M.Chambers & M.Downey in Belgium report – part2 !

Mike Chambers and Mike DowneyThe second part of the user group meeting today was focussed on the next Flash release:Mike Downey presented to us a early release of  Adobe Flash CS3. Yeah this seem to be the official “new”name :-). Flash CS 3 also has the newCS3 interface as Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign,… will have. They use more or less the same workspace.

Mike Dowey showed us several new cool features that will be in the Flash CS3 release:

  • The toolbar is now standard a 1 single column and has al new icons: it all looks more professional and lots nicer ! You can offcourse make the toolbar bigger so it has a two column look, just as you want.
  • Content comes first, thats the point : so you can easily maximize your workspace by shrinking your panels and makes them small (icon + panel name), or even smaller (just icons). It all makes it look more modern and cleaner.
  • Something Mike was very proud of was that when you minimize the timeline the state change is animated. So the timeline minimizes in a smooth way. Look mum, its animated ! 🙂

  • You can easily switch different layouts; eg, when animating, designing, developping,… Its really easy to save your custom panel layouts.
  • There is also a lot of integration with Photoshop now in Flash CS3: when you import a PSD file you can exactly choose what layers you want to import; version cue, bridge, Adobe FILE IO dialog; PSD blendmodes are converted to Flash blendmodes (if they are in Flash), otherwise the blendmode is rasterized. Also the compression engine is seriously updated. Flash uses now the same compression engine as PSD (save for web).
  • When you are an animator you will like this feature: you can now easily export only a few layers to a Quicktome movie eg. Just set the layers you want to export visible and export it! This will be fun when combining and layering video material in Adobe After Effects. So a very cool integration feature between Flash and After Effects.
  • In Flash CS3  you will never have problems when you copy your AI files directly in Flash. As you might know most of the time in Flash 8 your bezier points were changed. Flash CS3 uses now the same mode for Flash and Illustrator so no changes anymore.
  • Also now in CS3 we will have rather the same PEN tool as illustrator has (there are a few small differences).
  • Drawing tools are also updated in Flash CS3: you can draw a rectangle primitive. The property inspector sees it really as a rectangle and not as a shape. There is in the same category also an oval tool.
    • Even on the JSAPI there are lot of new features so it will be easier to make your own custom tools. You can eg also read properties from a tween animation with JSAPI
  • One of the really cool things is the possibility to copy motion as AS3. Imagine that you make a motion tween on the timeline and later on you want to convert this to code or maybe use the animation  in a Flex application. You can copy this motion to AS3 (MXML format converted) and clean well structured code will be generated and placed on the clipboard. Just paste the code eg in your Flex application and the animation is done:-). Other possibilities are just “copy motion” and “paste timeline onto other object“. (this feature is made by Robert Penner).

As you see in the list most of the new stuff is design and animation oriented. But they mentioned also a few more developper minded updates for Flash CS3:

  • AS 3 support
  • Finally a GOOD debugger : same codebase as Flex debugger
  • Code Collapse possibility
  • New Components (they look the same but are twice as small of the ones now in Flash 8) that are easily skinnable. Imagine you have a button component on the Stage and you want to skin that button. Just doubleclick on that button and you see on the stage all the states that button can have and can manually customize every state by just give it a fill color or strole color or do other stuff with them. This feature was implemented by Grant Skinner. (right name on right job, Grant 😉

At the end of the presentation we also saw a demo of the ADOBE DEVICE CENTRAL application. It is something totally new from Adobe and it is like a very good Flash Lite applications emulator. It can be used to organize and test Mobile applications. You can easily compare differences between devices, emulate color depths, image compression, wallpapers, blacklight, reflection on screen, backgroundchanges (eg when night or day show different image)…. There is also a built in check for device updates. So when new devices are on the market Adobe will update the profiles and you can easely download the new ones in your Adobe Device Central application.

Maybe just two really cool features I really want to have in Adobe device central: emulation of the vibration of the phone and the lights …That makes it just a bit more complete 🙂

Really big applauze for Mike Downey and Mike Chambers for giving us this really cool preview of Flash CS3 and Apollo and see you soon, lets say… tomorrow on Flash on the beach 🙂


18 responses to “M.Chambers & M.Downey in Belgium report – part2 !

  1. aboutnico 3 December , 2006 at 2:08 pm

    cool stuff. I’ve been wanting to come, if it wasn’t for a tight deadline the weekend.

  2. Stef 3 December , 2006 at 2:54 pm

    zomaar mijn artwork gebruiken !!

    hehehe – no problemo zenne

    Groeten aan de mannen op “the beach” volgende week!


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  6. bobocel 20 December , 2006 at 10:44 pm

    This is really cool stuff! I’m looking forward for the new Flash CS3 software and hopefully we, Flash Developers, will be able to use the Flash Actions Pane instead of some other stuff witch has a little more functionality – like SE|PY (used by me 😀 )

  7. Koen 21 December , 2006 at 12:20 am

    bobocel, offcourse this is really cool, and their will be some big improvements on the action script editor as like collapsing code and a better debugger (the same as in Flex now)… so bit by bit we are getting closer to the SE|PY editor which I like also a lot more at the moment !!

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  9. 10th Way 15 February , 2007 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the review, very useful indeed!

  10. Adam 6 March , 2007 at 12:02 am

    I hope you can now apply a stroke in Flash properly. I would like to be able to apply a stroke to text, relete the fill and animate just the stroke. Imagine doing this and having only this one layer exported.

    Flash should also have a transparent background like Photoshop has and if you do not have a background color the exported .swf file has a transparent background and you can see through it to the htlp background.

  11. Robb 24 March , 2007 at 11:47 pm

    adobe really has to support the ever growing Animation community or we will turn our backs on them at some point.

    For example:
    Scaling keys?
    Viewing animation curves
    adding 2/3 pulldown for directly converting for television.
    Cameras for panning backgrounds
    Lip sync?

    Its a very large market that adobe is neglecting

  12. chris 27 March , 2007 at 1:46 pm

    i just hope animating is a little more professional, that the workflow with other programs has improved and that they organised the help. performance must be better too and let´s hope they integrated the fluid-design option better.

    flash, as the smaller brother of director (which wasn´t that good either) was always a pain in the ass. good algorythmens, but not much more.

    maybe that changes now that adobe owns it. i just hope so…

  13. Ben 13 April , 2007 at 3:07 am

    Does CS3 support lip sync or will I need a third party program? I’m currently using Toon Boom while my friends are talking about using CS3 as their animation software. Any advise on the better of the two for 2D animation?

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  15. Ally 9 July , 2007 at 9:10 am

    I’d be interested to know exactly how good CS3 is for 2D animation too before I go spending all that money on it. Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.

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