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By Mordy Golding | Monday, October 25, 2010

A first look at Flash Catalyst Panini preview release from Adobe

Last spring, lynda.com published Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training to show members how to create and publish fully interactive Flash (SWF) micro sites, widgets, portfolios, and applications from static artwork without writing code. Previously, we had published the Flash Catalyst Beta Preview course. This year, we’re trying something new. Instead of a Beta Preview course, we’re going to be publishing a series of videos and blog entries. We’re starting this new series of posts to coincide with Adobe MAX, to take advantage of an anticipated public beta of a new and improved Flash Catalyst. Here is the first of my posts.

At their MAX conference in 2007, Adobe showed a demonstration of a new product they were building, dubbed Thermo— a product that would come to be known as Flash Catalyst. At the ’08 and ’09 conferences, they released public beta versions of Flash Catalyst. Adobe seems to be keeping with the tradition at this year’s Adobe MAX conference by posting a preview release of a future version of Flash Catalyst, code named Panini, to Adobe Labs. It’s obvious that the Flash Catalyst team has been hard at work, because Flash Catalyst Panini sports some pretty big features.

Roundtrip designer-developer workflow

In the CS5 release, Flash Catalyst enabled designers to send their projects to a developer, who could open them in Flash Builder. However, once a developer worked on a project, there was no way to send it back to a designer to make changes.

With Flash Catalyst Panini, designers can start the process by creating an interactive wireframe, which they then hand off to a developer. Using Flash Builder Burrito (a preview release of that product, which is now also available on Adobe Labs), a developer can open the wireframe and add logic and connections to data services, and then send the project back to the designer. The designer can now reopen the project in Flash Catalyst Panini to skin the project and make additional changes. Developers can control which parts are editable and protect other parts. This means the designer can actually preview live data connections while working on the design.

Support for creating resizable applications

Perhaps one of the things designers struggle with most is dealing with layouts that will be viewed across multiple devices and screen sizes. Creating resizable layouts (also referred to as fluid, or liquid) is not only possible now in Flash Catalyst Panini, it’s also really easy to do. I demonstrate how it works in the video accompanying this post.

Better wireframing functionality

In the CS5 release, Flash Catalyst featured a list of ten wireframe components such as buttons and sliders. Flash Catalyst Panini now features an impressive library that contains over 35 components that include things like navigation elements, accordion boxes, and basic building block elements such as body copy or image placeholders. All of the components have also been redesigned to feature a consistent grayscale appearance. What this means is that you can quickly create great-looking mockups and wireframes for just about anything. You can see these new components in the embedded video as well.

While Flash Catalyst Panini is a wonderful peek at what’s to come, it’s still a preview release, so I’d be careful about using it on real-world projects (there’s no backwards-compatibility with CS5, and developers must use the Flash Builder Burrito preview release to open projects made in Panini).

Of course, if you want to learn everything there is to know about using Flash Catalyst CS5, be sure to check out Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training in the lynda.com Online Training Library?. And you can be sure that I’ll continue to bring you the latest information on future versions of Flash Catalyst here on lynda.com.

Got a request on what topics you’d like to see in a future Flash Catalyst title in the lynda.com Online Training Library?? Let me know in the comments below!

By Crystal McCullough | Wednesday, April 14, 2010

12 new CS5 courses in the Online Training Library®

On Monday, Adobe officially announced its Creative Suite 5 line of products, and lynda.com released 10 Adobe CS5 New Features training courses, one Essential Training course, and a Creative Techniques course. Click on any one of the following images to view the trailer for that course:

Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training Course TrailerAfter Effects CS5 New Features Preview Course TrailerDreamweaver CS5 New Features Course Trailer

Encore CS5 New Features Course TrailerFireworks CS5 New Features Course TrailerFlash Professional CS5 New Features Course Trailer

Illustrator CS5 New Features Course TrailerInDesign CS5 New Features Course Trailerhotoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New Features Course Trailer

Photoshop CS5 New Features Course TrailerPremiere Pro CS5 New Features Course TrailerAfter Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques Course Trailer

Here are the direct links to each course:

After Effects CS5 New Features
After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques
Dreamweaver CS5 New Features
Encore CS5 New Features
Flash Professional CS5 New Features
Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 New Features
Illustrator CS5 New Features
InDesign CS5 New Features
Photoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New Features
Photoshop CS5 New Features
Premiere Pro CS5 New Features

View the entire course listing on lynda.com. We’ll be releasing another group of courses on April 30, and more CS5 titles in weeks to come. As always, we invite you to let us know what you think.

By Crystal McCullough | Monday, April 12, 2010

Adobe Creative Suite 5 new features training on lynda.com

From 'Making use of updated color effects and blending modes' in the lynda.com After Effects CS5 New Features.

Today Adobe officially announced its Creative Suite 5 line of products, and lynda.com released a dozen of our Adobe CS5 New Features training courses:

After Effects CS5 New Features
After Effects CS5 New Creative Techniques
Dreamweaver CS5 New Features
Encore CS5 New Features
Flash Professional CS5 New Features
Flash Catalyst CS5 Essential Training
Fireworks CS5 New Features
Illustrator CS5 New Features
InDesign CS5 New Features
Photoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New Features
Photoshop CS5 New Features
Premiere Pro CS5 New Features

View the entire course listing on lynda.com.

By Mordy Golding | Monday, June 01, 2009

Mordy Golding records training for Adobe Flash Catalyst Preview

Mordy Golding sited at lynda.com recording booth!

If you aren’t already aware of it, Adobe has just released a public beta version of Flash Catalyst — a brand new application that allows designers to create cool interactive Flash content without having to write a single line of code — on labs.adobe.com. As someone who tried to “get into” Flash, and who was continuously frustrated by having to learn how to write complex ActionScript code, I was drawn to Adobe’s promise that Flash Catalyst would make my life better. It seems to be working – in more ways than I would have imagined.

Good things have been happening to me lately, and the conspiracy theory voice in my head thinks Adobe has something to do with it. Allow me to explain. I’m actually out here at the awesome lynda.com headquarters in Ventura, CA, and I just wrapped up the recording of my latest video training title, Adobe Flash Catalyst Beta Preview.

Of course, for this Long Island native, coming out to Ventura is always a rewarding experience. It’s a great opportunity to spend a few days with the great staff at lynda.com, and to top it all off, there’s a great kosher restaurant and winery nearby. But on this trip, I was upgraded to first class on my flight out here, I am staying at a much nicer hotel, and my hometown favorite New York Mets are in town playing the Los Angeles Dodgers. If that weren’t enough, Adobe actually sent me a build of Flash Catalyst a few days earlier than they had promised, I had a great time coming up with some cool examples to show in the training, and the actual recording sessions were quick and smooth! I can’t wait to watch the completed video title — yes, I do watch my own titles – I’m a perfectionist and take my own criticism quite well.

So do you think Adobe Flash Catalyst has anything to do with my recent good fortune? I’m not sure, but just in case, I’m heading out now to buy a lottery ticket. In the meantime, check out Flash Catalyst for yourself — who knows, maybe it will have the same effect on you!

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