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Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional

Importing a design from Photoshop


From:

Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional

with Paul Trani

Video: Importing a design from Photoshop

One of the great things about Flash is that you can import content in from other programs that you might be more familiar with. So if you are familiar with Illustrator or Fireworks, even Photoshop, you can import that content and still maintain the integrity of the design. For instance, I have Photoshop open, and I want to import all of this content from this Photoshop file into Flash, but I first want to explore some of this content. In the Layers panel, you can see that there's this image layer and I can turn that off. You can see that's the large image in the background.
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Using the exercise files
      34s
  2. 24m 1s
    1. Understanding web design
      2m 44s
    2. Creating a Flash file
      3m 18s
    3. Importing a design from Photoshop
      7m 45s
    4. Optimizing the design
      10m 14s
  3. 13m 59s
    1. Dynamically loading an image
      3m 37s
    2. Loading random images
      10m 22s
  4. 47m 38s
    1. Creating menu buttons
      8m 18s
    2. Adding functionality to buttons
      8m 56s
    3. Adding navigation
      9m 45s
    4. Creating transitions
      12m 0s
    5. Simplifying code
      8m 39s
  5. 26m 11s
    1. Creating web site sections
      7m 41s
    2. Dynamically loading sections
      11m 7s
    3. Linking to web sites and email addresses
      7m 23s
  6. 29m 18s
    1. Setting up a portfolio
      12m 31s
    2. Adding functionality to thumbnails
      10m 10s
    3. Allowing for unlimited thumbnails
      6m 37s
  7. 41m 17s
    1. Benefits of using XML
      4m 42s
    2. Loading XML content
      4m 34s
    3. Sorting XML content
      7m 32s
    4. Displaying XML content
      7m 35s
    5. Using XML to create thumbnails
      8m 41s
    6. Displaying content with thumbnails
      8m 13s
  8. 25m 59s
    1. Creating and importing video
      9m 47s
    2. Adding a Full Screen button
      4m 15s
    3. Creating custom video controls
      4m 50s
    4. Adding functionality to video thumbnails
      7m 7s
  9. 9m 12s
    1. Adding audio to buttons
      5m 30s
    2. Adding audio to dynamically created buttons
      3m 42s
  10. 21m 19s
    1. Applying professional transitions
      9m 26s
    2. Creating a preloader
      8m 56s
    3. Publishing a web site
      2m 57s
  11. 3m 15s
    1. Reviewing the "corporate" Flash site
      1m 40s
    2. Reviewing the "artistic" Flash site
      1m 35s
  12. 12s
    1. Goodbye
      12s

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Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional
4h 4m Intermediate Feb 17, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Flash and ActionScript are ideal for creating flexible, easily updatable web sites that are both unique in design and small in file size. In Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional, Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani shows how to exploit Flash to create a web site that showcases work to clients and prospective employers. Find out how to add dynamic navigation, animation, and video to a page, and how to load, sort and display XML that enables portfolio content to be updated without opening Flash. This course is designed to take your existing tweening skills and gotoAndPlay code and walk away with a fully functional Flash site. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Optimizing and publishing a Flash web site
  • Designing a professional photo or video portfolio
  • Adding button interactivity
  • Adding functionality to portfolio thumbnails
  • Displaying content with XML
  • Adding audio to portfolio presentations
Subjects:
Web Web Design Projects
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Paul Trani

Importing a design from Photoshop

One of the great things about Flash is that you can import content in from other programs that you might be more familiar with. So if you are familiar with Illustrator or Fireworks, even Photoshop, you can import that content and still maintain the integrity of the design. For instance, I have Photoshop open, and I want to import all of this content from this Photoshop file into Flash, but I first want to explore some of this content. In the Layers panel, you can see that there's this image layer and I can turn that off. You can see that's the large image in the background.

There's a content folder. I can twirl that down and you can see that it contains text layers in here. And if I turn those on and off, you can see that this is the navigation. I then have this Logo folder that holds the logo, and then I have this background folder, and I will turn that on and off. That provides the texture and some additional text for this file. So if I zoom out, you can see there's some additional text out here. If I just select this content folder, so what I want to happen for this design is I want this content to rotate around and then display, say, the Portfolio section or the About section or the Video section.

It's all going to be like twirling and rotating to reveal the appropriate section. So that's what I want it to do, and those extra items are all in the background folder. All right. I am not going to do anything tricky. All I am going to do is Save, and I am going to make sure it's saved in the Exercise Files folder/Assets/design, and that's the Design.psd. That's where this file is being saved, so I know where to get it from when I go into Flash.

So with my index.fla opened, what I want to do is I want to go to File > Import > Import to Stage. From there, I can dig into the Exercise Files folder/Assets/design, and select that PSD, and click Import. I love how Flash gives me this wizard for importing files, so I can click on all of these various layers and I can decide what I want to import.

