Testing and Exporting to SWF
At any point in the process you can test and troubleshoot by choosing File > Run Project. If the transition and effect don't work, here's a quick troubleshooting list:
- Make sure that you created a second state.
- Make sure that you defined a button that plays the transition from page (state) 1 to page (state) 2.
- Make sure that you changed the appearance of the artwork in the second state (page).
- Make sure that you applied the action (Rotate 3D) to the artwork on the artboardnot the button.
- If all else fails, email me or post a comment with this article.
If the project works as it should, feel free to jazz it up. For starters, review my article on using Catalyst to generate four-state buttons, and add filters or other appearance changes to animate the "hover" and "down" button states.
Beyond that, you can experiment with additional actions, or tweak the 3D rotation we applied to the artwork. By combining actions I've covered in this series on Catalyst, you could convert this project into an intriguing splash page for a website by adding an action that opens a web page on clicking the button, and changing the triggering event for the rotations to rollover.
Once you've touched up and tweaked this project, you can save it as a web page, with all the necessary files to embed the Flash project. Follow these steps:
- Choose File > Publish to SWF/AIR. (SWF is the Flash Playerready format, and AIR files play in standalone desktop environments without the Flash Player installed.)
- In the Publish to SWF dialog, select all the checkboxes except Build AIR Applicationunless you do want to build a presentation that will play on desktops without Flash Player installed; in that case, select all the checkboxes.
- Use the Browse button to navigate to where you want to save the sets of files that will be generated to make this project play. The files will be organized into folders, and the folder names will reflect the project name you defined when you created this Catalyst project.
- Click Publish to generate the files. If you're testing or running the project on a local computer, the files in the generated run-local subfolder will present the project. If you're uploading to a remote server, upload the files in the deploy-to-web folder. In either case, opening the Main.html file will present the project.
- If the project needs touching up, open the Catalyst (FXP) file you created when you initiated the project, and make any necessary edits. Then republish.