Adding Flash Player 11 support to Flash Pro CS5 and CS5.5

If you have been wanting to develop content for Flash Player 11; especially taking advantage of the new Stage3D api’s, you may have noticed that Flash Pro CS5 and CS5.5 don’t have the option to do so. These versions were shipped before FP11 and therefore it was not available at the time.

In order to allow you to publish to FP11 I have packaged a few MXP’s for Flash CS5 and CS5.5. I have also provided details instructions on how you can manually configure Flash Pro to support FP11 (for those who like to know what the MXP is doing or want to learn how to modify the tool).

There is one major gotcha. If you try to preview your movie using Test Movie (cntrl-enter or cmd-enter) you wil be using authplay; the built flash player, which is still Flash Player 10 (sorry but you can’t change this, and no, it is not the same thing as the Standalone player). So in order to test your FP11 specific content you will need to test in browser. You can use cmd-F12 on mac and F12 on windows.

MXP install

CS 5.5 MXP – FP11Publish_cs55.mxp
CS 5 MXP – FP11Publish_cs5.mxp

The MXP’s add a “Flash Player 11” target to the flash player drop down menu in the publishing settings as well as an HTML template named “Flash WMODE direct”. The HTML template sets the wmode to direct in order to allow Stage3D content to render.

To install just download the MXP using the links provided, then make sure to unzip it first before opening the MXP. If you double-click on the MXP it should launch Extension Manager and prompt you to accept the installation.

Instructions for manual configuration

There are a few files that have to be added.

1. First we must add the new playergobal.swc. This file is the document that contains the new API’s, and there is one playerglobal.swc for every version of the Flash Player that supports AS3. You can locate the FP11 playglobal.swc here. For future reference you can always check on the Adobe Flash Player Support Center for future versions.
Once you have the file, you should place it in $Flash/Common/Configuration/ActionScript 3.0/FP11
where $Flash is the location of the folder where you installed Flash. You will have to create the FP11 folder.

2. You will now need to create the publish taget XML file.This file is what actually adds the option for Flash Player 11 that appears in the Publish settings dialog drop down.

The best way to creat this file is to make a copy of the FlashPayer10_1.xml file that is located in $Flash//Common/Configuration/Players. Rename the copy FlashPlayer11_0.xml and save it in the same location. Then edit it accordingly with any text editor. Below you will see the first 8 lines of the file and the items in red are the lines that actually should change.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <player id="FlashPlayer11" version="13" asversion="3">
  <name>Flash Player 11.0</name>
   <path builtin="true"/>
   <path platform="WIN">Device Central/adcdl.exe</path>
   <path platform="MAC">Device Central/adcdl</path>
   <playerDefinitionPath as2="$(UserConfig)/Classes/FP10;$(UserConfig)/Classes/FP9;$(UserConfig)/Classes/FP8;$(UserConfig)/Classes/FP7" as3="$(AppConfig)/ActionScript 3.0/FP11/playerglobal.swc" />

Notice that the player id is 11 but the version is 13. This is because the player version and the swf version are no longer in sync.

For those wondering here is how the Player version and swf version compare:

Flash Player 9 = swf version 9
Flash Player 10 and 10.1 = swf version 10
Flash Player 10.2 = swf version 11
Flash Player 10.3 = swf version 12
Flash Player 11 = swf version 13

3. If you have CS5.5 and need to use the Detect Flash Version feature of the HTML wrapper you can modify the PlayersVersions.xml found in $Flash/Common/First Run/Detection to properly recognize the version. Just add the following XML tag to the top of the list.


Unfortunately CS5 will not recognize this setting correctly since it didn’t use <player_revision> and if you try to append it you will break detection for all for versions. This happened when the Flash Player version and the swf version deviated.

However, a different way to handle this is to create a custom HTML template and add it to $Flash/en_US/First Run/HTML then it will show up in the template drop down.

At this point if you launch Flash Pro you will see a target for FP11 and if you publish it should compile correctly.

Hope this helps and happy coding.


Flash and Snow Leopard

So, I take it by now most of you have already read John Nack’s post "Adobe Snow Leopard FAQ" as well as read the official Adobe FAQ. If not, you probably have been reading all kinds of tweets and blogs on the subject. So I won’t repeat what has already been posted. I did however want to update everyone on Flash’s status and maybe divert some flak that John has been receiving.

We have tested Flash CS4 on Snow Leopard and have currently found no issues. If this changes I will update this post.

As for Flash CS3, we did run a few tests. So, for now I can say that it installs, launches and runs fine with common steps i.e, draw rectangle, convert to movie clip, test movie, save and open file, etc. CS3 seems to run fine on Snow Leopard. This doesn’t guarantee that you won’t find any issues, there might be one; we have not run a full test pass on CS3. For the record, to do this, it would have taken our team a month at a minimum. As John mentions, we are not saying that CS3 won’t run on Snow Leopard, just that we are not planning to address any bugs that might be caused by the new OS.

