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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.
Throughout this entire training title, you've seen so many ways where you can take your artwork from Illustrator and bring it into other applications. Well, it's no different with Flash Professional. In fact, you may find that there is more integration between Illustrator and Flash Professional than any of the others. Let's take a look at this file that I have open right now. It's called monthly_specials3. And I want to point out a few things about how this file was built. First of all, you can see I have a single artboard, which I have named 300x250, just in case I may have other artboards, for example, if I was creating banners or projects of different sizes.
I have a single layer called Banner, but there are elements, or structure inside of that layer as well, which I can see here. I've also taken the time to define artwork as symbols, and in some cases I have also applied instance names of those symbols. In fact, if I go to my Symbols panel, I'll see my symbols right here. And I even have some symbols like this Ducky one, for example, where if I double-click on it to edit it, I'll see that I've actually defined these guides for 9-slide scaling. Let me hit Escape to kind of go back to my artwork here. But the Ducky symbol isn't actually used on the artboard at all.
It's just simply listed here in my Symbols panel. In addition, I also have some artwork, like this group right here, that has a soft drop shadow applied to it as an appearance, or what we call a live effect inside of Illustrator. Now, if I also take a closer look at the text that appears at the bottom here, these prices, this is actually information that may be driven by a database. So it may need to be selectable or editable somewhat inside of Flash Professional. So I went ahead and specified, in the Flash Text panel, that that text should be dynamic text. I've even applied instance names for those as well.
So when you ready to move this into Flash Professional, there are really two ways to do it. I can either bring my entire Illustrator file into Flash Professional, or I could take individual pieces of art and just simply copy and paste them over. Let's talk about the first case though, where I am actually taking my entire Illustrator file and bringing that into a Flash Professional project. So what I would need to do it now is just simply save my file as a native Illustrator file, as I've done here. I don't need to export a SWF. I don't need to create any other kind of file. I'd just simply save a native Illustrator file. It's very similar to the workflow that we have when thinking about working with Flash Catalyst.
But now I am just going to toggle over to Flash Professional, and I am going to create a new ActionScript 3.0 file. I don't really care about the settings, like stage size or things like that, because that's going to get picked up automatically from my Illustrator file. All I need to do is simply go to the File menu and choose Import > Import to Stage. I'll choose the monthly_specials3.ai file, the native Illustrator file that I saved, and I'll choose Open. Now, this dialog box comes up that really shows me every single object that exists inside of my Illustrator file, and there is a couple of reasons of why I am seeing this dialog box.
First of all, if I have multiple artboards, I can choose which of those artboards I want to import. Next, there are these little check boxes that appear to the left of every single object inside of my file, and if I want to exclude any of these pieces of art from being imported into my project, I could just simply uncheck them. I also have the ability to see details about these. For example, this is a symbol instance name of icon01. But if I wanted to, I can choose to import that is a bitmap instead. In fact, if I take some of these settings, like for example, I go down to the text that says Monthly Specials, I can choose to import that as editable text, as vector outlines, or as a bitmap.
I can also turn any artwork into a movie clip, if I haven't already done so inside of Illustrator. I am going to leave all these things alone, though. I am going to come down to the bottom, where I have the ability to convert my Illustrator layers into Flash layers. Alternatively, I can also convert Illustrator layers into Flash keyframes or into a single Flash layer. I want to make sure that I'm placing all my objects at the original position, and I could tell Flash Professional to set its stage to match the artboard size that I created inside of Illustrator. Finally, because there are some symbols inside of my Illustrator document that I may want to use later, they just might not be on my artboard right now, I can choose to Import unused symbols.
Now I am going to click OK, and this artwork is going to be placed now directly onto my stage here, which is now set to the right size here in Flash Professional. Now, if I click on these objects - I'm just going to double-click on the Gray area here to deselect everything, if I click on this symbol instance right here, I can see the instance name that I created inside of Illustrator is preserved. If I click on some of this text over here, I can see that that text is now specified as selectable text as opposed to read only text. Again, the instance name that I applied to that text in Illustrator is also shown right here.
Now, if I click on this group that had the drop shadow, I can see in my Filters part of the Properties panel, that there is a drop shadow here. In other words, Illustrator's editable live effect drop shadow has been converted now to an editable Flash drop shadow. This means, if I'd like to, I can actually click on the drop shadow and modify some of its settings, and I even have the ability to just toggle that off, so I don't see it, or I can turn it back on again. Let's take a look at the library here for a moment. I am going to open up my Library panel, and I can choose to open up this folder and see that in my Illustrator Symbols, folder that Ducky symbol that existed inside of Illustrator also exist now here inside of Flash.
Even though it doesn't appear on the artboard, it's still been imported into my Library. Now if I wanted to drag that out onto the stage, I could simply bring it out over here. Notice that you can see that the 9-slice scaling that I set inside of Illustrator now appears here inside of Flash as well. This means if I go to Properties, and I make modifications, for example, to the width, notice that it's scaling in the way that I've specified it to inside of Illustrator; the same thing for the height as well. Now, the process that we just went through right now is basically creating a blank, new ActionScript 3 project and then importing the Illustrator file to the stage.
However, for individual pieces of art, you can also go ahead and just simply copy and paste from Illustrator into Flash as well. So I am actually going to close this right now. I'm not going to save this project. I am going to create a new ActionScript 3 project, go back to Illustrator for a second, maybe grab let's say these two elements, copy it, switch over to Flash Professional and simply paste it. Now, here in this dialog box, I get an option that says Paste using AI File Importer preferences. Well, first, I'm just going to the click OK to actually bring that artwork in here.
You notice that in my Library panel now for this file, I have the Illustrator symbols that I just pasted in. If I go to my Properties panel, I'll see that I can actually click on these individual symbols and see their instance names. But if I go to the Flash menu here and choose to edit my Preferences, you can see there is an option here called AI File Importer. It's here in this panel that I can set how I'd like Flash Professional to import Illustrator artwork. Of course, these are the default settings. If I choose to import to stage, I can then take any individual object and modify their settings, one at a time.
I'll just click Cancel here to go back to the stage here inside of Flash Professional. But you can quickly see that it's so easy to move artwork from Illustrator into Flash and maintain so much rich information. In fact, perhaps one of the most important things about Illustrator CS5 and Flash Professional CS5 is something that you won't even see at all. Flash Professional CS5 now uses the same underlying graphics engine that Illustrator does for plotting anchor points. That means that when you bring artwork from Illustrator into Flash, it looks perfect.
So you can use Illustrator to create all of your artwork that you might need for a Flash project with full confidence, knowing that eventually you could bring it into Flash Professional or hand it off to a developer who can turn it into a beautiful masterpiece.
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