Flash is a software program owned by Adobe and created in 1996. It is a multimedia creation program used mainly for animation and interactive Internet content. Flash has three key features that facilitate the creation of animated shorts and interactive animated content (games, user interfaces, etc.). It makes use of a scripting language to allow a creator to automate tasks and respond to user input. Flash also uses vector-based graphics. This is a system in which the program stores information about how to display a shape rather than information about every pixel in the shape. For example, to display a circle, the only information required is the fact that it is a circle, the radius, and the color. Information about individual pixels is unnecessary. Vector-based graphics are therefore fast enough to allow the creation of animated films. Flash also uses keyframes and tweening so that the user need only create important frames and the computer will fill in the gaps.
The relatively low amount of technical ability and time required to create decent Flash animations has contributed to the increased distribution of independent animation over the internet. Because one person can quickly create a film by themselves, the necessity of a large studio and staff for the quick production of short films has passed. Quality, of course, varies from film to film.