Learning Flash from other peoples work?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Dal123, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Dal123 macrumors 6502a

    Dal123

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Check out this site: http://www.paper-cuts.co.uk/
    I'm trying to learn how the effects/ animations are achieved, so saved the site. Trying to open the .swf files in flash and SA Flash player. But I get no luck. I thought I would be able to open the file and see the keyframes and effects that are in place.
    Ideally I'd go to college and learn this but not possible when got bills to pay, so how can one teach themself?:confused:
     
  2. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #2
    The .swf (shockwave file) is the exported file, you would need the .fla file to edit it.

    It's like opening a layered .psd (Photoshop) file and exporting as a .jpg - you loose all the options and get the optimised version. You would need the original .psd to see how it was created.

    There are some programs that claim to be able to extract data from .swf files and convert them to .fla's but I've not tried any and wouldn't know which to recommend - sorry :)

    You might want to check out boagworld.com - it's a great resource for web designers (etc.) and the answer to this question might be particularly useful to you. You will have to listen to the podcast to find the answer though, they haven't finished transcribing yet by the looks of it...

    /Doug
     
  3. Dal123 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dal123

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    Oct 23, 2008
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    England
  4. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #4
    There are several flash decompilers available -- Trillix and Sothink are two of them -- that will crack the SWF open and allow you to see the code and elements inside.

    Keep in mind that many developers would consider this type of intrusion on their source code a violation of copyright.

    That said, I am not sure cracking SWFs is really that useful of a method of learning... the results are often messy.

    Try lynda.com for a good flash learning resource. Also, Kirupa.com and actionscript.org have lots of free tutorials you may find helpful.
     
  5. Dal123 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dal123

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Thanks for that,
    I am just trying to learn, out of interest on the legal side though, surely they have to register their copyright. Also be very hard for someone to take them to court: otherwise you'd be taking people to court over a header in "Helvetica" font with a size of 16 px and in green. Obviously Flash are a bit more in-depth and specific, but; "You can't have a flying monkey on your site because I put one on my site first". :p
    I suppose it doesn't really matter that much as you'd have to build your own custom to your site. Just interested in legal side of things as seen so many people do the hard work in construction game only to get done over on putting a ; out of place on the legal contract.:)
     
  6. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #6
    In the UK, copyright exists the moment you create something. There's nothing to apply for. But it's rocky ground. Whether a judge would agree that you are the copyright holder of what you claim to be would be down to whether he considered the work "original" — and that's not something you can satisfactorily quantify in non-specific terms. (But it's safe to say you couldn't lay claim to copyright on "a green Helvetica header".)

    But this isn't just a legal issue, it's a question of ethics. Could you sleep at night knowing you'd stolen somebody's code? That could be a war widow you're stealing from.
     
  7. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #7
    Visual work is under copyright at the moment it is created here in the united states. Such copyrights can be difficult to enforce of course, but lawsuits like that happen every day. It is no different than the music industry; you cannot copyright a note, but you can certainly enforce the holistic experience of a composition.

    I was actually speaking over ownership of source code however... In the same way that Adobe would vigorously defend its Photoshop source code against decompilers, Actionscript developers are no different. In the case of things like source code, copyright is MUCH easier to defend in court...

    So, its both a legal AND ethical issue. Of course, if you rip off someone's site you are more likely to be tried in the court of public opinion. See:

    http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/

    At my educational institution, plagiarism of this sort is grounds for immediate expulsion.
     
  8. Dal123 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dal123

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    Location:
    England
    #8
    Thanks for input people :). Remember read the title of my first post!
     
  9. towboattrash34 macrumors member

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    Aug 9, 2009
    #9

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