10 years of Flash

This month marks the 10 year anniversary of what used to be known as FutureSplash Animator. Back then it was just a little animation tool, and has a pretty interesting story behind it, including being turned down by Adobe.

As it grew close to shipping time, we changed the name of our software to FutureSplash Animator to focus more on its animation capabilities. We also were growing tired of running a company that didn’t have much money to spend, and began trying to sell our technology. After an unsuccessful pitch to Adobe and turning down a bid from Fractal Design, we shipped FutureSplash Animator in the summer (May) of 1996.

So how do you celebrate 10 years? Well, there were a few things happening on Monday that are pretty big news: We saw one of the biggest US Television networks go online and offer streaming versions of their shows. This was exciting for me because Schematic designed the UI for the ABC player, and acted as a Technical liaison (with our VP of Multimedia stuff Robert Reinhardt heading that side up). A while back I was asked to help out with a motion test/technology demo for the 3D rotating images, and after a few hours of messing around with Andre Michelle’s the excellent DistortImage class by Thomas Pfeiffer (based on Andre Michelle’s code), we had a nice little working prototype running. It’s very basic, but you can check it out here if you want to see how the animation progressed as the ABC folks built the actual player.

Then Adobe redesigned their site — killing Macromedia.com in the process. At first I thought ‘sure another website, blah blah,’ but then I looked under the hood and noticed that they are using SWFObject to embed the Flash movies on the site(!). It’s a customized version, but the base functionality is all there, and they even left in my namespacing, so if you search the js file for ‘deconcept’ you’ll see the code show up. Pretty cool.

There’s one other big project that was launched on Monday but I’ll save that for another post.

6 thoughts on “10 years of Flash

  1. I have been using Flash since Flash 4 and I love it! I have been more than pleased with the development of Flash since its beginning. I just hope Adobe wouldn’t kill such a good product.

  2. Hi Geoff, been a longtime ( NMUF 2001 Frisco ), good to see you around :)

    The name ‘FutureSplash’ is still in the current Flash executable, right before it initializes the IDE, the process name and window name will show ‘FutureSplash’ :)

  3. I was VERY impressed with ABC’s new TV on-line experiment and especially with the interface. Sent them a lengthy (as long as possible) comment with special kudos for the design team. So nice to see the history behind the project.

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