October 06, 2007
Full-screen Flash slideshows come to Photoshop
I’m pleased to report that designer/developer Todd Dominey has connected his excellent SlideShowPro Web gallery technology to Photoshop. SlideShowPro is a highly customizable Flash component that works with Flash MX 2004 and above, enabling Flash authors to create slick SWF galleries that support goodness like full-screen mode (click the button in the lower-right corner of the gallery on the home page) and streaming audio (example).
Now it’s possible to use Photoshop to batch-resize images & generate the XML file needed to power a gallery. Scripts for Photoshop CS2 & CS3 are downloadable from the site by anyone who purchases SlideShowPro ($29.95).
Adobe “Thermo”: Photoshop -> RIA
In my pre-Adobe job, I lost countless hours turning complex Photoshop PSD files into something ready to animate in Flash. In fact, the pain of that process is largely what drove me to work at Adobe, trying to devise something more efficient. Flash CS3 marks a giant step forward in its ability to suck in PSDs & turn them into layers and symbols. That’s great, but what if you’re a designer working with Adobe Flex to build rich Internet apps? The hand-off right now isn’t so seamless.
The need to turn designs into interactive apps quickly is what’s driving development of a new Adobe application code-named “Thermo” and sneak-peeked at Adobe MAX. To borrow Sean Corfield’s nice summary:
The much anticipated “Thermo” was next. As expected, this is a designer-focused application for creating Flex applications. Starting with a Photoshop PSD file, Thermo imported this and converted it to MXML. Design elements can then be selected and with a simple right-click they can be converted from artwork to Flex controls. The automatic inference of design-time data sets so you could test UI interactions with “real” data was very impressive. You really cannot appreciate the impact this had on the audience – it drew a huge amount of applause and loud cheers! [Via]
To see the tool in action, check out Aral Balkan’s videos & notes from the keynote.
Update: Here’s perspective from Adobe Chief Software Architect Kevin Lynch:
[Thermo is] for people who are using tools like Illustrator or Photoshop and have a background in interface design and want to create a great experience for someone. But they are primarily a designer… [T]he designer can not only draw what the application looks like, but they can also add the interactivity for how it works. The magic of what we’re showing with Thermo right now is that you can select elements that are just pictures on the drawing and you can say this actually represents a list box, or this represents a text edit field and we put the logic to convert the picture into a work component.
Use AE+Flash to create interactive video
News about After Effects always proves popular with the Flash crowd that stops by here, so I thought I’d pass along AE Product Manager Michael Coleman’s tips on Creating Interactive Video with After Effects and Flash. The 40-minute presentation talks about using AE’s motion tracker to generate cue points that tell the SWF what to do, among other things.
Writing this in 2007, I still can’t quite believe that AE’s chocolate is getting into Flash’s peanut butter, so to speak. Back in 1999, during my previous gig, I started browbeating people at Adobe & Macromedia to make these tools work together, and with CS3 it’s finally happening. I think this is just the beginning of what AE & Flash will be able to do in tandem.
For more tutorial content on AE, Premiere Pro, Flash, and other timeline-related things, check out Dennis Radeke’s Genesis Project.