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
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.
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
October’s MAX conference will feature a session on the present and future of Adobe’s Community Help efforts. To date, we’ve implemented the following:
- Links to community-created learning materials added within the Help
- Vetted community web sites added to the search results from Adobe Help page searches
- Adobe and community video content embedded within the Help pages
- Community Help application includes vetted community web sites in search results
- Recommendation engine provides links to similar documents embedded within both Help and Support pages
- Adobe Cookbooks
- Adobe Community Publishing System
- Feedback and ratings on Help and Support pages
And there’s more in store. Here’s the info about the MAX session:
Social Studies: Connecting Content and Community in the Cloud
Come see how a few simple UX design patterns can facilitate a shared, social learning experience that blurs the boundaries between inspiration and instruction, as well as between content and community. Three trends are currently sweeping digital media: Tablets are moving from content consumption to creation, social features are increasingly pervasive, and everything is shifting to the cloud. Join us to explore how this trifecta creates exciting opportunities for designers and developers, and to examine our own promising effort at taking advantage of these trends.
The Flash Professional CS5.5.1 updater is now available. This update contains fixes for opening and saving some Flash Professional files (FLAs) in CS5.5, and other bug fixes.
You can get the updater via the Support/Downloads page or the Adobe Update Manager.
Update Manager: To install the update, launch Flash and choose Help > Updates. The Update Manager will launch and offer to download and install the updater.