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In Illustrator CS5 Web and Interactive Design, Mordy Golding shows how to create pixel-perfect graphics for use in web sites, video compositions, and mobile apps. This course covers a wide range of workflows, from creating online ad campaigns, web sites, icons, to taking art from Illustrator to Flash Professional. Sharing tips, tricks, and creative techniques along the way, Mordy provides insight and instruction for taking projects from initial concept straight through to production. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the benefits of working with Flash Catalyst is that it builds all of your artwork using the Flex framework, which is very developer-friendly. However, you don't always need to use Flash Catalyst. In fact, if you are working directly with a developer and you are helping them actually create what we call skins for different components, meaning what buttons look like or what sliders look like, you can actually define those types of elements inside of Illustrator and then send a single document that contains all these Flex skins to the developer directly who can import them right into Flash Builder.
One of the really nice things about Illustrator is that there is a script that comes with Illustrator that let's you easily create these types of Flex skins. Now I'll point out, by the way, that Flash Catalyst conforms with a Flex 4 framework, which uses something called Spark components. They are somewhat different than the skins that developers would use in the Flex 3 framework. So if you are helping in developer's skin components using the Flex 4 framework, it's probably best for you to actually use Flash Catalyst. However, if you are working with a developer who is using the Flex 3 framework, here is a great way to go back giving them what they need.
Start by going to the File menu inside of Illustrator and choose Scripts. Then choose Flex Skins and then choose Create Flex 3 Skin. Now Illustrator either let's you have one massive document with all different types of components inside of it, or if you know you just have to create just one specific component, you can choose this option right here and choose what type of components you want to work with from this little list here. But I am going to choose to create multiple Flex components, and I am going to click OK. This opens up a template that comes with Illustrator that contains all the possible different types of components and allows you to define skins for them.
Basically, Illustrator already defines all the symbols here for you, and all you need to do is simply select any of these and modify the symbols to have them look just the way that you want to. Once you are done defining each of these symbols, you could simply go to the File menu, choose Scripts once again, but this time choose Flex Skins > Export Flex 3 Skin. This allows you to export a single SWF file, which you could handle off directly to a developer, and they could bring that SWF file right into Flex Builder and use those designs that you have created as skins for the components for their application.
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