Say, for instance, I don't need to import this black background, so I will just uncheck that. For the image layer, I can make sure that gets imported. And then I have this content folder. Well, I can import that content folder, but I can import it as a movie clip, so I am given multiple options over here on the right-hand side. I am going to create a movie clip for this layer. So when in doubt, make it a movie clip, because it's going to give you more flexibility. But what a movie clip is, it's just a container for any content you want.

So I can animate movie clips. I can add interactivity to them. I can do lots of things with them. So when in doubt, just make it a movie clip and it will give you lots of flexibility. And within this content movie clip, there's going to be additional items. So I can select this Portfolio layer, which is a text layer, and I can make it Editable text. And I might want to make this a movie clip as well. So that's what I want to do for each one of these text items, make it a text layer, and then make it a movie clip. In general, there's going to be a text field that exists inside of this movie clip.

The Logo folder, if I twirl that down, you can see that it contains many different items as well, but for this Logo folder, I want to create a movie clip for it, and I want to make sure this text is Editable as well, just in case I misspelled something or whatever the case may be. I could even import Vector objects, so I am going to select this Cross, so these are the different crossbars that make up the Cross. I can import it as Editable paths and layer styles.

So in general, if it says import is Editable, you probably want to do that. Our last area is this background. Again, I am inside of this content movie clip. Here are some additional text items, and I want to import as Editable text. Again, if I misspelled something or if I decide I need to change it, I can go ahead and do that. Here's my gradient, so this is the big gradient. I can just go ahead and leave that as is, but be aware that it is in the background folder. All right.

Everything is looking great and it's ready to be imported. Last thing I want to do is to review this bottom area. I want to Convert all the layers to Flash layers, and place those layers at their original position. I am not going to worry about the stage size, because I already have that set up. Go ahead and select OK, and it will import the design. Now, I can use this Navigator to change my viewable area, say down to 25%, and I can see that here's all of my content.

Quite frankly, I do need to move this into position. I can select this content and I can move it around. In general, everything has been placed at its original position. And instead of using this Navigator, I can go ahead and use Command+Plus to zoom in and Minus to zoom out, but in general, I want to start to align this up in my stage area. Now, I can kind of eyeball it and see if I can get it close, or I can go to Window, down to the Align panel, and I can go ahead and align it to the stage.

So Align panel, I am going to make sure this is depressed. I pressed that down and it's going to Align Vertical to the stage and then I want to go ahead and Align Horizontal to the stage. So you see it shift a little bit, and in general, that's what the Align panel does. So it's looking good. I have that stuff positioned appropriately. Take a look at the Timeline panel. Sure enough, it imported those layers appropriately. Turn off that content layer and you can see the image layer, there it is. I can turn that on and off.

If I select this content layer and I look at my Properties panel, you can see that it is a movie clip, it came in as a movie clip, and it's an instance of the content. And I can double-click on it and start to take a look at all the different items within this movie clip. I can see that this About button is an instance of the movie clip, and if I double-click on it, I can see that there's the text and I can go ahead and edit it. All right. Notice how deep I am, and I want you to be aware of these breadcrumbs, because I am actually inside of the About movie clip.

Well, to get back out, to edit anything else in the previous movie clip, I would click content. Now I can adjust anything else I may need to adjust. And then I can go out, again, to Scene 1, otherwise known as your stage, to work on the stage. But in general, that's how it works. If I want to edit a movie clip, it's just a matter of double-clicking on it and then you will be inside of that movie clip. In this case, I am inside of content_mc. All right. There's another way to do that as well.

There's all this content that I have imported. If I open up my Library panel, you can see, here's my Library folder and here's all of my content that I have imported. So again, I can just double-click on this movie clip and then edit content in here as well. And again, just be aware of where you are. Always click on Scene 1 to go back, but in general, you can see that you can easily import any design from other programs, such as Illustrator or Fireworks or Photoshop.

You can import them. It maintains the integrity of the design, so you can then start animating or adding interactivity, if you want to, in Flash.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a Portfolio Web Site Using Flash CS4 Professional.


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Q: While following along with the course, I encountered the following error in Flash CS4: 
1120: Access of undefined property content_mc.
What is causing this error?
A: Flash is looking for something (the content movieclip) with the instance name “content_mc” but it is not finding it. Select the content movieclip on the stage. In the Properties panel give it an instance name of “content_mc”. Make sure there are no spaces before or after. That should resolve the error.
Q: What is the best strategy for integrating 720/60P HD video into a website? Would creating a blank page that opens in full HD resolution be the best way to view the full quality of the HD video file?
A: A video file that large would just be unreasonable for most users to open.  These settings are a good place to start: 600x400is
24-25fps
Audio: 128kbps
Codec: On2VP6
Bitrate level: 1,000kbps
Bitrate Encoding: VBR These are just recommendations, and can be modified to preference. Also keep in mind that in Flash, one of the buttons that can be added is a full screen button, which is part of the skins.
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