I hope this helps.

Flash on the Beach

There are a few Flash conferences that I do my best to attend. Two have already past us by; FITC Toronto and FlashBelt. Both conferences, as usual, were great. Both had a fantastic lineup of speakers and the social events were a real treat.

Now, I am waiting for the next conference that I will be attending; FOTB (Flash on the Beach). If you have not been fortunate enough to attend FOTB then you should really consider doing it. First, like the other two conferences, FOTB always has a great lineup of speakers and sessions, this year is no exception. Second,  it is held in the wonderful city of Brighton, UK … if you have not heard of Brighton then look it up, its a great place. Last, but not least, John always throws some great parties..

So, if you are looking to attend a Flash Conference I would suggest you block out Sept 20-23. I know, I know, it may look like there is plenty of time, but Sept. will come around faster than you think.

Hope to see you there!

feature feedback

Ok, so I am once again going out to the community to get some feedback on some possible changes in a future version of Flash.

First I would like to know how you feel about removing screens from Flash; and no I don’t mean SCENES. I am talking about the feature we added in Flash MX2004 to add two new type of documents -"Flash Slide Presentation" and "Flash Form Application". If you still don’t know what I am talking about then I guess you don’t have a problem with this.

Screens only work with AS2 and got very little traction when released. As many of you can tell we have not been making it easy to find them in the tool and we don’t intend on updating them to AS3. We feel there are better solutions to solve the problem they originally intended to solve.

So, if the next version of Flash didn’t have screens, how would that affect you?

the other change I am curious to get feedback on would be in dropping support for PowerPC. That could mean only Intel-based Mac’s might be supported in the future? How would this affect you?


Please let us know.


Flash CS4 update now available

Several moths ago I posted a blog about some issues that were being reported with Flash CS4; some of you also posted your own comments and issues. I am happy to say that we have just posted an update to address a good number of the issues that were reported. I know some of you have been waiting for some time, but we wanted to fix as many problems as we could so we took a little more time with this one.

Adobe Flash® CS4 Professional (10.0.2) addresses a number of performance issues. Some key fixes are:

  • Fixed a performance issues when dragging objects on stage, scrubbing the timeline, or entering symbol edit mode in large AS 2.0 and AS 3.0 files.
  • Fixed a performance issues when opening large files or files with many nested symbols.
  • Fixed a performance issues when working in the library such as scrolling, selecting items in the library, dragging item to stage, or editing symbol from library.

It also addresses several crashes involving creating a text fields on stage and opening specific files with corrupted fonts.  The font issue was causing many people to suffer crashes because Flash was not handling inappropriate or corrupted fonts very gracefully.

One fix that was very specific to a request by the community was to put back the JSAPI that allows users to publish FLA files without opening them. You can now use fl.publishDocument( flaURI [, publishProfile] ) to do this. Steven Sacks I hope this helps.

There are a more fixes than that and I have posted the list of them at the bottom of this blog.

I do want to thank everyone that contributed their issues and concerns in my blog, the forums and the email lists. The team worked hard to fix as many issues as we could. If you don’t see your specific issue addressed in the update it doesn’t mean we didn’t pay attention. We just had to prioritize in order to get the update out in a reasonable time. The remaining list is logged and we will continue to try and fix as many more as we can for a future version of Flash.

We made many significant changes to the tool in this cycle and unfortunately this time we ran into a few issues. The changes were necessary to continue to have a framework to work on and make Flash a next gen tool, but you have my commitment that we will do better next time.


Bugs fixed in this release:

