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Flash Animation Is
The American moviemaker Tim Burton, who is famous for such films as Edward Scissor hands,Batman,and Nightmare Before Christmas,signed an ambitious animation production contract with the software company Shockwave (www.shockwave.com) last February. It will produce an unconventional work of animation unlike anything that has been released so far.His statement was enough to make enthusiastic admirers of his work eager to learn about his concealed project. What is it? It istainboy,which is being produced by using FLASH.
Currently, itis easy to come across so-called flash animation while surfing the Net. The term flash animation was coined as people started to create animation by using Macro Media Flash 5, a graphic tool that was released last year by the U.S. software company Macromedias.com.
Although Flash 5 was originally designed for decorating homepages, it gained popularity among netizens as a graphic tool, especially in Korea. Lots of people design their own websites by using Flash 5. Also, various kinds of free E-cards based on Flash Animations are provided by free e-mail service websites such as Send2you (http://www.send2you.co.kr) and Naver Card (http://card.naver.com). However, Flash animation came into fashion among Korean netizens after a serial story Zola Man and Yup-Kee-To-Ki (bizarre rabbit) created a sensation among youngsters and university students.
An ola Man,produced by Kim Deuk-hun, a twenty-nine year old animation director, is a story about a toothpick man called Zola Man. In Korean slang an ola means very and excessively, and the animation stories include exaggerated gestures. Even though Zola shouts love and Justice, he runs away from robbers. And he is always being beaten by hooligans, despite his Super Man pose. Zola Man makes people laugh at the  bizarre situations, and cynical humor and parody of Korean society. Zola Man's weird acts function create a sensation among netizens. According to Kim Deuk-hun, about 40,000 netizens visit his websites (http://www.dkunny.com) to watch Zola Man. ola Man?has been released serially on the Net every month, which causes netizens to anticipate the next story. Flash 5 plays a key role in updating Zola Man while piquing the netizens's curiosity.
Meanwhile, Yup-Kee-To-Ki is comparable to Zola Man?these days. Its original title is fashimaro Forest Story. Yup-Kee-To-Ki, which smiles an innocent smile, dares to attack a bear with a broken glass. This Flash animation embarrasses people through nonsense ideas. The reason why the animation attracts spectators's attention can be explained in terms of Zola Man's increasing popularity.
This Flash animation boom caused Internet firms specializing in Flash animation to do a flourishing business this year. Clubwow (http://www.clubwow.com) released 440 Flash animation last year. Xnews (http://www.xnews.co.kr) offers nonsense Flash animation like Zola Man as well as critical animation dealing with Maehyang-ni, which suffered a bombing by the U.S. Air Force.
Also, the number of people who want to create animation using Flash is on the increase. Flash animation manias is common in about 60 online clubs belonging to Daum Communications Corp., which offers space to form cyber communities. According to Joong-Ang Ilbo, about 30,000 netizens joined these online clubs. the members range from elementary students to office workers. Several hundred people enroll in our club everyday. The thought that they can make their own Flash animation motivates them to join. They are fed up with only using flash animation cards provided by Internet firms. Everyone can create easily if they want to,said Lee Jun-ho, who runs the online club lash-room in the Daum.
A Flash animation exhibition Flash! Fresh!? was shown at 2001 Seoul Animation Center (SAC) from Aug. 8 to 20, 2000. It demonstrated that Flash animation is an artistic genre. One of the SAC staff members said, everyone can be a fine director in the wake of advanced digital technology, which means Flash animation is tearing down the wall between artist and non-artist.

Kim Jeong-yoon  sasports@hanmail.net

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