Roundtrip images with Flash!

Roundtrip Ra-Uun-duh tree-up
Macromedian term to describe the process when editing an object whether it’s a bitmap, code, or a swf and transferring its properties to another Studio app instantly thus eliminating tedious and repetitious import steps in the process.

Not only can you copy and paste directly into Flash from Fireworks and retain alpha transparency, but you can also roundtrip bitmaps with Fireworks while preserving the PNG source file.

Before Studio 8, you would have had to either update the bitmap via “right-click > properties” in the library panel or delete it and re-copy the bitmap over from Fireworks which creates a Fireworks Objects folder located in the Library.

I got into a habit of copying bitmap and vector objects from Fireworks and pasting them into Flash over and over again until I got it just right that it took me longer to get used to the FW/FL Roundtrip workflow enhancement. A couple seconds of preparation will be well worth it to be in-sync with Flash and bitmap editing.

For this walk through, it is recommended to download the source and follow the steps below:

  1. Open Flash 8
  2. Open movie.fla
  3. File > Import > Import to Stage, and select image.png
  4. In the PNG Import Settings, adjust the options like below and click ok.

    Note: Experiment with the PNG Import Settings. (Selecting “Import as a single flattened bitmap” will not create a folder called Fireworks Objects in your FLA.)

    This could be my personal preference, but I can’t stand the auto-generated Fireworks folder that gets created in the Library when copying objects from FW to FL. You can’t win, just leave it there until your finished going back and forth, then kill it and organize your library.

  5. Select the “caddy” bitmap on the stage
  6. Click the “Edit” button found in the Property Inspector (PI) which will invoke the “Roundtrip” process to Fireworks.

    Note: If the “Edit” button is disabled, then open the Library panel, right-click image.png > properties, click Import and select image.png in the roundtrip folder, click ok and proceed to the next step. The reason its disabled is somehow Flash wasn’t able to detect the source path so we will force it or update it here.

  7. Make an edit to the bitmap
  8. Click “Done” in the top-left corner of the document in Fireworks which will complete the last step in the Roundtrip process. At this point, you should see the image updated in Flash.

Now Roundtrip until your hearts content…just remember, when the you Roundtrip the PNG file back into Flash, it gets automatically saved so no reverting unless you made a copy of the file beforehand. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In order to retain the Alpha transparency, make sure to set the canvas color to transparent in Fireworks, if not, the Roundtrip process will carry the background information with it unlike the copy/paste feature where it doesn’t matter if the canvas color is transparent or not.

Fireworks is also the central hub and starting place to design web site mocks and then shift your mindset into either Dreamweaver or Flash’s environment for final implementation of the design.

The more integration with the Studio apps, the more productive we can become when developing web sites and rich web applications.

13 Responses to Roundtrip images with Flash!

  1. Great to know.
    But I did notice with the latest version of flash, you can also import PSD files into your document. If you import them onto the stage, you can just right click on the imported image and click “Edit with Photoshop”. This works soo well, of course I use firefox too but good to know. Thank MM for this one.

  2. Andrew Field says:

    I wonder why they’ve enabled the integration with Photoshop ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Seriously though – all these features are great productivity enhancements though. Just little things that help speed content creation up.

  3. How cool is that!
    I wish we had this type of FW/PS integration with Flash during the web boom days in 1998…I probably would have more hair on my head today. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Most of my work is web related, but from time to time I use Photoshop when I need to do some heavy image manipulation or strong graphic design.
    Fireworks sold me on the Quick selection methods and being a combined Bitmap and Vector editing app geared for web graphic optimization.

  4. Stefan says:

    In the last versions of flash are an opportunity to import the image directly from ั„ะฐะปะพะฒ format PSD that very conveniently as property at figure all is not lost and kept his parameters. If to speak about vector the schedule that in for it creates rather big inconveniences in work.

  5. Brine says:

    Thanks for that small tutorial ir really was usefull.

  6. RickeyFitts says:

    A problem with this… If you look at Flash 8 LiveDocs on the topic “Editing bitmaps in an external editor”, a user comments that there is no “Edit in Fireworks” command on the context menu, even though the entire Studio suite is installed.
    Adobe’s reply is mystifying to me: “..Flash no longer lets you select Fireworks from the bitmap’s context menu. You must instead select ‘Edit with…’ and then select your image-editing application.”
    I also have Studio 8 installed, and my context menu on PNGs in the library reads “Edit with Nero Imagesnap Viewer”, even though Fireworks is set as the default editor for .PNG files in Windows! So I know there is a way to make Fireworks the default editor… I just have not yet figured out how… maybe a registry edit is required??!?!?!?
    BTW, Dreamweaver 8 seems to support roundtripping from Fireworks 8 for me just fine….

  7. Nox says:

    Thanks a lot amusselman it works fine…
    thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. sam says:

    really useful thanks for sharing this nugget

  9. we will use it for the project Uhren

  10. Oh, great! I will be use it for my next Project, too… Itยด only EXCELLENT!

  11. Uhren says:

    hello, whats up here??? no uhren action here?

  12. Herrenuhren says:

    Its a nice post. thanks from germany herrenuhren

  13. maner says:

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    You can find a lot of new movies, games and music there. Enjoy it!!