Author Archive: Jay Armstrong

Flash Pro plug-in to convert SWF’s to HTML

Tareq Al Jaber of the Flash Pro engineering team just wrote a blog post about Google’s release of Swiffy for Flash Pro, which allows authors to publish their Flash content to HTML5 in one simple step. Tareq goes into some of the current limitations of HTML5, which will likely diminish over time.

Check out Tareq’s post here:

Flash Authoring: Swiffy becomes Flash Pro plug-in to convert SWF’s to HTML

Info from Google here: http://googlecode.blogspot.com/2011/06/swiffy-convert-swf-files-to-html5.html

Cross-device development in Flash Pro

There are a lot of people out there looking to figure out the ins and outs of authoring for multiple device types in Flash Pro, especially since the release of CS5.5. This newest version of Flash Pro added several new features to make it easier to create content that will be deployed on more than one type of device, including:

  • The ability to share assets across fla files during authoring (making it easier to use the same assets in FLAs destined for different screen sizes
  • The ability to scale the entire contents of the Stage in an existing FLA when the stage is resized
  • Code snippets for taking advantage of mobile device capabilities, such as touch, accelerometer, etc.
  • Code templates for mobile authoring
  • Publishing via AIR for iOS and Android
  • On-device debugging via a USB port

A number of very good quality tutorials and demos have sprung up to help you get a handle on using these features in your projects. Here are some of the newer entries that you will hopefully find helpful. All but 1 of them is by Paul Trani. Thanks Paul!

Code snippets and templates:

MAX sessions, Oct, 2011:

Coding for device features:

A top 10 list of the new features in Flash Pro CS5.5

Peachpit author Brian Wood has a new article detailing his favorite new features in Flash CS5.5. His top 10 include things like:

  • Copy and Paste Layers
  • Scale content when changing the stage size
  • Export vector as bitmap
  • Convert vector to bitmap
  • Code snippets enhancements
  • TLF Text enhancements
  • AIR for Android support
  • Debug on device via USB
  • Visible property of symbols in the Property Inspector
  • Shared project format with Flash Builder

You can check out his write-up here: Peachpit: What’s New and Improved in Adobe Flash CS5.5

For the full list, check out the Help, or the Flash Pro features page.

Adding the AIR 3.0 SDK to Flash Pro CS5.5

So AIR 3.0 was announced at MAX last week and adds lots of cool stuff like

For those who would like to start taking advantage of these capabilities in their Flash Pro work, you can install the AIR 3.0 SDK into your existing Flash Professional installation and begin targeting it right away.

For complete instructions, see this TechNote:

Overlay AIR SDK | Flash Professional CS5.5

New video: Using Code Snippets for Mobile Development

Paul Trani has just posted a new video tutorial to Adobe TV. This one shows how you can create an entire mobile application using only the code snippets that come with Flash Pro CS5.5. He also goes through the process of getting the app onto his smart phone for testing.

ADC Presents – Code Snippets for Mobile Development | Adobe TV.

New Flash Pro CS5.5 feature explanation videos

Paul Trani, excellent instructor and Flash Platform evangelist, has recently published 4 new videos explaining how to use some of the features that were added in Flash CS5.5.

  • Scaling Multiple Selected Motion Tweens
    Discusses the challenge of scaling complex animations across multiple screen sizes, and offers a couple of workflows for accomplishing this in Flash Pro.
  • Using Text Container Manager for Runtime TLF
    Highlights the strengths of TLF text and reveals a few tricks for optimizing SWF file sizes by using the Text Container Manager (TCM). TCM text is a subset of TLF text functionality that yields smaller file sizes and is appropriate for any text that will not change at runtime.
  • Multiple Spans on an IK Layer
    Demonstrates the animation potential of IK layers in Flash Professional CS5.5, allowing you to link assets together to create dynamic, skeleton-like structures. IK layers act sort of like like Motion tweens.

Check them out.

New article on communicating between SWF files with AS3

In response to a common type of question in the Flash forums, Keith Gladstein has written a nice article on SWF to SWF communication. In it he provides annotated code examples for the following scenarios:

  • How do you reference an object (movieclip, variable, function etc) in one SWF from another SWF?
  • How do you reference the main timeline of SWF2 from SWF1 when SWF2 is loaded into SWF1?

  • How do you reference the main timeline of SWF1 from SWF2 when SWF2 is loaded into SWF1?

  • How do you communicate between two SWFs (possibly in different domains) that are opened at the same time by the same user?

  • How do you communicate between one SWF opened at different times by the same user?

  • How do you send data to a SWF in a popup?

You can also find information about how to load one SWF into another SWF in this TechNote.

Getting started with motion tweens

Flash Pro CS4 added a whole new way of creating and editing tweened animation. Tweens are animation where you set values for different properties of an object at certain points in time and let Flash fill in the values in between.

The motion tween model is much easier to work with than older classic tweens that you had to create in earlier versions of Flash. You can literally start animating objects on the stage in just a few clicks.

If you are new to Flash Pro and want to use it for animation, here are a couple of solid tutorials that will help you learn the basics and start experimenting with your own artwork:

Resources for learning about using video in Flash Pro

For those wanting to get started adding video to their Flash Pro work, I wanted to highlight a couple of quality video tutorials that folks may not know about.

Todd Perkins does a nice job of covering the basic steps for adding a video to Flash. This is a good place to go first:

Lisa Larson-Kelly covers a lot of ground in her Flash 411 show. This video is all about codecs, encoding, progressive vs. streaming, and choices for playing back video in Flash Player

Of course there’s also the Video Learning Guide on DevNet and the Help too.

Interesting approach to learning ActionScript 3.0

Ryan Hodson has created a really interesting set of tutorials about AS3 for beginners. He does something different that some of you might find engaging and even fun as you go about learning language concepts.

He basically has you learn AS by typing in Flash. You have to learn some conventions that he uses in the tutorials, but they are simple and worth the first 3 minutes of reading. Then you’re off to the races. He has you type things into Flash and then see what happens very quickly.

For example, the first instruction is to type

trace(“Hello, World!”);

in the Actions Panel and then test your movie. Then he has you see if you can figure out how to change the message “Hello, World” to something else, with an option to show the answer if you want more help. Sounds pretty simple huh? I think some learners will really respond to this style of teaching. I’ve already linked to the tutorials in the Help, but I’m hoping more people will find the tutorials and take advantage of them. Let Ryan and me know what you think of them.