Flash Catalyst CS5.5 is here!


See how you can use a new efficient workflow to

  • Collaborate intelligently and roundtrip files with developers who use Adobe Flash Builder 4.5
  • Rapidly prototype user interfaces for resizable Flex based websites and applications with new components.
  • Craft more precise and expressive transitions and effects, and efficiently design developer-built custom components.

For an overview of what’s new check out Flash Catalyst CS5.5 on Adobe.com

Or head over to the Adobe Developer Center for more info, including:

An introduction to Flash Catalyst CS5.5, by Jacob Surber, Flash Catalyst product manager.

The new Flash Catalyst CS5.5/Flash Builder 4.5 workflow

Wireframing and prototyping in Flash Catalyst CS5.5

Importing artwork in Flash Catalyst CS5.5

Free trials will be available within 30 days on Adobe.com.


New! Flash Catalyst “Panini” Preview on Adobe Labs!

Adobe Flash Catalyst "Panini"See what’s in store for the next version of Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™ in the free preview of Flash Catalyst, codenamed “Panini,” just released on Adobe Labs.

Flash Catalyst “Panini” is a preview release, which means it’s not feature complete, so we hope you’ll download the preview and provide feedback on the Flash Catalyst Forum to give the development team your thoughts on the features.

Flash Catalyst “Panini” includes many new features and enhancements, and offers new integration with the preview release of Adobe Flash Builder™, codenamed “Burrito,” also available on Adobe Labs.

What’s New In Flash Catalyst ”Panini”

Collaborative designer-developer workflow with Flash Builder “Burrito”
A collaborative, bi-directional design-develop workflow is now possible, allowing parallel development on the same Flex-based projects, with Flash Catalyst “Panini” used for design edits and Flash Builder “Buritto” for manipulating code.

As part of this new designer/developer workflow, Flash Catalyst “Panini” also provides:

  • Custom Skinnable Components
    Designers can now efficiently craft the visual appearance for developer-built custom components without the need to understand their underlying code or logic.
  • Protected developer code
    Now that designers can open files edited in Flash Builder ”Burrito,” there is the potential that work done by the developer will be compromised. To prevent potential issues, Flash Catalyst “Panini” prevents designers from deleting or re-parenting components if doing so results in breaking the code.
  • Improved code formatting
    Flash Catalyst “Panini” generates code that is more consistently formed, structured and organized, which is easier for developers to view and maintain.
  • Resizable applications and components
    Designers can use visual constraints to design and preview the position and sizing of objects when crafting interfaces and applications that can be resized by the user.

Other new features include:

Components panel
A newly-designed Components panel replaces the Wireframe Components panel that was in Flash Catalyst CS5.

Enhanced timelines and animations
Precise, expressive transitions and effects can be crafted with greater control and less effort,

Improvements to interactions
Interactions can now globally target any component within the project, without being limited to the current user context or state.

More efficient design workflows
Design improvements include an Align panel, similar to that found in other Creative Suite applications, rearrangement of States in the Pages/States panel, the ability to lock aspect ratio of objects, more natural object manipulation and rotation and more. And it’s now easier to properly name components for stronger collaboration with your developer partner.

Adobe MAX 2010 and Flash Catalyst

Heading to MAX 2010? Be sure to check out these sessions and labs that are focused on Flash Catalyst.

BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) Labs

Building an Interactive Portfolio with Flash Catalyst CS5 with Dee Sadler
Learn how to use Flash Catalyst CS5 to rapidly create and publish an interactive portfolio to the web as a finished SWF file for Adobe Flash Player, or as an Adobe AIR project that can run across platforms outside the browser. See how you can leverage your existing design skills in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to effectively showcase your videos, photos, designs, or products, all without writing any code.

Best Practices: Working with Flash Catalyst CS5 and Adobe Design Applications with Ian Giblin
Learn how to set up your designs in Illustrator CS5 and Photoshop CS5 for the best results when you take them to Flash Catalyst to add interaction, and then efficiently iterate on those designs leveraging your existing skills and experience with familiar design tools. Clients often change their design direction during a project — this session will give you the knowledge to incorporate those changes efficiently with your original files.

Why Should Developers Care about Flash Catalyst? with Adam Cath
Attend this hands-on lab to learn how to open Adobe Flash Catalyst projects in Adobe Flash Builder and then add business logic and data. Flash Catalyst allows designers to rapidly create interactive user interfaces that can flow directly into development without slicing or rebuilding. As a developer, you can save time by starting from a Flash Catalyst project and expanding it into a finished application. This lab will guide you through the process as well as show some future directions for the design/development workflow.

Hands-On Labs

From Design to Development: Creating RIAs with Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder with Steven Peeters
Learn how to turn a static design into a rich and interactive user experience using Adobe Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder. In this lab, we’ll explore workflows to take you from the design all the way through to the development and deployment of a rich Internet application. In addition, you’ll learn techniques that will enable you to create highly interactive custom components that can be reused across multiple applications.