  • AS2 Doc Crashes CS4 when buttons not rendered correctly
  • Auto Format beaks the code if encounters ++ or — with an array inside if statement
  • Clicking through movie clip with large preview takes long to select in the Library in AS 3.0 file
  • Scrubbing and pressing Enter to play timeline is not smooth, slower in AS3 documents
  • W and H of instance incorrect after frame 2 if apply tween to instance with filter
  • 3D tools appear incorrectly to a child movie clip when applying skew and rotation to the parent 2d movie clip.
  • Changing W/H for nested 2d>3d movie clip from PI does not work. After scrubbing the hot text, it snaps back to the original size.
  • Dragging from Library to Stage is slow in some files in CS4
  • Selecting items in the library is slow in CS4
  • Scrolling the library (vertical scroll bar) is slow compared to CS3
  • In a FLA with lots of library items, double clicking a symbol "in the edit mode" hangs Flash on Mac.
  • Library contents explode CS4 memory (CS3 sits at 75M)
  • Performance issue with Stagecore (AS 3.0 fla) – scrubbing, moving, altering objects.
  • Object visibility is compromised when created inside empty groups in AS 3.0 fla files.
  • Double clicking symbol or symbol name in library hangs Flash; library contains a lot of items
  • Text with device font disappears when it is selectable
  • Component parameters don’t work for scenes greater than scene 1
  • Selecting frames with textfields is a lot slower if the Components Inspector panel is opened
  • Empty maskee incorrectly renders mask invisible rather than visible
  • Crash when opening a  fla that uses a font symbol whose name was identical to the Postscript name of the underlying font and the font is missing
  • Optimize a section within a shape leaves gaps in the shape
  • Optimize opening and closing FLA files, frame manipulation for FLAs with many frames
  • Win only: Crash on exit when the text field is in edit mode and clicking X button to quit without save
  • Compiler errors when opening "Air Settings" while adl still running.
  • (screens) timeline playhead can’t scrub and jitters when playing anything that spans frames
  • gotoAndPlay("framelabel") compiles differently in CS3 versus CS4
  • Scrubbing the timeline and selecting frames is much slower in CS4 than in CS3
  • Crash when creating a text object on stage when there are corrupted fonts
  • Graphic symbol looping setting changes when apply color effect to instance in PI
  • Files with lots of nested clips suffer from performance issue (file open) in Flash CS4
  • Edit in Place of 2d objects which has 3d movieclips nested inside is not functioning correctly.
  • Edit in place is slow for complex instances in FP10 documents
  • Breaking apart a nested movie clip erases instance name of child movie clip
  • Efficient calculation between keyframes so dragging is faster and generally makes people happier if spans are long and complex.
  • AS3 Components not compiling correctly when using the Component Definition dialog
  • Window Only: Flash crashes when double clicking a fla to open while a current fla is opened with text block selected
  • Can’t interact with Flash because modal dialog is up, but hidden behind the workspace when switching between applications
  • From crash reporter: crash on Mac when double click to enter symbol edit mode (when the black dotted rectangle is drawn)
  • Mac IDE flashes when right-clicking on Library after doing Test Movie
  • Performance is slow after double clicking movie clip to enter edit mode and exit
  • Setting an instance’s width and/or height to 1 makes W and H hot text unusable in the vertical PI.
  • Hot text in the Vertical PI for X, Y, W, H displays only 1 decimal point while edit field displays 2
  • Export image: Dimension values in Export dialog and Vertical PI do not match which is misleading to user.
  • Crash when selecting text field on stage with many fonts on user’s system.
  • Text PI is stuck and some controls on the PI are not drawn with certain fonts on user’s system
  • The JSAPI that allows users to publish FLA files without opening them was inadvertently removed when the Project Panel was deprecated.  fl.publishDocument( flaURI [, publishProfile] ) is added. 
  • "Export classes in frame" behavior is different in CS3 than in CS4
  • Drag and drop large nested symbol from library to stage hangs Flash
  • Dragging from Library to Stage slow on subsequent drag or after scrubbing the timeline
  • Scrubbing and pressing Enter to play timeline is not smooth, slower in AS3 documents
  • W and H of instance incorrect after frame 2 if apply tween to instance with filter
  • Large amounts of text nested in a symbol causes performance problems in non-AS3 documents
  • Playback in authoring is not smooth (playhead skips frames), cannot stop it when hitting enter, eventually hangs and takes long to respond (both AS 2.0 and AS 3.0)
  • Performance Creating Exported Symbol when the classpath contains lots of files and folder
  • Create ease, undo after first edit removes ease
  • Selecting and deselecting raw shape after convert to symbol spikes memory and/or crashes
  • FLA crash on open when fonts loaded
  • Mac only: User input resets to previous setting when attempting to change any value in Vertical PI input area
  • Accessing a Windows SWF after it has been moved or deleted crashes Flash
  • Crashing when re-opening FLA after canceling publish
  • Crash in test movie when running a file with video and filters

PixelSessions in San Francisco

For anyone in the Bay Area there is going to be an event next week that you really want to look into.

pixelSessions is a San Francisco based event focused on bringing together designers of all types. They feature great speakers, cool contests and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals. I even hear there is an open bar and DJ’s….Nice!.

Mike Kemper, one of the founders of pixelSessions, described it like this –
" Our event is a platform that encourages intelligent conversations, provides valuable networking opportunities and celebrates all things design. pixelSessions are open to all creative professionals including graphic designers, web designers, photographers, 3D artists, VJs, students, and on and on. If you work visually in anyway, you are welcome to join us and we are excited to have you! "

pixelSessions 1.0 will be hosted at MIGHTY in SOMA, (119 Utah St., San Francisco).

    * Tuesday, May 12th, 6:00pm-10:30pm

     6:00pm – Registration, Hosted Bar, and Snacks
     7:00pm – Speakers and Q&A (bar closed)
     8:30pm – Hosted bar, and networking

Tickets are $25 online, $35 at the door.


