August 18, 2005
Better bitmaps in Flash
Great news for anyone wanting to integrate Photoshop and other imagery into Flash (and judging from the crowds drawn by my old boss, Myke Ninness, when he lectures on this at conferences, that’s a lot of people): Macromedia engineer Tinic Uro reports that they’ve made some solid improvements in how bitmaps are drawn in the recently announced Flash 8. This should provide smoother, faster drawing of images, such as those displayed in Photoshop CS2’s new Flash Web Photo Gallery templates (example | download).
This reminds me a bit of when we launched Photoshop 7. The eye-popping Healing Brush got the big wows, but the feature battling it for applause was the simplest thing in the world: when you’d rename a layer, you could now type right into the layers palette, rather than into a dialog box. Sure, it would save you just a couple of seconds, but multiply that by number of layers, across days, weeks, months… It’s a simple lesson but one that’s easy to forget: to really make the experience better, spare some cycles for the spit and polish. It’s cool to see the Flash team doing the little things that make a big difference.
[Disclaimer: Adobe and Macromedia have announced their intention to join forces, but until that's a done deal, we're required to operate as separate entities. So, just to be clear, I'll point out that I'm simply relaying publicly available information.]