Flash Catalyst CS5: Hands On for Designers with Mordy Golding
Learn how to use Flash Catalyst CS5 to leverage your existing design skills to create interactive content and application interfaces, all without writing code. This hands-on lab will introduce the concepts and workflow involved in using Flash Catalyst and show you how to use your static designs created in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, along with dynamic media assets such as video, sound, and animations, to create a fully interactive project that’s ready to publish as a SWF file for the web or as an Adobe AIR application that can run outside the browser across platforms.

Hands-on: Using Flash Catalyst CS5 to Design Rich User Experiences with Garth Braithwaite
Build your knowledge of the processes and tools needed to design an effective user experience. Learn best practices of user experience design and how to use Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5, along with Adobe Illustrator CS5, Photoshop CS5, Fireworks CS5, and InDesign CS5, to create a finished application. This lab will build on the topics covered in the “Using Flash Catalyst CS5 to Design Rich User Experiences” session, but that session is not a prerequisite.

Creating Interactive Content without Writing Code with CS5 Design Premium with Patti Sokol
Learn how to turn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator artwork into high-quality interactive content without writing code with new Flash Catalyst CS5. Find out how you can add attention-grabbing interactivity, animation, video, and sound to your digital documents and presentations — all in InDesign CS5. And see how you can export InDesign documents for Adobe Digital Editions, a desktop reading application for devices such as the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, and the Barnes & Noble nook.


Flash Catalyst CS5 Up Close with Rain, a Digital Agency with Daniel Hatch
See how the designers and developers at Rain, a company that delivers comprehensive solutions for advanced web application development and interactive media, incorporate Adobe Flash Catalyst into their prototyping process for building large applications and websites. Learn how they use Flash Catalyst as the bridge between their designers and developers, letting each group focus on what they do best, and to help visually sell their applications to their clients’ senior management.

Using Flash Catalyst CS5 to Design Rich User Experiences with Garth Braithwaite
Learn how to design for an effective user experience, which should be the underlying goal for any application. See how to use Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5 along with Adobe Illustrator CS5, Photoshop CS5, Fireworks CS5, and InDesign CS5 as user experience design tools. This session covers creating personas, site maps, storyboards, and wireframes and how these elements are combined to create a finished application. To extend your knowledge from this session, attend the lab: Hands-on: Using Flash Catalyst CS5 to Design Rich User Experiences.

Flash Catalyst: What’s Next with “Panini” with Doug Winnie and Aaron Dolberg
Find out how the upcoming Adobe Flash Catalyst “Panini” release can redefine your development, design, and ideation workflow. Join Doug Winnie, principal product manager, and Aaron Dolberg, quality engineering manager, to hear our vision for the future and to offer input on what you want. Bridging the gap between designers and developers and making it easier to be more efficient and productive when creating interactive projects are the cornerstones of Flash Catalyst “Panini.”

Mastering Flash Catalyst with Peter Flynn
Go beyond the basics with Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5 in this fast-paced session. You’ll learn how to create complex interactive content such as image galleries, media players, accordion panels, 3D effects, and more. Find out how to optimize your project’s size and loading speed to improve the user experience, and boost your productivity with Flash Catalyst tips and tricks. As a bonus, you’ll also get an inside take on the vision for the future of Flash Catalyst.

RIA Design and Development Workflow Examined with Michelle Yaiser and Leif Wells
Watch the process of designing and developing a rich Internet application based on the Adobe Flash Platform — as it happens. Learn how to keep the process on track (on time and on budget) using WorkflowLab in conjunction with Adobe Creative Suite tools. Michelle Yaiser and Leif Wells will walk you through best practices for this process, including the preparation of a design in Illustrator, adding interactivity in Flash Catalyst, and connecting an application to live data in Flash Builder.

Creating Compelling Mobile User Experiences: What You Need to Know with Chris Griffiths
Explore the role of prototyping in designing and developing compelling mobile applications. We’ll examine the forms that prototypes can take (from paper prototypes to rich, interactive simulations), their advantages and costs, and how Adobe tools can be used to create them. Then we’ll walk through creating a user interface for a mobile application using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash Professional, Flash Catalyst, and Flash Builder. This presentation also covers best practices for UX, as well as developer-focused tips and tricks.

Principles of Interaction Design for Graphic Designers with David Hogue
Learn how to take your skills in visual design for print and the web into the exciting and rapidly growing field of designing for user experiences. Get an understanding of this multidisciplinary field and see how interaction designers provide solutions to complex design challenges and define new and evolving interactive products and services.

Building Language Learning Tools with Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder, and Flash Media Server with David Egbert
Explore the development of a language learning tool. We’ll cover concept, design, production, and evaluation processes as well as all the tools used in those processes, including Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder, and Flash Media Server. Then we’ll dive into developing user management, authentication, content management, assessment, reporting, and administrative modules. This session provides you with an open source project you can use to get started building your own language learning projects.

