Flash without Adobe?
I have experience in developing in actionscript via Flash, FlashBuilder, and FlashDevelop.
Flash is the only tool with which I am familiar for creating the .swf graphic and animation assets to be accessed/used by the AS3 in FlashDevelop or elsewhere. I like to being able to use the free FlashDevelop and not rely on expensive Adobe products, but I don't know of a substitute for Flash.
Is there a free or opensource type tool for creating graphics and animations?
You can use the Eclipse IDE with the Flex SDK to develop swf file Flash applets.
Also, for really simple things there is Ming for PHP.
Apparently, swftools allow you to
- make swfs out of pre-created assets including .wavs, .gifs, .jpgs, .pngs, etc.
- get information from existing .swfs including strings, imgs, fonts, sounds, etc
- insert other swfs into swfs
- compile swfs
- a few other things
Meanwhile, both Eclipse with the Flex SDK and Ming via PHP allows you to develop applications with Actionscript which compile to .swfs and which could be used to code the drawing of graphics and their animation.
Unfortunately, none of these seem to be anything like a replacement for the drawing/animation capabilities of the Flash IDE.
At present, I have to conclude that though the programming capabilities of Flash are easily handled by freeware tools such as FlashDevelop, Eclipse w/the Flex SDK, and possibly Ming w/PHP, there are no freeware tools that handle its drawing and animation capabilities.