Animation Software and Equipment

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Flash Player

To view Flash movies on the web you need the free Flash player, a "plug-in" to your web browser. To see if you already have it, click here. If a simple movie appears Flash player is already installed. If not you can download Flash Player for free from Macromedia using the link below. Check with your coach before installing software on school computers.

Flash MX

To make a Flash movie you need Flash MX. You can download a free 30 day evaluation copy of Flash MX 2004 from Macromedia, but check with your coach before installing software on school computers.

Thirty days goes by pretty fast and you can't just download another trial copy to the same computer when your 30 days is up - it remembers even if you uninstall Flash MX. So if you want to use Flash as an activity in your club you'll need to buy some copies. An educational discount is available to schools. One copy costs $99 (11/05/04) and volume discounts are available for 10 or more copies. Each student needs his own computer with a copy of Flash - this is not a team activity. You can buy either from online from Macromedia (click Store) or through an authorized reseller. I've had good service from Schoolworld Software, 1-800-647-1200.

Recommendation: Buy 10 or more licenses using the volume educational discount.

System Requirements

Flash MX runs on both PCs and Macs. It takes a lot of memory so you need fairly new computer to run it. Don't even bother trying it with less than 128MB of RAM, more is better.

Graphics Tablet (optional)

A graphics tablet allows you to draw using a pencil-like device and a pressure sensitive tablet. Some experienced artists swear by them. Computer Challenge students have had mixed results. We've used the Graphire 2 graphics tablet from Wacom which costs $99.95.


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