Designer-Developer Workflow Panel with Garth Braithwaite, Leif Wells, Zach Stepek, and Stacey Mulcahy
In this expert panel session, we will compare common workflows and discuss the latest Adobe tool releases, including CS5 products (specifically Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks) and Flash Builder 4 Professional. The panel includes Garth Braithwaite (interaction designer), Leif Wells (ActionScript developer), Zach Stepek (server-side developer), and Stacey Mulcahy (information architect). The session will be opened up for discussion points from the audience, so feel free to bring along questions.

Roadmap: Flash Platform Tooling and Framework with Greg DeMichillie
Check out the roadmap for the Adobe Flash Platform tooling and framework, including Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst, Flash Professional, and the open source Flex framework. Learn what the engineering teams are working on today for delivery soon, as well as what Adobe’s thoughts are about the future direction of these products.

Create Interactive Content without Writing Code with Creative Suite 5 with Terry White
Learn how to turn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator artwork into high-quality interactive content without writing code with new Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5. Find out how you can add attention-grabbing interactivity, animation, video, and sound to your digital documents and presentations, all in Adobe InDesign CS5. And see how you can export InDesign documents for Adobe Digital Editions, a desktop reading application for devices such as the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, and the Barnes & Noble nook.

Preconference Sessions

Creating Enterprise RIAs: From Design to Implementation with Marcel Boucher
Use best-in-class tools to create an enterprise RIA that enables users to browse and view documents, connect to a document management store, display a master detail list (of users, customers, invoices, or similar), and display associated secured documents. You’ll learn how to use Adobe Flash Catalyst to import a design comp created in Adobe Photoshop and define the interaction design of the application. Once the interaction design has been defined in Flash Catalyst, you’ll import the project into Adobe Flash Builder and use model-driven development to implement connectivity to an Adobe LiveCycle ES2 server.

Creating Engaging Websites with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium with Chris Converse
Expand your web design skills with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium. Learn valuable techniques for preparing web graphics in Photoshop and Illustrator, prototyping websites in Fireworks and Flash Catalyst, and building standards-based dynamic websites in Dreamweaver using content management systems like WordPress. Enhance video with Photoshop Extended, and animate Illustrator assets with Flash Professional. By the end of this session, you’ll know dozens of usable, practical techniques.

Design for Print, Web, and Interactive (without writing code!) using Creative Suite 5 Design Premium with Patti Sokol
Discover the new features of Creative Suite 5 Design Premium that will help you craft print material more quickly. Learn to deliver ideas for web, interactive, and mobile by using tools that leverage your design skills and leave the coding to your developer. Polish your Illustrator CS5 and Photoshop CS5 skills with practical techniques that will save time and enhance your artwork. Explore tips for designing print and digital page layouts more efficiently in InDesign CS5. Learn how to transform Photoshop and Illustrator artwork into interactive content—without writing code—using the new Flash Catalyst CS5. Enhance your proficiency with Dreamweaver CS5 and Flash Professional CS5. Finally, take advantage of CS Live online services to streamline critical non-design processes like client reviews.

Unconference Sessions

Wireframing and Prototyping for RIA with Dee Sadler
Using Fireworks and Flash Catalyst, we’ll show how to use these prototyping tools to their fullest: making components, designing skins and prototyping for mobile applications, and more.

And there’s more!

To see the complete list of all sessions that will include Flash Catalyst, please see this full list on the MAX Session Scheduler

From print to web in a flash

Adobe and Print/HOW Design magazines went to some of our favorite designers with this challenge: can you take work that you originally designed for print, and, using Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5, take the concepts to the web as expressive, fully interactive projects?

Three designers/design agencies stepped to up the task: Design Army from Washington, DC, Triboro Design from Brooklyn, NY, and Nicholas Felton from New York City. None  had used Flash Catalyst before. The Flash Catalyst team gave them a demo, a Classroom in a Book, and links to free online learning resources. The challenge was on.

And the results were wonderful.

The original print work can be seen in the latest edition of HOW Design magazine just now hitting the streets. The final Flash Catalyst projects, along with comments from the designers on their experience, can be see on the HOW website.

We think the results speak for themselves.

Flash Catalyst CS5 Resources

Looking for the best Flash Catalyst resources? Here’s a short list:

Flash Catalyst on AdobeTV: Adobe TV is Adobe’s online TV network, offering free training, inspiration, and information about the latest Adobe products and services.

Flash Catalyst Developer Center: The Flash Catalyst Developer Center on ADC (Adobe Developer Connection) is not just for developers, but for anyone who’s looking for a well-organized resource on getting started, best practices, tutorials and more.

Flash Catalyst Help and Support: From Adobe’s Learning Resources team, an edited page of links and resources covering installation, the latest top issues, and community links.

Flash Catalyst User Forum: The place to  ask questions, discuss, and share feedback with other Flash Catalyst users. The Forum is monitored by the Flash Catalyst team as well as other community members.

FlashCats Blog: “Three Flash Catalyst users doing a brain dump for other, fellow Flash Catalyst users.” A great resource for tips and tricks for optimization, how-to’s and much more. And these users are from the Flash Catalyst development team, so they do know their stuff.