you can click on to take you to another page. I want to do something like that, as well make it a quick time movie out of it. So I'm confused, witch software to start off with.
Yeah, this reminds me a little of visual effects in your better movies; to make them convincing, they usually mix several techniques and tools. Lord of the Rings used CG, puppets, matte paintings, costumes, forced perspective, etc.
Likewise, Adobe.com integrates After Effects-made movies into a Flash/HTML environment with Photoshop backgrounds, Illustrator vectors, etc.
For really lush movies with deep environments, photo-realistic environments, and special effects (as well as million other options), After Effects is what you want.
For interactive environments on the web with clean lines, and vector art, Flash is what you want.
However, to integrate your After Effects movies into an interactive, lush environment, you probably need both, as well as other software such as Photoshop, Soundtrack, or a 3D application to get what you want.
It's probably better for you to decide what you want to do (specifically) and then figure out what tools you need to do the job. You wouldn't go buy a power-saw and cordless drill to tune-up a bicycle. You would look at the job at hand and go buy tools like allen wrenches, spoke wrenches and air pumps.
You should download the demos of the software and see what you like. You may find you might be biting off more than you can chew (or not) and that you don't want anything to do with ActionScript coding or keyframe based animation. Who knows?
Steve, thank u so much for taking the time to reply. Great advice! What u said makes sense, and I have taken it all in. You have pointed me in a good direction.