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Exporting static SWF files from Illustrator

From: Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

Video: Exporting static SWF files from Illustrator

You know, Illustrator is a vector-based application, so it's only natural that you should be able to also export vector-based graphics out of Illustrator as well, and you can, by generating SWF content directly out of Illustrator. In this movie specifically, we'll talk about exporting what we call a static SWF, meaning that it doesn't actually move, there is no animation inside of it. But it could be quite helpful to export your artwork as a SWF file for a variety of reasons. First of all, you're able to zoom into that content if you want to view more information on the web, and you'll get nice, clean results when you zoom in.

Exporting static SWF files from Illustrator

You know, Illustrator is a vector-based application, so it's only natural that you should be able to also export vector-based graphics out of Illustrator as well, and you can, by generating SWF content directly out of Illustrator. In this movie specifically, we'll talk about exporting what we call a static SWF, meaning that it doesn't actually move, there is no animation inside of it. But it could be quite helpful to export your artwork as a SWF file for a variety of reasons. First of all, you're able to zoom into that content if you want to view more information on the web, and you'll get nice, clean results when you zoom in.

In addition, using Illustrator it's also pretty easy to define hotspots so that people can click on different areas to be directed to a different URL. Now in this file right here called static_banner.ai, I've created a file that's 300 pixels wide by 250 pixels deep, and by going to the Window menu and choosing Attributes, you can click on individual objects, in this case, here I've use symbols, and I've defined Image Map regions for those objects. Even though it's using the Image Map feature which is generally an HTML feature, these do get translated to regular hot spots as if they were buttons inside of Flash.

In this file, you can see that I've actually applied these hot spots to these three graphics that appear towards the bottom. Now there are two main ways to get a SWF out of Illustrator. First of all, I can go to my usual, which is the Save for Web & Devices, and I can choose a SWF file as my format. So let's do that right now. I'm going to go to the File menu and choose Save for Web & Devices. For the file format here, I can choose SWF, and I also have the ability to preview this in my web browser to make sure that it looks correct, and you can see that the hot spots are active as well.

There is one thing to note about these hot spots inside of Flash content. Because of the security settings that are actually available inside of the Flash player, you may need to make some adjustments inside of your web browser. I'll go back to Illustrator here, and I'll cancel out of Save for Web & Devices and instead, I am going to go the File menu, and I'm going to choose Export. From the file format here, I'm going to choose to export this as Flash, or SWF. Now one of the benefits of actually exporting artwork in this way is that if I choose the Use Artboards option, I have the ability to export multiple pieces of art at once.

You see when I'm using Save for Web, the only thing that gets loaded into Save for Web is the current active artboard. Now in this document I only have one artboard. However, let's say I was creating a range or an entire campaign of SWF files, maybe banners of all different sizes. I would have to export each of them individually as separate actions if I were using Save for Web. However, here in the Export dialog box, if I choose Use Artboards, I can export all of them or a specific range of them as well.

Now when I click on the Export button, I actually get a whole separate dialog box called SWF Options. Now in reality, what we're focusing on right now is simply a static image. So we are not really concerned about things like animation, which a lot of these settings are really important for, especially in the Advanced dialog box that you see over here. The nice thing though, is that I have the ability to click on Web Preview, which is the same thing as Preview in Browser, so I can see with this content looks like here inside my web browser. Or if I go back inside Illustrator, I also have the ability to preview this on a mobile device using Device Central.

Now as we go throughout this chapter, we're going to learn about all the settings that appear inside of this SWF Options dialog box. But for now, when it comes to exporting static artwork from Illustrator as SWF, you now know that you can do them in one two ways: either using Save for Web or using the Export function.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design
Illustrator CS5 for Web and Interactive Design

