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Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 Design Premium Classroom in a Book: Introduction to Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™

Article Description

This excerpt from Adobe® Creative Suite® CS5 Design Premium Classroom in a Book introduces Adobe® Flash® Catalyst™, describes a typical workflow, and explains the difference between Flash® Catalyst™ and Flash® Professional.

Note: This excerpt is from a draft manuscript and may not be representative of the final published work.

New from Adobe, Flash Catalyst helps designers easily build rich, interactive content, It combines an intuitive user interface with a toolset that will feel familiar—similar to Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks—with the expressiveness, consistency, and reach of Adobe Flash technology. The result: a feature-rich interaction design tool you can successfully use to publish SWF files without writing code.

As you’d expect from a professional Adobe design tool, you always have complete control over the appearance of your artwork, and you can publish your interactive content as a SWF file that displays with Adobe Flash Player 10 for wide browser compatibility on the web.

If you want a developer to enhance an interactive project you’ve built with Flash Catalyst, you don’t have to do anything. Flash Catalyst output is developer-friendly, writing code for you in the background while you focus on designing expressive, interactive content. Using the open-source Adobe Flex framework as its underlying structure, Flash Catalyst helps ensure that when you have to hand more complex projects off to a developer, everything is already in place, ready to go.

A typical workflow

To create an interactive document in Flash Catalyst, you typically perform the following steps:

  1. Plan how the user should interact with your document, and also plan transitions between states or pages.
  2. Design the document in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop, using layers to structure the content in a way that supports the buttons, states, and other interactivity you’ll apply in Flash Catalyst.
  3. Import the design and any multimedia assets into your Flash Catalyst document.
  4. Add interactivity and transitions.
  5. Test and publish your document.
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