SWFDecompiler is an application that can break down Flash animation files into its most basic components. It can be used to convert SWF files to FLA files or to FLEX files or to convert Flash files into HTML5 files. This last feature is very useful nowadays seeing lots of websites are trying to move towards HTML5.
When you load a Flash file on this application, you will be able to play the animation like you would on your web browser. The file will be shown on a pane on the right side of the screen. If you click on it, you will see a list of folders below it. Those are all the components of the file. They are sorted into various categories: Shape, Image, Sound, Font, Text, Sprite, Button, Frame, Action and Misc Tags. And the number of elements within each category is shown in between parentheses.
From the top-left part of the screen, you can choose to extract these items or to convert the animation to one of the formats I mentioned above. The only limitation of the trial version seems to be that it only allows you to extract a handful of items.
SWFDecompiler comes with a sample Flash animation. When you extract it (or decompile it), you will see how the animation works. For example, the SourceTec logo is animated, and there is a spinning image next to it. When you extract the file, you will see two image files that are frames for that animation. As the developers put it, this tool is a nice way of figuring out how certain aspects of a Flash file work. By breaking an animation down, you can see how things are done and imitate, which is a great way of learning.
This app comes with a Flash video player and a Firefox extension that lets you download Flash files straight from the browser.