Jared Ficklin – Principal Technologist, Frog Design
Jenny Hansen – Creative Director, SuperSecret
Ulm – Director of Experience Design, Adobe
Ernst – Creative Director, Yelp

I hope to see you there!

A few Flash updates

Ok, so I have a few updates that concern Flash CS4 so I thought I would just list them in one entry.


1)  Its official, the Flash team has been working hard on an update to address a number of performance and stability issues. As soon as we are confident with a schedule I will update this blog with a potential release date. I would like to thank everyone that submitted their issues on this blog and through other forums. I know a number of you reported that you couldn’t submit your entry on this blog. It seems that the blog wasn’t rebuilding the page correctly, but I have received all the entries( in many cases mutilple copies). So consider them submitted. I am looking into a fix .


2)  Grant Skinner has release an update to the new Flash Project Panel. As many of you may know, the new project panel in Flash was originally Grant’s G- Project.
Check out his blog to get more details of this update.


3)  FITC baby! That’s right, its time for FITC Toronto again; April 25th-28th.. Adobe will be in attendance at FITC Toronto and during the Keynote I am looking forward to updating you on all the cool things we are up too. If you have never been to FITC you must definitely check it out. Its a great place to meet other talented Flash users and check out what the Flash Gurus are working on. I will also be delivering a session on the Ins and Outs of Flash CS4, so I hope to see some of you there.


4) Last but not least I just wanted to put out a link to a very cool site that uses Flash.

If you don’t like Spiders don’t click on the link.

Concerns and issues with Flash CS4

For several weeks we have received reports and emails concerning issues with Flash CS4, so  I would like to address some of these comments directly.


Let’s start with performance and stability.


The team is currently investigating and working on four key issues :


  • problems scrubbing the timeline while working on a very large project or with complex projects with a large number of nested symbols.
  • difficulty opening large CS3 files with CS4.
  • crashing when a corrupt font is inadvertently used.
  • general performance issues and other reported crashes that are still being isolated.


As soon as we have more information on how we plan to address them, I will update this post.


In the meantime if you feel that there are other performance issues or crashes that are not covered in the above list and you have a reproducible example, please let us know.


Next topic: Flash Help.


We have received a lot of feedback regarding the changes made to Help. These changes resulted from an internal initiative to make Flash Help consistent with the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite products. These changes also allow the group responsible for developing Help documentation to produce better and more current content. The Help team also wanted to tie in community-based resources and the ability to search, which means that search now returns help results  not only from Adobe, but from other relevant sources on the web.


We are aware that there are severe workflow issues with the current solution –most of which Adobe is working on.  Some of the concerns we have heard are:


  • it’s available only when you are online.
  • Help now opens in a browser and not in the IDE.
  • it opens a different browser window every time you hit F1.


The Help team has assured us that they are working on these issues and on improving the Help experience for the Flash user’s needs.


Please let us know what other issue you encounter with Help. Additionally, if you have any feedback on improving Help to make help better, we are all ears.


Last Topic for now: Stage Rendering with Flash Player.


I have received several emails from users concerned about the fact that we now have an instance of the Flash Player running on the stage in the IDE. This is not a bug or an oversight, this is a change we made to StageCore to allow the Flash IDE to render content exactly the same way that the Flash Player would.


Up to now there have always been discrepancies between how content looks like on stage and how it play in Flash Player (e.g., pixel shifting, inaccurate rounded corners and text that looked different.) The reason for this was that the content you see on stage was not really Flash, making it hard to achieve complete fidelity.


With our new architecture we now have accurate representation of Flash content on the Stage. This  also  allows us to represent features that you would not see on the Stage otherwise. For example, the reason we have 3D on the stage is that Flash is rendering it in real time. You can notice one of the benefits by zooming into any symbol that has a filter applied to it.  In CS3 once you reached +800%, you would notice pixilation.  In CS4, you don’t. In the future this will allow us to render all the great features that will be available in the Flash player.


In short, we are working on addressing these issues, and are actively looking for any good reproducible examples and sample files that can help us isolate and test our improvements.


As a final note, I just want to add that the Flash team doesn’t just develop Flash but we are heavy users as well, we appreciate the support and passion of our community to improve Flash and we are committed to it.




PaperVision3D wins 2008 .Net Magazine award!

Congratulations to the PaperVision 3D team for being awarded "Inovation of the year" by the 2008 .Net Magazine Awards.  It goes without saying that PPV3D has made the web a much more interesting place by adding the missing dimension to many sites.

Congrats PPV3D team you guys rock!

Flash CS4 for President!

The day we have all been waiting for is here! Flash CS4 is jumping on the campaign wagon.

Nice use of Flash.

Stay tuned; 5 more days, for more information on Flash CS4.