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In Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding demonstrates how to create and publish fully interactive Flash (SWF) micro sites, widgets, portfolios, and applications from static Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks artwork—all without writing code. The course covers planning a project, importing and organizing assets, creating interactive components, defining repeating data lists, and publishing final projects. Exercise files are included with the course.
So you know that at any time inside of Flash Catalyst, if you want to edit some vector artwork, you can choose the Edit in Adobe Illustrator CS5 command to round-trip your content. However let's say the change that you want to make is to a photograph or to raster-based content. We know that Illustrator is used for editing vector content, but we probably want to edit raster-based content in a program like Photoshop. Well, the good news is Flash Catalyst can also round-trip content with Photoshop. However, the process is somewhat different.
So, let's take a look at how it works. I am going to start by selecting an image on my artboard. For example, there's this growing image here that I actually put into my document and I now want to make some kind of change to it, maybe I want to turn it into black and white for example. Once I've made my selection, I can either go to the Modify menu and I can choose Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS5, or directly in the artboard I can simply right-click on the image and choose Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS5 as well. Notice that when I do so, a dialog box is now going to pop up and it's going to let me know that in order to edit this content from Flash Catalyst in Photoshop, I first have to install a few extensions to Photoshop.
This is because the shipping version of Photoshop doesn't have this capability built in. There are actually two files that you'll need to install. Once you've downloaded them, you'll need to install a plug-in and also a script. The information you'll need in order to both download these files and install them in the proper locations can be found in this URL right here. In fact, once you've installed them, you go ahead and click on this button called Don't show again, so that you don't see this dialog box anymore. But for now, I am going to go ahead and click OK to open up Photoshop.
Notice now that a document appears and I see an entire snapshot, dimmed back at about 20% Opacity, of my entire project. This allows me to see the image that I am working on, right now this one right here, in the context of my entire design. In fact, if I look at my Layers panel, I'll see that I have a Background group, which is currently all locked and not editable, which contains all of the other information, but all that I really care about right now is the layer that appears in the Selected Content group which is currently now Layer 8.
Now, in order for me to start making any changes here, I first have to actually go ahead and select that layer. So, in the Layers panel I'm going to click on Layer 8 here, and I can go to the Image menu and I could choose to apply the Black & White adjustment. I'll choose Black & White and I'm simply going to use the Default setting. Now I have to do one other thing though. Before I actually save my file, I'll return to Flash Catalyst. If you read the text here at the bottom of this file, it says if you edit this file, choose File > Scripts > Simplify Layers for FXG before saving and closing the file.
If you remember when we performed the round-trip edit with Illustrator, once I've saved my File out of Illustrator, an FXG dialog box appeared asking how I want to go ahead and save my file? Both Illustrator and Photoshop are extremely powerful editing applications, and it's certainly possible that you can create something inside of these programs that is not compatible with FXG or the graphics format that Flash Catalyst supports. Now Illustrator's FXG export command is smart enough to try to figure out and convert graphics as needed.
However, if I simply choose now File > Save and go back to Flash Catalyst, I want to make sure that everything I've done here inside of Photoshop will translate correctly to my project inside of Flash Catalyst. So to do that I'm going to now run a Script. I'm going go to the File menu inside of Photoshop, I am going to choose Scripts and then I'll choose Simplify Layers for FXG. As a side note, if in your version of Photoshop you don't see this Script that simply means you haven't downloaded and installed it according to the instructions that we saw before inside of Flash Catalyst.
However, once you've installed it, you can simply select it to run the script before you save your File. In this case, if you've added any layers or Effects, all those things will now be translated so that Flash Catalyst can easily understand it. Once you've run this Script inside of Photoshop, you could simply choose to save your File by going to the File menu and choosing Save, and then go ahead now choose File > Close. When you return back to Flash Catalyst, you'll see that the image has already been updated in place in your project.
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