74 video lessons · 23823 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 6m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Choosing Illustrator for web and interactive design
      2m 54s
    3. Illustrator and the web design workflow
      2m 7s
    4. Using the exercise files
      22s
  2. 40m 9s
    1. Pixel dimension vs. resolution
      4m 14s
    2. Pixel Preview mode and anti-aliasing
      5m 39s
    3. Taking charge of anti-aliasing
      5m 27s
    4. Choosing the right color management settings
      7m 25s
    5. Setting up important preferences
      6m 22s
    6. Setting up a workspace optimized for web design
      11m 2s
  3. 54m 5s
    1. Using the Web document profile
      3m 39s
    2. Creating custom document profiles
      9m 38s
    3. Using Illustrator's free web templates
      2m 33s
    4. Creating a sitemap or wireframe
      2m 50s
    5. Setting up an entire web site
      9m 33s
    6. Setting up a grid
      10m 37s
    7. Setting up an online ad campaign
      8m 13s
    8. Setting up icons for iOS
      2m 24s
    9. Setting up mobile content with Adobe Device Central
      4m 38s
  4. 32m 22s
    1. Understanding web-safe colors
      11m 50s
    2. Limiting the Color Guide to web-safe colors
      4m 53s
    3. Using Recolor Art to convert art to web-safe colors
      4m 54s
    4. Getting color inspiration from Adobe Kuler
      6m 48s
    5. Using Recolor Artwork to modify colors across a site
      3m 57s
  5. 56m 54s
    1. Using the Save for Web & Devices feature
      6m 44s
    2. Understanding the GIF file format and its settings
      10m 20s
    3. Understanding the JPEG file format and its settings
      7m 39s
    4. Understanding the PNG file format and its settings
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding the WBMP file format and its settings
      1m 18s
    6. Understanding the SWF file format and its settings
      4m 13s
    7. Understanding the SVG file format and its settings
      3m 41s
    8. Adjusting the dimensions of a graphic
      4m 46s
    9. Optimizing files to a specific file size
      4m 5s
    10. Modifying Save for Web & Devices output settings
      6m 51s
    11. Previewing content in Adobe Device Central
      3m 56s
  6. 56m 6s
    1. Setting point type in Illustrator
      4m 11s
    2. Setting area type in Illustrator
      5m 20s
    3. Formatting text quickly with paragraph styles
      14m 39s
    4. Overriding formatting with character styles
      3m 2s
    5. Controlling text anti-aliasing
      4m 50s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      11m 14s
    7. Adding cool reflections to text and graphics
      8m 26s
    8. Applying settings quickly with Graphic Styles
      4m 24s
  7. 35m 56s
    1. Understanding the concept of slicing
      3m 22s
    2. Creating slices manually
      4m 26s
    3. Creating slices from guides
      2m 45s
    4. Creating slices from objects
      7m 33s
    5. Understanding the different slice types
      4m 20s
    6. Applying settings to slices
      9m 20s
    7. Creating hotspots with image maps
      4m 10s
  8. 23m 35s
    1. Exporting static SWF files from Illustrator
      3m 35s
    2. Animated SWF: Converting Illustrator layers to SWF frames
      4m 3s
    3. Animated SWF: Using blends to define motion
      8m 35s
    4. Animated SWF: Adding static artwork to an animation
      3m 24s
    5. Animated SWF: Controlling time within an animation
      3m 58s
  9. 17m 13s
    1. Preserving slices and structure with PSD export
      6m 10s
    2. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      4m 35s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Photoshop
      2m 52s
    4. Generating an animated GIF file with Photoshop
      3m 36s
  10. 7m 28s
    1. Exporting HTML from Illustrator for use in Dreamweaver
      3m 31s
    2. Exporting CSS and DIVs from an Illustrator layout
      3m 57s
  11. 12m 37s
    1. Moving art between Illustrator and Fireworks
      6m 25s
    2. Using dynamic shapes from Fireworks
      3m 48s
    3. Sharing color swatches between Illustrator and Fireworks
      2m 24s
  12. 16m 7s
    1. Building files for use in Flash Catalyst
      4m 28s
    2. Creating a new Flash Catalyst project from an Illustrator file
      3m 40s
    3. Copying and pasting artwork between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      2m 4s
    4. Roundtrip editing between Illustrator and Flash Catalyst
      3m 36s
    5. Creating Flex skins for use in Flash Builder
      2m 19s
  13. 19m 48s
    1. Understanding symbols: The lifeblood of Flash
      4m 58s
    2. Symbols: Understanding 9-slice scaling
      4m 18s
    3. Setting text that will be used in Flash Professional
      3m 5s
    4. Moving artwork between Illustrator and Flash Professional
      7m 27s
  14. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

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