The introduction of ActionScript to Flash just gave it more power. ActionScript was an object-oriented programming language designed for website animations that responded to user inputs. Where previously you worked primarily in a horizontal timeline similar to other video editing programs, ActionScript provided the possibility of more sophisticated functions and interactions.
Smoothsurface was my last and most advanced Flash site and also served as my portfolio on the web. More than 15 years have gone by since I designed it, and sadly, it’s no longer in existence. I loved Flash, but it didn’t transition well to the smartphone era. It also had some security vulnerabilities and was terrible for accessibility. But I don’t regret one moment working with it.
At this stage, shown in the image above, I was using a combination of Photoshop, ActionScript, ASP, and MySQL to put it all together. For the date I was able to pull in this information from the system the user was on by creating a variable with ASP and rendering it with ActionScript. When you clicked on the different sections of the site with the menu in the bottom left, the pages would animate through a smooth transition to the next section. The orange section on the right would populate with new content. One thing I was most proud of was, as a page loaded, background music would slowly increase in volume until it was at a predefined level. When another page was called, the current page’s music would fade and the new pages soundtrack would follow the same process. Of course, things like that are now frowned upon. And for good reason. I was also able to save someone’s contact information they entered and store it in a MySQL database.
Flash was one of the things that made the web exciting. Back then a sense of optimism pervaded almost everything web related. That landscape has certainly changed but there are still amazing technologies that can make the web a better place. But only if we choose wisely.