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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
Some of the most impressive new features in InDesign CS5 have to do with animation on your pages. Now, I am not talking about making Disney movies. I mean getting objects to slide in, fade out, and so on. Virtually, all of these effects work only in exported SWF files, but if you are headed to SWF, you should definitely check them out. It's incredibly easy to animate something. Let me show you. I am going to zoom in on this graphic here. Zoom in even more. It looks a little rough there, because I need to go to View > Display Performance > High Quality Display. There we go.
That looks much better. Now, I want to animate this. I want to take this object and do something interesting with it. So I will open the Animation panel. Now, the Animation panel is grayed out and it has taken me a moment to realize why. It's because I accidentally selected the image inside the frame, not the frame itself. So I am going to press the Escape key to select the frame, not the image. Now the Animation panel comes to life. And I can choose a preset. All of InDesign's animations are set up as presets, so they are really easy to choose.
Just pull something out of this pop-up menu. For example, I can choose Fade In, and you can see inside the Animation pane at the top here that it is fading in. Every time I move my cursor over it, it fades in. So that's the effect that I would get if I exported this as a SWF. Let's try a different one. How about Pulse? Pulse is kind of interesting. It kind of gives you a heartbeat look. Every time I scroll over it, there we go. It gives me a little pulse. Well, that looks pretty good. Let's use that one.
I am going to have a little pulsing logo there. But I don't want it to play just one time. I want it to keep playing. So I could specify a number of times that I want it to loop through, or I'm just going to turn on the Loop checkbox. That way it will keep looping as long as that page is open. There are dozens of other features inside this Animation panel, but I am going to leave it there. I am going to keep thing simple and I am going to close my Animation panel and open the Preview panel and let's see how this thing really works. Let's preview this spread. I will click the Play button and it writes it to disk.
It opens it up in the Preview panel and you can see there is my pulsing logo right on my page. Can you believe that it's that easy to make an animation? No ActionScript programming, no Masters degree from a prestigious university. Just click, click, bang, you are done. Gotta love that!
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