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In InDesign CS5: Interactive Documents and Presentations, Adobe Certified Instructor and designer James Fritz shows print designers how to use InDesign by itself and in conjunction Flash Professional to layout and design a wide range of digital documents. The course provides a tour of digital publishing trends, showing real-world examples of what can be achieved through InDesign. Several start-to-finish projects are also included, such as creating a presentation with transitions and animations, and building an interactive microsite. Exercise files accompany the course.
Motion presets are a great way to simplify the animation of an object and it's possible to share your motion presets between InDesign and Flash. Since Flash has more animation controls, you can bring your simple animation into Flash, make some adjustments and export the motion presets back to in design. Inside InDesign we're going to create a simple animation with a star. I'm going to select the star and go over to my Animation panel and add the preset Move Right. If we want to preview this, we can open up the Preview panel and we'll see it's doing a simple move to the right.
Let's export this to Flash Professional. We're going to go to File > Export and choose Flash CS4 Professional, and we will put this on our desktop. We leave all the controls the same and we'll click OK. And we'll jump to Flash. Now that I have the exported FLA from InDesign open inside the Flash, let's take a look at the animation. I'm going to the Spread and double-click to select the star. When I double-click again, I can see the motion path. When I select the path and I go down to that the panel called the Motion Editor, I have a lot more controls.
I'm going to resize this panel so we can see more of the controls. Now I'm going to come down to Alpha. Right now, I'm on the first frame, which means we see all of the image. I want to create a blinking effect for the star by lowering the Alpha amount. Right now, the Alpha amount is at 100%, which means we see all of the star. I'm going to move the playhead to the fifth frame, and I'm going to add a keyframe by clicking here. A keyframe just means something is going to change at this particular frame. What we're going to change is the Alpha amount and we're going to drag this all the way down to zero to make the star disappear.
We are then going to move to the 10th frame, and we're going to increase this back to 100%. On the 15th frame we will lower this back to zero and on the 20th frame we put it back at 100%. And then on the final frame, the 25th frame, we will put it back at zero again. Now let's test this movie and see what happens. You can see we have the star doing a little blink across the sky. If I want to share this with InDesign, I need to export it as a motion preset.
Let's close this panel. I'm going to the Motion Presets panel by going to to Window > Motion Presets. To make a new motion preset, I'm going to hit the new button. I'm going to call this move and blink, and I'll click OK. Now that I have made this motion preset I need to share this with InDesign. By selecting this motion preset I'll go into the panel menu and choose Export. I'm going to put this on my desktop, and it's going to have the name move and blink.xml, and I'll click Save. Now back in side InDesign I need to open up my Animation panel.
Inside the Animation panel I'll go inside the panel menu and choose Manage Presets. In here I'll hit Load and now on my desktop I'm going to select move and blink.xml. Now that I've this added, I can hit Done, and then I can apply this preset to the animation. Now it looks the same and I don't get a preview, but if I open up the Preview panel I can see the animation happening. To make this a more appealing animation, I'm going to increase its duration to a few more seconds.
And I'm going to loop it, have it start off of the page, select that path and have it go all the way across the page. Now let's preview this. Now you can see that we have the star animating all the way across the page and blinking. Sharing motion presets is a great way for a Flash developer to create a complex animation in Flash and share it with you inside InDesign.
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