June 01, 2007

New Flash, HTML gallery engine for Bridge

Feeling overwhelmed by Adobe updates yet? <:-)

Okay, just one more for now, but I think it’ll be worth your while: the new Adobe Media Gallery engine adds Flash and HTML gallery creation capabilities to Adobe Bridge CS3.  By leveraging the Flash- and JavaScript-based extensibility of the Bridge platform, we’ve been able to build a powerful little engine for cranking out both Flash-based and HTML-based Web galleries (here’s a screenshot, as well as Jeff Tranberry’s 4-minute video demo).  Any file that Bridge can preview (which is just about everything in the Suite–JPEGs, PSDs, raw files, PDFs, Illustrator and InDesign docs, etc.) can be included in a gallery.  Finished galleries can be uploaded directly from Bridge via FTP.

To get cranking with AMG, make sure you first update to Bridge 2.1, then download the installer from Adobe Labs.  The site includes a quick start guide, list of known issues, and more.  Developers interested in building on Bridge can view and reuse the code that’s in AMG (e.g. FTP upload).

Thanks to the team at Quality Process for all their efforts in bringing AMG to the world, and to the crew at Blue Fire for making the SWF templates (which have now been open-sourced).  Great work, guys!

See also previous, related posts:

Posted by John Nack at 6:54 PM on June 01, 2007

Comments

  • dd — 7:51 PM on June 01, 2007

    hey! nice to hear you aren’t slowing down after cs3 release ;)
    any chance on upcoming patches for other cs3 apps? actually after working with cs3 trial for some time i’ve found some really annoying things..
    one particularly is IN/OUT FADES of interface and panels when switching applications. is there a way to turn off such effects?
    first- it SLOWS DOWN workflow. i’m quite fast-working person jumping between apps often and frequently – and having to wait half-a-sec everytime to get responsive interface- makes me really nervous on deadlines.
    also- somehow even on quite recent hardware (intel mac, 2gb ram) – fades aren’t always smooth – animation jumps when bigger files are open. this leads to idea that photoshop (illustrator, etc) is spending limited resources for eyecandy things instead of doing professional work. :(
    please- add an option to preferences or any setting in external file to let user switch this “feature” ASAP… thanks.
    [I’ll pass along that feedback, but I’m afraid there won’t be updates that allow the fades to be disabled (or that add other functionality to CS3 apps). From this point onwards we can fix bugs, but we can’t add/change features. It’s a long story and not one over which we have control. –J.]

  • Gio — 1:25 AM on June 02, 2007

    John
    This is interesting and does show the smartness of the underlying concept.
    But it’s too smart for users – a league of difficulty up from hacking HTML galleries.
    [Yeah–not that I found that process terribly easy, given the weirdo template code those galleries contained. –J.]
    Do Adobe plan to release some sort of WYSIWYG editor for these things?
    [Not that I know of. Good suggestion, though. I wonder what could do the job. –J.]
    Even with so-called XSL editors on the market, they’re developers’ tools and it’s still like coding in a text editor. You’re into a time-consuming iterative process. Try one small step for a man, test it live, oops, undo, try something else, and then you find it doesn’t work on the other OS because the parsing engines differ. There’s a real need for a decent, human editor.
    Second, the documentation needs to be expanded and made human too (I’ve read Andy’s stuff). For example, answering simple questions like “how do I replace the item number in the thumb grid with the rating?
    John
    [I’ll see what additional info I can gather. –J.]

  • Micah — 1:11 PM on June 02, 2007

    As AMG is discussed I think it worthy to be clear about what it is, and is not. My take on that is the vision of AMG is to enable third party developers to create web gallery authoring tools that allow end users who know nothing about web development to create and customize technically sophisticated galleries. These developers get to leverage the heavy lifting image processing and organizing features of Elements, Lightroom, and/or Bridge (AMG is now in all three) to create their tools. In this way, I personally see it as somewhat akin to plug-ins. I would not expect the casual user to be able to write their own. For example, the default AMG Flash gallery is thousands of lines of ActionScript.
    What AMG is not (at least not today) is a token based web gallery template building and automation tool. This kind of tool allows people with basic knowledge of html or Flash to create their own templates and use the “host” app to automate the image processing and gallery generation. I know this kind of tool would be a very welcome addition to Bridge and Lightroom (perhaps in conjunction with Dreamweaver and Flash). I honestly don’t know, but I would be surprised if that was not in the works at Adobe or at some third party using Adobe API’s.
    AMG is not a real WYSYWIG authoring tool either. In some ways the default HTML and Flash galleries that come with AMG are steps in that direction with their layout and style options. And certainly Adobe or others could take that much, much further with new AMG galleries. I hope they do.
    [Thanks for this perspective, Micah. (Micah developed the AMG SWF at Bluefire.) –J.]

  • Gio — 12:31 AM on June 03, 2007

    re WYSIWYG editor, what about an extension for Dreamweaver? Especially on the HTML side, that’s going to be what plenty of gallery customizers use.
    Or have you seen the DHTML stuff Jeffrey Friedl like the configuration manager. http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/lightroom/
    [I don’t think I had. Thanks for the link. –J.]

  • Kingdom Postproductions — 1:19 PM on October 23, 2007

    This concerns the Adobe Media Gallery v1.2.0,
    My ISP gives me webspace that is not enough to hold the amount of galleries I intend to produce. I tried to edit the group/groupxml file that was exported from Bridge to direct the gallery to look for the image files that were uploaded to an image hosting site. I simply pasted the URL given by the image hosting site for each image in its respective place in the xml file. All of the other files were sent to my ISP webspace. Only the image files were separated from thr rest of the gallery files. The result is the gallery says that it is loading the thumbnails. It seems like it is going to work but they never load. Why not?
    I’ve got the feeling that entire gallery must be run from the same place whether it is on a website or on a local machine. This is the only way I can get it to work and it works very well. How can I get the images to load from other image hosting sites without the authoring environment (Flash)?
    Deacon
    [I believe this is a security precaution built into the Flash player, not enabling loading of content across domains. It can be disabled, but doing so requires (I believe) root level access to one’s server. If you have that, I’d recommend doing some searching for more info. –J.]

  • Beth Watson — 1:00 PM on November 17, 2007

    I would like to use Adobe Media Gallery to make a slideshow to put on my site. I can easily make the gallery and can use SmartFTP to send it to my Lunarpages server. But that is where I get stuck. I do not know HTML and have used Lunarpages Webbuilder to make my site.
    I just can not figure out how to link a menu item to the gallery. I just need a little direction as the Help desk is unable to help with the coding.
    THANKS FOR ANY HELP.
    [Upload the output from AMG to its own directory, then link to the “index.html” page within that directory. So, for example, you would use AMG to create a folder called “thanksgiving,” then upload that folder to “www.yoursite.com/photos”, then drag the “thanksgiving” folder into the “photos” folder, and finally create a link to “www.yoursite.com/photos/thanksgiving/index.html”. –J.]

  • SleepingWolf — 1:39 PM on April 05, 2008

    Hey John
    Wonder if you could help. Trying to find documentation on the menuitem tag extension used in AMG by bluefire. Is it possible to create a parent menu without a submenu. For example, Home.
    Thanks
    SW

  • senja — 6:23 PM on May 01, 2008

    How would I extend the AMG/AMG workspace to burn to DVD or create any other video codec of a gallery slide show from Bridge?
    [I recommend checking out the BridgeSDK. Hopefully that’ll provide some useful guidance on connecting Bridge to other applications and OS services (e.g. disc burning or video encoding). –J.]

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